Facebook is preparing to launch its long-awaited full-scale assault on the mobile phone.

Mark Zuckerberg's social network will unveil an Android-based homescreen on Thursday which will effectively transform any phone into a 'Facebook Phone'.

Leaked images of the device show what appears to be a fairly standard mid-range Android smartphone in terms of hardware.

It is thought the phone itself will be made by HTC, have a 4.3-inch screen and be based on the company's Sense user interface:

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The Facebook Home software will in fact be a modified 'launcher', allowing the Facebook app to access deeper functions of a mobile device.

They include the ability to change system settings, pop-up notifications and easy sharing of all media with the social network.

According to reports the software could be installed on any Android device, not just the proposed HTC flagship.

Android Police listed many of the features and technical specifications of the launcher after it claimed it was given access to the software by an unofficial source.

But it admitted the true functionality of the launcher was still largely a mystery as it was not yet accessible by standard Facebook users.

It said:

"The Facebook Phone looks to be a mostly stock, mid-range Sense 4.5 phone that was attacked by a mutant Facebook app. Everything seems to be focused on the Facebook app - they haven't made their own Android Skin, or anything like that. Sadly, we can't get too many more details."