Apple's not the only tech company that can throw a much-anticipated smartphone unveiling.
On Thursday at 7 P.M. in London (2 P.M. EST), Samsung will show off its newest Galaxy smartphone, widely believed to be the Galaxy S III. The device is anticipated to be the successor to the Galaxy S II, which launched in May 2011 and went on to financial and critical success.
So, what can we expect from the heir apparent to the GS2? Here's what the rumor mill says:
Name: A leak suggested that the phone would be called the Galaxy S3, but that has since been debunked. Most outlets expect it to be called the Galaxy S III, though given that the invitation is teasing "the next Galaxy," that's not certain.
Processor: A Samsung exec confirmed that the new Galaxy will use an energy-saving quad-core processor, making it among the first smartphones to up its cores from two to four. (The international version of HTC One X also uses a quad-core processor, though the American model has a dual-core). In theory, more cores means faster processing and more efficient multitasking, as Reuters writes of the chip that will likely be used in the next Galaxy:
The Exynos 4 Quad, based on British chip designer ARM Holdings' Cortex A9 technology, enables more tasks in a shorter period of time, for example, a task such as streaming video can run on one core while the other cores update applications in the background, connecting to the web and scanning virus-check simultaneously.
Before you get too excited, however, the latest rumors have (bummer!) hinted that the American version of the next Galaxy -- like the HTC One X -- will also receive a dual-core processor, rather than the quad-core.
Form Factor and Display: Most pundits seem to believe that the new Galaxy will look a lot like the Galaxy S II on the outside, though Boy Genius Report says that the case could be made of ceramic.
BGR also says that the screen will be 4.8 inches (just a wee bit bigger than that of the HTC One X) and feature "full HD" 1080p with a 16:9 aspect ratio. There have been conflicted reports about the actual screen size, though most expect it to be somewhere between 4.6 and 4.8 inches.
Camera: Rumors indicate an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera; we have seen reports of a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, however. The iPhone 4S, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, and HTC One X -- three top-of-the-line, flagship smartphones -- all have 8-megapixel rear shooters. HTC also has a smartphone available, the Titan II, with a 16-megapixel camera.
Carriers: Though some variant of the Galaxy S II made it to all four major carriers in the U.S. eventually, we don't know for sure who has first dibs on the new Galaxy. A Verizon model has supposedly been identified.
Network: Almost certainly 4G LTE.
Operating System: Almost certainly the latest Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" with Samsung's "TouchWiz" interface on top.
Eye Tracking?: A report from CNET claimed that the new Galaxy will have an eye-tracking feature. The front-facing camera would be able to sense when you are looking at the screen, and would be able to lock the screen when you look away.
That's all we've got for now. We'll know for sure what the new Galaxy holds at 2 P.M. EST. Check back here for more updates. You can also catch a live stream of the event on Samsung Mobile's Facebook page.