Panasonic is back! (in the mobile market, in Europe) The Panasonic Eluga Power is the big screened, yet slender new kid on the 5-inch display block.
Panasonics unique narrow frame technology has allowed it to squeeze the Eluga Power to just 9.6mm in depth while packing a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, NFC technology, 8MP camera with full HD (1080p) video recording) Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and 5-inch HD screen.
We were able to comfortably hold the Eluga Power in one hand thanks to the narrow frame tech and with the back cover slanting in, it gives the illusion the handset is smaller than it actually is.
The 5-inch LCD HD (1280x720) display on the front has a tiny bezel down each side, reducing the width (70mm) of the phone and there are no buttons under the screen – as the Eluga Power opts for the on-screen Ice Cream Sandwich options.
The Eluga Power is a sleek and stylish handset and Panasonic has not placed any buttons on the sides of the phone, allowing it to sport fashionable metal strips.
Interestingly the only buttons (Power/lock and volume up and down) have been placed on the back of the device – so not to upset the streamlined finish of the Eluga Power. At first we found these buttons difficult to work with, but after a short while with the phone it became a natural motion.
Panasonic has not done too much tinkering with its Android overlay and the Eluga Power is easy to use and we were able to reach all parts of the screen one-handed, thanks to the slim design.
This means that even though the Eluga Power has its big screen, we were able to type relatively easily using one hand with the keyboard being well spaced and accurate.
Ice Cream Sandwich runs smoothly thanks to the 1.5GHz dual-core processor, however icons did appear small on the large screen which some people may find hard to see.
The Eluga Power doesn't have the same zip as some other Ice Cream Sandwich phones when scrolling through home screens, but apps such as the camera opened quickly.
Unfortunately the Eluga Power we got our hands on was only a prototype and we were unable to take pictures and video. Panasonic has not included many camera and video options in the app which is surprising for a high-end device as there are usually numerous modes and effects to play with.
NFC technology is supported with the Eluga Power and you can expand the 8GB of internal memory by using a microSD card of up to 32GB.
Panasonic has also made the Eluga Power both dustproof and waterproof, meaning that you'll never have to worry if it slips into your pint or falls in the toilet.
Another useful feature is the superfast charging on the Eluga Power, which can charge 50% of the battery (1800mAh) in 30mins and 80% in 57 minutes.
Expect to see the Panasonic Eluga Power in the UK towards the end of Q2/early Q3 as it goes head to head with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note and the LG Optimus Vu.
Panasonic were unable to provide us with a price indication for the handset but it confirmed that the Eluga Power would be a high feature phone at a competitive price.
We will bring you all the details of the final release version in our Panasonic Eluga Power review.