The first thing that hit me when I saw the Lenovo Phab2 Pro associated with the Google’s Project Tango was, ‘Isn’t Project Tango a Virtual Reality (VR) gadget?’ Yes it is. At least reading this excellent piece on Project Tango gives one that feeling. But with the Lenovo Phab2 Pro just proved one point though. Virtual reality is not restricted to gadgets. It can be integrated into a phone. And so, the Lenovo Phab2 Pro became the world’s first Google Project Tango phone. Only this time around, it is no longer an experimental project, it is for real. Call it a Google Tango phone to reflect that reality.
Specs of the Lenovo Phab2 Pro
One of the most outstanding feature of Lenovo Phab2 Pro is the weight and size. At about 227g, the phone is very heavy especially in the context of feather light phones which are the rave these days. To put that in context, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge weighs just 157g. The display size too is nothing to be sniffed at. You get the feeling the Lenovo were trying to match Xiaomi’s MI Max. The display size comes in at a whooping 6.4 inch; making the phone more of a tablet than a phone. I guess, being a VR phone, one needs all that acreage to be able to enjoy the VR experience.
The cameras at the back of the phone is one of the first signs that this is a phone like no other. Apart from the 16MP main camera, used for taking normal photos and videos, there are two extra cameras. One of them them tracks motion or movement. The other is for depth measurement. These two cameras combine with specialized softwares in the phone to give near accurate representation of the environment in 3D. That is what VR is all about. The main cameras can also shoot 4K videos. The secondary camera at the front is an 8MP shooter.
Below the three cameras is a round finger print sensor making it a modern phone as far as security is concerned.
The Lenovo Phab2 Pro is powered by a specially built Snapdragon 652 chipset. It has to be customized to fit the demands of VR. The chipset supports a RAM of 4GB and an internal storage of 64GB. Being a VR handset, it is logical to include a microSD card slot. After all, with all those cameras taking shots and 4k videos in 3D, a 64GB storage can become quickly used up before you know it. In that respect, it was smart of Lenovo to include the microSD slot that could take 256GB further storage capacity.
The all aluminum metal Lenovo Phab2 Pro is a dual sim phone with a screen resolution of 2560×1440 pixels and 4,050mAh battery. Not too bad considering that most high end phones top out at 3000mAh. And of course, the phone also has a fast charging feature.
For a phone integrated with a VR capabilities, I think Lenovo priced the phone fairly. About $500 dollars would get you this phone.
What’s Special about the Lenovo Phab2 Pro
Just saying a phone is VR phone doesn’t say much especially if one has no idea what VR is all about. Even calling it world’s first Google Tango phone doesn’t mean much. At least, that is not enough to shell out $500 for a Chinese top-end phone. With that money, you can get the latest OnePlus phone with better specs. So what is it about the Lenovo Phab2 Pro that sets it apart from its peers in terms of performance. The answer lies in the cameras of course.
It is not for nothing the phone has 3 cameras. Here is a bit of the hands on experience of the Lenovo Phab2 Pro by Scott Stein of CNET,
I’m walking around the conference room, aiming my Tango phone at the space between two chairs where Lenovo executives are sitting. A third empty chair, a plush leather one, sits on the carpet. I’m walking around it, seeing how it looks. But it isn’t real: it’s augmented, generated by an app on my phone screen. As I move around, it stays in place convincingly. I think to myself…I could use this to furniture-shop for my living room without even lifting a finger.”
Another practical use of the VR sensors is the ability to measure the distance between two points. Did I hear you say bye-bye to tapes? That’s the idea. With a VR enabled gadget like this, measuring dimensions accurately becomes a walk in the park. Think about knowing the real dimensions of a piece of land you just bought. Like I always say, with gadgets like this, only your imagination can limit the things you can do.
If the Lenovo Phab2 Pro proves a success, it is very likely VR-enabled phones would be how future phones are made. And that future is just around the corner I bet.
|Network||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|Status||Coming soon. Exp. release 2016, September|
|Body||Dimensions||179.8 x 88.6 x 10.7 mm (7.08 x 3.49 x 0.42 in)|
|Weight||259g (9.14 oz)|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Display||Type||IPS capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.4 inches (~70.9% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1440 x 2560 pixels (~459 ppi pixel density)|
|Platform||OS||Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8976 Snapdragon 652|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A72|
|Memory||Card slot||microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)|
|Internal||64 GB, 4 GB RAM|
|Camera||Primary||16 MP, phase detection autofocus, depth & motion tracking sensors|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Secondary||8 MP, f/2.2, 1.4 µm pixel size, 1080p|
|Sound||Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|– Dolby Atmos|
|Comms||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS|
|Features||Sensors||Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM|
|– Project Tango
– Fast battery charging (Quick Charge)
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP4/H.264 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 4050 mAh battery|
|Misc||Colors||Gunmetal Grey, Champagne Gold|
photo credits: technewsday.com; cnet.com