Another prototype Samsung Galaxy S3 surfaces, custom controls incoming?

We've seen a number of leaks surrounding Samsung's next Galaxy, purported to be called the Samsung Galaxy S3, and this one comes from a Chinese mobile forum Mobile1

The page has since been taken down, but the images are still to be had and show up some interesting details. It's long been suspected that Samsung has its next flagship handset doing the rounds in a dummy casing, and this certainly looks that way. 

With the Samsung Galaxy S3 UK launch in London lined up for 3 May, we're still left guessing as to what the final design will look like. There is a physical home button on the casing, but that's no indication that there actually will be on the final device. 

However, there are some interesting details on the display here. This is Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz layered over the top. The icons are instantly recognisable and carry some of the details, such as the background pattern on the calling icon, that you'll find on ICS on the Samsung Galaxy S II

The big indicator that this is a new device, however, is the arrangement of the virtual touch controls under the display, rather than capacitive buttons. This approach rolled out with the Samsung-built Galaxy Nexus when it launched with Android 4.0 and was a feature of the earlier-leaked Samsung video too.

Interestingly, the Twonky server shot shows an additional menu button added to the three main control buttons. It might be that Samsung doesn't like Android 4's approach to in-app options and wants to offer a menu button approach similar to previous versions of Android.

However, we've also noticed that the Google Market app icon is the old version, rather than the new Google Play icon, so whatever we're looking at here, it isn't up to date, and we should all be careful drawing any definitive conclusions.

With only a week to go, we suspect we'll see leaks like this one and official teasing, like Samsung's iSheep-mocking video, all the way until launch day.



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