Among the horde of foreign players that are set to wipe out home-grown brands, there is one particular player Panasonic which is trying to make a safe space for itself in the Indian smartphone market by consistently pushing Japanese product innovation and quality.
The latest innovation from the company comes in the form of "Arbo" -- an in-house artificial intelligence (AI)-based virtual assistant to ease the hectic and fast-paced lifestyles. With the Arbo-recipe baked neatly into the smartphones, the company is now vigorously positioning itself as the intelligent phone maker.
The first smartphone that came with Arbo were -- Eluga Ray Max and Eluga Ray X. Earlier this month, Panasonic added two new smartphones to the Arbo-powered 'Eluga' family – and launched Eluga A3 and A3 Pro, priced at Rs 11,290 and Rs 12,790. Here, we will be looking at Eluga A3 Pro.
Simple yet neat design
As seen on the previous devices, Panasonic tries to keep the design as simple as possible yet preserving the neat finish. Same goes with Eluga A3 Pro that features metal body with rounded contoured corners with a ray of silver running across the periphery.
The fingerprint scanner is integrated onto the home button on the front, power on/off and volume buttons are placed on the right side, SIM tray on the left, and you will find the camera at the back with LED situated below it.
What exactly is Arbo and how can it help you?
To put it simply, Arbo is a virtual assistant programme developed to understand user’s interaction with the smartphone and later provides suggestions when user unlocks. To use Arbo, you will be needed to first create an account. You can create an account with any valid Google email id which will be considered as your final ID.
Unlike Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, Arbo does not have a voice interface to listen to your queries and replying to them. However, in the present version, Arbo chases you when you change settings (time and location of change), and tracks calls and app usage and will give you relevant suggestions based on these parameters. But all of these suggestions come after almost a day, as Panasonic says Arbo needs at least 24 hours’ post account creation to start recommending suggestions to a user.
In my usage with Arbo, the suggestions initially were not as accurate but became more relevant as Arbo collected information on my usage behaviour.
Panasonic smartphones are not considered to be power houses and Eluga A3 Pro is no exception. With 3GB RAM and fuelled by 1.3Ghz octa-core processor, the Panasonic Eluga A3 Pro delivers standard performance and is capable of executing daily tasks without much hindrance. However, at times, I did notice the device being hanged for a couple of seconds even while just opening Instagram.
Apart from that, the 5.2-inch HD display produced good colours with good contrast ratio in both dark and light scenes. The shades of black, grey, blue and green were beautifully rendered on the screen.
The device runs on stock Android 7.0 Nougat operating and comes with pre-bundled apps such as Amazon Prime Video, Xender, Uber, Amazon Shopping etc. The OS experience is fluidic.
The speaker grille located at the back of the device produced sound good enough when in close proximity.
The 13MP rear camera is better for shooting when there is enough light and is not suited for low light conditions. The 8MP front snapper is good for selfie lovers and clicks good pictures. Below are the sample images.
Even with the close up shots, the colours are not lively.
The camera comes with inbuilt features like High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), face beauty and panorama modes.
Long lasting battery
The Panasonic Eluga A3 Pro comes with a huge 4,000mAh battery and ran through two full days on a single charge. Even with Arbo turned on, that uses internet to connect to transfer data to the Cloud server doesn’t have any adverse impact on the smartphone’s battery.
The Panasonic Eliuga A3 Pro is a neat looking smartphone that offers mediocre performance. However, the main USP of A3 Pro -- being powered by virtual assistant Arbo is still in works and it might take a longer time to be actually useful for consumers.