If you thought that Panasonic was kidding when it announced some time ago that it intends to take Europe by storm with its new Eluga and Eluga Power smartphones, you thought wrong, boys and girls!

Less than a month after the official Japan release and just a couple of days after popping up for sale in Germany, the Eluga has started selling in the UK, with several other European markets expected to follow suite within a week or so. The smartphone is, for the time being, available for all you British blokes out there in an unlocked version, from Expansys. The model, without any carrier or network restrictions, retails for £369.99. That’s around €460, or $610, which you can’t say is an exaggerated price.

Okay, the Panasonic Eluga might not be powered by a quad-core processor or run Android Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, but it still should deliver enough raw power to satisfy a regular mobile user, plus, it comes with a really special design and a water-proof surface.

If you’re thinking about getting the unlocked Eluga phone from Expansys, you should know that only the silver model is available for sale, for now. The black version is still on pre-order, and, if you want that, you should wait for a couple more days. Also, keep in mind that the delivery might be a bit slow right now, with the British retailer warning that it could take up to five days for you to receive your device.

Inside that water-resistant and dustproof body, the Panasonic Eluga comes with a dual-core 1 GHz TI OMAP processor, as well as 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of on-board storage, a 4.3-inch screen with 960 x 540 pixels resolution, and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Panasonic’s new handheld is expected to hit major carriers in the UK and the rest of Europe, by the end of the month, while US availability is still kept under wraps. It’s possible for the phone to never hit the American market, but then again, if it will prove successful enough in the rest of the world, it might see the light of day in the US of A after all.

Keep in touch with our website for more details about the phone set to come our way soon! Also, please tell us what do you think about the Eluga and whether you’re considering purchasing a SIM free model from Expansys or holding out for a cheaper, carrier branded version.