Lenovo on Thursday launched the Phab2 Pro, a 6.4-inch smartphone that’s the first commercial device to integrate Google’s Project Tango 3D mapping technology.
It’s been known for some time that Lenovo was partnering with Google on a Tango-enabled consumer device: The company showcased the tech at CES this past January; it had previously given the device a summer 2016 launch frame; and details on the phone had leaked prior to today’s Lenovo Tech World event in San Francisco.
Google itself made a Tango-enabled phablet available to developers for a couple of years.
Nevertheless, the Phab2 Pro immediately stands out as something unique in an increasingly stagnant smartphone market. Let’s take a closer look.
The most immediately noticeable feature here is that 6.4-inch IPS display, which is well into 'phablet' territory. It comes in at a sharp 1440p resolution.
Internally, the Phab2 Pro uses an eight-core Snapdragon 652 chip and 4GB of RAM, which should allow for strong performance. There's 64GB of storage by default, though that's expandable through a microSD card.
It's the Phab2 Pro's camera setup that sets it apart, though. Its 'main' cameras include a 16-megapixel unit on its rear, and an 8-megapixel unit on its front.
Alongside those, though, are a depth sensor and wide-angle camera, which allow the Tango technology to work.
Tango, for the uninitiated, allows a device to map the environment around you, then track objects and insert 3D effects within it. Basically, it lets you create a sort of augmented reality space, through the phone, in real-time. The effect won't be as strong as it is on a VR headset like the Oculus Rift, but it also makes it so you won't be tethered to a computer.
Lenovo says around 25 Tango-using apps will be available when the Phab2 launches, and expects closer to 100 to be available by the end of the year.
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