In a move least expected, Leica unveiled its very own smartphone: the Leitz Phone 1. But before we move on, we just want to point out two things about the new handset. Firstly, it’s actually a rebadged Sharp Aquos R6 that was launched last month, which also featured the camera maker’s imaging technologies. Secondly, it’s a Japan exclusive for now.
The term “rebadged” is probably an understatement, as the phone does feature reworked aesthetics. The Leitz Phone 1 has less rounded corners when compared to the original Sharp Aquos R6, and even comes with a new cleaner-looking circular glass bump for its rear camera array. The latter is ironically reminiscent of a certain smartphone by another Leica partner, by the way.
Besides that, it also comes in the camera maker’s colour scheme, with a matte black rear panel and a silver surrounding frame. And for the cherry on top, situated beside the glass camera bump is the brand’s iconic Red Dot.
Specs-wise, the Leitz Phone 1 is equipped with pretty much the same hardware as Sharp’s latest flagship, except for the internal storage capacity. Its display is a 6.67-inch IGZO OLED screen with a resolution of 2,730 x 1,260 and a variable refresh rate of up to 240Hz. Under its hood is the current flagship-class Snapdragon 888 chipset, paired with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a larger 256GB internal storage capacity, which can be expanded up to 1TB via microSD. Other than that, the phone features a 5,000mAh battery, an Android 11-powered custom Leica user interface, and is rated IP68 in terms of dust and water resistance.
Imaging-wise, like the Aquos R6, the new Leica phone is equipped with a large 1-inch 20MP main camera, along with a f/1.9 Leica Summicron wide lens. Meanwhile, housed in the display’s punch-hole cutout is a 12.6MP selfie camera.
Oh, and it’s worth noting that the name “Leitz” was the camera maker’s original company name prior to 1986, which was also based on its founder’s surname. And for some extra trivia: the name “Leica” is actually derived from “Leitz” and “Camera”.
The Leica Leitz Phone 1 is slated to be available in Japan by late July 2021, exclusively via Softbank. It is only offered in a single colourway and will also come with a hard case, as well as a silver Leica-branded cap for covering its rear camera bump. And much like any other Leica product, you can expect a very hefty price tag to go along with it. To be more specific, the phone will retail at a whopping JPY 187,920 (~RM 7,032). For the time being, it is not known if Leica or Sharp is planning to have the new phone shipped out globally after its Japanese release.