Panasonic last week launched a high-end smartphone in its Eluga series dubbed the Panasonic Eluga Note for Rs. 13,290. The company is very confident about this dual-SIM 4G VoLTE offering and believes that the Eluga Note will enhance its market share as an emerging smartphone brand.
The Eluga Note isn’t exclusive to any online retailer, so you don’t need to wait for any flash sale to purchase the device. But just because it is easily available near you, should you really buy it? Find out in our detail review of the Panasonic Eluga Note.
Build and design
The Panasonic Eluga Note from the front looks elegant and fits in the 5.5-inch screen really well with almost no bezels, and feels premium. It highlights the textured back with slightly curved edges and rounded corners. It only comes in Champagne Gold colour option.
The handset body is completely made of plastic, but it still feels solid. Panasonic has managed to keep the weight evenly distributed, so it feels really lightweight in hand, even though it is 142 grams.
On the top of display sits the 5-megapixel selfie camera, earpiece grill and the two sensors – ambient light and proximity sensors, while the notification LED is located at the bottom of the display below Panasonic branding. The three touch buttons (Recents, Home, Back) sit within the display.
The protruding rear camera is a 16-megapixel 6p lens unit with triple LED flash. The back panel has textured matte finish removable back. You’ll find two SIM cards (Micro + Micro) and a microSD card slot under the panel.
The top edge has got the 3.5mm audio jack along with Micro-USB charging / data syncing port and IR blaster .
The volume rocker is on the left edge and the power / lock key is on the right. Both keys are awkwardly positioned and slightly difficult to reach, though these have good tactile. The bottom edge features primary microphone and the loudspeaker grill.
Overall, the design and build quality of Panasonic Eluga Note is good for the price, and the phone definitely looks premium.
The Eluga Note features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) IPS LTPS (Low Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon) display, which to our surprise isn’t that glossy, so there won’t be any major fingerprints marks on the screen, but having said that it ain’t entirely smudge proof. The touch accuracy and viewing angles are at par with any high-end smartphone. Talking about the sunlight legibility, Panasonic could have done better here as the brightness levels are a bit low for outdoors and the screen is slightly reflective as well.
The Eluga Note’s display colour reproduction is a bit oversaturated, so all the colours (e.g. like. red,black,blue,green) appear a bit darker. Overall, Panasonic has tried best to go for a quality display and to be fair it is definitely scores good point in our review, but it is still not the best with respect to its competition like LeEco Le 2, Motorola Moto G4, Yu Yunicorn and Redmi Note 3.
The Panasonic Eluga Note packs an octa-core 64-bit MediaTek MT6753 SoC clocked at 1.3GHz, coupled with Mali-T720 GPU and 3GB of RAM.
It runs the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with Panasonic’s own FitHome UI skinned on top. The phone is upgradable to Android Nougat 7.0, but then there is no official timeline as yet.
The phone’s internal storage is 32GB, and you get about 25GB (24.99GB) of free space on first boot. It also supports microSD card (up to 32GB). Unfortunately, the phone misses out on USB-OTG support and you can’t move apps to SD card.
The Eluga Note can be categorized as an average performer. The multitasking is just about okay, but you will see drags because of the FitHome UI. The animations aren’t smooth in the UI, and thus it appears mostly slow. By default the app drawer is designed for one hand operation, but you can change the layout to full screen as well. First you need to open the app drawer, and then from the bottom right corner you’ll see three dots that allows you to change the layout to full screen.
Talking about the gaming performance, the RAM and SoC combination isn’t at par with the combination. While the lighter games like Subway Surfer didn’t have any problem, the heavy games like ‘Asphalt 8’ had issues during gameplay. Also, the device heats up instantly from the top of back panel near the rear camera.
The loudspeaker grill on the bottom edge gets muffled mostly, and that’s a big design flaw. Even the audio output isn’t loud enough, but the quality is decent from loudspeaker. Panasonic bundles in-ear headphones of really poor quality, and audio output in headphones is bad. For music, you also get the FM radio. While watching video, we mostly had problem with the speaker orientation, and hence our hands mostly covered the outlet.
Overall, the Eluga Note is a below average performer in comparison to the competition. But one good thing about this smartphone is that it has an IR blaster, so you can throw away all your remote controls and manage almost everything (TVs, DTH, DVD players and ACs) with any universal remote control app.
It scored 33594 points in the AnTuTu Benchmark 6.
It managed to score 621 points in the Geekbench 2 Single-Core benchmark.
It managed to score 2641 points in the Geekbench 2 Multi-Core benchmark.
It managed to score 5185 points in the 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited GPU benchmark.
The Panasonic Eluga Note boasts of a 16-megapixel rear camera with triple LED Flash, f/1.9 aperture, and 6P lens. The front camera is of 5-megapixel with wide angle lens.
The rear camera takes below average shots in daylight or well-lit conditions. It reproduces close to natural colours but then most shots were either overexposed or faded. The HDR shots were a little sharp but they still appear poor and sometimes washed out too. Also, the low-light or night shots came out really bad and quite grainy. The camera captures pretty quickly, but the autofocus and the tap-to-focus is really slow.
Click on any of the images below for the full resolution samples.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The Panasonic Eluga Note is a dual-SIM (Micro + Micro) smartphone and supports 4G VoLTE. It also supports microSD card up to 32GB. The two SIM card slots and the microSD card slot can be found on underneath removable back cover. Other connectivity options include WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.
The handset is backed by a removable 3000mAh battery, which in our review could go up to 9 hours maximum for an average usage with multiple email accounts, social media apps and a bit of video streaming. With heavy usage like GPS navigation, live broadcasting, tethering etc , the battery time didn’t go beyond 4 hours. But yes if you are a normal to average user then the Eluga will serve you good for about 10-11 hours easily.
The Panasonic Eluga Note is just an average smartphone for its price point of Rs. 13,290. There is a lot better smartphone you can get around or under this price range such as Redmi Note 3, LeEco Le 2, YU Yunicorn. The only good point about the Eluga Note is that you can get it anytime anywhere you’re your locality and you don’t need to wait for a flash sale, which is not the case with the competition. Also, the phone comes with latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow with promise to Android Nougat 7.0 upgrade in future.
- Latest Android 6.0 OS
- IR Blaster
- Average Display
- Poor Camera
- Average Performance
- FitHome UI
- No USB-OTG