Panasonic’s quest to make a successful smartphone continues. I’ve reviewed many of the major smartphones from Panasonic’s stable throughout the year – and most of them didn’t really manage to impress me. Panasonic’s latest smartphone is the Eluga Mark 2 that tries really hard to be an attention seeker, and given the price point it will take on phones like Redmi Note 3, Lenovo K5 and now K6 Power series.
Panasonic still needs one big hit smartphone, and the Eluga Mark 2 is the latest attempt in this. Here’s our review for the phone.
Specifications: 5.5-inch HD (1280×720)|MediaTek’s MT6753 octa-core processor|3GB RAM + 32GB expandable to 128GB via microSD card | 13MP rear +5 MP front camera | 3,000mAh battery with fast charging support | Android 6.0|IR Sensor
Price: Rs 10,499
What is good?
Panasonic Eluga Mark 2 is slim, sleek and feels great in hand, which came as a bit of a surprise. Aesthetically, this phone has a pleasing design and form factor. It has a metal unibody design and a sturdy build. Panasonic has done a good job in reducing the thickness of the phone. This one easily fits in pants pockets without any issues.
The front is dominated by a large 5.5-inch display. I think the Mark 2 being the 5.5-inch smartphone should appeal to those users who want a big phone. However, I would like to add that the 5.5-inch display has a low resolution of 720p, instead of a FHD panel (1080p). The pixel density is low, but colours are not dull. If you want to watch or stream movies on a phone, expect a DVD-like quality on the Mark 2.
Eluga Mark 2 isn’t the most powerful smartphone on the market today, but I found its performance to be satisfactory. Throughout my everyday use of the Mark 2, I haven’t experienced any hiccups and it didn’t slow down. Under the hood is an octa-core processor (MT6753) and 3GB RAM. This isn’t the top-tier processor, instead a lower tier chipset. Nevertheless, I could play casual games, watch YouTube videos, browse the web, take pictures and the phone still held well. However, I did struggle to run Real Racing 3 on the Mark 2.
What I really liked about the Mark 2 is its ability to deliver clear sound through a single, bottom-mounted speaker. The Mark 2’s speakers produced results that exceeded my expectations.
The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Panasonic has given the Eluga Mark 2 a mostly stock Android look, adding a few bloatware apps. The user interface functions just like a plain Android smartphone. If you don’t like the Custom UI on a phone, then the Mark 2 is for you. As I mentioned earlier, Panasonic pushes a few bundled apps on the phone – although you can uninstall most of them from the device.
What’s not good?
Although the Eluga Mark 2’s design is decent. I wouldn’t exactly call it as sensational. The phone even though is crafted from metal, is instantly familiar. The Mark 2 does look like any other smartphone on the market today, and that’s the reality.
I have a soft corner for smartphones with excellent cameras. But the 13-megapixel camera on the Eluga Mark 2 is not capable of delivering respectable shots. The phone’s camera hold its own in daylight conditions. However, the phone’s sensor struggled to focus properly, and most importantly, colours were muted as well. Low-light photographs were disappointing too.
The 5-megapixel front shooter works fine in outdoor settings. The best results came in daytime lighting. I found the Eluga Mark 2 to be mostly lacking in the camera department. The quality of captured images aren’t great. But yes, it’s completely fine for uploading to social media.
A 3,000mAh battery powers the Eluga Mark 2. Since I used the phone as my secondary device I was expecting it to last much more. With brightness set to automatic and Wi-Fi enabled, the phone struggled to last 7 hours by the end of a working day. For a device with a 720p display and not-so-powerful processor, the battery drained very quickly.
Eluga Mark 2 is a good looking phone that runs a stock-like interface. Though users have a lot of choices in this price band – Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Lenovo K6 Power, Coolpad Note 5, and Motorola Moto G4. The Mark 2 doesn’t have anything special that makes it different from the competition. For now, it’s hard to recommend, the Eluga Mark 2 given the tough competition in this segment.