Eluga Ray Max is the only budget smartphone that comes with two artficial intellgence assistant­s – Google Assistance and Panasonic’s own Arbo.

Panasonic has decided to gate crash Motorola G5’s domain with the Eluga Ray Max. Motorola has managed to stand the test of time by seeing off many new phones from Chinese manufacturers, but will the Eluga Max Ray be able to put a dent into G5’s success? We find out.

New features
The Eluga Max Ray boasts of its own in-house developed artificial intelligence-based virtual assistant Arbo. This AI keeps a tab on your activities and also gives you helpful suggestions depending on the time and your location based on your daily activities like calls and messages. There is a dial like pop up which shows the apps you might need. It will customise the app list according to the time and place or location, but keep in mind that you need to give Arbo a bit of time to work out your daily patterns. Not only does it identify your schedule, it also frames and sends out messages and calls based on your day-to-day itinerary. The concept is good, but there are some glitches and it’s not a smooth transition.

Apart from having Arbo as your personal virtual assistant, the Eluga Max Ray also comes with Google Assistant. It is more interactive, accurate and provides more information quickly, based on your previous questions and searches.

Screen and design
The Eluga Max Ray’s back metal panel gives it a solid well-built feel. Not only does it make it sturdy, but with a slight curve on the back, it is easier to hold in the palm of your hand. The volume and power buttons can be accessed easily. The Eluga Max Ray’s home button doubles up as a finger sensor on the front panel. It reads accurately and recognises fingerprints in a jiffy.

The 5.2-inch Full HD screen has a decent touch response and manages to balance the contrast and colour level quite well, thanks to a resolution display of 1920×1080 pixels, even though it’s not the brightest display. It’s good to see Panasonic going out of the way to ensure the screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. After all the display is the most vulnerable part of a mobile phone.

Under the panel
This dual-SIM phone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and has 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal memory, which can be expanded to 128GB via microSD card. Apart from adding Arbo as a third-party app, Panasonic has more or less not tinkered around with the operating system, which keeps it simple and user-friendly without adding unnecessary bulk to the processor.

The Eluga Ray Max is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, which managed to run both social media apps and HD content on YouTube without any issues. It did tend to show some lag when we played heavy game files. The 3,000mAh battery is very impressive as it managed to last the entire day, keeping in mind it does come with two artificial intelligence-based virtual assistants. It also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.

Shutterbug
The rear camera sports a 16-megapixel unit, which is an honest trier and manages to capture decent images at a well-lit surrounding. It tries to capture the natural colours without over saturating it like many new age camera phones do nowadays. When zoomed in, the image noise is less and doesn’t pixelate, which is another feather in the cap for this Eluga Ray Max. Shooting indoors can be a problem as focusing is an issue in low light conditions. The 8-megapixel front camera takes decent selfies as it also comes with a flash.

Verdict
Panasonic Eluga Ray Max has a lot of positives like the clutter free operationg system, two artificial intelligence-based virtual assistants, decent full HD 5.2-inch screen and 16-megapixel camera with a superb battery life. Panasonic has also managed to get the pricing spot on – Rs.11,499 for 32GB and Rs.12,499 for 64GB, but it doesn’t offer anything new as most are already available in the market. Therefore, it is a smart phone allrounder, which is a value-for-money phone.

Editor's Rating
6.67/10 Overall Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Camera 6.0