2012 may be drawing to a close, but that just means Android-makers like Samsung are getting ready for a big 2013. Here are six Samsung rumors being whispered about in dark alleys and blogs.
Samsung Galaxy S4
Rumors already abound for Samsung's next-generation flagship phone, likely called the Samsung Galaxy S4. While Samsung will do its best to keep things under wraps, we can be sure that there will be no shortage of leaks, rumors, and early benchmarks.
Even though it hasn't been announced, the Galaxy S4 is already tied to a number of purported specs that indicate another top-seller in the making, including a quad-core processor and 13-megapixel camera. Considering the current crop of Android models, neither of those seem to be much of a stretch.
Recent benchmarks found on NenaMark indicate that Samsung GT-I9525 could be the Galaxy S4's model number. Since it's possible to fake these sort of details, take early and rumored benchmarks with a grain of salt. Numbers show that the GS4 could run Android 5.0, have a 1.8GHz processor with an ARM Mali 400 MP GPU, and a 720p display. But those specs don't match up with the other ones, you say? Welcome to the muddy waters that are Galaxy rumors.
One rumor suggests that Samsung will bring the smartphone to CES in January, but I'm not so quick to believe this. The Galaxy S3 is only six months old and continues to sell well; a new model will only confuse consumers and anger recent buyers.
If history is any indicator, the flagship Samsung Galaxy S4 will likely arrive in the middle of 2013, where it will garner its own Samsung Unpacked event. Whatever the case, it ought to be fun tracking down all of these so-called Project J rumors, one possible code-name being tossed around.
A midsize Galaxy Note experience is on the way, according to those who like to read tea leaves. A Samsung GT-N5110 was spotted getting DLNA certification in late October and a GT-N5100 recently found its way onto NenaMark. Given that the Galaxy Note 2 is just getting started and the Galaxy Note 10.1 is not all that old, logic points to something in the middle.
Samsung has been known to dip its toes in the 7-inch and 7.7-inch waters a few times, so it feels right to consider that it may want to try this size for a Note-like experience. On the hardware front, NenaMark tells us the GT-5100 offers a 1280x720 display, 1.6GHz quad-core processor with a Mali 400MP GPU, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note without S Pen
Samsung is also reportedly developing a Galaxy Note 2 variant for European markets, yet it will drop support for the S Pen. I don't know if you could call this a "Note" device, but the source, SamMobile, has been increasingly reputable over the years.
4. Mystery SCH-S960L
A Samsung SCH-S960L hit the radar this week on the GLBenchmark Web site. With a Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz processor, a 1280x720 pixel display, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, this one could end up as pretty much anything -- even the stylus-free Note.
Samsung has been known to release variations of the same model in select markets and/or smaller carriers so that could be the case here. Given it's not all that different from their current lineup, I suspect that is what will happen with the S960.
5. Transformer-like experience
Samsung will introduce a familiar form factor in 2013 when it unveils a device with a 13.3-inch display that's similar to the Asus Transformer Prime and could similarly fit into a keyboard dock.
Additional details are very light for this one and even the source of the rumor is not yet certain it will run Android.
I would not be surprised to see Samsung employ this design, since it could become popular with the Windows crowd. Perhaps Samsung will differentiate from other Android models and include support for the S Pen?
6. Samsung GT-I9400
Finally, we have the Samsung GT-I9400, a handset outed courtesy of the NenaMark benchmark Web site. Have you noticed a trend yet?
Details include a 1.2GHz processor with a Mali 400 GPU and WVGA (800x480) resolution. This isn't the cutting-edge stuff you'd expect as a followup Galaxy S3; instead, it's more along the lines of an entry-level device. If you weren't already confused by all of these specs, consider that the model number GT-I9400 seems to suggest it would be a Galaxy S4. Those who pay close attention to these sort of things will recognize that the Galaxy S3 is listed as the GT-I9300.
There you have it, a bunch of specs and rumors that all seem to confirm and/or refute each other. The next few months should be fun to follow for Android fans, especially Samsung loyalists. Do any of these devices sound like something you'd like to put in your pocket? Which do you think are true or untrue?