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Leica has launched a camera phone (with a lens cap)! Meet the Leitz Phone 1

Leica has launched a camera phone (with a lens cap)! Meet the Leitz Phone 1
(Image credit: Softbank)

Leica has launched its first ever camera phone, the Leitz Phone 1, a 5G handset packing a 20MP primary camera (with an optional magnetic lens cap) powered by a 1-inch sensor, along with a 12.6MP selfie camera on the rear. 

While the Leica Leitz Phone 1 isn't a collaboration with any other company, it appears to be a largely rebadged version of the Sharp Aquos R6 – a phone that was "co-engineered" with Leica, and which featured the same 20MP 1-inch sensor behind a 7-element Summicron 19mm f/1.9 ASPH lens. 

• Read more: Best camera phones

As noted previously, Leica has a track record of rebranding other manufacturers' products to release under its own name, including the Leica D-Lux 7 (a re-release of the Panasonic LX100 II) and the Leica SL2 (Panasonic S1R). 

Still, the all-new Leica chassis is undeniably gorgeous, at 74 x 162 x 9.5mm and weighing 212g – and the lens cap really is a slick touch, as the beautiful main camera unit feels like something that's actually worth protecting, 

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Leica Leitz Phone 1

(Image credit: Softbank)
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Leica Leitz Phone 1

(Image credit: Softbank)
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Leica Leitz Phone 1

(Image credit: Softbank)

The 6.6-inch OLED display packs 1 billion colors, a variable 240Hz refresh rate and high contrast ratio. The flagship Snapdragon 888 processor and 128GB of RAM carry over from the Sharp, but storage space gets a significant bump up to 256GB and also supports microSD cards up to 1TB – so this is very much a phone designed with photo and 4K video in mind.

Leica has also added a 'Leitz Looks' mode – a special black-and-white shooting option where "you can also enjoy beautiful monochrome photography that embodies Leica." 

It also comes with an 'LFI Gallery' widget, which enables you to display curated photographs from Leica Fotografie International (Leica's magazine) on your phone's home screen. 

Currently the Leica Leitz Phone 1 is only available in Japan, and is exclusive to SoftBank where it is retailing for ¥187,920 (approximately $1,697 / £1,217 / AU$2,239). 

Read more: 

Best 5G phones
Best Leica camera
Leica SL2 review

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus. In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.