Today's suspected Galaxy SIII leak caused quite a stir in the Android community, of course sparking concerns over validity, likelihood that Samsung would choose such a form factor for the upcoming flagship, and just when we may see the real thing up close. A great summary of the leak on Reddit, and the subsequent comment thread got me thinking, though: just how likely is it that the leak is real? In short the answer is a resounding "not very."


At first blush, the leak seems convincing -  for starters, the shot in question has all the moire-patterning of a digital photo hurriedly snapped of a computer monitor, implying that whoever leaked the image didn't have time to save the file and risk being caught. This alone gives the feel of a "leak," or something we aren't supposed to see yet. Of course, anyone looking to generate a little buzz with a false leak could easily think of this angle.

Next, we've got the Weber Shandwick logo in the corner. It's a known fact that WS has worked with Samsung in the past, launching various products both in America and abroad. It wouldn't be surprising to see WS helping launch the SIII, since we have already heard tell that Samsung is aiming for an international debut following the device's official announcement. While there's no real way of disproving that WS will be working with Samsung on the SIII launch, it is clear that the logo used in the above image is readily available online and therefore pretty easy to slap on to any image.

Next is what we see on the leaked device's display. The calendar widget clearly mirrors the one found on the Galaxy S II prior to its launch at MWC last year, repeating its message word for word, only changing the date. Further, the display seems to carry a 720p or higher resolution (following recent rumors), judging by the teeny tiny status bar and the bottom dock which carries 5 icons, just like the Galaxy Note. It's also worth noting however, that the notification bar has a blue color scheme, while the Galaxy SII's Ice Cream Sandwich ROM features a green/white scheme. It's possible that Samsung has whipped up a new TouchWiz overlay for the SIII, but not very likely.


The first thing that really jumped out to me as strange, however, is that the device is white. Samsung, in recent memory, has never chosen a white body for a smartphone (or tablet) debut. This wouldn't be a totally surprising choice, but advertising a white device before launch doesn't exactly fit historically with Samsung's strategy.

Next, the device still features a hard button and two capacitive keys. Of course, rejecting ICS' baked-in soft buttons for capacitive/hardware ones isn't that radical – after all, HTC's new One line features three capacitive keys on each device. Still, given that Sammy's Galaxy Nexus opted for soft keys, I'd be surprised to see its latest flagship return to a hardware home button.

Putting aside the white body and hard/capacitive keys for a moment, there's one major issue that could disprove the leak's validity - its form factor. The overall form of the supposed Galaxy SIII may look familiar to some viewers, and rightfully so. The Galaxy Tab 10.1n and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 both share a sort of super-bezel with embedded stereo speakers, but so does one other device – the Galaxy Player 4.2.

In fact, the pictured device and the Player 4.2 look so similar that I decided to fire up Photoshop and throw together a mockup of the leaked device by altering a press shot of the Galaxy Player 4.2.


Left: Galaxy Player 4.2 Right: Approximation of today's leaked image

There are precisely three differences between the Galaxy Player 4.2 press shot and my ~5 minute rendition of the leaked Galaxy SIII – the addition of a front-facing camera and proximity sensor to the right hand side of the device, the addition of a dedicated camera button, and the addition of a larger display with a crazy-thin bezel (lifted from the leaked image).

Overall, things aren't looking too good for today's leak. This isn't incredibly surprising news, however, since leaked images are often unreliable or just flat out fake. That being said, it may just be possible that Samsung has decided to go with the exact form factor of the Player 4.2 for its new flagship smartphone. It just isn't very likely.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Marvin

    Are you saying that this leak isnt real because it looks similar, but different, to other products they are releasing? In that case every HTC device leak is a fake, before and after its released I guess

    • http://www.liamspradlin.com Liam Spradlin

      I'm actually saying the leak doesn't look different from the Player 4.2 besides the addition of a camera and a new screenshot slapped on as a display.
      What it looks like to me is that someone with a fair amount of knowledge about Samsung's marketing relationships was able to fabricate a momentarily convincing fake without actually rendering a new design.

      • Jonathan Longoria

        Does the Galaxy Player 4.2 also have the same button layout on the sides? The front/angle looks very similar but the real difference is the camera profile/camera button/etc...

        • http://www.liamspradlin.com Liam Spradlin

          The Player 4.2 has the volume rocker on the same side as the power button, and no camera button.
          These are easily fabricated, however. If one simply took a side view of the 4.2 (like this one), copied the power button, re-sized it, and put a camera icon next to it, it would look just the same.

        • Jonathan Longoria

          Ah yes, good call. Thank you for the other picture. I wish they could make a Galaxy Player to look like that or heck, even a GS2.5, lol. I guess I haven't really seen the extent of how far photo editing can go.

  • Steve McCartney

    Something in my gut is also telling me we are going to get an announcement before May 22. The HTC One X is going to be available to people in the first week of April and given its positive reception I think Samsung may want to reveal the S 3 around or before this so that people hang on. Maybe that's just wishful thinking though - the Galaxy S brand and the hype around it probably outweigh the threat from HTC.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

      Just some speculation here...

      HTC's marketing is directed more at social media and semi-Gorilla tactics (which Samsung uses, but certainly doesn't use them as a primary means of product announcement). Samsung doesn't seem to market against HTC, and considering sales numbers from last year and the anticipated announcements/products of this year, I'm going to make a sad assumption that they don't see HTC as being an equal competitor. To finish the logic, I think their goal is to target Apple as a competitor and attempt to preempt their announcements or overshadow them whenever possible.

      It's little more than a guess, but I see late May (as the leak suggests) to make sense for announcement and world-wide release in June (no more than a month later, which fits the expectation Samsung has put forward). I imagine the announcement could be in June, but that means possibly missing a major sales opportunity (graduation gifts). The only other plausible option would be to hold the announcement and release around a month before the iPhone 5 announcement, basically so they can punk Apple sales.

  • TJ

    I think what the author is saying is that they don't know anything more than anyone else and are speculating that it's fake, as much as some others are speculating it's real.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Nobody knows anything. All we can do is analyze. But even legitimate images can have many flaws, because they're mockups created by designers, not photographs.

      • Hal Motley

        I agree, we really don't know anything and it will probably be a few months before anything is released.

        All I really know is that the Galaxy S series of phones really are Samsung's flagship smartphone brand and they will try their best to shift the iPhone (and BlackBerry) as hard as they can.

        Also Samsung want to reduce the time it takes to announce a product and for it to be released.

        I still expect from my post below that the release date will be in July and the annoucement in May/June.

        May it kill the iPhone 4S! (S stands for sucker apparently)

  • Hooman

    all I see is non-removable battery, no SD card Support - so if I'm right, no matter if this is legit or not I'm gonna pass!

    • Hal Motley

      Samsung wouldn't drop all that as that would anger a lot of customers (me included).

      Therefore, I don't think Samsung would drop MicroSD support or consider integrating the battery (although on the GN they did drop MicroSD support, much to my disappointment).

      • Hooman

        and also Nexus S. well if this is the real device, because of the thickness I don't think it has any type o removable battery, and assuming my first assumption is correct you can still from the same picture see that there is no slot for sd card on the sides ( maybe on the bottom or top). and I agree with you, let's just hope that they don't drop those.

  • Hal Motley

    I apologise to Artem (and the rest of AP) for practicing the evil art of copypasta!

    I heard from an unconfirmed source (my Korean friend) that it could be June/July before we see anything.

    But take that with a large pinch of smartphone-predicting salt.

    While I like my Galaxy S II, I will be waiting for an Xperia Play 2. I wonder when that is...

    Can anyone tell me? :-P

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      We could see it announced in May and released in June/July, for example.

  • L boogie

    In the other post by Cameron, I joked about this being a smaller version of the redesigned 10.1N but now looking at the galaxy player 4.2 and I could see the similarities between the image and the player. Whatever the case maybe, still waiting for the official statement from Samsung before coming to any conclusion. 5 sunny days in London, is it possible?

  • esgar

    I'm willing to wait as long as possible. I just hope is worth it .

  • Matthew

    Hope it's fake. Too thin to have a decent battery.
    Come on, nobody gives a crap about having the thinnest phone in existence. Pack a proper battery in there, if it's thinner than 1cm you're just being retarded.

    • Hal Motley

      I agree, I found the iPod Touch too thin to grip, plus the Macbook Air lacks plenty of ports and other features.

      Then again Apple are very expensive too! XD

      While I agree that ease of portability is important, making everything paper thin isn't necessarily the way to go.

  • Guardurgirl

    That looks nothing like my test device

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Go on...

    • David

      You have a test device of the samsung galaxy SIII??!!