Leica Camera AG has announced its first own smartphone. The Leitz Phone 1, which comes with a one-inch 20.2 MP image sensor, was developed exclusively for the Japanese market, where it is produced in cooperation with Sharp Corporation and is available from the leading operator, SoftBank. Leica said its proprietary Munich design office is responsible for the typical look of the novelty.
The Leica silver aluminum housing, which is protected against dust and moisture, is encased in a layer of glass in which a 3D Leica logo is embedded on a matt black gorilla glass background. Details such as the knurling on the side of the aluminum frame are intended to demonstrate the technical precision of the legendary brand and underscore the luxurious functionality and feel that are typical of Leica products. A lens cap with a magnetic fastening system rounds off the design.
The Leitz Phone 1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform, which, in combination with Leica lens technology and a aperture of 1.9, generates images in RAW and JPEG format, which are said to deliver true to detail image quality even when printed in large formats. The selection of the image frame is supported by an up to 6x digital zoom function. The display features the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max fingerprint sensor which, according to the manufacturer, also works with wet fingers.
For real Leica picture quality, the Leitz Phone 1 is equipped with the new Leitz Looks mode, the first option of which is based on the picture style of the Leica M Monochrom. Further Leitz looks are to be made available with later updates in order to take advantage of the Qualcomm AI engine of the 6th generation of the Snapdragon 888. With the pre-installed LFI.Widget, the device can access the best photos from the Leica Photography International Gallery.
“Leica has a long tradition that has always been by the pursuit of technical innovations,” commented Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and Chairman of the Supervisory board of Leica Camera AG. “We welcome smartphones because they make a very important contribution to the world of photography. Never before have so many pictures been taken as today: Billions of pictures are uploaded to the Internet every day. For Leica, the introduction of its own smartphone is the next logical step towards future technologies and future markets. The Leitz Phone 1 marks another important milestone in the corporate history of Leica Camera AG and smartphone photography, which makes me very proud indeed.”