Japan’s consumer electronics major Panasonic is attempting to bring such as a virtual buddy within the reach of the masses.
Virtual personal assistants like Siri from Apple, Microsoft’s Cortana or Google Assistant are designed to make our life relatively simple—they allow us to control our devices hands-free via voice commands and offer a speedy alternative to typing queries. Some even talk back to you and give out regular news, weather and sports updates. However, such non-human helpers are only available on the high-end devices.
Japan’s consumer electronics major Panasonic is attempting to bring such as a virtual buddy within the reach of the masses. The company’s two new smartphones—Eluga Ray Max and Eluga Ray X—now come equipped with Arbo, an Artificial Intelligence-based virtual assistant. We got the Eluga Ray Max for a product evaluation—let us check out its key features, including the much-touted virtual assistant.
The 4G and VOLTE enabled smartphone comes with a 5.2-inch IPS LCD screen. It weighs a mere 165g and sports a 16 MP rear camera with professional mode and an 8 MP front camera with a selfie flash, a feature which enables good selfies even in the darkest spots. The device is powered by 1.4 GHz 64bit octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor paired with 4 GB RAM and comes with 64 GB and 32 GB internal memory variants that can be expanded up to 128 GB. It is also equipped with a very good security feature, called the Front Finger Print sensor.
The new Panasonic phone runs on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) platform. It features a metal unibody along with USB 2.0 with OTG support, Ambient Light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor and houses a battery capacity of 3000mAh with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.
Eluga Ray Max has a simple user interface that is pleasing to the eye. Its Arbo is an interesting bit of software that brings to life a simple smartphone operation utilising artificial intelligence and a new user interface. The virtual assistant is a self-learning technology that understands user behaviour and then maps daily activities for them accordingly. With its location identification feature, it recognises places visited by the user and sends out prompt responses asking them to make changes to their phone settings.
I checked out the AI powered assistant and I was pretty impressed with it. It takes care of daily tasks and activities like calls and messages that need to be framed and sent out on a regular basis. It also keeps a detailed list of all the applications on the smartphone, gathers detailed information on their habits and informs them about it accordingly.
More specifically, using AI, the software will analyse user’s behaviour based on time and location. Then, according to the time or location, it will automatically display and make suggestions on screen such as frequently contacted phone numbers, applications, Wi-Fi, volume, settings, etc. In addition, it features a user interface that displays icons in a circular, radial fashion, enabling single-handed, intuitive operation. Panasonic India says it will continue to update this software, to expand the scope of automatic displays and suggestions, further evolve the user interface and enhance usability.
The Eluga Ray Max comes across as a great looking phone and has decent build quality. The camera quality is great and the call quality is crisp and clear at both ends. Its virtual assistant feature is pretty adept at doing the basic stuff, such as automating tasks, sending messages, finding information, and more. All in all, this Panasonic phone is competitively priced and is a decent performer.