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Leica’s “Leitz Phone 2” has a giant 1-inch camera sensor, magnetic lens cap

Meet the Leica Leitz Phone 2, a phone from the famous German camera manufacturer that is exclusive to… Japan? If smartphones are eating into the camera market, it makes sense that some camera companies would try to go the other way.

Leica is not a smartphone company, though, so the company actually building this phone is Sharp! Now the Japan exclusivity makes sense. If you’ve got to base your branded smartphone on somebody else’s hardware, it’s hard to go wrong with using the Sharp Aquos R7, a stunningly unique Android phone that dumps a lot of the dumb phone trends other manufacturers mindlessly stick to. The R7 went out the door with Leica-branded optics, so this is apparently the other half of that deal.

Sharp is no stranger to unique smartphone designs, and the Leica and its R7 sister phone make a lot of good decisions. Instead of a bunch of questionably useful tiny rear cameras, you get one giant camera: a 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor. That’s the biggest currently available on a smartphone. Normally the IMX989 is 50 MP, but Leica is cropping it a bit and lists a “47.2-megapixel effective pixel count.” The display is flat, a great change from the senselessly curved and distorted screens that companies typically put on flagship Android phones. The curved screen gimmick is driven by Samsung, display supplier to most of the world’s smartphones, but here the display is made by Sharp itself, a 6.6-inch 2730×1260 OLED with a definitely overkill 240 Hz refresh rate.

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