And boy, do you look so familiar
Leica has been around for decades and is probably best known as a home brand when it comes to taking incredible photos. You might recognize it as the company that sometimes stamps its brand on the camera lens of smartphones from the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei. But as it turns out, the company also sells Leica-branded smartphones, and as you might imagine, it puts a strong emphasis on its camera. The company has now released its second entry, the Leica Leitz Phone 2, and as with its predecessor, it’s exclusive to Japan — but that doesn’t stop camera fans from salivating anyway.
The Leica Leitz Phone 2 has just been announced by SoftBank, a phone that appears to make a very compelling proposition for Japanese camera enthusiasts (via GSMArena). It looks very similar to its predecessor, and its square corners and huge rear camera bear similarities to another powerful camera phone, the Nokia Lumia 1020. The device comes with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, and it’s powered by Android 12 out of the box – it’s not clear when or if it will get on Android 13.
The reason you should probably buy this phone is because of the smartness of the camera. It has a 1″ 47.2MP primary sensor which, according to Leica, will work in tandem with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip to switch sensor modes depending on the environment and lighting conditions. Its predecessor carried a 20MP camera, so this is already quite a departure from what was previously available, and it will definitely be interesting to see in action.
Of course, anyone following niche smartphones might recognize this device – and its camera specs – as the Sharp Aquos R7. It is not an issue of mistaken identity. This Leica edition is, effectively, the same smartphone with a new logo. The original even shared its Leica Leitz-branded camera, with the two companies working hand-in-hand to develop the sensor. There are some small visual changes to the frame, but for the most part, we’re looking at identical models here.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to buy one. Much like the Leitz Phone 1 and Sharp’s Aquos R7, it doesn’t look like Leica is planning to bring its successor outside of Japan. Despite this, the smartphone is still very cool, and we definitely want other OEMs to copy a thing or two from it.