Pre-orders have started today for Panasonic's latest beast of an Android smartphone, the ELUGA Power. The 5-inch device debuted at Mobile World Congress 2012, where we spent some hands-on time with it and its smaller 4.3-inch sibling, the ELUGA. Despite the prototype seeming a bit rushed with Android acting glitchy during our time with the ELUGA Power, UK electronics retailer Clove is already set to take pre-orders for the device with a ship date set for late April.
The Panasonic ELUGA Power sports a massive 5-inch 720p HD display, which means a resolution of 1280 x 720. It features a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, an 8-megapixel AF camera capable of 1080p Full HD video recording, and 8GB of onboard storage, expandable up to another 32GB via its microSD card slot.
The ELUGA Power has a slender profile of only 9.6mm thick, which feels incredibly thin when paired with its large 5-inch footprint. It's extremely lightweight at only 133g and boasts IP57 international standard for water- and dust-proofing. This means it can survive in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes.
Embedded NFC technology in the ELUGA Power supports emerging wireless payment services and data transfer capabilities, while a large 1800mAh battery with Panasonic's unique power-saving technology ensures a longer battery life, although talk and standby times weren't revealed. Panasonic also says that the device takes only 30 minutes to charge up to 50% and 57 minutes to reach 80%.
The device will be hitting Europe in late April, priced at £399 (£478.80 inc. VAT) or about $530 US. However, details for its US release have not been announced yet.