Lenovo Phab 2 Pro: Hands-on Review—Best Google Tango Phone Till Date

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is a first ever smartphone that has gone the distance to Tango full-time with Google’s new spatial scanning technology. The smartphone maker is releasing three new Phab models in summer 2016, but only the Phab 2 Pro will cherish Tango technology.

Google Tango-enabled Lenovo Phab 2 Pro will soon roll out along with Lenovo’s two other Phab phones; The Phab 2 ($199) and the Phab 2 Plus ($299). Both mobile phones have been upgraded a great deal from the last year’s model, including larger display, larger batteries, and tough aluminum bodies.

Lenovo Phab 2 and Phab 2 Plus specs
Lenovo Phab 2 and Phab 2 Plus specs.

Let’s get back to the Phab 2 Pro, which is the first consumer device and the smallest one as well to implement Google Tango technology at its best. This is a tough time for tech market, where Microsoft’s Windows 10-based 2-in-1 tablets, the Surface Pro 3 are going away, Google’s new technology has managed to survive and even leap from larger tablets to smaller phablets.

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Design

Leveno Phab 2 Pro Desgin
Leveno Phab 2 Pro features stylish design.

The design doesn’t really stand apart from other phones in Phab series, but given that the line-up had a head start with a quality design makes the Tango version phone worth looking at. It also feels heavier, thicker, and larger when you first pick it up. On the surface, you can easily see the structural differences which are due to the relative components like fingerprint scanner which sits on the mid-section of the backside. Right above it is a wide angle Tango sensor camera which also serves as an infrared depth sensor. On its top is a single column of paper-clip styled panel that neatly arranges the back camera and the flash on its opposite corners.

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Features

As pointed out, this mobile phone is a bit heavier than your average smartphone and it is for a reason. First off, accommodating Tango hardware into such a small volume was a challenge in itself. But apart from that, it is also featuring some big guns like Snapdragon 652 processor and 4GB RAM. The company has cleverly utilized the increased surface area by adding a fingerprint sensor on the back and decorating the front façade with a huge 6.4” display with a maximum resolution of 2560X1440 pixels. The 16MP camera serves as your photo-time DSLR alternative and Tango Sensor Array camera as well. More features include,

  • 5MP front camera
  • Augmented Reality (AR) Mode
  • 4,050mAh battery
  • 32GB built-in storage
  • Up to 128GB supportable microSD slot

How Tango technology uses the camera as a sensor has been explained in another article. But here’s a fast roundup.

Tango technology crash course

Tango technology scans your surroundings in real time
Tango technology scans your surroundings in real time

The technology uses phone’s special cameras in union with its infrared sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope to map out spaces. In short, it cannot only scan indoor spaces but recognize them as well, which opens up doors to myriad applications and possibilities like indoor navigation.

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Tango Awesomeness

Leveno Phab 2 Pro dinosaur app
Leveno Phab 2 Pro lets you play dinosaur app in AR Mode.

I know this is the part you have been waiting for. Earlier Tango devices were much heavier, now that electronic engineers are  able to fit it in a smaller package, the next generation of virtual reality smartphones will become available with the new Tango phones. So here are few things that you would be able to do with this Tango-enabled smartphone.

  • Locate your phone and other objects in a pre-scanned indoor space.
  • Have fun with a dinosaur app which was created in partnership with National Museum of American History. The app lets you have fun with the 3D dinosaur as you put them to your living space and watch these history creatures in 3D. You can even observe them from different angles by moving around, up and down. Several points on the dinosaurs also pops out text information.
  • Virtual Domino App that lets you place domino in virtual space of your room or whatever you have scanned with your smartphone.
  • First-Person Shooter game that behaves just like those VR shooters. And although the experience may not be as much immersive as offered by VR headsets, it is better in some ways, like liberty to move around in your space, which is currently not available in Oculus Rift while HTC Vive has allows movement in limited space.

That’s not it. Lenovo is planning to release at least 25 apps just to let buyers get the most Tango experience out of their Phab 2 Pro smartphones. The apps will be comprised of games, utility apps, and other located-based applications. Expectedly there would be a hundred apps by the end of 2016.

Lenovo Phab phones
Latest Lenovo Phab phones are coming this summer.

Final Words

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro priced at $499 might seem pricey, but it has every right to deserve it. After all, it is the first ever Tango phone. This is as much we could learn for now, the rest depends on the actual performance of the smartphones when they hit the US markets later this summer.

Muhammad Waqas
Muhammad Waqas
Muhammad Waqas is an active technology journalist and news writer. He keeps his readers entertained with the hot and happening in the world of innovations and delivers the latest news as it breaks.

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