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Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone

Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android

Dunked in beer and still talking

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Reducing security risks from open source software

Taking charge

Size and weight has also been reduced by the use of a fixed but rather anaemic 1150mAh battery. With so little juice available, this is a handset you will be charging at least once a day, without fail. To give you a more reliable idea of battery life, looping a 720p MP4 video drained it in 3hrs 35mins.

Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone

Launcher and browser

Waterproofing aside, the Eluga is quite the minimalist looker due, in no small part, to a screen that takes up an unusually high 66 per cent of the frontal area and some very bright white LEDs beneath the three capacitive system buttons. The 4.3in 540 x 960 256dpi OLED screen adds to the sense of occasion by being crisp, colourful, bright and working well in direct sunlight.

Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone

AnTuTu score and storage capacity – how much?

Doing the heavy lifting is the same TI OMAP 4430 chipset you’ll find in Motorola’s Xoom 2 tablet with the same 1GB of RAM. In the Eluga though the dual-core CPU has been throttled back from 1.2 to 1GHz. Subjected to the tender mercies of the AnTuTu benchmarking app, the Eluga returned a score of 5,300, which is par for a 1GHz dual-core chip. At the time of writing the Eluga runs Gingerbread but an Ice Cream Sandwich update is imminent.

Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone

Polaris and Flext9, a good combo and Eco mode - you'll need this

Panasonic’s launcher – called Fit Home – is wholly unexciting and a bit of a mess but the ICS update may fix that. And even if doesn’t, there are plenty of good launchers in the Play Store or you can simply default back to stock Gingerbread.

The camera is also a bit of a disappointment. To start with there is just the main shooter – no front facing addition – and it doesn’t have a flash. Despite being an 8Mp sensor, the results are flat and insipid compared to what you get from a Nokia Lumia 800. Video can only be recorded at a maximum of 720p and, again, the end result is less than tremendous.

Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone

Waterproof, but the battery life and storage capacity may dampen enthusiasm

Anything else you need to know? Well, the Eluga has an NFC radio and the speaker is very quiet, no doubt a result of being shrunk to fit the skinny profile and sealed in to keep water out. There’s also very little software bloat but you do get the excellent Nuance Flext9 keyboard and Polaris Office.

At the moment, the Eluga is only available SIM-free for £310. I hope it finds its way onto contract schemes because, despite its manifest imperfections, I can see this stylish, thin, light and waterproof handset appealing to quite a few folk out there.

Verdict

In the minus column, the battery life is poor, the camera lacklustre and there’s far too little storage on-board. But on the plus side, the Eluga is stylish, slim, light, waterproof and has a big, bright screen. ®

Thanks to Expansys for the loan of the review handset.

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70%
Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone

Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android

A thin, light and waterproof Android smartphone.
Price: £310 RRP

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