This news has yet to be confirmed by T-Mobile or Samsung, but the rumor does come from “@evleaks;” Unwired View’s Twitter account that has earned a reputation for leaking mobile news. Back in December, the social media profile posted an allegedly leaked photo of HTC’s Droid DNA before it was officially announced, and that same photo now appears on the Verizon store’s website.
According to the reported leak, the phone will be called the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit despite featuring the same exact form factor and specifications as the S3 Mini. It’s expected to debut before the end of the first quarter, but this hasn’t been confirmed.
This isn’t the first time Samsung has rebranded its Galaxy S3 Mini for carriers in the U.S. The miniature Galaxy S3 made its debut on U.S. Cellular’s network under the Galaxy Axiom moniker in late November, according to Android Authority.
While the Axiom came with slightly improved specs than the UK’s mini S3, it upheld an identical form factor and similar performance power. The Axiom comes with a processor that’s a bit faster at 1.2GHz, rather than the 1GHz component found in the Mini. It also supports 4G LTE connectivity and ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich rather than Jelly Bean. Despite these slight-yet-significant differences, there’s no denying the Samsung Galaxy Axiom is essentially a doppelganger of the S3 Mini.
As for the rumored T-Mobile handset, it is unclear if we’ll see a different set of specs, but the Exhibit does sport the same model number as the Galaxy S3 Mini. Unwired View claims that the T-Mobile-branded smartphone will come with a dual-core processor, WGVA display and a 5-megapixel camera, just like the Galaxy S3 Mini that launched in November. Additionally, the @evleaks Twitter account posted a photo of the purported device with T-Mobile’s branding just above the screen. The website doesn’t attribute the source of the photo, but its @evleaks Twitter profile invites anonymous users to send tips via Gmail.
Adding some credence to this rumor, a reportedly leaked roadmap of T-Mobile’s handset launches for 2013 found its way online on Tuesday. The Galaxy Exhibit in "pebble grey" appeared on this allegedly leaked document alongside the BlackBerry Z10 and an LTE version of the Galaxy S3.
There’s no word on pricing yet, but there’s a good chance the alleged Galaxy Exhibit will be a device aimed at budget shoppers. The Galaxy Axiom sells for just $29.99 on a two-year contract, and the S3 Mini comes free on contract at a rate of £20. Purchasing the Mini unlocked is a bit pricey, however, and can run buyers up to £300 from a UK retailer such as Carphone Warehouse.