In the current Xiaomi onslaught, it’s tough for any handset maker to carve a decent share for itself in the competitive Indian smartphone market. It’s even tougher if the company chooses to launch a phone that directly competes with Redmi Note 4—according to IDC, Redmi Note 4 is the highest selling smartphone in the country.
So what chance does the new Eluga Ray 700 recently launched by Panasonic in India have as far as market share is concerned? More importantly, is the Eluga Ray 700 as good as the Redmi Note 4, or even better?
As far as design is concerned, the Eluga Ray 700 has the regular 5.5-inch phone design, yet it stands out because of the stylish metallic finish, making it look sleek. While most phones of this size come in black or grey or while colours, the Eluga Ray 700 is available in three interesting colours: Champagne Gold, Mocha Gold and Marine Blue. The 5.5-inch full HD IPS 2.5D curved display is just like any other phone in its segment. The company says that the 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3 provides extra protection and keeps the display free from scratches and other damages.
Its rear camera is the 13-MP Sony IMX 258 with a technology called Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF). It’s essentially a high-speed auto focus technology generally used in DSLR cameras. The front camera is also a 13-MP unit and has a flash function for low-light conditions, making the phone a good choice for selfie enthusiasts. Both the cameras click photos that are good enough for not only your most social networking needs, but even for A4 size colour printing. For storing multimedia, there is a 32-GB inbuilt memory that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card slot.
Powering the phone is the 1.3 GHz octa-core processor and 3 GB RAM, and though these are not best-in-segment specifications, I never found any performance issues, and had quick access to internet and almost all smartphone operations. Even while using multiple apps, the phone didn’t hang.
Finding a charger every now and then is not a matter of concern. The Eluga Ray 700 has a powerful 5000mAh battery, which just goes on and on. In fact, I never used a power bank for the entire duration of the month I had the phone with me.
One of the best things about this Panasonic is the multimedia experience it provides. In fact, it’s a complete entertainment centre. It boasts of a full HD video playback with up to 17-and-a-half hours of claimed playback time. Add to that, its K-class amplifier sound system speaker that provides very clear sound. Again, my TV viewing time reduced considerably during the month I used the phone.
Overall, the Eluga Ray 700 promises a lot, and then delivers. As far as comparison with the Redmi Note 4 is concerned, while the latter enjoys an edge in certain areas, like a slightly better processor, in everyday usage the Eluga Ray 700 appears to be just as good, and then slightly better—better front camera, better battery, and a better choice of colours.