The most popular smartphone segment in India is undoubtedly, the budget segment. Companies like Xiaomi, Motorola, and Micromax among others have influenced the masses by packing features and specifications at attractive prices. Japanese bred Panasonic aims to shake this very budget segment with its two new “category killer” smartphones – the Eluga Ray 500 and Eluga Ray 700.
The Eluga Ray 500 is priced at Rs 8,999, and the Eluga Ray 700 will be available at Rs 9,999. Both the smartphones will be available for sale starting tomorrow on Flipkart. I briefly used the Eluga Ray 500 and Eluga Ray 700. Here are my first impressions.
The Eluga Ray 500 I used was the Champagne Gold option. It has a black front panel, full metal body with a 5.2-inch HD 2.5D curved glass display on top. The smartphone is quite compact and fits well in the hand. It does feel a little heavy. The HD display comes with adaptive brightness.
Coming to the highlight of the Eluga Ray 500, it sports a dual-camera setup at the rear. The pair is a 13-megapixel rear wide-angle camera of f/2.0 aperture and an 8-megapixel camera of f/2.4 aperture. At a price of Rs 8,999, the Eluga Ray 500 does stand out for its dual-camera setup but the only feature it’s capable of is capturing wide-angle photos. From a short trial of the dual cameras, the results were pretty decent but still lack the much popular depth-of-field effect. In comparison, at a slightly higher price of Rs 10,999, the Lenovo K8 Plus has dual cameras which work together to create a DSLR-like bokeh effect. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 8: How dual cameras work, enhance photo quality and more
Under the hood, the device runs the MediaTek MT6737 quad-core processor clocked at 1.25GHz. This entry-level processor is present in many smartphones within the same price range. During my short usage of the Eluga Ray 500, it worked pretty smooth. The smartphone also boasts a 4,000mAh battery. The overall performance and battery life will be determined in a review. Stay tuned for more.
Moving on to the Eluga Ray 700, the smartphone has a bigger 5.5-inch full HD display with 2.5D curved glass and Gorilla Glass 3 on top. With its full metal design, the Eluga Ray 700 has a more distinct look unlike the Eluga Ray 500. The size of the smartphone makes it a little difficult to operate with one hand, but that can vary depending on your personal preference. The capacitive touch buttons on the front panel could feel odd to most users. The left button is functioned to go back, while the right button is for recent apps.
In terms of optics, both the front and rear cameras are of 13-megapixel. As the location was pretty bright, the rear and front cameras delivered decent results. A more in-depth conclusion will be drawn from our full review of the smartphone. For performance, the Eluga Ray 700 is powered by the MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. Panasonic’s choice of this processor could set the smartphone back against its competitors since it is quite old having launched back in 2015.
The smartphone does boast a massive 5,000mAh battery which will surely make it tough for its competitors like the Redmi Note 4 which has a 4,100mAh battery. It also comes with quick charging support which we will tell you more about in our review. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review
The Eluga Ray 500 and Eluga Ray 700 are however cluttered with many apps. There include pre-installed apps like Xender, Uber, PhonePe, and Truecaller which left around 1.5GB of RAM left for usage. Bloatware on Android smartphones have been a long due issue. Near-stock and pure Android is slowly gaining more interest which will certainly prove to be a decision making factor. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi A1 Review: Truly A1!
The devices are also equipped with the company’s AI assistant, Arbo. Since Arbo studies the usage pattern of the smartphone and makes suggestions accordingly, its performance will be judged during our detailed review. There’s a fingerprint sensor which is embedded on the home button of both the smartphones. Speaking of software, the devices both run Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.