Panasonic is desperate to know, and we are quite curious ourselves: how do you perceive the newly announced CM1 hybrid device? Is it, as Panasonic would prefer that you think of it, a capable and superbly compact camera with communication capabilities built in? Or is it a smartphone with extraordinarily souped-up imaging hardware? A lot will depend on the reaction consumers have to this exciting new device. When compared against compact cameras, the 900-euro CM1 looks like something of a bargain: it has a bigger battery and much more processing power than the typical premium compact, while its connectivity options and ability to slip into a pocket are unrivalled. On the other hand, the CM1's hardware specs can be found in Android devices costing half as much, making it a hard sell to budget-conscious smartphone buyers.
Panasonic is launching the Lumix CM1 in France and Germany this November in a limited run intended to gauge exactly how the market reacts. Having already produced a string of smartphone-camera hybrids for the Japanese market, the company's keen to understand how much appeal they can have on the global stage and how people interpret them when they see them. To my mind, the smartphone is too personal and does too many things to ever be considered the secondary part of a device, but others may feel differently. Sound off in the comments after casting your vote below.