Rumored Amazon smartphone to call on 3D

Latest report on Amazon's first branded phone, including leaked photos, suggests the company will play up the device's 3D interface, which is said to set it apart from the competition.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. CNET

Amazon's long-rumored smartphone will use its 3D capabilities for 3D wallpapers, mapping and, of course, shopping, according to a report published by BGR on Tuesday.

The report included leaked images of the new device, expected later this year. The first device two be released is a high-end version, with a more affordable version coming out later, according to BGR's unnamed sources. We've contacted Amazon for comment and will update if we hear back.

In true Amazon fashion, not even the leaked photos provide a good glimpse of what the phone is like. The company is known for keeping most details of its business away from the public. In the photos, the device is covered in a square shell to mask the casing. Five front-facing cameras are visible. One of those cameras is intended for video chats, including Amazon's Mayday technical support service.

The other four front-facing cameras are low-powered infrared cameras that track the position of a user's eyes. This allows the phone to constantly adjust the position of the images on the screen, creating a 3D experience.

Clearly Amazon is focused on playing up its 3D capabilities, which could be risky given the poor performance of other 3D phones. The company has been slowly adding to its line of hardware products with the intention of delivering devices that will get consumers to spend more money within Amazon's network. A smartphone would mark Amazon's entry into a highly competitive market.

The main way the phone will stand apart is its 3D features, so the company plans to have things like 3D wallpapers and 3D mapping, in addition to being able to see 3D images in its digital shopping channels. The company is also working to bring on major third-party developers to build 3D-friendly apps for the phone before it launches.

In addition to the 3D features, the device is also reported to have a 13-megapixel rear camera, 4.6-inch screen with 720p HD resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and have 2GB of RAM. Not surprisingly, the phone will run on a version of Google's Android operating system that is similar to what Amazon uses for the Kindle Fire tablet.

If true, the screen size and resolution deviates from the trend of late among device makers -- bigger screens and higher resolution.