Revealed for the first time at this year’s Mobile World Congress, the Panasonic Eluga Power is a strong competitor for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and iPhone 4S. It’s a slim slice of matt black style, a hybrid between a phone and a tablet that seems to have taken the best from other smartphones such as Sony Experia S and Nokia Lumia 800.
With a minimalist design, the Panasonic Eluga is very slim, 7.8mm and its featherweight is of 103g, which makes this smartphone with a 4.3-inch screen that goes very close to the edge of the phone, one of the high-end phones to be released this year. It has silver Android buttons with white lights alongside, a very narrow speaker grill at the top of the body, the power and volume buttons are on the edge of the back of the body, while the 8-megapixel camera lens dominates the matt black reverse.
The phone has a decent 4.3-inch QHD screen with a 960 x 540-pixel resolution and 256 pixels per inch display, which makes it fall behind Sony Xperia S that allows 342 pixels per inch.
The Eluga Power will hit the market packing Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and a 8 megapixel camera with no flash. It will not have the same zip as some other Ice Cream Sandwich phones when scrolling through home screens, but the camera will open fast. The snapper features 8x zoom that works well, but this is under the standards of the 12 megapixel Sony Xperia S camera and flash.
It will also have 8GB of internal storage, which is a little disappointing regarding the fact that its competitors, such as the Sony Xperia S offer 32GB as standard. However, there’s a MicroSD card input of up to 32GB.
Probably one of the most impressive features is that Eluga is dustproof and waterproof despite its non-rugged surface. For example, if you put the phone in 30 cm of water for 20 minutes you’ll notice the phone works just fine, so if you’re a regular surfer or a beach fan, you can use this phone while submerged with no worry.
The Panasonic Eluga packs a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4, 1GB of RAM, NFC technology and 8MP camera with full HD (1080p) video recording. At first, it was said to support only quadband GSM and 2100/900MHz UMTS connectivity, but now FCC documents reveal additional 3G support for the 850MHz spectrum. Furthermore, the phone charges superfast, around 50% of the battery in 30mins and 80% in 57 minutes, though the battery is pretty small (1150 mAh) in comparison to Xperia S’s battery (1750 mAh).
Price and availability
The smartphone is already available in UK for the price tag of £399 but it will soon hit the US shore with a price tag of about $790.
Panasonic Eluga Power is a smartphone that looks great, screams business and feels good in the hand, but that may turn out to be a bad investment for those used only to high-end smartphones, as the overall user experience is poor. After all, this phone is not flawless; the manufacturer still has a long way to go until it can make perfect Android devices.
Panasonic Eluga Power Video