Panasonic is trying to revamp its smartphone product line up in an attempt to take the Indian market by storm. The Japanese multinational electronics corporation hopes to find its rightful place among myriads of brands operating successfully in India.
Panasonic has announced that in the coming two months it will launch a total of 11 smartphones in the country. All the devices will be in the range of Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 15,000. Panasonic launched the Eluga A3 and A3 Pro on August 9, 2017, in India.
The Eluga A3 and Eluga A3 Pro are exactly the same in the matter of looks and have minor differences when it comes to specifications of the two devices. Interestingly enough Panasonic has introduced a virtual AI assistant, ARBO, on both the devices which is something new for smartphones in the price segment. Talking of price segment, the devices have been priced very closely. Panasonic Eluga A3 will cost Rs. 11,290 while Eluga A3 Pro will cost Rs. 12,790 in India. The devices will be available for sale August 10 onwards on Panasonic retail stores as well as other offline retailers.
Specifications: Nothing extraordinary
The devices have a metal uni-body and boast 5.2-inch IPS HD Display. While the Eluga A3 is powered by 1.25GHz MediaTek MT 6737 quad-core processor the Eluga A3 Pro gets an octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor clocked at 1.3GHz.
Both the handsets have 3GB of RAM, however, Eluga A3 gets 16GB ROM while A3 Pro gets 32GB inbuilt storage. The smartphones support microSD card for memory expansion to 128 GB. Eluga A3 and Eluga A3 Pro run Android Nougat 7.0 out-of-the-box. They have stock Android for UI which is clean and pretty quick.
The smartphones have a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and phase detection autofocus. The front camera is 8MP snapper. The devices have 4000mAh battery and both weigh 161 grams.
We got our hands on Panasonic Eluga A3 Pro at the launch event. Let's go ahead with the first impression of the device.
Form factor: Light weight and comfortable in hands
Panasonic Eluga A3 Pro has sharp edges on the sides. The front panel of the device comprises of a home button at the base which doubles up as a finger print sensor. The front camera rests on top along side a notification LED.
The volume rockers and lock/unlock toggle is on the right side edge while the SIM tray is on the left side. The rear panel of the handset has the primary camera at the center top with LED flash right below it. The speaker grill lies at the base of the rear panel.
The micro USB 2.0 port is at the bottom edge of the device while the top edge houses the 3.5 mm audio jack.
The Eluga A3 Pro has a metal uni-body and even for a metal body, the smartphone felt pretty light weight in hands. It offers a comfortable grip which makes it easy to hold in hands and use with one hand as well. Although it's a bit of a challenge to reach every corner of the smartphone while using it with just one hand.
Eluga A3 Pro looks decent although it is nowhere close to killer looks of Eluga Arc which is a fabulous smartphone for a reasonable price.
Camera: Responds well in low light conditions
Panasonic Eluga A3 Pro has an 8MP front facing camera which responds quite well in low light conditions and captures well saturated and well-lit pictures. It certainly captures life-like pictures as promised by Panasonic.
The rear camera is a 13MP snapper with phase detection auto focus which is pretty quick. The rear camera does not compromise with the quality of the image and hence the photos it captures are not too noisy, It does not blow the highlights and develops an optimally exposed picture.
User Interface: Clean stock version with few enhancements
The user interface is stock Android version which inadvertently concludes that the UI is pretty basic and very few elements that may cause a lag in operating the handset.
One of the major enhancement for Eluga A3 Pro is the virtual AI assistant support. Panasonic has named its virtual assistant ARBO. Although we could not put ARBO to its best use due to unaccounted reasons it will certainly not be as good as Siri. Since Panasonic claims it to be an AI assistant we will certainly see several improvements in its functioning with time.
Performance: Quick switching between apps!
Although it would be too early to judge the performance of the device I can assure you that the device will perform smoothly. Switching between apps was quick and also apps opened up without too much of a lag.
Of course, an elaborate and extensive performance test is due for the device but the first impression it left was satisfactory enough.
Conclusion: Decent enough yet not a catch!
Panasonic has certainly offered a decent device in the price range however it isn't anywhere close to a catch. It leaves an overall impression of an average Android smartphone. We hope upcoming Panasonic smartphones have better looks to offer.
We will provide you an in-depth review of Panasonic Eluga A3 Pro soon enough. Keep an eye out on our smartphone review section.