Panasonic has a long history in India and is quiet a well known name among even among the semi-urban or rural areas thanks to them being in operations in India since the year 1972 in home appliances and TV segment. Infact they were one of the early mobile brands in India when the mobile Industry took off here but due went out of public memory when the headquarters at Japan decided to put a plug on the overseas operations of the mobile division. However, since 2012 they again spread overseas. In India they have had a not so aggressive journey so far but the company says that is going to change with them taking the full charge of the Indian operation having discontinued the joint venture they had previously here. So, Panasonic is poised for better times here and they have lined up an array of Smartphones for the Indian market in various price bands. The Eluga Ray and Eluga Ray Max has had a decent figures to tell for Panasonic in India having sold over 4 million units here.
What I got here for is the Panasonic A3 Pro which is priced at Rs 12,790 and which is available in all Panasonic brand shops and other retail outlets in India. It is backed by a 4000mAh battery and can read my Panasonic A3 Pro Review to know more about the Android Smartphone.
Design and Build quality
The A3 Pro has a metal design and the build quality is fairly good. The smartphone is available in Mocha Gold, Gold, and Grey colour options. The phone weighs 161 grams and measures 9.1mm in thickness. The rear tapers slightly to the edges, giving a comfortable hold. There is a chrome treatment to the sides and the side metal band has a brushed effect, which gives an interesting look to the phone.
The rear has a single camera placed at the middle, with a LED flash perched below it. Panasonic and Eluga branding can be found at the back. The top and bottom has the antenna lines. And a speaker grille nests on the bottom cap. The rear is smudge free.
The right side has the power button and the volume button and both offers good tactile feedback.
The top has a 3.5mm audio jack. You could see the brushed metal band around the side clearly in the pic below.
The bottom has a microUSB port and a microphone.
The A3 pro has a 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with a 1280 x 720 pixels HD resolution. It offers 282 pixels per inch. There are many who find the now popular 5.5-inch a tad bit for daily use and the 5.2-inch strikes the sweet spot for them. Its compact and yet offers a big screen for media consumption, browsing and other stuffs. The display is bright, may not be the best in the pack but not a bad deal either.
The display settings has the MiraVision settings for tuning the basic colors, changing around the color modes and tuning the sharpness and color temperature, in case you want to match the display quality to your liking. There is an adaptive brightness toggle, screen cast option. There is also a launcher app sort setting where you can choose to arrange the apps alphabetically , which is the default option or by recently installed sorting.
While most OEMs have a affinity for introducing their own UI and tweaking the Android heavily, Panasonic has opted for almost a stock android experience but with minor tweaks. You get app drawer too. The phone doesn’t offer much feature-wise unlike the heavily skimmed most other UIs. You do get a navigation bar setting where you can shift the position of the back and menu buttons. Since it runs on Android Nougat, A3 Pro also supports multi-tasking with its split screen feature. The UI could a bit of fine tuning and made sleeker though.
The A3 Pro is powered by MediaTek MT6753 chipset with an octa-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz , Mali T720MP3, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with around 22.6GB user available out of the box.
The phone comes with lot many pre-installed apps and some are Indian specific like Amazon India, PhonePe, V-PayQuik and other apps like Xender, K-Gallery, Cupcake Dreamland. The good thing is most of these apps can be uninstalled if you want to. The phone has FM player which many in India especially the segment that buy phones offline look for.
The fingerprint sensor works good and accurate when unlocking the phone though not the fastest I have seen. While the fingerprint setting says it can be used for app lock, I could not find the settings anywhere, so I assume it is not available.
One inclusion that Panasonic tout on their phones beginning with the Eluga Ray and Ray Max is their bet on artificial intelligence, Arbo that is integrated to the software.
While AI is the future the technology is leading us to, the Arbo is just a nascent concept. It gives suggestions as you keep using the phone but there is much Panasonic could bring with the advancement of the technology. As of date, the Arbo is still learning and miles to go before it works in unison with the user.
Call quality is good, the speaker quality is decent too.
With a 5.2″ display and a HD resolution, the battery demand is comparatively less and with a 4000mAh battery, the battery life of the A3 Pro is pretty good and people could very well like it for that.
Coming to the camera part, the Panasonic A3 Pro is equipped with a 13 MP, phase detection autofocus, LED flash at the rear and a 8-megapixel selfie camera at the front. The rear camera can shoot videos at 1080p (FHD) resolution.
The camera mode includes normal mode, a PIP (Picture in Picture) mode, panorama mode and 8 live filters. The selfie camera has a beauty mode. The volume key can be assigned to shoot, zoom while in the camera mode.
Now how are the pictures?
Android Orea is bringing the PIP camera mode but Panasonic is amongst the early adopters much before that. Both the camera work in unison be it on regular rear camera mode or when taking selfies when you choose the PIP mode. The camera quality is decent.
These days most phones come with the 5.5-inch display screen making it a bit too uncomfortable to use for some. The 5.2-inch display size of Panasonic A3 Pro makes it a compact device. The phone offers decent performance and combined with a good build quality and heavy battery life. For those who want a good battery life in a compact phone, the A3 Pro is a choice to look at.