Panasonic is to launch a high-end Android handset with near-field communication (NFC) capabilities, as the electronics giant looks to enter the high-end smartphone market.
The Eluga smartphone will feature a 4.3in QHD display with 960x540 resolution, a 1GHz dual-core Texas Instruments processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. It will weigh in at 103g, making it one of the lightest handsets on the market in this size.
The Eluga will also feature a micro USB connection and micro SD card slot while wireless connectivity will come in the form of Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and it conforms to the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard.
It will also be able to share content with Panasonic Viera TVs via the 'Swipe and Share' feature.
The smartphone will also work as a remote control for other electronic devices including Blu-ray players, home cinema system and digital cameras.
Panasonic is aiming to attract users by offering a rugged design, much like Motorola has done with its Razr handset, with the Eluga touted as dustproof and able to withstand being placed in one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.
Despite these high-end specifications, the device will only ship with the dated Android Gingerbread 2.3 operating system.
Although it will be upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich later in the Spring, when the Eluga is launched in April there is likely to be an array of ICS-ready handsets to be on the market.
Panasonic is also yet to announce pricing, but it is likely to be at the higher end of the market due to the high-end hardware in use.
Panasonic has recognised that competition in the handset market is intense and has set itself a rather modest target of selling set 1.5 million devices in Europe, during between April 2012 and 31 March 2013.
The Japanese firm plans to shift 15 million devices globally by 2016, but it is still unlikely to be troubling firms such as Apple, which sold 37 million iPhones in the last quarter alone.
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