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's KX-PRX120, besides having a sexy name, is quite the handset. It runs Ice Cream Sandwich, has access to the Play Store, and sports a 3.5 inch touch-screen that would not look out on place on display next to any other budget smartphone. The thing is, buyers won't want to tote it around town. This digital cordless phone is too timid for that lifestyle and works best within the confines of its own home.
In case there was any doubt that 5 inches is the new standard for Android superphones, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has removed all of it with a new hardware series. Right at the top of the list is a new device from Panasonic in their relatively young Eluga family, this one christened the ELUGA X P-O2E. The 5-inch LCD screen is naturally 1080p, and hides a 1.5Ghz quad-core Snapdragon Pro processor, and a 13.2 megapixel camera.
Taking a new approach to firmware upgrades, Panasonic has decided to update its Eluga handset to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich via a downloadable Play Store app appropriately named 'ELUGA ICS Update.'
For those who don't remember, the Eluga is a little-talked-about handset that debuted in Spring 2012 in Europe and Japan, touting a waterproof and dustproof chassis.
According to its description, Panasonic's update app "connects to Panasonic download server [sic] and downloads the Ice Cream Sandwich software update." Of course, many of us are familiar with what improvements Ice Cream Sandwich brings over Gingerbread 2.3.x, but Panasonic emphasizes the new "powerful new features" of its custom skin as well, listing the lock screen, status bar, home screen, and app drawer as areas of improvement with the update.
With Olympics season in full swing, we've seen plenty of apps to help you keep track of which teams are winning which events, but not many that help you show off a little bit of national pride. Fortunately, Panasonic's Flag Tags app is here to help.
The app is a bit of a novelty, but it works surprisingly well. You simply choose the flag colors you would like, take a picture of yourself (or select one from your gallery), and select the area of the photo in which your face appears.
If controlling your Panasonic LUMIX FX90 digital camera from your smartphone is something that you've longed for, today is your lucky day. Panasonic just released LUMIX Remote into the Play Store - an app to let you do just that.
The app connects to the FX90 over a Wi-Fi connection, and allows you to remote view the image on your camera's screen, remote shutter and zoom, and includes a self-shot mode for taking
Facebook pics self-portraits.
Panasonic is set to enter the high-end smartphone market in Europe and Japan in the coming weeks with the waterproof and dustproof Eluga.
We first saw the Eluga at Mobile World Congress last month, and although it looks like a great phone on paper, with a dual-core CPU and qHD display, it disappointed us when we went hands-on. Nevertheless, this is still big news for the European market, where Panasonic isn't known as a smartphone brand at all.
When Panasonic announced the original ELUGA for the European smartphone market, we were a little underwhelmed. Today the ELUGA gets a new, awkwardly-capitalized older brother, the ELUGA power. True to its name, the device is considerably more powerful than its predecessor. Which is good, because this series needs all the help it can get.
Here's the rundown on the new hardware:
Panasonic's new smartphone, the Eluga (like the whale, minus the B), is actually a pretty decent looking device. On paper, and in person. Its dual-core TI OMAP4430 processor is a proven piece of kit in phones like the DROID RAZR, and it's 4.3" qHD display isn't bad looking at all. With 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, it actually sounds like it might even be good. Yeah, the thing is, it's not.
Until today, Panasonic had been keeping their high end Android phones to themselves in the Japanese market. That's about to change with the advent of the Eluga. Panasonic announced the new device today in Hamburg for release some time in March. We're promised that the phone will be waterproof and dustproof, which is great for all those times that you have your phone out in a dusty rain storm.
Here's a list of the key specs:
- 4.3" qHD display
- 8GB of onboard memory
- 8MP camera
- Dual-core 1Ghz processor
- Android 2.3
All in all, the device sounds like a fantastic device...for early 2011.