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Panasonic Eluga: Hands-on photos and first impressions

Panasonic’s first European foray into the Android market is the Panasonic Eluga, a stylish and super-slim phone (check that 7.8mm waistline) that’s capable of withstanding immersion in depths of up to 1 metre for up to 30 minutes.

While the bowl of water on display at Panasonic’s stand wasn’t a metre deep we’ll prepared to believe the claim. As you’ll see in our hands on pics, the Panasonic Eluga withstood repeated dunkings into a goldfish bowl as if it’d been accused of witchcraft.

It’s a very slender and svelte witch at that. As well as having a dainty 123×62.0x7.8mm frame, Panasonic has hitched a 4.3-inch 960×540 (qHD) screen on the Eluga. Panasonic says that this comprises some 66 per cent of the Eluga’s body, a pretty high screen-to-rest-of-phone ratio.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Panasonic Eluga requires a micro SIM card a la the Motorola RAZR, Nokia Lumia 800, Apple iPhone 4S et al.

Other features of the Panasonic Eluga include an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus (but bizarrely, no flash) 8GB of internal storage, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM.

So while not quite a skinny as the Fujtisu Arrows F-07D, it’s got second core running under the hood. The screen of the Panasonic Eluga however isn’t protected by Gorilla Glass, wheras the Arrows F-07D’s panel is.

Panasonic Eluga to get Ice Cream Sandwich in the summer

There’s an NFC chip built in too, so things like sharing contact info easily will be possible once the Panasonic Eluga updates to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Shipping with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, Panasonic’s spec sheet mentions that there’ll be an update available from “summer 2012.” From the shots we can see that the stock Android look has been tweaked slightly, but at a glance this looks to be a simple respray rather than a full cosmetic job like HTC Sense. So, in other words, the transition to ICS shouldn’t be much of a task.

No UK release date or price has been announced yet, but a Panasonic spokesperson told us that the RRP for the Eluga would be €449, or around £380.

The name Eluga, as you might have heard, is a portmanteau of ‘elegant user-oriented gateway,’ which pretty much sums up the phone to be honest. Obviously, Recombu is naturally biased towards anything with a portmanteau name. We’ll keep you posted once we hear more – until then take a gander at these shots.

Pictures by Alex Lane.

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