Lenovo has launched Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, which is the world's first smartphone supporting Google's Tango AR (augmented reality) platform.
It takes two to ‘Tango’, as they say, and the Google-Lenovo partnership can be the best example of that at the moment in the tech context; more so if it is the Phab 2 Pro – the world’s first augmented reality handset – that the partnership yields.
First off, the Phab 2 Pro can be mistaken for any other Android handset except for its gargantuan proportions along with added sensors at the rear. It’s steeped with technology which again makes the Phab 2 Pro an accomplished Android mobile.
For instance, the device comes powered by a unique “Built for Tango” eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor coupled with 4 GB of RAM. Onboard storage stands at a modest 64 GB though that is further expandable via microSD.
The 6.4-inch of the display is lit up by 2,560 x 1,440 pixels with an equally massive 4050 mAh battery providing the juice, lots of it. The device also boasts of Dolby Atmos sound processing and is capable of recording in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. The device comes pre-installed with Android 6.0 and looks pretty solid thanks to its metal unibody construction.
So far so good though the real magic with the Phab 2 Pro is the added camera and sensors it comes with. With there is the 8- and 16-megapixel front and rear camera, the rear cam is further complimented by a motion tracking camera and depth sensing camera as well.
That is also basically the setup that the Google Advanced Technology and Projects group’s Tango division has been showing off for the past few years though in the form factor of a tablet. That they managed to shave a few precious cms off to bring the entire thing nearer to a smartphone speaks volumes of their efforts. That said, there is still some work to be done to shrink the whole thing further by a few more millimeters. That, in turn, will make the device more of a smartphone than what it is now.
As for its capabilities, the additional sensors enable the Phab 2 Pro to see around in 3D while also being aware of the depth of its surroundings. It allows the device to create a virtual map of a real space, track surrounding objects which it does at 250,000 times per second and project virtual objects in a real space.
As for its applicability, Lenovo VP Jeff Meredith is claiming the technology has the potential to become as ubiquitous as GPS in the not so distant future. Lenovo also promised there will be at least 25 apps accompanying the launch of the device around this summer. That is set to expand to 100 apps by the end of the year.
Those include gaming apps to the one built in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History.
Tango also has an enormous scope in the educational sector while the Lowe home improvement stores will also be using the device for its AR abilities. That will enable Lowe to show off to its clients what a given property will look like when it is equipped with the desired furniture or with the desired shade of color and so on.
The Phab 2 Pro is priced $499 and available to purchase from Lenovo or its retail partners. Lowe said it too will be offering the handset when it goes on sale.