It’s a phone. No, it’s a camera: hands-on with the Panasonic Lumix CM1

by: Joshua VergaraJanuary 9, 2015

Panasonic announced the Lumix DMC-CM1 last year, but the Japanese company hit CES this week to announce that the attractive hybrid camera-phone would be coming stateside by way of AT&T and T-Mobile.

As a huge Panasonic fan, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the Lumix CM1 for a quick spin. The device isn’t the first attempt to marry an Android smartphone to a point-and-shoot, but is the CM1 any better? We find out in this quick look!

panasonic cm1 first look aa (22 of 22)

The simplest way to describe the Lumix CM1 is it’s an Android smartphone on the front and a point-and-shoot on the back. Panasonic refers to it as a camera primarily, but you’d be forgiven to think it’s just another Android smartphone by looking at its front, which is all-screen.

panasonic cm1 first look aa (14 of 22)

Integrating a camera into a smartphone means size and weight are way above average. The CM1 is 21.1 millimeters thick (about three times the size of an Xperia Z3, for instance) and weighs 204 grams, but that’s actually not bad for what the device offers.

panasonic cm1 first look aa (5 of 22)

The square corners, metallic sides, and textured plastic cover are all fairly typical for point-and-shoot cameras. The large lens module is surrounded by a ridged ring, and protrudes out, but not enough to make the device hard to hold or difficult to slip into a jeans pocket.

panasonic cm1 first look aa (15 of 22)

Specifications of the phone include an excellent 4.7-inch Full HD panel (465-ppi), a Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD slot, and a 2,600-mAh battery. The device runs a stock version of Android 4.4.4, that will give you the typical KitKat smartphone user experience.

panasonic cm1 first look aa (12 of 22)

The camera on the front is an average 1.1MP, but, of course, the rear shooter is anything but average. The Lumix CM1 features a large 1-inch sensor with 20 MP resolution, Leica optics with a f/2.8 lens, OIS, and an LED flash. There’s no optical zoom unfortunately, probably to keep size down. This isn’t a DSLR-replacement by any means, but the specs should be enough in many situations – after all, the best camera is the one you have with you, and with its phone alter-ego, the CM1 will be carried around extensively.

panasonic cm1 first look aa (11 of 22)

The camera app on the Lumix CM1 emulates the controls of a Panasonic point-and-shoot, and anyone who is familiar with Lumix products will feel right at home. There’s the usual bevy of controls, for things like exposure and aperture, plus many automatic modes for those times you just want to snap a quick shot.

The CES floor is no place to test a camera, but with the Lumix CM1 heading to the states, we hope we’ll get the chance to take Panasonic’s camera-phone for a shootout soon.

Stay tuned to Android Authority for more coverage of the CM1 and the other weird and wonderful things coming out of CES 2015.

  • crutchcorn

    I can’t wait to see more! :) The camera comparisons (shoot outs) are what I’m really waiting for.

  • Looks like they either don’t have the Android skin ready or they’re going completely stock besides the optic stuff. Please keep this stock Android with Panasonic apps

    • Paul

      They said it’s stock. The only thing they added was a custom camera app designed to mimic the standard Panasonic camera interface, which is awesome, since it should be very easy to offer updates to the OS in the future

  • Marty

    Sounds great. A Panasonic smartphone and camera combined. I’m in. :)

  • Rick_Deckard

    The real question is…. How good is the new Lumix going to be than the Lumia 1020?

    • Paul

      Better, since it runs android and not Windows phone. All biases aside, android offers a lot more programs and support. Better image editing apps right on the phone itself. Better video editing, cropping, adding audio overlays all on the camera phone itself. Lumia may have amazing hardware and a decent OS but the third party program support will limit just what you can do on the device itself.

    • OyVeyzMeir

      Far better. Bigger sensor, better lens. I have a 1020 and played with the CM1 in Germany. can’t wait to see US pricing.

  • true

    bring it on! was hoping something like this would happen :)

  • Paul M

    given the size of the glass elements, I think the lens ring is much bigger than it needs to be.

  • Josh Gilman

    This actually doesn’t seem like a gimmick. I’d be down if the screen was bigger.

  • Žilvinas

    Looks nice, 2 in 1.