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A smartphone you can take for a swim: Hands on with Panasonic’s waterpoof Eluga

Editor’s note: We mistakenly refer to the Eluga as a Samsung device in the beginning of the video.

Panasonic may be better known for 3D TVs and cameras than smartphones, but here at Mobile World Congress 2012, the company is showing off the Eluga, a thin new smartphone with some of the same rugged attributes as its bulletproof ToughBook laptops. No, you can’t drop it on pavement, but Panasonic has safeguarded the Eluga against another type of common smartphone accident: Dropping it in water. At 7.8 mm thin at 103 grams, it’s also super thin and lightweight. Unfortunately, as we found in our hands-on demo, it also seems a little sluggish for having a 1GHz dual-core processor, and it’s still running Android Gingerbread. Panasonic plans to launch the phone at a price to be determined in April, but only in Europe for the time being.