Rumor: Panasonic to launch an Android phone with a Lumix camera next week

Panasonic is going to enter the European smartphone market this year with the Eluga. It’s sexy, has an eating disorder with its 7.8 mm thin body, and it’s even water resistant, but we want more. According to the folks at Pocket-lint, Panasonic will announce a phone that’s even higher end than the Eluga at Mobile World Congress next week. It’s said to have a larger screen than the Eluga, which already comes in at 4.3 inches diagonal, but what’s going to make it important is that it’ll feature Lumix imagining technology. Now some companies are already well recognized for the photo taking abilities of their devices. The Apple iPhone 4S, Nokia N8, and Samsung Galaxy S II, are arguably the best camera phones on the market. So imagine what’s going to happen when Panasonic shoves their Lumix sensors and optics into the one device that’s always within your reach? We’re potentially looking at the best thing to ever happen to Android since the creation of the Nexus program.

Now on the flip side this can also turn into a disaster. Panasonic can just slap a Lumix logo on the back of a smartphone and say: “Look! It’s Lumix, so it’s got to be good!” Sony does the same thing all the time with their smartphones. They never shut up about their Bravia displays or Exmor camera sensors, when in reality they do absolutely nothing to make a smartphone more compelling. All that being said, Panasonic does sell some pretty ridiculous camera phones in Japan. The P-02D for DoCoMo springs to mind. From the back of the device it looks like any other point and shoot camera, yet when you flip it over you see the all too familiar Android Gingerbread hardware buttons.

Is the P-02D going to be the basis for this as yet to be announced device?

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