Lenovo Phab 2 Review: Augmented Reality Comes To Phones
At long last, the Google and Lenovo partnership has produced the Lenovo Phab 2, a 6.5-inch display phablet (i.e. phone/tablet) that offers the first device with Tango, Google’s 3D world mapping software.
At first glance, one thing is certain: the Phab 2 is a big device. From the 6.4-inch IPS LCD screen to capacitive buttons below, the designers kept a tablet in mind while crafting this monster. Thankfully, it’s power matches its size, and the smartphone comes equipped with a 4,050mAh battery and Snapdragon 652 processor. The beefy hardware has to do with Tango, the 3D mapping technology that uses the rear motion-tracker and 16-megapixel camera to add virtual objects to your everyday reality. The Phab also utilizes 4GB of RAM, an Adreno 510 GPU, 64GB of storage, a micro-USB port, and options for additional storage up to 128GB. The camera, to add to Tango’s bag of tricks, also comes with depth perception.
A recent review from Engadget argues that many of the display and sound features are nothing to write home about, the 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and brightness rivaling the iPhone 7, but not beating it entirely. Like most contemporary smartphones, the viewing angles are decent, but the singular bottom speaker makes the sound somewhat muddy.
LENOVO PHAB 2 IS READY TO TANGO
Besides Tango, the Phab 2 Pro ships with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Of course, Tango steals the show. With 35 different apps to choose from, users can pick from augmented reality tools or video games. The tools represent a unique market for virtual reality. One tool is a measuring app, which allows for accurate measurements of surfaces using an animated ruler. Furniture retailer Wayfair also has an app, allowing wannabe designers to “try-out” virtual pieces of real furniture in actual spaces.
On the more expected game side, players can line up virtual dominoes, play with life-sized raptors, or even hunt ghosts. As to be expected with new technology, The virtual objects tend to drift and the camera does not always have the right amount of accuracy to place objects. Further distinction between surfaces can also shatter the illusion of a perfect virtual word. Endgaget reports that the games can often overwhelm the hardware, as was the case with Keita Takahashi’s game Woorld. Fortunately, the lag does not occur often. With all of this play, expect the Phab 2 to last about ten-to-twelve hours.
The Lenovo Phab 2 marks a surprisingly affordable shift towards augmented-reality smartphones. Despite its quirks and large size, it’s a phone that offers that best of today, and the exciting features of tomorrow.