Sharp’s new Aquos R6 flagship phone packs a huge 1-inch camera sensor and Leica optics

As mainstream manufacturers continue to stuff an increasing number of camera lenses on the back of our phones, Sharp has gone a slightly different route by combining a single lens with an enormous 20MP, 1-inch sensor on its new Aquos R6. Usually found on point-and-shoot or compact digital cameras, such a setup is quite rare in the smartphone space. Sharp hasn’t skimped on the rest of the hardware either, speccing the Aquos R6 with 2021 flagship silicon, memory, and display tech.

Known for its TVs and other consumer electronics, Japanese brand Sharp first raised eyebrows in the smartphone industry with the launch of the Aquos Crystal. It wasn’t a mainstream success nor a particularly impressive phone overall, but it had a futuristic bezel-less display in 2014. A design trend that wouldn’t set in until years later, where extremely high screen-to-body ratios are now commonplace.

Sharp’s latest device, the Aquos R6, now looks to shake things up in the camera department. The phone’s protruding camera bump doesn’t house multiple lenses, rather a single Leica-branded unit with a massive 20MP, 1-inch sensor with an f/1.9 aperture. There’s also a ToF sensor built-in with support for laser low-light autofocus, alongside an LED flash.

Sharp also touts a world-first ‘Pro IGZO OLED’ display technology for the 6.6-inch panel on the Aquos R6. A resolution of 2,730 x 1,260 pixels isn’t the sharpest out there, but there’s variable refresh rate support (1Hz – 240Hz) for a power-efficient, buttery smooth experience and an impressive 2,000 nits of peak brightness.

Powering this phone is Snapdragon’s 888 SoC, combined with 12GB RAM and 128GB of microSD-expandable storage. Another sizeable piece of tech inside is Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max fingerprint reader – the biggest sensor yet – and a 5,000 mAh battery. Other specs include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C connectivity, and IPX8 water resistance.

The Aquos R6 runs Android 11 out of the box and is expected to go on sale in Japan next month through carriers NTT Docomo and SoftBank. Sharp hasn’t announced its price nor revealed plans for global availability.