Let the Samsung Galaxy S4 Speculation Begin!

Now that the year-end smartphone season is winding down, it's time to start dreaming up the next wave of high-powered handsets.

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Now that the year-end smartphone season is winding down, it’s time to start dreaming up the next wave of high-powered handsets.

Of course, you can expect iPhone rumors galore in the months ahead, but Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S line is also getting plenty of attention. Need proof? Samsung posts one little teaser video, and suddenly the tech blogosphere is awash with speculation that the Galaxy S4’s debut is nigh.

I have my doubts. For one thing, whatever Samsung’s teasing will be revealed from January 8-11, the dates of the Consumer Electronics Show. Would Samsung announce its flagship smartphone at a huge industry trade show where it risks getting lost in the noise? Probably not. Last year, Samsung held a separate event for the Galaxy S III, skipping over earlier trade shows such as Mobile World Congress. Maybe that was just a timing issue, but I’m sure Samsung likes having its own spotlight.

(MORE: Samsung’s Galaxy Camera Highlights Everything Wrong with Shared Data Plans)

Also, the video says nothing about specific hardware. It’s just a list of buzzwords–“ideas,” “wonder,” “dreams” and the like–flying across the screen. The video might simply be alluding to a brand makeover, as reported by ChannelNews last month.

That’s not to say all rumors about the Galaxy S4 are unbelievable. Korean media reports claim that Samsung’s next flagship will have a 5-inch 1080p display and a 13-megapixel camera–both specs we’ve seen in other phones on the market right now (HTC’s Droid DNA for the former, and LG’s Optimus G for the latter). A sharper display and better camera, as well as a faster quad-core processor, seem like logical next steps for the Galaxy S4. I could even buy the notion of a curved display, which would allow for a thinner, lighter and less shatter-prone design.

Still, a CES reveal for the Galaxy S4 seems too soon, not only for the reasons above, but because its predecessor is only six months old right now. And there hasn’t been the usual ramp-up in leaked images, spec sheets and other minute details that tend to foreshadow a big phone launch. All that could change in the next few weeks, but for now I wouldn’t get too excited to see Samsung’s next flagship at CES.

UPDATE: CNet is now reporting that the Galaxy S4 definitely won’t be at CES, citing “people familiar with the company’s plans.” The teaser video may have to do with a big TV push instead.

MORE: The Samsung Galaxy S III: One Huge Display and a Whole Lot of Software