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