Panasonic Unveils European Smartphone Entry

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Panasonic ElugaPanasonic reveals the first details of its re-entry in the European mobile market with the Eluga-- a 4.3" Android smartphone revealed at the Panasonic Convention 2012.

The company says the phone is not only be light (weighing 103g) but also water and dust proof. The display has 960x540 resolution, with no mention of whether it is LCD or OLED.

Very few details are currently available, but Panasonic says Eluga users will be able to transfer images and videos to Panasonic TVs using the "swipe" Smart Viera app.

The phone should launch on March 2012, and we should have more details before then.

Go Panasonic Eluga Announcement (Twitter)

Polaroid Gives Birth to the Smartcamera?

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Is it an Android phone with a Polaroid camera module, or a Polaroid camera with an Android phone inside? CES 2012 attendees were left with that dilemma when Polaroid revealed the SC1630 Android HD Smart Camera.

Polaroid In simple words, the SC1630 is the fusion of digital camera and Android smartphone-- a 16MP point-and-shooter carrying a micro SIM slot and 850/1900/2100MHz WCDMA and 850/900/1800/1900 GSM radios, together with wifi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM radio connectivity.

The camera has F3.1-F5.6 aperture, 3X optical zoom and 4X digital zoom, as well as max shutter speed of 1/1400 and max ISO of 3200. It also has anti-shake support, geotagging options and shoots 720p video.

A 800x400 3.2" touchscreen and Android OS provides control, while inside are 512MB of built-in storage (expandable to 32GB via microSD card), 512MB of RAM, proximity and G-sensors and 2.5mm headphone jack.

Analysts have been long saying the digital camera industry depends on connectivity and innovation if it wants to survive in the current smartphone dominated market. Polaroid seems to be listening such advice to heart-- we'll gauge the SC1630's success once it hits the market on Q2 2012.

Go Polaroid SC1630 Android HD Smart Camera

Panasonic to Sell Smartphones in Europe in 2012

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Panasonic will enter the European mobile market again-- and plans to start selling smartphones in Europe from Spring 2012-- according to the Nikkei business daily.

Panasonic smartphonesThe newspaper says Panasonic is in talks with "a major telecommunications firm" operating in Europe and will be offering Android-powered handsets.

The news lines up with rumours Panasonic is looking for a PR agency to help with a smartphone launch covering 6 EU countries (including the UK). According to PR Week, Panasonic will launch the P-07C-- a 4.3" touchscreen handset with mobile TV capabilities.

Another potential Panasonic Android is the Lumix P-02D, currently offered in Japan by NTT DoCoMo.

Panasonic used to sell mobile phones outside of its home Japan until 2005, when it retreated out of Europe and China due to stiff price competition and other market pressures. More news should emerge on the run-up to CES or MWC 2012, since Panasonic will be making an appearance at both shows.

Go Panasonic To Sell Smartphones Overseas (Nikkei)

Go Panasonic in PR Agency Hunt for Foray into Smartphones (PR Week)

Facebook Friends HTC for Phone Making

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It is actually happening-- will the market "like" it? According to AllThingsD, Facebook is entering the mobile arena with a smartphone carrying the social network at its very core.

Facebook PhoneWho will make such a phone? Taiwan's HTC, a recent choice on Facebook's part. Samsung was also being considered as potential hardware partner, apparently. 

Code-named after TV vampire slayer Buffy, the phone will run on (surprise?) Facebook-modified Android. According to All Things D sources, "Buffy" Android will also support HTML5 and might be too deeply customised to run regular Android apps (demanding an alternative Facebook app store). 

AllThingsD says the Faacebook phone will only hit the market in 12-18 months' time-- but Business Insider differs, and insists the launch "might come much sooner than that," on Q2 2012. Even if "not everyone close to the project is optimistic" the Facebook phone will manage to hit the market. 


HTC Reveals Beats Phone

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HTC announces its first smartphone featuring Beats audio technology-- the Rezound, previously known as the Vigor. 

RezoundIt has a 4.3" 1280 x 720 resolution display and uses Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (expandable to a further 16GB via microSD card), wifi and Bluetooh 3.0. 

The only feature making Rezound stand out from all other Android handsets the Beats technology-- which users can enjoy using the pair of headphones (complete with built-in microphone and on-cable remote) HTC includes in the package. 

Is this the real reason why HTC paid $300M for 51% of the Dr. Dre owned company back in August?

Go HTC Smartphones