We don't hear much about Sharp's smartphones these days, largely because they're only available in Japan and a select few other regions. However, the company has just unveiled a new model, the Aquos R6, that's loaded with interesting tech, as Engadget Japan has reported. That includes a Leica-branded camera with a very large sensor that raises a few questions about Leica's relationship with Huawei.
Sharp collaborated with Leica to create a 20-megapixel camera with a 1-inch sensor, one of the largest available on any smartphone. It worked with Leica on the entire camera system, including the sensor (likely built by Sony), 19mm f/1.9 wide-angle lens (35mm equivalent), and image quality features. The 7-element lens design even earned Leica's vaunted "Summicron" branding, which supposedly lets you shoot with less distortion. However, the Aquos R6 has just a single rear camera, so zooming (from wide to telephoto) is done digitally, not optically.
Sharp's collaboration with Leica is rather interesting, because rumors cropped up yesterday that Leica was ending its relationship with Huawei, though both companies previously denied this. Given the new Sharp collaboration, however, Leica is no longer exclusive to Huawei anymore, at the very least. Whether it will also work with other camera companies like Xiaomi, as is rumored, remains to be seen.
The Aquos R6 has a screen to match the camera, too. The 6.6-inch, 2,730 x 1,260 HDR screen puts out up to 2,000 nits of brightness — the highest available on any smartphone, Sharp claims. To hit that number, Sharp said it developed the OLED display using its IGZO tech, though it's not clear exactly how that works. To avoid rapid battery drain from such a bright display, Sharp supposedly developed a system to reduce the refresh rate to 1Hz when a still image is displayed.
Another nifty feature for security conscious folks is the dual-fingerprint system. The Aquos R6 is apparently one of the first smartphones to use Qualcomm's 3D Sonic Max fingerprint authentication system, first announced in 2019. The significantly larger area makes for easier fingerprint identification, while also allowing users to log in with two fingerprints simultaneously for extra security.
Other specs include a Snapdragon 888 process, 12GB of RAM, 128 GB of expandable storage and a 5,000 mAh battery to support that huge screen and battery. There's no word on price or availability, but you won't likely be able to get one in the US.