What if the Samsung Galaxy S III is a disappointment?

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Rumors of mega feature lists, incredible designs and more power than Clark Kent sunbathing, have made the Samsung Galaxy S III one of the most anticipated new smartphones of 2012.

It’s not just the rumors either, as Samsung’s decision not to announce the phone during Mobile World Congress suggested they had something pretty special, and wanted to capitalize on the S II’s huge success at a media event all of its own.

From tales of massive 3D screens with 1080p resolutions, quad-core processors with speeds of up to 1.8Ghz and striking cases made from adamantium or some such mythical material, it’s fair to say a lot of people have very high expectations of the Galaxy S III.

We all know it’s unlikely to match up to much of this dream feature list, but what if it’s (whisper it) a disappointment?

Minor Galaxy S II upgrade

CNet UK has had a chat with an unnamed source working in the UK telecoms industry, who has told them the S III will be a “relatively minor” update over the Galaxy S II. The Galaxy S III name is also unlikely to be used.

We should prepare ourselves for the new phone to have a moderate speed boost and a few extra features such as eye-tracking, which Samsung has incorporated to help make Android 4.0‘s Face Unlock feature more secure; but not a radical redesign or the more extreme features currently rumored.

To get an idea of what to expect, we’re told to look towards the HTC One X, an Android 4.0 phone with a Tegra 3 quad-core chip and a 1280 x 720 resolution, 4.7-inch screen.

Not that there’s anything wrong with this specification, in fact, it’s really great; it’s just we already have the One X — and will soon have the LG Optimus 4X HD too — and were looking to Samsung to do something a little different.

Will it be enough?

Sound familiar? Of course it does, as the same thing happened last year prior to the launch of the iPhone 4S. Except Apple has enough rabid followers to bounce back from any negative press, but does Samsung?

With the Galaxy S II, the company struck gold. It’s a good-looking, powerful, well-specced smartphone, and the TouchWiz Android skin is slightly more bearable than its competitors efforts.

It has sold millions and had a fan base built around it, something which Android hardware never really had before. Just look at the response to Samsung’s mishandling of the S II’s Ice Cream Sandwich update — which still hasn’t been properly released — for proof.

But are these fans committed enough to Samsung as a brand if the S III turns out to merely be a slight upgrade to the S II?

The trouble is, Samsung has already announced a similar phone in the shape of the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD. It has a 4.65-inch, 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED screen, 4G and a 1.5Ghz processor.

Samsung loves to fill every possible niche in the market, so could the S III be a Skyrocket with a quad-core chip and Android 4.0?

If so, we’re not sure that will be enough to maintain the momentum behind the S II, or more crucially, keep eager customers away from the One X, Optimus 4X or the next Apple iPhone.

Samsung has announced it will be showing off the next Galaxy phone on May 3 in London.