At the Lenovo Tech World 2016 Keynote Event, the Chinese manufacturer has finally put all rumors to rest and unveiled the first real and working smartphone sporting Google’s Tango technology – that makes use of several camera’s and sensors to accurately map your surroundings in real-time.
The Lenovo Phab2 Pro is a power-house in terms of internal specifications, and of-course it needs to be – to power the multitude of depth sensing cameras and sensors embedded into the smartphone. The Phab2 Pro has a large 6.4 inch Quad-HD IPS display with a glaring 454 ppi density.
The Phab2 Pro is the premier model among the newly introduced Phab2 line-up, and is powered by the Snapdragon 652 processor, as compared to the MediaTek MTK processors that power the other two models. The device is driven by a 4 GB RAM and has definite 64 GB of on-board storage, while the other two models also have a microSD card slot for memory expansion. It has a 4,000 mAh battery with Fast charging technology, a finger print reader and all the goodness that you’ve come to expect of a high-end Android smartphone.
But, there’s one thing that sets the Phab2 Pro apart from any smartphone in its competition – Google Tango Technology(now renamed from ‘Project Tango’ to just plain ‘Tango’). The Phab2 Pro adds to the mix of impressive features – a 16 MP rear shooter, a wide angle camera and a special depth sensing unit as a part of Tango. The sensing unit has now been shrunken down to be included into a hand-held device, while two years ago when the tech was first demoed at Google I/O(or if you’ve got a chance to use the Developer Kit), it was far from ready.
The functioning of the technology however is very much similar to that of Microsoft’s Holo Lens, the only difference being their dynamics – the Holo Lens is worn on the head while the Phab2 Pro is a hand-held smartphone. You can use the Phab2 Pro to track an object, map out a particular space or project visual objects into the real world(much like Holo Lens!).
Let’s talk a little bit about what is Tango and how it works.
The Tango technology which was dubbed as ‘Project Tango‘ was Google’s vision to bring computer vision technologies into a hand-held device, supplying those devices with depth-sensing cameras to sense their surrounding and create and accurate 3D-model of the same. Google’s aim was to use the technology into bring Augmented Reality to the masses in the form of a tablet or phone and well we got the best of both world from Lenovo yesterday – a phablet.
As demonstrated during the keynote presentation, you can use the phone with a variety of apps, including some virtual reality shooting games. The technology is at a very basic stage and only a handful of application are currently available for the Lenovo Phab2 Pro. But Lenovo expects to launch over 100 apps compatible with the Tango-powered smartphone by the end of this year.
But what will be interesting to see that, Google is currently working to develop its own VR platform — Daydream and building its own VR headset and game controllers. So, if the new Tango-powered phones could somehow be compatible with the new VR headset that the Google researchers are building, then it could easily be the next HTC Vive(which has a set of sensors on the front of the headset, that transmits surrounding data to give a perception of depth to the user) or give Holo Lens, a run for its money.
The Phab2 Pro will be up for grabs at Lenovo stores and select retailers in the coming September. The low-end model called the Phab2 will cost $199, while the Phab2 Plus will sell for $299 and Phab2 Pro’s price has been set at $499.