LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012: Having unveiled the Eluga (pictured) as its first smartphone targeted at international markets on the eve of Congress, Panasonic unveiled a second smartphone here in Barcelona.
Toshiya Matsumura, general manager, Panasonic Mobile Business in Europe, described the new Eluga Power as the “smallest 5-inch smartphone”. Incorporating thin-frame technology, the device measures just 69 mm wide, making it compact enough to use single-handed. The company sees this as a practical advantage over the 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note which measures 83 mm wide.
Based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), the Eluga Power offers 1080p Full HD video capability. Panasonic’s Swipe and Share functionality allows users to wirelessly ‘throw’ pictures from their phone to DLNA-compatible TVs or stream movies from their phone to a TV. The company sees the Eluga range as smart internet devices designed to act as hubs to interconnect a variety of other devices: the Eluga name is derived from the phrase ‘elegant user-oriented gateway’.
Panasonic joins Fujitsu among Japanese mobile phone manufacturers who see smartphones as a route to diversifying out of their slow-growing home market. Toshiya Matsumura said that even though smartphone penetration had reached 33 percent in Europe, the Continent still represented a growth opportunity while adopting a global product strategy offered the potential of scale that cannot be achieved through a focus on Japan.
Other features common to Eluga devices include NFC, superfast charging and water- and dust-proofing to the international IP57 standard.
The company has also announced an updated range of Easy Use Mobile Phones designed for seniors and children. Three new devices will be available from July featuring 1.8 inch screens with large fonts, large contoured keys and hearing aid compatibility.