Design & Hardware

The click-dial around the lens is great for adjusting all sorts of shooting parameters.

It is immediately obvious that the Lumix DMC-CM1 is not just another smartphone. The device's footprint is actually a touch smaller than current high-end models like the Samsung Galaxy S6 or Motorola Moto X. However, its protruding lens pushes it to 21mm thick - considerably thicker than the models mentioned above. Considering the large image sensor this should not be surprise though, and according to Panasonic the CM1 is still the thinnest camera with a 1-inch sensor. 

The CM1 is bulkier than conventional smartphones but considering the size of its sensor still impressively thin.
The CM1's design is arguably closer to a camera than smartphone.

With the metal side plates, leatherette back cover and metal click dial around the lens the device's overall design is arguably closer to a camera than most smartphones. The dial allows you to adjust focus, aperture, shutter speed, ISO or white balance and makes controlling those parameters much easier and quicker than on any other smartphone.

The dedicated shutter button and camera switch on the bottom right edge are easily reachable and, thanks to its broad edges, the CM1 feels comfortable in the hand when used as a camera. Like on many Android smartphones, the power button and volume rockers are located on the right edge or, depending on your point of view, the top plate of the camera. On the opposite side microSD and SIM-slots hide underneath a plastic flap. 

MicroSD and SIM-card slots are hidden underneath a plastic flap.
The Motorola Moto X's footprint is slightly larger than the CM1's.

The camera specification is much more in line with a high-end digital compact camera than a smartphone. The CM1's 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor is a very similar unit to those used in Sony's RX100 and Nikon's 1 series. It is coupled with a 6-element lens with an equivalent focal length of 28mm and F2.8 aperture. Unfortunately, the CM1 has to make do without an optical image stabilization system. 

The rest of the hardware specification is in line with 2014 high-end smartphones. The Android 4.4 OS is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz. 16GB of internal memory are on board but the device also takes microSD-cards of up to 128GB capacity. Images can be viewed and composed on a 4.7-inch display that offers a 1080p resolution, but is unfortunately less suitable for use in bright sunlight than the screens on most current top-end phones. 

The 4.7-inch screen comes with Full-HD resolution but is difficult to view in bright sunlight.