It seemed improbable a few years ago that a smartphone would pack camera sensors equivalent in size to dedicated shooters. Now, it seems that Sharp, partnering with Leica, has achieved this with its Aquos R6 flagship.
Sharp’s latest device features a rear camera array headlined by a 20MP 1-inch primary camera sensor. It’s a milestone for mainstream smartphones, considering that many dedicated pocketable shooters pack 1-inch sensors. Sharp also trumps its mobile competitors in this regard. Samsung currently offers a 1/1.12-inch sensor in the form of the 50MP Isocell GN2 but hasn’t yet breached the 1-inch barrier. Sony is also rumored to have a 1-inch sensor in development, but it hasn’t seen an official release. There’s no clear indication of which firm is behind Sharp’s sensor.
Nevertheless, Sharp claims its 1-inch shooter suppresses noise in darker scenes and produces more natural bokeh. That sensor occupies most of the phone’s top third, but a ToF sensor and flash also join it. The camera also features a Leica-designed f/1.9 seven-element lens with EIS.
Sharp’s no stranger to quirky camera innovation. The Aquos R2 packed two dedicated cameras at the rear — one for stills, the other for video. The Aquos R3 also packed two notches between a 120Hz display.