What to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S III

Later today, Samsung is holding a press event in the UK to introduce “The Next Galaxy.” It’s a safe bet that this will be the official introduction to Samsung’s Galaxy S III; a follow-up to its two highest selling smartphones in the Galaxy line. The phone is highly anticipated as several trade show events came and went without a new Galaxy S. Samsung appears to be doing well enough in the smartphone market — now the top seller of them — that it can have its own Apple-like(s aapl) device events.

There’s been no lack of rumors about the next Galaxy S, many of which are likely true. Here’s what I expect we’ll see and hear about Samsung’s new Galaxy S III today at the event:

  • All but the LTE models will use a Samsung Exynos quad-core chip based on the Cortex A9 architecture. Why not for the LTE models? Unless Samsung surprises with some LTE baseband solution, it will have to rely on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 chip, which supports LTE. There’s a slim chance Samsung does use the Exynos with a separate LTE chipset, but if so I think that will hurt battery life.
  • Don’t expect a screen larger than 4.8-inches. I’m looking for a 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED Plus screen around 4.7-inches, give or take a tenth of an inch. Samsung is doing well with its 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, but it won’t want to make the Galaxy S III too close in size.
  • Surely the phone will run on Android 4.0(s goog) and have Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. I suspect some other software tweaks or features will be added to help differentiate the phone from other current Samsung models that use a similar set up. What that difference is, I’m not sure, but it’s likely something that can take full advantage of the new Exynos chip; improved imaging features, some augmented reality bits or advanced gaming, perhaps.
  • Speaking of imaging, I expect this phone to have an improved, higher resolution camera sensor than on prior models: 12 or (it’s a stretch) even 16 megapixels with a wide aperture of at least f/2.2.
  • I’ll go out on a limb and suggest a long-shot: along with the standard desk and car dock accessories, Samsung offers a docking companion shell similar to Motorola’s(s mmi) LapDock, allowing the new phone to power an Android laptop-like device. Or maybe it would run Chrome OS?
  • Unlike recent competitors phones, I don’t expect an integrated battery, nor the lack of memory expansion. A larger battery — at least 2000 mAh is my guess — will fit into the new Galaxy.
  • Samsung will switch from a III to a 3 on this model. Not that this changes much about the phone, but it’s better for branding, in my opinion.
  • Asia and Europe will surely see the device launch first; likely before the end of May. U.S. carriers won’t offer the phone until August or September is my guess.
  • Support for NFC is pretty much a given, although not all U.S. models will use it for Google Wallet; the same situation as today.

As the smartphone market matures, the major innovations seem to be decreasing. So if my thoughts seem like incremental upgrades, that’s why. Again, Samsung could surprise with something that nobody expected in its new Galaxy S III, but given how well the phones are selling, I’m not sure it has to.