Panasonic announces new Android phone to launch in March

Panasonic to return to phone market in March
Guess who's back?

After leaving the international phone market five years ago, Panasonic is back in Europe with a new Android smartphone on the way in March.

The details of the first phone on offer are fairly slim. What we know is that it will run Android and features a slim bezel around a 4.3-inch OLED screen with 960 x 540 (qHD) resolution.

Hitting Europe first, Panasonic's new phones will then be rolling out to the in US, China and the rest of Asia.

Built to resist

Panasonic claims its first model will be waterproof and dustproof –a feature that most manufacturers usually offer in mid range phones as for cost reasons its usually a trade-off with headline specs like CPU speed.

Slightly less impressively, the company also assures us that its "ultra-slim D-shaped design" will offer "easy portability". Good to know.

The rear of the phone has a small NFC badge on it, so we could be seeing some Google Wallet features onboard, and perhaps even be unlocking doors with it, too.

Panasonic says it is using this "as a reference model" for expanding its range to achieve sales of 1.5 million smartphones in Europe next year.

The new model will be manufactured in Panasonic's existing factory in Malaysia that currently produces phones for its home market in Japan.

Panasonic is pushing hard with a plan to sell a total of 15 million phones in 2016, including nine million phones outside Japan.