Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on photos leaked ahead of launch?

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All eyes in the tech world are on New York City this week, where consumer electronics giant Samsung is gearing up to launch its latest flagship handset, the Galaxy S4, on Thursday evening.

But has our first glimpse of the Samsung Galaxy S4 already arrived, courtesy of China?

Just days before Samsung is due to unveil the new smartphone, convincing images of an as-yet-unseen Samsung device have surfaced via Chinese mobile forum 52 Samsung.

The photos show a large-display handset with a clear design inheritance from the Galaxy S3 - the elongated home button and shiny rear cover in particular (see slideshow, below) speak to the aesthetic make-up of the 2012 mobile.

According to the forum, the device in hand is a Chinese variant of the Galaxy S4, described as the 'GT-I9502.' If authentic, the images would seem to confirm a number of hotly tipped S4 specifications, including a 5in, Full HD display, Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, and a beefy 8-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz.

Of course, we won't know whether these images are the real deal until Samsung actually breaks cover with the Galaxy S4 later in the week, but compared to some alleged leaks we've seen in the past, they look like they could well be legit.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be released on 14 March at a special Mobile Unpacked event at New York's Radio City Music Hall, to be held from 19:00 EST (23:00 GMT).

For more, make sure to check out our Samsung Galaxy S4 release date, specs, and rumours roundup.