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Amazon phone release date, rumours, news, specs and price

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Everything you need to know about the rumoured Amazon phone

The Amazon phone release date is almost upon us, with the heavily rumoured handset to be officially unveiled at a dedicated launch event this evening, June 18.

Now that we have some indication as to when we can finally see the official Amazon phone, rumours surrounding the device and its alleged 3D UI have cranked up a notch.

The first official-looking renders of the Amazon phone emerged a while back now and gave us a real look at the phone's design.

Although Amazon has confirmed when the phone will be launched, we still don't know what the phone will be called. We’d take a punt on it following one of the Amazon Fire, Kindle Fire or Kindle lines, just like the recently announced Amazon Fire TV. But seeing as this device would be the first smartphone offered by the online retail giant, Amazon could opt to follow a different naming scheme.

The Amazon phone features are expected to include a rather unusual array of six cameras, with four of those used to create a 3D effect UI experience that should set the very first Amazon smartphone apart from competition like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5S.

As you might expect based on the retailer's past hardware launches, latest Amazon phone rumours have claimed the handset will be a US exclusive at launch. What's more, the phone look's set to be locked to the AT&T network, limiting its early reach.

We will be updating this page with all the latest Amazon phone release date details, leaks, news and rumours as new information emerges. Bookmark it now to stay in the loop on all the Amazon smartphone gossip.

Amazon Phone Release Date: When will the Amazon phone come out?

The Amazon phone launch has been officially scheduled for June 18, but we don't exactly know when you'll be able to purchase one.

Amazon launched an online form and accompanying video to open the registration for its special event, asking developers, journalists and members of the public to register their interest in the Amazon phone.

However, within the forms aimed at developers, Amazon included questions that hinted at new types of sensors connected to motion-based hardware like accelerometers and gyroscopes. These questions, combined with the rather comical video you can view below, strongly indicated that Amazon's phone would come with a motion-reactive 3D user interface.

However, before you get too excited, sources suggest that the Amazon phone may be a US exclusive at least initially, similar to the Motorola Moto X and the Amazon Fire TV.

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Amazon Phone News

The latest news from "multiple trusted sources" close to the Amazon phone plans suggest that the smartphone will offer a range of unique gesture controls that will be used in a range of apps.

You should be able to tilt the phone to display new menus, options or information on-screen without having to touch the screen whatsoever. According to the report, Amazon will implement these tilt gesture controls in a range of apps, including the email and calendar apps where you can tilt the phone to display the functions of small, unlabelled icons.

With a tilt, IMDB ratings will appear over movie thumbnails in the Amazon video store, or you can scroll through Amazon store items by leaning the device from side to side.

The messaging app will bring up your camera roll to let you quickly insert photos when you tilt the phone and the weather app will present a long-range forecast.

You could also be able to turn Kindle book pages with a tilt or rock the phone back and forth to scroll through web pages.

The latest report states that Amazon has made all of these 3D motion sensing UI features possible using Omron's Okao Vision 3D face sensing technology that tracks your head as it moves.

Amazon has apparently employed a special internal team to modify Omron's technology to work within a smartphone without having to use anything other than a normal LCD screen.

The Omron technology will allow you to move the Amazon phone or your head from side to side to access previously hidden side panels. The phone's in-built gyroscope and accelerometer will apparently make the Omron technology faster, more accurate and increase power efficiency. No doubt the technology could be quite a drain on a phone's battery.

From what the report states, the 3D tech arriving in Amazon's smartphone won't be anything like that featured in the Nintendo 3DS.

The effect will be created by placing four additional front-facing cameras at each corner of the phone's front panel. These low-power infrared cameras will be capable of tracking your head and eye movements, adjusting the display accordingly to alter the perspective of the 3D visuals.

What is intriguing is that reports suggest Amazon may force you to use these gesture controls, as the Amazon phone may lack traditional navigational buttons. You’ll be required to tilt the device to access menus and other options that will slide in from off-screen.

Hopefully Amazon will execute these tilt effects well, otherwise we can see them becoming very irritating and potentially confusing for consumers. We have no doubt that accidental tilts will happen frequently. 

Amazon phone

In early May, the first official looking renders of the Amazon phone emerged online (shown below), showing a two-tone black smartphone with a minimalist design.

There are definite similarities to the big name smartphones on the market, including the Google Nexus 5, BlackBerry Z10 and iPhone 5S.

The sleek design features bass-mounted speakers and an elongated home button, similar to that featured on the Samsung Galaxy S5.

As with the Kindle Fire tablet range, the Amazon phone looks to run heavily customised version of Android 4.4 KitKat.

You can also almost see the two bottom cameras on the phone's face, out of the total four front-facing cameras used to create the rumoured 3D-effect user interface.

We believe the renders look pretty official, plus BGR claims "multiple trusted sources have verified the authenticity of the image, which was created for internal use by graphic designers at Amazon."

Amazon phone render

Amazon Phone Rumours

To specifically highlight the 3D interface technology, Amazon will apparently introduce special software features including new lock screen wallpapers that shift perspective as you move the phone, potentially appearing like an advanced version of the iOS 7 parallax effect.

"The key feature of the smartphone, we believe, will be the six cameras. Aside from the main camera, which is used to take pictures, and the sub camera used for video conferencing (these are both found in all smartphones), we think the other four cameras will be used for gesture control, allowing users to operate the smartphone without touching the touch panel," explained Ming-Chi Kuo, KGI Securities analyst in a note to investors.

The four infrared cameras are clearly visible in the first images of the Amazon phone, but we’ve not seen the 3D effect in action yet.

If it's true that Amazon is using Omron's Okao Vision technology, the company may well one day utilise the facial recognition the technology offers. With Okao, Amazon's phone or future devices can pick out facial attributes, ethnicity, age and gender of the user.

Amazon phone

Amazon Phone Specs

Despite a launch still being a few months away, we’ve already read several rumours outlining a skeletal specs sheet. According to the latest reports, the Amazon phone will feature a 4.7-inch display with a 720p HD resolution and a pixel density somewhere between the 300 and 320ppi mark.

Sadly, this sub 1080p HD resolution will mean the Amazon phone screen quality won’t match that of flagship models from the smartphone giants, but we guess the 3D effect technology wouldn’t work properly with full HD otherwise Amazon would use the highest resolution possible.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablet range all have full HD resolutions, with the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 packing a stunning 2560 x 1600p WQXGA display, so it’s not like Amazon doesn’t have a reputation for offering high quality screens with its products.

The Amazon phone is expected to run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM, which would match the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

In the rear, it is tipped to feature a 13-megapixel camera with a Sony sensor, while the secondary camera has been mooted to be a 12-megapixel Primax sensor.

Powered by a battery sized somewhere between 2000mAh and 2400mAh, the Amazon phone should run the heavily modified Amazon Fire OS Android UI similar to Amazon’s tablet range.

Amazon Phone Price

Currently there are very few details around the Amazon phone price. However, if it does pack the 3D effect interface, we doubt the price tag of Amazon’s first smartphone will be too wallet-friendly come launch.

Saying that, though, Amazon is well-known for offering its Kindle Fire tablets at an affordable price, especially in comparison to the likes of the iPad Air or Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, so maybe we could be looking at a mid-range cost. Some reports even suggested that we could be looking at a sub-$200 (£120) price tag for the Amazon phone, but we doubt this has much truth to it.

Feel free to share your thoughts on what you’d like to see Amazon do with its first smartphone in the comments below. Of course, you can get equally vocal via our Facebook and Twitter feeds too.

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