Now that we’re just hours away from the launch of arguably the most anticipated handset this side of the iPhone 5, we wanted to gather together what we know / think we know about the device in anticipation of its unveiling. Samsung has a lot riding on the Galaxy S3 (S III?), and not only because it’s the successor to the very well-received Galaxy S II; now that it is officially the top cellphone manufacturer in the world, it needs a flagship device that cements its position there — a phone that bests even the beautifully-crafted HTC One series.

Fortunately, many of the S3’s specs are already well-known: Samsung itself has revealed that the version shipping globally will sport its new 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4 processor (although the US variants are likely to get the dual-core, but still very capable, Snapdragon S4 from Qualcomm). Most online retailers who are privy to such information have pegged the screen as a 4.6-inch SuperAMOLED Plus, and various benchmarks and user agent profiles show that it should have a resolution of 1280 x 720, the same as the Galaxy Nexus (but not the 1080p some rumors had suggested).

The amount of RAM will likely top 1GB, with 2GB not out of the question, while storage capacity should easily hit 32GB. Like the Galaxy Nexus, NFC capabilities are a near lock, along with dual-mode Wi-Fi, GPS (GLONASS included?), and of course Bluetooth 4.0. There will almost surely be LTE-capable variants for carriers that have 4G networks up and running, plus very fast HSPDA for those that don’t. As for the body itself, we’ve been told to expect higher-grade materials on a thin, curved chasis, or at least plastic that doesn’t feel as plasticky as it did on the first generation of Galaxy S.

The S3 will surely be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich skinned with a new version of TouchWiz, although the leaked images we’ve seen have shown that it will also sport a home hardware button nestled between Back and Task Switcher. This is one design decision that we’ll be interested to hear Samsung explain in detail.

Those of you able to tune in live can do so on Samsung Mobile’s Facebook page, and of course we’ll be live at the London event providing coverage as well as hands-on impressions and video. For Android fans, it doesn’t get much bigger than today’s Unpacked event.

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