By Stephen Schenck | January 22, 2013 2:26 PM
We just brought you the latest rumors on the hardware specs and possible launch schedule for Samsung’s Galaxy S IV, but there’s simply a heck of a lot we still don’t know about the handset. Earlier this month, we got a look at a render that purported to be the GS4, showing no physical home button. Now we’ve got a new render to check out that similarly claims to be the next Galaxy S device, but this time sticks with a more traditional Samsung design.
The above image has been sitting around in a publicly-accessible Picasa album since last month, labeled as a “Galaxy S IV GT-I9500 Product Image”. That’s the model we’ve seen associated with the GS4 over and over (though it’s also been attached to a potentially unrelated Tizen device).
While it resembles that earlier render, there are a number of small changes, and not just the presence of Android buttons; there are differences with camera and sensor placement, and even the position and sizes of the volume and power buttons.
Then there’s the issue of provenance, and this pic really leaves us scratching our heads. It doesn’t appear to have surfaced earlier, at least not according to a cursory GIS check, but why is it showing up here, now? The owner of the album is a Hong Kong secondary school student – hardly the source we’d expect with insider Samsung info. Aside from an image of a Samsung Unpacked invite on his Google+ page, there’s nothing else apparently tying him to the company.
We’ve also got to consider that this image, originally with a resolution of 2000 x 3000, is far larger than the press renders we’re used to dealing with in the pre-release stage – such official images aren’t unheard of, but we rarely see them before a launch-day press release. A fan-made image, though, could be as large as its creator wanted it to be. All this considered, we’re not particularly inclined to strongly assert that this is the real deal, but barring any specific evidence to the contrary, we’re willing to keep an open mind for now.