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Panasonic's Lumix CM1 cameraphone gets a new version without the phone

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With a 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor and a 10mm (28mm-equivalent) f/2.8 lens, Panasonic's Lumix CM1 has the most technically capable camera on any phone out there. But would you really want it as your main device over an iPhone or Galaxy Note? Maybe not. With that in mind, Panasonic has just announced the CM10, a new version of the CM1 that strips out the phone functionality to make for an ultra-connected Android camera with LTE capability.

That's really the only major difference here: the CM10 has the same 15mm-thick (21mm at the lens) body with a 4.7-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a Snapdragon 801 processor. It does, at least, run Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, whereas the CM1 launched with KitKat. Panasonic suggests using the CM10 with data and text-only SIM cards for convenient photo sharing.

At around ¥100,000 (about $850), the CM10 isn't really a sensible buy over something like a Wi-Fi-connected Sony RX100. But Panasonic knows the market for the "communication camera," as it's described, is very much a niche one — the company says it will produce just 500 units a month. If you think you're in that niche, make plans to be in Japan on February 25th, when the CM10 goes on sale.