Android Central

Following on from the Eluga, Panasonic will launch its first high-end smartphone for Western comsumers, the Eluga Power. This device takes the design language of the original Eluga, and builds on it with a 5-inch HD buttonless display, a faster 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

We got to play with a very early prototype unit today at Mobile World Congress, and despite some understandable software quirks, we were pretty impressed by what we saw. We've got first impressions after the jump, along with our hands-on video.


YouTube link for mobile viewing

Physically, the Eluga Power is a slightly larger, slightly chunkier version of the original Eluga. It retains the same curved back shape, though now there's a little more visual finery, in the form of a silver trim around the edge of the handset. The front, as ever, is dominated by the gignatic 5-inch screen, which sports the slimmest of bezels on the left and right sides.

For its high-end model, Panasonic's used its own LCD technology rather than the OLED panel in its mid-range offering. During our time with the prototypes at MWC, we were impressed with the crispness of the image and the color quality, which to our eyes at least matched Samsung's HD SuperAMOLED.

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Software-wise, the Eluga Power is running vanilla Android 4.0, at least for the moment. The software loaded onto the prototype units was very much pre-release, resulting in a few huccips that we'd expect to be resolved before release.

All in all, it's difficult -- not to mention unwise -- to judge a smartphone based on such an early prototype, but we're optimistic about the Eluga Power based on what we've seen so far. Panasonic seems to be bringing out the big guns for this model, and we can't wait to see how it shapes up as release approaches.

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Reader comments

Hands-on with the Panasonic Eluga Power

20 Comments

The Eluga Power seems narrower but longer than the G-Note. Looks good for me. I just want a 5 inch phone on T-mobile.

I want it for Sprint.

Panasonic is finally in the game.

The only bad thing is the horrible Eluga name. They should have just included the B at the front. Maybe it means something nice a Japanese, but in the English speaking world if you say Eluga, the other person is going to ask, "Like the whale?"

Eluga would be エルガ in Japanese, which can be the name of "Elga" (haven't heard of that before, but apparently it's a name somewhere).

The first two syllables of it, though, エル, could be "to carve", "to engrave", "to sculpt", "to chisel", and even "to tattoo". Perhaps they were going for this route, which would definitely make sense as a cool name for a phone.

Sadly, the most important bit of information that I look for when evaluating new flagship Android phones is the mAh of the battery.

That being said, this phone looks to be a strong competitor in the 5"+ sized Android devices.

That's kind of like evaluating the size of the gas tank when buying a car, with total disregard for the mileage the car gets.

Your analogy is faulty on many fronts. There is far greater variability in fuel efficiency in cars than in the battery efficiency of Android phones.

Also, I was making reference to "flagship Android phones". If you need clarification, I am referring to LTE-capable devices with dual or quad-core processors and 4.5+" screens.

But hey, thanks for sharing!

To be such well versed, intelligent folks at Android Central, you guys make more spelling and grammer errors in your reviews than I've ever seen. Given the fact this is a technology based, android specific website with a lot of members, it only makes sense to me to use the spell checker on the computer, or at least read what your posting before hitting enter. These errors make you guys look stupid which we all know is the furthest thing from the truth. It gets annoying having to decipher exactly what your saying due to these errors, especially the grammatical ones. I'm not trying to come across as rude but slowing down and writing the article correctly the first time sure makes it a whole lot easier to understand. Thanks for all the great Android information, keep bringing us the good stuff!

If you are one of the intelligent ones, then i think you can get the gist of what they are trying to say. Come on, this ain't the new york times. Just get over it. Or go get your info from phandroid.com if you want to see some errors. LEAVE THESE PROFESSIONALS ALONE. These guys are the BEST android source on the web. GET OVER IT!

This thing is way too big for a PHONE!
Heck, 4.3 is BIG for a phone.
I'd hate to think how often I'd need to charge it and how much I could use it in between charges.

I hate the new buttonless ICS concept, really it's more a marketing ploy to make people think they are getting a larger screen, like the Galaxy Nexus, 4.65" screen, once you take away the portion dedicated for the replacement of the buttons you're left with 4.3", so really this 5" screen is effectively 4.6", maybe 4.65" which really isn't that far above what's out there now with several 4.5" phones like the Galaxy S II Skyrocket with separate buttons. Actually it's only 1mm wider and 6mm taller than the Skyrocket which is not a large difference at all.

Plus I know I have enough issue accidentally hitting the home button on a phone with a little bit of space between the bottom of the screen and the buttons, I can only see this issue as being even worse when the buttons are in fact the bottom of the screen.

Marketed only to basketball players, as they will be the only ones that can hold it. Samsung might as well just turn the Galaxy Tab 10.1 into a phone.

While I love my Galaxy S 2, I find the perfect size for me was the Evo 4G, and similar HTC phones, such as the Thunderbolt, Inspire 4G, etc. The 4.3" screen seemed to be the perfect size for my hands. I also really liked the size of the Nexus S, with its 4" screen. This is my own opinion, and may not be how you feel.