Leica goes smartphone with the Leitz Phone 1

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Leica goes smartphone with the Leitz Phone 1
The Leica brand is a well-known entity in professional photography but for us smartphone geeks it’s the brand that we see on the back of Huawei phones. That’s about to change, though, because the German company has announced its first smartphone - the Leitz Phone 1.

There are two caveats to this news story - first, the phone is launching in Japan as a Softbank-exclusive limited edition device. Second, the device is very closely related to the Sharp Aquos R6, meaning it will never leave Japan, most likely.


The Sharp Aquos R6 made headlines last month with its big 1-inch camera sensor in its Leica-branded camera system. The phone also features a state-of-the-art 240Hz IGZO OLED panel and flagship-grade hardware.

Back to the Leitz Phone 1 - it’s pretty much a rebadged Aquos R6. Named after Leica’s original brand, the Leitz Phone 1 comes equipped with the same 6.6-inch 240Hz IGZO OLED display as the Aquos. The camera system is also identical in both devices, featuring the same 1-inch 20MP sensor underneath a 7-element "Summicron" Leica-made lens.


What’s different about the Leitz Phone 1 is the phone’s design and UI. Leica used its signature Red Dot design for the camera bump and tweaked the UI to give it a “monochrome” feel. There’s even a magnetic cover for the camera, not only for protection but also to make you feel like you’re taking the lens cap off a real camera.

The Leitz Phone 1 comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. You can use the microSD card slot to bump up the latter with up to 1TB. There’s a Snapdragon 888 chipset powering the whole thing, and a hefty 5,000mAh battery.


Sadly, the Leitz Phone 1 is Japan-exclusive at the moment with a price tag of 187,920 yen or about $1,700. Lucky Japanese enthusiasts will be able to pre-order the phone starting tomorrow with deliveries expected sometime in late July. There’s no word on availability outside Japan, but we’ll keep on monitoring the situation.

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