Last month, in an event in New Delhi, Panasonic has launched the company’s latest smartphone in the Eluga Ray series – Eluga Ray X in India at a price tag of Rs. 8,999. The smartphone comes in Rose Gold, Space Grey & Gold colors and the smartphone available on Flipkart starting from 17th April 2017. The smartphone targeted in the affordable segment and the main nightlight of the smartphone is that the smartphone comes with Arbo, the artificial intelligence-based virtual assistant. According to Panasonic, Arbo is derived from Esperanto and it means “a framework that supports climbing plans”. While using the smartphone, the virtual assistant monitors user behavior and with its “location identification” feature it “recognizes the places often visited by the user” and based on this, Arbo sends out prompt responses & telling the user to make changes in their phone settings. In addition to this, the virtual assistant takes care of all the daily tasks and activities like calls, message, etc.

Last week I received the Panasonic Eluga Ray X and got enough time to play with it. Based on the time spent with it, sharing my initial experience with you. For your information, the Arbo is not installed on the phone but at the launch event, I got the chance to try it out.

Arbo: Panasonic AI-based Virtual Assistant:
As said above, the main nightlight of the smartphone is that it comes with Arbo, AI-based personal virtual assistant and it learns from your usage & habit pattern. It offers you suggestions based on what apps you use most and along this, it also provides easy-access shortcuts options to you. As said above, Arbo is not available in the review unit but at the launch event, got the chance to experience it in the demo units. At the launch event, Panasonic said that the Arbo will be available as an over-the-air update on the Eluga Ray X smartphone.

When compared with another smartphone in this price segment, Panasonic Eluga Ray X comes as a winner. To make it clear, the Arbo isn’t an app, it’s an AI-based virtual assistant that simply studies your usage habits and make suggestions accordingly. For example, at the launch event, Panasonic official said that, if you have to make a Skype call at noon every day, then the app will give a reminder that it’s time to make Skype call. Like this, other tasks & reminders will be sent out to you based on your appointment or plans. You can also tweak the various settings within the app by controlling how much access it has to your apps & data. If by chance, you didn’t like it, then you can deactivate it entirely.

As soon as you unlock the smartphone, the Arbo, AI-based virtual assistant launches instantly. if you do not like this, you can also disable this feature. The Arbo will be company’s take on Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft Cortana and the Samsung’s Bixby.

Design:
The smartphone has a metal design and it is made from aircraft grade alloy that not only adds durability but also offers a premium feel when you hold the smartphone in your hand. During my usage, I found Panasonic Eluga Ray X, a quite sturdy, solid smartphone that can be used with one hand only. For your knowledge, the smartphone has the pretty good form factor and doesn’t feel bulkier while using.

On the right-hand side of the smartphone, you will find the volume & power buttons while on the left-hand side there is nothing. At the bottom, you will find there is a microphone & microUSB 2.0 port for charging the smartphone & transferring the data while at the top, you will find 3.5mm headphone jack. The smartphone measures 10.5mm at its thinnest point and has rounded edges & curved rear panels that offer good grips in hands.

Display:
The Panasonic Eluga Ray X features 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Talking about the display, you will get a theatre-like experience at home and the touch is quite responsive. The color tones are quite natural in outdoor conditions.

Camera:
The Panasonic Eluga Ray X features 13MP rear camera with LED flash and 5MP front camera with LED flash. You can click beautiful selfies in low-light conditions and comes with “Beauty” modes.

Hardware and Software:
The smartphone is powered by 1.3GHz quad-core processor which is paired with 3GB of RAM for multitasking. The smartphone runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system and there is no bloatware like another smartphone which means it offers lag-free user experience.

Connectivity and Battery:

The smartphone has Dual SIM card support with dual standby and comes with connectivity features like 4G VoLTE support, OTG support, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM, and GPS.

The smartphone packs 4000mAh battery and according to my usage, it lasts for a whole day.

Verdict:

With the soon available Arbo, AI-based virtual assistant, the Panasonic Eluga Ray X is value for money smartphone and should be a preferred choice over another smartphone.

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