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Panasonic Eluga waterproof Android phone on sale today

The waterproof Android-powered Panasonic Eluga is on sale now for £365.

Like the Roman Emperor Claudius returning after Julius Ceasar was driven out a hundred years before, Panasonic phones are back in Britain today. The waterproof Android-powered Panasonic Eluga is on sale now.

Online retailer Expansys has the Eluga on sale now, free of a contract, for £365 with free delivery. At the time of writing there are just 27 in stock -- so if you want one, stop reading this and go and place your bid. Seriously -- what are you stil reading this for, off you go.

Have they gone? Good, now where were we? Ah yes: the Eluga is Panasonic's first Android smart phone to hit the UK, and its first phone outside Japan since 2005. It packs a 1GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera and 8GB of memory for your music and movies.

Did we mention it's waterproof? No panic if this 4.3-inch phone slips from your fingers into your refreshing summer beverage, or escapes your pocket to make a splash in the loo.

The Eluga isn't bang-up-to-date with Android: it runs the version known as Gingerbread for now, but Panasonic plans to update to Ice Cream Sandwich next month. As always with Ice Cream Sandwich updates, we'll believe it when we see it.

The Eluga was scheduled to go on sale next week -- how refreshing for a phone to hit shops early instead of being delayed. We expect phone networks to start offering it at some stage, but for now you can snap up the SIM-free model and choose a cheap deal. You can get the Eluga in black today, and a silver model is due next week.

There's still no word on the beefed-up Panasonic Eluga Power yet, however, which adds a more powerful processor and Ice Cream Sandwich from the kick-off. The Eluga Power is expected later in the year.

Are you keen to give Panasonic's first Android phone a chance to impress? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.