Samsung GT-I9300 prototype indeed labeled Galaxy S3, faster Mali-400 graphics processor onboard
Doubts whether the Samsung GT-I9300 leak today is actually the Galaxy S III are somewhat dispelled by the next set of pics the guys from Tinhte posted, showing the microSD card slot and battery. The label inside clearly reads "Galaxy S3 sample prototype", but the date of the unit is from way back in December last year, so the final design is probably nothing like this shell with Galaxy S III innards.
However, the 2050mAh battery with NFC capabilities built-in has "M Project" written on it. The Samsung GT-I9300, about which we were tipped a month ago with the enigmatic "this is the real deal", was also rumored to be the special edition Olympics phone that Visa leaked, called simply Samsung M, indicating its segway status from the Galaxy line.
The phone here boots with the Galaxy S line logo, though UK carrier sources indicated we might be surprised by the naming.
Thus it could still be called "M" or something else, and carry the specs of what we are accustomed to call Galaxy S III, since a quad-core Exynos and 720p AMOLED display are nothing but flagship specs, and that's what this GT-I9300 unit is sporting without a doubt.
The SMDK4x12 label against the Hardware section in the Android System Info app denotes exactly an Exynos 4 series system board made with the 32nm process, but the chipset and specifically the Mali-400 GPU shown is what baffled us at first.
It couldn't be the Exynos 4212, as that was originally announced as a 1.5GHz dual-core endeavor, carrying the ARM Mali-400 graphics chip. Samsung mentioned its graphics performance is 50% higher than in the Galaxy S II, but this can easily be done by just upping the clock speed of the GPU to about 400MHz. The next generation Mali T-604 is about 5x faster, but is to appear in the Exynos 5 series this quarter, which is meant for high-res tablets.
A 32nm chipset would certainly allow upping the GPU clock speed and still keep the graphics subsystem cool and frugal in terms of power consumption, compared to the 45nm Exynos 4210 in the Galaxy S II. So that leaves SMDK4x12 to stand for the demoed, but not announced Exynos 4412.
Despite not listed on the official Exynos website, it was the only quad-core silicon shown to us by Samsung at the CES expo this year, and can be clocked up to 1.8GHz. The one in the GT-I9300 prototype is clocked at 1.4GHz, and now we can finally get some confirmation that it has the same souped up quad-core Mali-400 GPU that Samsung uses in the dual-core Exynos 4212.
Probably not more powerful than the quad-core PowerVR chip in the new iPad, but thanks to the upped clockage the Galaxy S III is poised to wipe the floor with any other Android device, as some preliminary leaks indicate.
As far as the other specs, the HD Super AMOLED screen will undoubtedly be gorgeous, but we are a bit puzzled by the presence of the same 8MP camera with f/2.6 aperture like on the Galaxy S II, as the sample photos' EXIF data indicates, so we cross fingers the final unit has a slightly more upgraded module for the sake of novelty, and we don't mean the megapixel count.