Lenovo’s 6.4-inch PHAB2 Pro Is World’s First Google Tango Augmented Reality Smartphone

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Google has been teasing us with its Project Tango augmented reality (AR) platform for years. We’ve seen breathtaking demos on both smartphone and tablet hardware, but no OEMs have stepped up to the plate to deliver Tango-enabled hardwareuntil now. Lenovo has come out swinging with its PHAB2 Pro phablet, which packs modern internals and a full-fledged AR experience for users.

We should start off by saying that to our knowledge, the PHAB2 Pro will be the first commercially available Lenovo smartphone in the United States. We’ve been drooling over Lenovo’s smartphone products for quite some time, so it’s good to see that we’re finally seeing the company embrace our market.
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“From the moment we saw Tango, we knew it could become pervasive, just like GPS, said Jeff Meredith, vice president and general manager of Android and Chrome Computing, Lenovo. “However, to truly make PHAB2 Pro a game-changer, we developed it at an affordable price for mainstream consumers, delivering not just a bleeding-edge phone, but an all-around fantastic phone, first to market.”

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The PHAB2 Pro leverages Tango AR technology in three ways. The smartphone’s all-seeing “eye” use motion-tracking to determine its location in 3D. Area learning can also feed location information to the smartphone, and depth perception allows the smartphone to analyze the world around it (including multiple surfaces and objects).

The PHAB2 Pro has been developed in conjunction with Lowe’s Home Improvement, which at first seems like an unlikely partner. But when the gears start turning in your head, it makes perfect sense. While AR can be used to play games and interact with a digital environments using your home, room, or even your furniture as a backdrop, it can also be used to help homeowners visualize how each room in their house would look when undergoing renovations.

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Imagine holding up your smartphone and instantly being able to obtain measurements, see how your kitchen would look with new cabinets, all new stainless steel appliances and fresh granite countertops before the actual work is even started. The technology would not only be beneficial for homeowners, but also Lowe’s contractors that are looking to sell the company’s services to potential clients or even real estate agents and interior decorators that could give their clients an idea of how a home could look with just a few upgrades.

“Tango technology will allow customers to see how their home improvement visions translate into reality like never before,” said Richard Maltsbarger, Lowe’s Chief Development Officer. “By bringing the PHAB2 Pro to Lowe’s, we want to empower customers with a tool to help them design, start and complete their home improvement projects with confidence.”

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But enough about AR, what about the rest of the PHAB2 Pro’s hardware specifications? This is by no means a small smartphone — it’s a huge, honkin’ tablet with a massive 6.4-inch QHD display covered in 2.5D curved glass. Powering the PHAB2 Pro is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor with 4GB of RAM. A generous 64GB of internal storage is included and a microSD slot can accommodate up to an additional 128GB. Other features include Dolby Audio Capture 5.1 with Dolby Atmos playback, a 16MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera, and a 4050 mAh battery with fast-charging capabilities.

The Lenovo PHAB2 Pro will be available at Lowe’s store (nationwide and online) and at Best Buy locations beginning in September for $499 unlocked.