If you care about cameras, chances are the Panasonic CM1 was high atop your must-have list when it was announced in September. Unfortunately, the device wasn’t exactly accessible to folks here in the U.S., but that’s changing later this summer. Panasonic on Monday said the device will arrive as an unlocked GSM version for $1,000. Not cheap, and probably something 99-percent of consumers won’t buy. But just imagine toting this thing around on your next vacation. Phone plus camera equals some pretty incredible selfies.
The device itself is no slouch; it’s essentially a quick Android 4.4 smartphone with a hefty camera glued on back. The CM1 sports a 4.7-inch 1080p screen, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, 2600mAh battery and 16GB of expandable storage (up to 128GB). That… yeah. Sounds good to me, though it’s never a good idea to base something off specs alone; it has to offer a solid user experience in order for this to be worth your time. (For what it’s worth, early impressions over in Europe aren’t overly positive.)
But since this guy isn’t hitting the U.S. until summer, perhaps it’ll give Panasonic time to tighten up the experience to make the CM1 a viable competitor. Right now the device is a KitKat-only affair, but hopefully we’ll see a nice bump to Lollipop when all is said and done.
The camera portion touts a 20-megapixel 1-inch image sensor and Leica DC Elmarit lens. Hoo-boy. There’s also a slick manual lens ring, giving users the ability to change settings like shutter, aperture, ISO and more. You can even record in 4K, which is a nice little bonus. This is more of an enthusiast device than anything else; a camera first and phone second. If that’s your thing, and you’re here in America, start saving up your money now.