Panasonic Eluga Review By 3G.co.uk

 

Panasonic Eluga
Panasonic Eluga
Panasonic Eluga
Panasonic Eluga

Feature set summary for Panasonic Eluga review

There’s a mixture of specs on offer here, including a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, an eight-megapixel snapper without flash – plus it is IP57 certified against water up to a mater deep and dust. It also supports NFC for contactless payments.

 

Style and handling summary for Panasonic Eluga review

Even with a 4.3-inch display, the Eluga remains thin and lightweight. Its ports are completely sealed to make it waterproof and it’s one of the best-looking Android handsets we’ve seen. We also like the neon icons of the Panasonic interface on Android Gingerbread.

 

Battery power summary for Panasonic Eluga review

Pretty average – a full charge just about lasted all day with internet, background data and GPS running – but we didn’t try running music too. Mind you, it charges up really quickly.

 

 

Performance summary for Panasonic Eluga review

Disappointingly, after a week’s testing of the phone, the interface started to suffer from system shutdown, force closes and stuttering. We reset the handset and it stopped but we fear it would carry on. The snapper is decent, although no use in low light as there is no flash.

 

User friendliness summary for Panasonic Eluga review

Finding your way around the home screens and switching between apps is simple. There is NFC support but it is not clear how it would be used.


Panasonic Eluga Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Performance
Battery Power
Overall Score 3G.co.uk grey star

 

Pros :
Neat design, lightweight, NFC support



Cons :
Disappointing virtual keyboard, average snapper with no flash, too many force-closes and shutdowns

 

Verdict :

The Panasonic Eluga is a nicely designed Android phone, but the snapper is mediocre and the interface suffers from too many issues to allow us to recommend it.

Full Review and Specification for the Panasonic Eluga

We’re pretty used to seeing the usual rectangular touchscreens on Android handsets, so it’s nice to see the Panasonic Eluga looking a bit different, even if it doesn’t have the huge amount of features we might expect.

 

 

A step above


Most Android smartphones have something of the Fisher Price feel about them, being made of plastic. The Eluga also sports a plastic body, but it’s far sturdier – even surpassing the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X. It has a very square chassis, which has a smooth exterior – it brings to mind the Nokia Lumia 800, with its expanse of flat glass covering the 4.3in touchscreen. It’s rather clever that it has managed to cram the display into a body measuring only 123 62.0x7.8mm – it’s so slim in fact that it is only 0.2mm fatter than the Motorola RAZR – the ‘world’s slimmest smartphone’.

 

Slow on the uptake


The operating system of choice for the Eluga is Android Gingerbread, which has been treated to a Panasonic user interface that gives it quite a different look and feel to other Android handsets.

 

For instance, the lock screen shows a pair of arcs of dots – you need to trace these to unlock the handset – and the widgets are square and clean-looking. However, nice as it looks, the UI is unfortunately subject to a number of glitches, suffering from force closes and general shutdowns – with the handset claiming that the Micro-SIM was ‘too dirty’.

 

Its ports are completely sealed, as it is IP57 certified – which means it’s waterproof to a depth of one metre. This is great – unless you don’t really need a waterproof device and find it more inconvenient to prise open the glossy doors behind which the charging and micro-SIM ports are concealed. It’s even more annoying if you want to get to the charger port – which you’ll be doing every day 

 

Because it’s IP57-certified – waterproof to one metre for a minute – all its ports are sealed. If you don’t actually need a water-resistant phone, you’ll find this deeply annoying, as the Micro-SIM and charging ports are both concealed behind shiny, grip-free doors that are incredibly hard to prise open. This is particularly annoying for the charger port, since you’ll be using it every day. 

 

Panasonic has seen fit to include NFC support for connecting with NFC accessories or making contactless payments – there is an ‘IC Tag’ included in the box. It can be programmed to fire up your chosen app but it isn’t easy to set up – especially for anyone not used to using smartphones and NFC.

 

Under the hood


Hardware is a bit of a mixed bag really – there’s a dual-core chip, but an older version of Android, an eight-megapixel snapper but no flash, and dust and water-resistance on a stylish looking handset.

 

It is a pretty practical choice of features – after all when your handset costs 400 quid or more, you would appreciate it being a bit more sturdy – but we’re surprised by the lack of front-facing snapper. Because it boasts water and dust resistance, we put the Eluga to the test – it got dropped in a basin of water, was handled with wet hands, and we spilt some alcohol on it to emulate a visit to the pub – and it came out with no problem. It spent two weeks in a dusty warehouse and suffered no damage either.

 

What we did have an issue with was the onscreen keyboard. It works Swype-style so you have to drag your digit from letter to letter to input words. In theory, this should prove quick, but type in the letters one by one and autocorrect doesn’t work. And while the keyboard was accurate it wasn’t always responsive, which is not good in this day and age.

 

We also had a go at using Android Beam, which is the NFC file sharing feature, with Ice Cream Sandwich phones, but it didn’t work. The handsets were able to sense each other but we could not transfer files.

 

 

The main features


It doesn’t always follow that a company that can make a good camera can produce a decent mobile version. And Panasonic has produced a decent eight-megapixel snapper, which features some neat effects including a retro-look Pinhole. Its shots boast decent colours, but were not as sharp as we would have expected from an eight-megapixel model. Plus without an LED flash, low-light images suffer from a lot of blur. Nor is there a front-facing model for making video calls or self-portraits.

 

 

Our conclusion


The Panasonic Eluga has an unusual array of features – offering NFC support could see it gain popularity as NFC becomes more widespread. But the mediocre snapper and the problem with glitches are a serious issue. This is a beautifully designed handset but there are far better Android phones on the market, and the stutters and force closes overshadow what is a gorgeous-looking phone.

 

Panasonic Eluga Specification

Type of device

Smartphone

Operating System

Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Dimensions

123x62x7.8mm

Weight

103g

Form factor

Touchscreen

Input

Touch Screen

Processor speed

1GHz dual-core

CPU

TI (model not specified)

Graphic chipset

 

Announced

February 2012

Status

Available

DISPLAY

Screen size

4.3 inches

Screen type

N/A

Resolution

960x540

Display type

16 million colours

Memory

RAM

1GB

Internal storage

8GB

Memory card slot

 

Camera

Camera

8 megapixels

Secondary camera

N/A

Special camera features

Up to 6.74x digital zoom, auto-focus, scene modes, photo browser, image stabilizer

Sound

3.5mm Jack

 

Music player

AAC, AAC+, AAC+enhanced, OGG Vorbis, WAV, MP3, MIDI

Audio recording

 

Radio

 

FM Radio description

 

Video

Video recording

 

Video player

H.263, H.264, MPEG4

Video calling

 

Video streaming

 

Additional Features

Browser

Android, HTML-Webkit, Adobe Flash Player 10

Games

Yes and downloadable

Voice control

 

Voice dailing

 

Other

Water and dustproof (IP57 certified), Wi-Fi tethering, DLNA

Messaging

SMS

 

MMS

 

Email

 

IM

 

Connectivity

Band

Quad-band

Wi-Fi

 

Bluetooth

 

USB

 

NFC

 

GPS

A-GPS

Network

EDGE

 

GPRS

 

HSDPA

 

4G/LTE

 

Other

Colors (Standard)

Black

Handsfree speaker phone

 

Customisable ringtones

 

What's in the box

Micro-USB cable, headset (3.5 mm connector), AC adapter, quick start guide (QSG), IC Tag Card

Website

www.panasonic.co.uk

Battery

Standby

Up to 300 hours

Talktime

Up to 240 minutes

Battery life multimedia

N/A

 


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By Simon Thomas on 10th June, 2012


Tags: PanasonicPanasonic Eluga3G


 
 
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