The 'Leica Leitz Phone 1' launched, also a 1" camera sensor

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Don't get too excited, for two reasons. First, the Leica Leitz Phone 1 is just a cosmetic reworking of the Sharp Aquos R6, and secondly, this is also a Japan-only release at the moment. Having said all that, it does look tasty all round - Leica is a global camera brand, so surely this will make its way into the West in a way that a Sharp phone wouldn't?

Leica Phone 1

Android Community reports:

The Leica Leitz Phone 1 comes equipped with a matt black glass cover instead of a leather rear. It bears the same design language of the Leica camera, showing off that magnetic circular lens cap and a Leica Red Dot plus.

The phone is set in Leica silver metallic body at 9.5mm thick. It comes with the same sensors as the Sharp Aquos R6: 1-inch 20MP f/1.9 main camera with 12.6MP selfie shooter. There is a large 6.6-inch IGZO OLED screen with 2730 x 1260 resolution, 240Hz variable refresh rate (basically 120Hz), and a 3D ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under the screen. The smartphone runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 flagship processor and 12GB of RAM with 256GB onboard storage. A microSD card slot is enough to allow you to enjoy up to 1TB of extra memory.

The upcoming Leica Leitz Phone 1 is also powered by a 5000mAh battery just like the Sharp Aquos R6. There is also the IP68 dust and water resistance rating for added protection. Android 11 runs under a customized UI by Leica. There is a camera app with a 'Leitz Looks' mode for black-and-white photos.

The Softbank-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 1 will be sold for 187,920 yen and it can now be pre-ordered in Japan, for availability in July 2021.

The specifications look excellent, though I'm going to be picky and point out that the off-centre lens within the circular camera island somehow feels wrong. Surely this could have been sorted out to be dead centre and feel even more like a point and shoot Leica camera?

Plus the usual caveats about a great set of optics only being half the story - these days image processing and camera software has to be great too.

A select few got to play with the device, here's a typical example, with re-voiced (for the USA) English commentary:

Source / Credit: Android Community