Rumor Round-Up: The Future Smartphones of 2012

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CES 2012 was a quiet show for smartphones, with phone makers cooling their jets after the holiday shopping season. Now that the show’s over, rumors of new smartphones are starting to trickle in, many of which will debut at Mobile World Congress next month.

(MORE: The Coolest Smartphones of CES 2012)

Here are the 2012 smartphones we’re hearing about in whispers, so far:

Samsung Galaxy S III

Rumored specs: Quad-core processor, 720p Super AMOLED Plus display, 12-megapixel camera, 2 GB of RAM, with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, according to tech blogger Eldar Murtazin and Unwired View.

What’s interesting about it: Samsung’s Galaxy S line is known for high-end specs, slim designs and no gimmicks. That simple combination has helped Samsung sell more than 30 million Galaxy S and S II phones worldwide. The third model, reportedly due out in April, should be one to watch. (The above image is from a Samsung CES wrap-up video, and could be the Galaxy S III.)

LG X3

Rumored specs: Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 4.7-inch 720p display, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front camera, 16 GB of storage, 2,000 mAh battery, less than 0.35 inches thick, with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, according to PocketNow.

What’s interesting about it: The gargantuan display should help LG’s phone stand out from the quad-core pack, and hopefully that big battery will keep the phone running through a busy day. It’s rumored to launch in the late spring or early summer.

LG CX2, A.K.A. “Optimus 3D 2″

Rumored specs: Dual-core processor, 4.3-inch WVGA display with glasses-free 3D, 5-megapixel rear camera, 8 GB of storage, less than 0.39 inches thick, with Android 2.3, according to PocketNow.

What’s interesting about it: I still think 3D phones are a cheap trick, but LG’s going to try it again with a brighter display, a thinner design, and a way to convert 2D video into 3D. It could launch this spring.

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HTC Edge/Endeavor

Rumored specs: PocketNow (again) says it’ll have a quad-core processor, a 4.7-inch 720p display, 32 GB of storage and an 8-megapixel rear camera.

What’s interesting about it: It could be one of HTC’s first phones with version 4.0 of Sense, the user interface that HTC slaps onto all its handsets. Hopefully it’ll be silkier than previous versions. Launch is expected late this quarter or early next.

HTC Primo

Rumored specs: Dual-core processor, 3.7-inch Super AMOLED display, 512 MB of RAM, 5 megapixel rear camera, Beats Audio, with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, says Stuff.tv. (The above image is a mock-up from the site.)

What’s interesting about it: The rumor mill’s billing the Primo as a mid-range smartphone, but with a dual-core processor and a Super AMOLED display, it’s more proof that cheap smartphones aren’t so bad anymore. Beats Audio support could make it a great music phone, too. No word on release date, but it could get revealed at Mobile World Congress next month.

Sony Nypon

Rumored specs: Dual-core processor, 4-inch 960-by-540 display, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, 8.1-megapixel rear camera, with Android 2.3, according to Xperia Blog and some sketchy message board rumblings (via PhoneArena).

What’s interesting about it: The specs don’t say much, but apparently the display’s “WhiteMagic” technology makes for superior brightness outdoors, while cutting battery life in half during indoor use. No word on release timing.

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iPhone 5

Rumored specs: Maybe a 4-inch display, slimmer design and aluminum back, according to Business Insider and Boy Genius Report. (And The Verge for the mockup.)

What’s interesting about it: It’s an iPhone, so everyone’s going to flip out over it. But rumormongers think Apple was close to launching a redesigned iPhone 5 last fall, yet scrapped it last-minute in favor of the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 could get its debut this fall, but at this point, no one really knows what the phone will look like, or what it’ll have inside.

Blackberry “London”

Rumored specs: Dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, according to The Verge.

What’s interesting about it: This could be Research in Motion’s first smartphone running BlackBerry 10, a new operating system that makes a clean–and much-needed–break from the old BlackBerry software. It’ll be smoother and faster, and it’ll support all kinds of fancy apps. Whether that’s enough to redeem RIM when it launches in late 2012 is another story.

(MORE: The Future of Phones: Forever Unknowable)

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