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Panasonic Eluga Review By

By Simon Thomas on 10th June 2012

3G Total Score

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.

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Panasonic Eluga Review Scoring

  • Style and Handling
  • User Friendliness
  • Feature set
  • Performance
  • Battery
  • Overall Score

Panasonic Eluga Phone Specification

Type of device


Operating System

Android 2.3 Gingerbread





Form factor



Touch Screen

Processor speed

1GHz dual-core


TI (model not specified)

Graphic chipset



February 2012




Screen size

4.3 inches

Screen type




Display type

16 million colours




Internal storage


Memory card slot




8 megapixels

Secondary camera


Special camera features

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


3.5mm Jack


Music player

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

Audio recording




FM Radio description



Video recording


Video player

H.263, H.264, MPEG4

Video calling


Video streaming


Additional Features


Android, HTML-Webkit, Adobe Flash Player 10


Yes and downloadable

Voice control


Voice dailing



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

































Colors (Standard)


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




Up to 300 hours


Up to 240 minutes

Battery life multimedia



# sales team/customer service: 0800 358 9048

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