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New VAIO phone almost twice as expensive as near-identical Panasonic phone

Now that VAIO has split from Sony, it’s decided to stick its own oar into the smartphone sea with its imaginatively-titled VAIO Phone. Unfortunately it packs a very similar design and specs list to an existing Panasonic mobile…

The VAIO Phone is a mid-range mobile sporting your bog-standard shiny black design, set to launch in Japan on March 20th. There’s no indication that it’ll ever hit UK soil and we suspect not, but we won’t be shedding any tears as it basically looks like a more expensive Panasonic Eluga U2.

Packed inside the generic, slightly chunky case is a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor backed by 2GB of RAM, plus a 13-megapixel camera. The screen is a 5-inch 720p effort (matching the Motorola Moto G) and the VAIO Phone runs a pretty vanilla version of Android Lollipop.

All of this might sound rather familiar to Panasonic, whose Eluga U2 sports a very similar design and basically the same specs. But while the VAIO Phone costs 51,000 Yen (roughly £280), the Panasonic Eluga will only set you back 30,000 Yen (£165).

And let’s face it, the mid-range market is a tough nut to crack these days, as awesome phones like the Moto G 4G and Huawei Ascend G7 have massively boosted our expectations. If a handset doesn’t pack at least an HD screen, slick performance and a decent camera, then it can jolly well do one.

Considering that £280 price is before tax, we can’t see the VAIO phone shifting many units if it ever did cross the ocean to Blighty – especially considering you can pick up the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy A5, a metal slab of awesomeness, for around the same price.

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