When we reviewed the Panasonic P–04D last month, some of our major gripes with the device were its lack of Android 4.0, laggy performance, Pentile screen, glossy plastic construction, and the poor placement of the sleep / wake button. Well, today Panasonic and NTT Docomo are announcing a new handset — the Eluga V P–06D — that fixes pretty much every complaint we had.
First off, this isn't the 5-inch Eluga Power, although Docomo will be releasing that phone later this year as well. All of Docomo’s new Android devices are launching with Android 4.0, and the P–06D is no different. The combination of the new OS and faster 1.5GHz dual-core processor make the device's performance really stand out against the P–04D. The new phone also has a 4.6-inch 720p (1280 x 720) LCD display that looks much better than the qHD (960 x 540) Pentile AMOLED display on its older cousin. Additionally, the P–06D is Panasonic’s first phone to get the Eluga branding in Japan, which is featured prominently on the device’s pebbled plastic rear (no need to worry about fingerprints).
In addition to the water- and dust-proofing we saw in the P–04D, P–06D buyers will also get a 1seg TV tuner and inductive charging, although sadly no Xi ("crossie") LTE. The 13.2-megapixel camera offers some fast and accurate autofocus, but we felt that shutter lag was a little more noticeable than it was on Panasonic’s previous device. Last but not least, while the P–06D doesn’t have the same aggressive D-shaped cross-section as its older cousin, it doesn’t suffer from the same sleep / wake button problems either. The button’s location on the flat bottom-right edge of the phone makes it easy to press with either your left or right hand.
The major selling point of Panasonic's P–04D was its slim 7.8mm profile. While that may no longer be the case with the P-06D — it measures a plumper 10.7mm — the new phone improves on the original in every other conceivable way. Panasonic has been open about going after the international market, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a variant of the device in Europe sometime down the road, but in the meantime the P–06D will be launching in Japan in June or July.