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Latest round of pre-release rumors says no S Pen, but "contactless gestures" are likely

As it's prone to do in the weeks ahead of a major Samsung announcement, the Korean press is starting to report details of Samsung's next major smartphone, presumed to go by the name Galaxy S4. Citing "industry insiders," Korean newpaper DDaily is today claiming to have a few interesting bits of info about the upcoming Samsung flagship, for which it says Samsung is starting to ramp up component production.

First up, DDaily reports that the S4 won't stray too far form the design of the Galaxy S3. The "human-centric," "organic" look and feel will return in the new handset, along with the (somewhat controversial) three button-setup. Samsung experimented with a buttonless arrangement, it's alleged, but in the end decided to stick with the familiar home, back and menu layout.

The newspaper says reports of the S4 featuring a Wacom-based "S Pen" stylus like the Galaxy Note series are incorrect, but claims that the device will support "contactless" gestures. There's not much detail about what this might entail, but it's possible technology similar to that of the Sony Xperia Sola, which can detect fingers at a distance, might be used. Other reported hardware details include a 4.99-inch 1080p SuperAMOLED screen -- a long-rumored component, and probably a safe bet at this point.

On launch timing, DDaily says the Galaxy S4 should be publicly unveiled in mid-March, ahead of a late March or early April release. Again, that timing makes sense if Samsung wants to deny Android competitors like HTC and Sony the chance to gain too much traction in the weeks following Mobile World Congress. And it's not the first time we've heard rumors of an early April launch either.

As ever, take this stuff with a hefty pinch of salt, as we've yet to hear anything remotely official about the successor to the Galaxy S3. Nevertheless, based on the direction the rumor mill seems to be moving in, it's possible we might see Samsung's next big thing sooner rather than later.

Source: DDaily (Korean); via SamMobile