Panasonic CM1 review

Panasonic says the CM1 is a camera with a phone, not a phone with a camera – and we can see why

Panasonic Lumix CM1

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By Matthew Hanson

Much has been made of Panasonic DMC-CM1 the camera, but how does it perform as a phone? Although the emphasis has been put on the camera, the specifications for the phone are pretty impressive, with a high performance Snapdragon 801 system on chip powering the device, with a 2.3GHz quad-core processor at its core.

This is the sort of hardware that is found on some of the top performing smartphones of last year including the HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3 and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. The 801 has been succeeded by a newer version, but it's still a formidable chip, and means that the Panasonic DMC-CM1 performs quickly and smoothly during phone tasks. The 2GB of RAM is also pretty large by smartphone standards, so you can be confident that the Panasonic DMC-CM1 Phone is a suitably powerful phone for the price.

It runs Android 4.4 (also known as KitKat), which is a feature-packed mobile operating system from Google. Again, it's not the latest version (that would be Android 5.0 Lollipop), but it still does and excellent job of running things behind the scenes. You're able to download apps from the Google Play Store, making the Panasonic DMC-CM1 an extremely versatile device.

Android 5.0 is a free upgrade, but it relies on the manufacturers supporting it and bringing it to their own devices, and although we haven't heard what Panasonic's plans are regarding upgrading the Panasonic DMC-CM1 to Android 5.0, there's a decent chance it will happen – and you'll get some nice extra features for free.

Panasonic CM1

The Panasonic CM1 comes with Android 4.4 (KitKat) and a generous 2GB RAM.

The 4.7-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which leads to a high pixel density of 469ppi (pixels per inch). The higher the pixel count, the sharper the image, which makes the Android interface look particularly nice on the Panasonic DMC-CM1.

Browsing websites, watching YouTube videos and looking over the photos you've just taken all look great on the screen as well, and the onscreen keyboard is easy enough to use as well.

Notifications of new emails, messages and phone calls can be slightly obtrusive if you're using the Panasonic DMC-CM1 as a camera, but a small LED just above the screen will flash when you receive a new notification, which is an informative, yet unobtrusive, solution – though you'll need to turn off vibrations and sound cues if you want to be completely undisturbed.

The Panasonic DMC-CM1 also comes with LTE connectivity, which allows for super-fast mobile internet. This makes browsing the web when out and about nice and quick, and the included Chrome browser does and excellent job of displaying web pages. You can also upload and download photos quickly – though you'll want to check your mobile contract before sending raw images, otherwise you might get a bit of a shock when you get the bill.