The Panasonic LUMIX CM1 is a strange beast: it's an Android phone with a huge focus on photography, a la the Galaxy S4 Zoom. But unlike that rather mid-range device (both in terms of Android hardware and photography prowess), the CM1 features a massive 1-inch, 20-megapixel camera sensor with a Leica 28mm F/2.8 lens and... dramatic pause... a manual focus ring. When it was announced at the Photokina trade show last year, Panasonic made it very clear that the LUMIX Smart Camera DSC-CM1 was only for the European market.
Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Zoom phones haven't exactly been a runaway hit. Maybe it's because no one really wants a massive camera strapped to the back of their phone, or maybe it's because they're lumpy and expensive. Whatever the case might be, Panasonic is throwing its hat into the super powerful phone-camera with the LUMIX Smart Camera DSC-CM1, a gorgeous little point and shoot that hides a full Android phone (including calls and data) on its back end.
Panasonic has announced a unique Android offering headed for Softbank, a Japanese carrier, officially unveiling the Lumix Phone 101P today.
The Lumix Phone looks almost exactly like a pocket-sized digital camera, except for its 4" touch screen and Android 2.3 software. Under its surprisingly slender frame, it houses some interesting specs:
- 4-inch QHD LCD screen with 960×540 resolution
- 13.2MP CMOS Lumix sensor with “Mobile Venus Engine“
- Waterproof body
- TI OMAP4430 dual-core CPU (1GHz)
- Ultra Speed compatibility (Softbank's broadband network)
- microSD card slot
- Infrared connection
- E-wallet function
- Digital TV tuner
- A sleek body (64×123×9.8mm)
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread
There's no word yet on pricing, or whether this phone will make an appearance in other countries, but it seems like a unique fusion between a point-and-shoot camera and a mobile phone, and it will be interesting to see how its 13.2MP sensor performs, especially next to Samsung's newly-announced 16MP sensors.