If you follow much tech news these days, you've probably heard pretty much everything there is to know about Samsung's as-of-yet unannounced new Galaxy S5 phone.
Or so it might seem. Let's break it all down, shall we?
The phone, we've been led to believe, will launch at the Mobile World Congress convention later this month (unless it launches in London in mid-March) (or somewhere else in April). It'll have a futuristic iris scanner (or not) and/or a fingerprint scanner (or not). It'll sport a new boxy design that'll definitely come in both metal and plastic versions (unless it comes in only a metal version) (or in only plastic versions).
What else? The GS5 will have a 64-bit chip and 8GB of RAM (or maybe 3GB of RAM) (or 4GB of RAM) (and possibly a 32-bit quad-core or octa-core processor). It'll definitely have a 16-megapixel camera (unless it has a 21-megapixel camera), a 5.2-ish-inch screen with 2560 x 1440 resolution (or not) and perhaps a "three-sided display" that tracks your head movements and has (or doesn't have) a physical Home button beneath it.
Whew! Got all that? There's more, of course, but you get the point: These sort of rumors fly fast and furiously and are often contradictory -- and yet somehow, every year, they manage to get morphed into reality. Heck, there are already even comparisons out between the Galaxy S5 and the also-unannounced iPhone 6 (!).
To bring in a little perspective before we all go completely insane, I thought now might be a good time to revisit a few of the many "confirmed" leaks surrounding last year's Samsung flagship phone -- the Galaxy S4. Ready?
This time last year, we "knew" that the GS4 would launch at the Mobile World Congress in February (or perhaps the Consumer Electronics Show in January), would run Android 5.0, and would have a foldable and "unbreakable" display that wouldn't use AMOLED technology.
The GS4 was set to include a 3D camera and a new 360-degree image-taking tool called Orb. The phone was "confirmed" to feature advanced eye-scrolling detection (and also not to feature advanced eye-scrolling detection). It would have an aluminum or partially aluminum body, though on second thought, that metal may have actually been set aside for (ahem) the Galaxy Note 3 instead.
It boils down to this: Rumors are rumors -- not necessarily reality. And in our world of instant communication, it's all too easy for vague statements and unsubstantiated hearsay to start looking like fact. (How's that new Nexus 10 treating everyone?)
Crazier yet, we're just getting started this go-round; the leaks and speculation are only going to get more intense as the weeks wear on. So as we attempt to wade through the noise, the lessons of yore are particularly important to remember: A healthy grain of salt today will save us a mountain of frustration tomorrow.
Now, who's ready to talk about the Nexus 17? I've got a friend whose uncle has a roommate with an ex-girlfriend whose third cousin knows a guy who works for the company that provides fishsticks to Google's cafeteria, and you won't believe what he heard...