Panasonic has unveiled its flagship European smartphone, an ultra-thin waterproof device dubbed the Eluga.
The manufacturer's European CEO Laurent Abadie announced the device at its European conference in Hamburg today (20 February). The Android handset has yet to receive a UK release date.
The Eluga runs on a 1GHz processor and features a 4.3-inch QHD (960x540) screen. It comes with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and can be immersed in water of up to one metre for 30 minutes. Its swipe and share feature allows users to 'throw' pictures from the phone to television or cloud services, or stream movies from the phone to a television.
It has an eight-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal memory. The device will be on display at next week's Mobile World Congress. The Eluga's name comes from the phrase 'elegant user-oriented gateway'.
Toshiya Matsumura, general manager and head of mobile communications at Panasonic System Communications Europe said: 'Despite the unprecedented increase in the number of smartphone devices appearing over the last few years, we don’t believe anyone has yet managed to truly bridge the gap between style and substance. With the launch of the Eluga, we’re aiming to prove it is possible to deliver style, function, form, and the very best underlying technology, all in a competitively-priced package.'
At the Hamburg conference, Panasonic European CEO Laurent Abadie reiterated plans to sell 1.5 million handsets by March 2013. He said: 'Panasonic is one of the leading suppliers of mobile phones to the Japanese market. As consumer demand for mobile phones – especially smartphones – continues to grow and mature in Europe, we believe the market lacks a range of phones that successfully mixes beauty, high-quality engineering, and the most advanced lifestyle-enhancing technologies.'
Matsumura added: 'The strength of our global brand and our ability to provide our customers with devices that enable fully connected lifestyles – including the work we’re doing that brings mobile connectivity and consumer electronics together in the home – means we’re confident that the launch of our smartphone business in Europe will be a huge success.'