Leica’s first-ever smartphone is a rebadged Sharp Aquos R6
In the smartphone space, Leica is best known for its collaboration with Huawei. In the most recent memory, we saw the company providing its 7-element Summicron lens on the Sharp Aquos R6 that launched last month. Now, it’s stepping outside its comfort zone —camera lenses — to explore a whole new territory: making smartphones. That’s right. Leica has just launched its first-ever smartphone, and it’s called Leitz Phone 1.
First things first. The Leitz Phone 1 (via Engadget) isn’t a brand new phone per se; it’s actually a rebadged Sharp Aquos R6. Leica isn’t trying to conceal the rebadge part. In fact, the company proudly showcased its phone side by side with the Aquos R6 in the keynote. Leica has made several tweaks to the overall design of the phone. For example, it features a giant circular camera module instead of the rectangular camera island found on the Aquos R6. The phone also has a magnetic circular lens cap to protect the camera module and the icon Leica Red Dot.
Under the hood hardware remains unchanged, though. That means the phone comes with the same mind-boggling 6.6-inch IGZO OLED display with a 240Hz screen refresh rate. On the inside, you’re getting the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, paired with 12GB RAM and 256GB flash storage with a microSD card expansion support.
The main showstopper is, of course, the massive 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor with a 7-element Leica Summicron lens. On the software side of things, the Leitz Phone 1 runs Android 11 with Leica’s custom “largely monochrome” UI.
Elsewhere, you’re getting a 5,000mAh battery, an in-display fingerprint scanner, IP68 dust and water protection, Bluetooth 5.2, and Wi-Fi 6.
The Leitz Phone 1 is sold by Softbank, and it’s exclusive to Japan for now. It will be available for pre-order from June 18 for 187,920 yen ($1700), with official sales kicking off in late July. There’s no word on global availability yet.