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Panasonic Eluga Power packs ICS, 5-inch screen

Panasonic has unwrapped its second UK smart phone in as many weeks, with the Eluga Power coming ICS-ready.

Panasonic only revealed last week it was launching its smart phones in the UK, and now there's a second handset coming our way. And this one's higher-specced than the first.

The Panasonic Eluga Power comes with Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android. And it's huge too, with its 5-inch LCD screen verging on Samsung Galaxy Note territory. So Panasonic phones are coming to the UK in a big way, not least in the amount of shelf space they'll take up.

As you'd expect from the company behind the award-winning Lumix range of cameras, the in-built imaging looks pretty impressive. The Eluga Power has an 8-megapixel snapper with autofocus, auto scene recognition and 8x digital zoom. It'll record videos at 1080p HD, and there's a front-facing camera too.

Despite these impressive specs, the handset manages to be just 9.6mm thick, and weighs just 133g. Panasonic is also bigging up its superfast charging -- plug it in, and half an hour later it should have 50 per cent juice.

The screen is HD, with a 1,280x720-pixel resolution. Behind the scenes, a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor beavers away at 1.5GHz. Internal memory stands at 8GB, though you can add another 32GB with a microSD card. NFC tech is also on board, for touching on sensors to pay for items and swap info. And like the basic Eluga, it's waterproof and dustproof, with an international rating of IP57.

It's also well connected, with Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi and USB 2.0. I'm waiting to hear back from Panasonic about pricing and availability.

We went hands-on with the waterproof Eluga last week, so have a look at our video and photos, and read our first impressions. The Eluga Power, meanwhile, looks mighty impressive -- though I'm still not sold on 5 inches for a phone, it's just too unwieldy. We'll be attempting to wrap our hands around it at Mobile World Congress this week, so stay tuned to mwc.cnet.co.uk.

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