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Lenovo Starts Shipping Augmented Reality Enabled Google Tango Phone

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Say Hello To The Massive Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

This has been one hell of a year for mobile devices. So far in 2016 we’ve seen Samsung’s Note 7 go from everyone’s favorite cell phone to everyone’s favorite explosive device, the release of Google’s brand new Pixel line with DayDream support and Apple start riots over the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. Well the fun isn’t over quite yet, as Chinese tech giant Lenovo has officially unveiled their new Phab 2 Pro, the first phone to support the state-of-the-art Google Tango technology. The new platform features several significant improvements, but the most impressive innovation is by far the incredibly smooth augmented reality.

The Phab 2 Pro currently supports 35 different apps that take advantage of the revolutionary AR technology from games and puzzles, to useful business or home applications.

One example is the addicting business simulation game Towers For Tango. In it, a complex and bustling city is projected onto a flat surface in front of you. You can then employ workers, add to apartment complexes and help boost the local ingame economy. Another, more practical app currently available is Lowe’s Vision, a nifty little tool that uses Tango technology to project various furniture in the real world. This allows users to get a look at how a certain piece will look in their home before purchasing. The list of apps go on and while a majority of them are relatively shallow and gimmicky, the technology presented is impressive nonetheless. Extra sensors on the Phab 2 Pro combined with Tango AR tech allows for advanced positional tracking, something currently missing from other AR/VR technology such as the Google DayDream platform or Samsung Gear VR. It’ll be exciting to see how Google continues to integrate this platform into future phones down the line.

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Now while the software so far has been something really special, the actual phone is a little less than perfect. Let me start by saying the Phab 2 Pro is by no means a bad phone. It features a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM which means it’s a beast. The only issue is that it’s 6.4-inch display makes this thing f***ing gigantic. Shaq would have hard time holding this phone with one hand. Sure the images displayed are gorgeous and crisp, but the fact that it has trouble fitting in your average, normal-sized pants pocket makes you wonder if it’s really worth it.

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Lenovo understands these issues however, and while they’ll continue marketing the phone to the consumer market, they fully realize that this is more of a beta run to introduce the public to Tango. Several manufacturers will feature the new platform on more practical devices next year which will hopefully solidify its mainstream appeal.

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is currently available for $499 via Lenovo.com, Best Buy and select Lowe’s stores.

About the Scout

Kyle Melnick

Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.

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