Read our Panasonic Eluga hands-on preview
Panasonic’s first stab at a mobile phone outside the domestic Japanese market, the Eluga, will officially arrive in Europe in April. The company’s snazzy website devoted to the smartphone was updated recently with news that it will appear on these shores during April 2012, shortly after its Japanese launch on 29 March. It had been hoped to be a simultaneous rollout, so there has obviously been a bit of calendar slippage.
The dual-core phone, one of two Eluga-series models, is a very slender (7.8mm, 103g) device. This first Eluga has a 4.3in OLED screen and comes in a silver or black finish. The larger, higher-specced Eluga Power follows later.
Its main selling point is that it is water and dust resistant, much more so than your typical handset. This entry level Eluga will run the Gingerbread flavour of Android from the outset but an Ice Cream Sandwich update is mooted for the summer.
Beyond the expected stock Android apps built-in, Panasonic has integrated a few things to appeal to its loyal customers. They include the Viera Remote app to interact with its smart TVs, a rather slick DLNA function to share photos and videos between the phone and Viera TVs, and a Lumix Link app to send or receive pictures from Wi-Fi enabled Lumix cameras. The phone’s built-in camera has eight megapixels, plus image and video stabilisation.
The Eluga sports a ‘future ready’ NFC (near field communication) swipe-card style chip. However, the phone lacks next-gen 4G connectivity. Onboard storage is limited to 8GB, half of which is gobbled up by the system and, unlike the Eluga Power, the memory cannot be expanded using a Micro SD card.
Official pricing is yet to be announced.