Amazon smartphone launch what to expect

Amazon is thought to be launching its first smartphone today so we take a look at what to expect, and not to expect. See also: Amazon smartphone release date, price and specs.

The online retail giant, which already makes devices like the Kindle eReader and Kindle Fire tablets, is tipped to be branching out into the smartphone market. It is holding a launch event in Seattle at 6:30pm UK time. Join us for the Amazon phone launch live.

See also: 31 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014.

Amazon smartphone launch: What to expect

Amazon smartphone: 3D

It's unclear exactly what 3D technology the Amazon smartphone offers but that's the headline feature which we're expecting. It is thought that the handset has four front facing cameras, mounted on each corner to monitor the position of the user's head and eyes accurately.

It looks like it will create a glasses-free 3D image a bit like the Nintendo 3DS but could also be holographic as the VoucherCodesPro concept suggests (above and below). The users in Amazon's teaser video certainly seem to be impressed so we're intrigued.

Amazon smartphone: Mid-range specs

According to leaked specs, the Amazon smartphone will offer mid-range hardware. It's reportedly going to feature a 4.7in screen with a 720p resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM and a 13Mp rear facing camera. Interestingly, the front facing camera is supposedly 12Mp so could be used in some way for the 3D effect.

See the BRG leaked image below for what the design might look like.

Amazon 3D smartpone leaked photo

Amazon smartphone: Modified Android

Less exciting, but the Amazon smartphone will almost certainly use a modified version of Android. The firm has done this in the past with its Kindle Fire tablets and is unlikely to change is strategy for a smartphone.

The interface will include various 3D effects which will start with special wallpapers with perspectives that shift as the user moves the phone. It sounds similar to the iOS 7 parallax effect.

Amazon smartphone: No Google Play store

We fully expect this Amazon smartphone to mimic the firm's policy of not offering the Google Play store to shop for apps, games, music and other media. Instead, users will have to browse the Amazon App store just like on Kindle Fire tablets.

Amazon smartphone launch what to expect 3D

Amazon smartphone: No UK launch

One thing we're really not expecting is a UK launch for this smartphone (or even if it turns out to be something else). Amazon has decided not to live stream the event for anyone who can't make it and we've not been invited to a local event because there isn't one.

It seems likely that, as with other Amazon products, this new one will go on sale in the US first before potentially expanding elsewhere.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.