Camera maker Leica has been partnering with smartphone makers for years, with companies including Huawei, Panasonic, and Sharp shipping phones with Leica-branded cameras. Now Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank has introduced the first Lecia-branded smartphone.
The Leica Leitz Phone 1 is available exclusively in Japan, where it goes up for pre-order June 18 for ¥187,920 (~$1700).
The phone has impressive specs including a 6.6 inch, 2730 x 1260 pixel IGZO OLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, and a microSD card reader with support for up to 1TB of removable storage.
The stand-out feature though, is the Leica camera, which has a 1 inch, 20.2 megapixel image sensor, a 7-element wide-angle lens, an f/1.9 aperture, and support for 4K video recording. There’s also a time-of-flight sensor, laser autofocus, and an LED flash. But since there’s only a single camera on the back, you’ll need to rely on digital zoom or cropping if you want to get closer to the action (or, I guess, you could just move the phone closer).
On the front of the phone there’s a 12.6MP front-facing camera. The phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. There’s also a 12.6MP front-facing camera.
If the Leitz Phone 1 looks familiar, that’s because while the camera tech comes from Leica, everything else seems to come from Sharp – the smartphone is basically a clone of the Sharp Aquos R6 which launched in Japan in May.
There is one small difference – Sharp’s version of the phone has just 128GB of storage, while the Leica-branded model comes with twice as much.
It’s a curious choice for them to use an IGZO OLED panel, those are known for having inferior colour accuracy compared to IPS, but not by much.
It’s probably not a huge deal, but it’s strange considering IPS is found on even the cheapest smartphones, and you’d think colour accuracy would be paramount to Leica.
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