We all want better cameras in our smartphones, companies have been improving the quality of the sensors and they have even integrated technologies in these devices that were exclusive to digital cameras such as xenon flashes and optical zoom capabilities. While smartphones have been getting thinner over time, camera components still take a lot of space, so it’s fairly common to see smartphone designs with camera humps, especially in camera-centric handsets. Panasonic might be better known for making other electronics, but the company has released some smartphones over time, including last year’s Lumix CM1, which reflects the experience that the company has got in the imaging department.
Now, Panasonic is unveiling the Lumix branded DMC-CM10, which looks almost exactly like the phone that was released last year. Additionally, it shares many internal components as well, such as the Snapdragon 801 processor and the 2 GB of RAM that take care of apps and other tasks. The internal storage is still 16 GB and it can be expanded using microSD cards. There’s also a 4.7-inch Full HD display and while the older phone had to be updated to Android Lollipop, the CM10 runs this version of Android out of the box. Of course, the large camera sensor is also returning on the new device. It features a 1.0-inch 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 28 mm f/.28 Leica lens. There’s even a mechanical ring around the lens for further adjustments as if you were indeed using a regular camera. There seems to be a dual-tone LED flash and the camera is capable of recording 4K video.
So why would Panasonic use the somewhat outdated internals of the older phone into a new device? Apparently the company will no longer market the CM10 as a smartphone as it is more of a smart camera. The reason is that while there’s a micro SIM tray, users won’t be able to use this device to make voice calls and probably they won’t be able to send SMS either. Still, the company brought 4G LTE connectivity, dual-band WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth to the CM10, so it can be used to geo-tag your photos and share them instantly on social media apps. The CM10 will launch on January 25th in Japan, and while it would be reasonable to think that it would be priced a little lower for the lack of phone capabilities, it still costs 100,000 yen (around $849).