Is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 a Camera or a Smartphone?

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The proliferation of camera-enabled smartphones has taken a bite out of the camera-only industry, but the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 is a forthcoming device that appears ready to bite back.

Panasonic Lumix CM1Labeled a “smart camera” by Panasonic, the Lumix CM1 is basically a great camera inside a decent Android smartphone that lets users take calls, get texts, read their email, take 20-megapixel snapshots, and record 4K video. On the front side, it appears to be a super slender shooter with a f/2.8 Leica DC Elmarit lens that can be hand manipulated to get the desired photographic results. On the back side, it’s a 4.7-inch full HD Android touchscreen.

Between the two there exists a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 with 2 GB RAM running Android 4.4. Internal storage is limited to 16 GB but can be expanded by inserting a microSD card with up to 128 GB.

At double the thickness of the new iPhone 6 Plus, the CM1’s photo taking prowess pretty much trumps every other camera-enabled smartphone on the market — including the iPhone 6, which only has a 1/3-inch sensor compared to the CM1’s full-inch MOS sensor.

No pricing is available as of yet, but that’s just as well considering U.S. consumers won’t even be able to get their hands on the CM1 until 2015 at earliest. The camera/smartphone is set for release in December in the French and German tech markets.

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