Panasonic's Eluga — the thin phone with the bizarre name — is the company's first shot at cracking into the colossal (and crowded) international smartphone market. In Japan, its Android phones (including its Lumix brand) are consistently top sellers, but idiosyncrasies like infrared and 1seg TV tuners make them a hard sell abroad. The solution? Creating a pared-down Android experience for the international market, without most of the bells and whistles we're used to seeing on Japanese devices like the company's P-02D.

The Eluga is just now being released in Europe, but the P-04D (on NTT Docomo) and the 102P (on SoftBank) are already widely available in Japan, and are exactly the same phone, aside from some very minor differences. I took a look at the P-04D to gauge whether its distinctive slim body, water- and dust-proofing, and one of the biggest screen-to-face ratios in the business are enough to set it apart from what's already out there, and if its 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8-megapixel camera have what it takes to compete with the new breed of 2012 smartphones. How does the P-04D fare? Let’s take a look.