Play it again, Sam. In the latest in an ever-growing line of leaks, rumor and downright fakes leading up to the Galaxy S III announcement, Phone Arena got a look at a leaked device purporting to be the “Samsung GT-i9300″, one of many possible model numbers for the much-anticipated device. The phone in the photo is running what looks like TouchWiz over Ice Cream Sandwich, including Galaxy Nexus-style on-screen navigation buttons. No further context is given.
There are a few strange things about this photo: one, the bezel around the phone’s glass front is different than any of the high-end Samsung phones we’ve seen in the last year or so, and it looks like the glass is actually slightly recessed from a 1-2mm plastic lip. That could be some kind of protective or concealment case, or this could be an early prototype of the hardware. Two, the Samsung logo has moved to the bottom of the phone, something you normally only see on the US version to make room for carrier logos, though this unit is bare. There’s no mention of a screen size in the leak and nothing to compare it to in the photo, but extrapolating from the elements on the screen and the front-facing camera, I’d say it’s somewhere in the 4.5-inch range (give or take a couple of tenths of an inch).
Is this the Galaxy S III? Maybe, but I doubt it. The industrial design doesn’t scream flagship to me, and I would be surprised if this turn out to be either an early production test device or another phone entirely. We’ve heard a handful of possible model numbers for the GSIII, one of which was i9300, but a leak from Samsung earlier this year placed it at a strange 1024×600 resolution. That could certainly be the same device we’re looking at here: the aspect ratio is about right. But with the Galaxy Nexus having a 720p Super AMOLED display (along with several competitors) and the Galaxy Note bumping it up to 1280×800, it’s hard to believe that the GSIII would go lower than 720p.
Also note that this photo looks nothing like the half-dozen “leaks” and renders floating around the net for the last couple of weeks. This is certainly a real device, but that doesn’t make it the real deal, any more or less than the other leaks. Samsung is still silent on when they’ll announce the Galaxy S II’s successor.