Most of us are comfortable with the concept of cameras in our phones. Some of those phone cameras have gotten pretty decent over the years. Maybe not anything you’d want to take to any kind of significant event, but in many situations better than not having any camera.
Panasonic has decided to take the camera/phone integration to the next level with the Lumix Phone 101P, available in Japan where they seem to get all the good toys first.
The Lumix phone packs a 13.2-megapixel CMOS Lumix sensor coupled with an Android phone running 2.3 (Gingerbread) on a dual core 1 GHz TI cpu. There are many of the usual camera software tools available, like Intelligent Auto.
On the back it sports a 4-inch QHD LCD screen with 960×540 resolution.
Besides both W-CDMA and GSM the Japanese models also include Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, wifi support, and a digital TV tuner.
The body is advertised as waterproof, but just how waterproof that is remains to be seen.
Either way, I want one. This isn’t going to replace my Canon 7D anytime soon, but it sure might replace my point-and-shoot and it will definitely replace my regular phone.
What’s more interesting is what this phone/camera may signal for the future of electronic news gathering. With a phone like this and wireless keyboard it would be possible to grab some pictures and movies and duck into a nearby coffee shop to file your stories, where you can also pay for your coffee with the integrated e-wallet. No laptop required. While that may not be this device, it may be something very similar.
Stay tuned for pricing and availability in the U.S. when announced.