Leica promises a “genuine Leica experience” with the smartphone. We believe it will beat expectations in terms of camera performance. Huawei and Sharp went with Leica because it is a well-known brand in this arena.
The “Leitz Phone 1,” a smartphone featuring a 22MP 1-inch sensor and f/1.9 Summicron lens, was launched today by Leica. Since 2017, there have been reports about a Leica phone. The Sharp Aquos R6 smartphone has been renamed the new phone.
SoftBank has announced the Leitz Phone 1 in Japan as a Leica-branded phone for the Japanese market. This isn’t the first time Leica has experimented with smartphones. The historic German company previously cooperated with Huawei, bringing the Leica name to a number of Huawei’s high-end handsets. The Aquos R6 smartphone, which has a Leica-branded camera system, was developed in collaboration with Sharp. Leica has gone even farther by developing its own smartphone, which, coincidentally, looks just like the Sharp Aquos R6 with a Leica-branded camera system that was released last month.
Leica is finally launching its own smartphone, following long cooperation with Huawei and the more recent Sharp Aquos R6. The Leitz Phone 1 is Leica’s first self-branded smartphone, and when it launches in July, it will be sold only through Softbank, as stated at a press conference in Tokyo earlier today.
The Leitz Phone 1 is a rebadged Aquos R6, with the former emphasizing a “genuine Leica experience” from the industrial design to the user interface. The Leitz Phone 1 features a Leica Red Dot as well as a magnetic circular lens cap, and it has a similar design language to Leica’s iconic cameras. To complement the “Leica silver” metallic body, which is 9.5mm thick and weighs 212 grams, the gadget has a matt black glass cover instead of a leatherback. The rear can be protected with the provided hard case.
Similar to the Aquos R6, the Leitz Phone 1 boasts a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor for its f/1.9 main camera and a 12.6-megapixel selfie camera on the other side. It has a 6.6-inch IGZO OLED display with a sharp 2,730 x 1,260 resolution and a 240Hz variable refresh rate thanks to black frame insertion. For further security, there’s a “3D ultrasonic” fingerprint sensor beneath the display that can read up to two fingers at once.
The screen has a brightness of up to 2,000 nits, a 1.07 billion color gamut, and supports the HDR standard, as well as Dolby Vision and Rich Color technologies. The work area is quite large. While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 flagship processor and 12GB of RAM are present, you’ll get 256GB of storage, which is twice as much as the Aquos R6. The microSD card slot allows you to expand your storage by up to 1TB. The large 5,000mAh battery and IP68 dust/water resistance rating aren’t going anywhere.
The Leitz Phone 1 is powered on the Android 11 operating system. Fans of the Leica brand will be thrilled to learn that the system has a “largely monochromatic” user interface that is tailored to the lens to capture high-quality black-and-white images.
The Leica Letiz Phone 1 is currently only available in Japan and costs around USD 1,700. Pre-orders start on June 18, although the phone won’t be available until late July. There is presently no word on whether or not the phone will be released internationally.
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