If you're as interested in Panasonic's return to the global smartphone game as we are, then no doubt you're aware of the ELUGA Power, a beefed-up version of their primary ELUGA Android phone with a bigger screen and battery. The device just went up for pre-order at United Kingdom-based electronics retailer Clove, and at present it's set to ship sometime in April. The phone is going for £399 unlocked (about $636 USD) and £478.80 after value-added taxes.
The ELUGA Power bumps up the original's 4.3-inch screen to a full five inches, placing it squarely in the same category as the Samsung Galaxy Note and LG Optimus Vu. Its battery gets a slight bump to 1800mAh, though it must be sad that that's nowhere near the Note (2500) or Vu (2080), and all the big-screen phones will guzzle electricity when compared to mare conservative phones. The screen is a full 720p panel. Impressively both ELUGAs are launching with Ice Cream Sandwich, and Panasonic is one of the only manufacturers we've seen that's embracing ICS's virtual navigation buttons.
Elsewhere you get a 1.5ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, NFC capability, just 8GB of on-board storage (plus a MicroSD card slot), and an 8-megapixel camera. To accommodate the larger size, the ELUGA Power is 9.6mm thick - not skinny, but not excessively plump, either. The phone is IP57-certified dust and water resistant, and Panasonic has crammed in some battery magic that will recharge the phone up to 50% in just 20 minutes. Currently Panasonic has no publicized plans to offer the ELUGA or any other Android smartphone in North America.