Without any prior advertising, SoftBank have announced and released a new phone called LEITZ PHONE 1, on sale from 16 July 2021. But what is it?
This is an "we'll give you the same components, you make a different design" exercise played by Leica Camera's own design team in Germany. The result was something that looks very much similar to the Aquos R6, the only differences being the back of the phone where Leica opted for a huge circular camera frame instead of the rectangular one on the Aquos R6, and jagged-sides design for a more stable grip. The Leitz Phone 1 – named after the founder of Leica (Leitz + Camera) – is still made by Sharp, in Japan. And is going to be exclusive for SoftBank, or so it seems for the time being.
Other than the design, the only hardware difference is that the Leitz Phone 1 comes with 256 GB of built-in storage, whereas the Aquos R6 has "only" 126 GB.
The UI design is somewhat different from that of the Aquos R6, resembling more that of stock Android. One special feature is the LFI Widget... which displays carefully selected photos from Leica on the home screen. And the camera has a Leitz Looks monochrome shooting mode that "embodies Leica". Yeah, okay.
Two fancy accesorries come bundled with the phone at the time of purchase: a black case proudly displaying the red Leica logo in the top right corner (where it is displayed on the phone itself) and a silver lens cap, which looks too bulky to continuously carry on the phone, while it sits in your pocket.
I don't know about you, but the above is no excuse for stupendous asking price of almost 188,000 Yen (1707 USD), whereas the Aquos R6 is still not cheap with its price tag of almost 134,000 Yen (1217 USD)
The phone's main selling point is, of course, the full-fledged photographic Leica camera experience thanks to the German manufacturer's imaging component, and outstanding depiction performance, thanks to Sharp's Pro IGZO OLED display.
The Leitz Phone 1 camera has a 19 mm bright, high-quality aspherical SUMMICRON lens that offers an aperture size (f-value) of 1.9 for great night-time photography.It is a 7-element lens mechanism that promises 1/10 of the distortion other lenses have for precise depiction of the shooting object. The lens also comes with genuine optical (not digital) bokeh effect, and also indefinitely reduce overexposure and underexposure. Light from the lens is directed onto a gigantic 1-inch 20.2 megapixel image sensor for excellent light-capturing ability and rich gradation expression.
The 20.2-megapixel shooter is paired with laser-guided time-of-flight lens that can focus on 340 points simultaneously, which is how it manages to capture objects in even the darkest of environments. The Leica-Sharp cooperative camera also features 2x optical zoom.
The front-facing camera is 12.6 megapixels, f/2.3 lens, wide-angle, and is housed in a miniature hole in the display.
The display measures 6.6 inches diagonally and has a resolution of 2730 x 1260 pixels. It has a variable refresh rate from 1 Hz to 240 Hz, with a black frame inserted between frames for frequencies above 120 Hz.
The Pro IGZO OLED offers the world's highest peak brightness of 2000 nits and stunning HDR quality thanks to a 20 million to 1 contrast. It can correctly reproduce 1 billion colours. This means 10-bit colour processing that ensures the Aquos R6 display covers the Adobe RGB gamut – the same as in professional monitors. Also supported are Dolby Vision and U-NEXT HDR.
Does this sound familiar? Yes, because it is the exact same display as found on the Aquos R6.
The Leitz Phone 1 is equipped with 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256 GB of built-in storage (UFS 3.1 ROM), which can be expanded using microSDXC cards with a capacity of up to 1 TB. The CPU is a Snapdragon 888 5G.
The Leitz Phone 1 measures 74 x 162 x 9.5 mm. This is quite a hefty device weighing in 212 grams (the Aquos R6 measures the same but weighs 207 grams).
SoftBank's radio frequencies are as follows:
NR (FR1, FDD): 1800(n3)/700(n28) MHz,
NR (FR1, TDD): 3700(n77)/3500(n78) MHz,
LTE (FDD): 2600(B7)/2100(B1)/1900(B2)/1800(B3)/1700(B4)/1500(B11)/ 900(B8)/850(B5)/800(B18/B19)/700(B28) MHz,
LTE (TDD): 3500(B42)/2600(B38)/2500(B41) MHz,
W-CDMA: 2100(I)/1900(II)/1700(IV)/900(VIII)/850(V) MHz,
GSM: 1900/1800/900/850 MHz
Bluetooth 5.2 and IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4 and 5 GHz) Wi-Fi are supported.
Released running Android 11, the phone received an upgrade to Android 12 on 4 April 2022.
Date added/updated: 4 April 2022 – 10:56
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