Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Review: The First Tango Augmented Reality Smartphone

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Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Design And Build Quality

Make no mistake the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is large. Next to your head, if your noggin isn't fairly big, it just might look silly when using it as a phone kind of big. That said, it’s a fairly well-balanced device regardless of its size, with a curved back side that helps it cradle easier in the hand. Unless you have absolutely massive-sized mitts though, one handed operation with this device is really not an option. 
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro In Hand

The Phab 2 Pro’s display is quite nice. It’s an IPS display with a QHD resolution of 2560X1440, with good brightness, contrast and viewability in daylight conditions. It doesn’t quite have the pop and saturation to match OLED display-equipped devices like the Google Pixel XL or Samsung Galaxy S7 but it does hold its own pretty well. It’s also strapped with edge-to-edge 2.5D Curved Gorilla Glass. Though not curved glass in the traditional sense like you’ll find on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the very edge of the display does have a slightly curved, smooth finish, giving it a clean polished look with a premium aesthetic that matches-up really nicely with the phone’s chamfered aluminum edges. 

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Back2

Lenovo Phab2 Pro Top Edge

In fact, the entire brushed aluminum affair with the Phab 2 Pro is just plain premium all around and the chassis is completely fingerprint resistant. On bottom are a pair of stereo speaker ports supporting Dolby Atmos sound and a couple of tiny torque screws that we grew fond of actually, somehow inspiring a securely fastened but perhaps accessible design. The speakers have fairly impressive spatial qualities and reasonably good dynamic range for smartphone speakers, but as usual we yearned for more volume and bass. Plug in a quality set of buds or connect to a Bluetooth audio system as always here, for best results.  

Lenovo Phab2 Pro sim tray
A volume rocker and knurled power button on the right edge, with a combo micro SIM and micro SD card tray on the left, make for a simplistic design and control approach. There's also a responsive and fast finger print reader on the back, ready and waiting for your index finger.  
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Cameras
But that trio of cameras, including the Phab 2 Pro’s motion tracking Fish-eye camera are where the magic happens. We’d like to see a bit more protection for these gems, but it’s easy to understand there’s a limitation to how much bulk you can cram into a design with this level of complexity. Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro employs Google Tango Augmented Reality technologies that make use of these cameras working together to give the device “human-like” capabilities with respect to its vision system, including motion tracking, area learning and depth perception.

These machine vision capabilities, in conjunction with the Google Tango Core software engine can produce some rather impressive augmented reality experiences, which we’ll give you a flavor for, next.

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