For the past few years, Augmented Reality has been a dream, but it is finally becoming a reality (not a pun). The Pokemon Go game became a rage, as people appreciated its AR mode and now, Lenovo has launched its first Google Tango smart phone, called Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. Google Tango has been a project in which the group members Google?s Technology and Advanced Projects have been working for the past few years, but it is only now that the project has seen the light in top form. So, if you've always wanted to see how dinosaurs stand next to you or if you want to see if a sof you want to buy fits in your space or not, well, Google Tango has it covered.
The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is the first Google Tango smart phone and is the only one you can buy at this time (the Asus Zenfone AR arrives in the second quarter of 2017). The device has been making many headlines, all thanks to the nickname, "the first Tango device". However, the device is indeed a risk for Lenovo because there are many questions around the device, as well as Tango. Is Google Tango ready for prime time? Is the Phab 2 Pro a revolutionary AR device? Should you buy the first Tango phone or expect a more refined product? Well, we're sure you want to know how Tango's first phone goes. So, let's find out everything in our review of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. Let's start, okay?
In the frame
Before we start talking about the device itself, let's take a look at the contents of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro box:
- The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro
- microUSB cable
- Charger adapter
- JBL headphones
- Quick and guarantee start guides
While the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro box looks unique, the content inside is quite generic and is something we are used to seeing in most smart phones. The inclusion of JBL headphones is certainly a nice touch.
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Specifications
|Dimensions||179.8 x 88.6 x 10.7 mm|
|Display||6.4 inches Quad HD resolution (2560x1440p)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Octa-core 64-bit processor|
|Storage||64 GB, expandable up to 128 GB|
|Cameras||16 MP rear camera with dual tone LED flash and auto focus with laser detection, 8 MP front camera. Google Tango module (a wide-angle camera and an infrared emitter)|
|Battery||4, 050 mAh|
|Sensors||Fingerprint scanner, proximity, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer|
|Connectivity||802.11 a / b / g / n / ac dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Dual SIM, microUSB 2.0|
Design and hardware
Talking about the design and construction of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the first thing to notice when you take the device for the first time in the huge size and weight of the device . With its huge 6, 4-inch screen and one-piece metal design, the Phab 2 Pro is by no means a device suitable for the pocket. If you thought the iPhone 7 Plus, Pixel XL or even the Nexus 6P are huge devices, well, pin it again.
The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro looks and feels like a beast. Measure 179, 8 x 88, 6 x 10, 7 mm and weighs some heavy 259 grams . If you plan to use the Phab 2 Pro as your daily controller, prepress to look very absurd when you are talking on the device.
If you forgive the substantial weight and size of the device, the Phab 2 Pro looks like most other Lenovo smartphones. The front part has a full Gorilla glass slab, with 2.5D curved edges . At the bottom, there are three navigation buttons and the top features a multicolored LED, an 8 MP camera, a headset and proximity sensors. The left side of the device has the SIM and microSD card tray, while the right side features the volume controls and the power / lock button. At the bottom, there is a microUSB port along with the speakers and the top has the 3.5mm headphone jack. While I like the fact that there is a 3.5mm connector, I would have preferred the USB Type-C port instead of the microUSB port that is now aging.
The back of the device is where the greatest action resides. Introduces the Tango logo (along with Lenovo's), the fingerprint sensor, he depth perception sensor huge and a rectangular bar that contains the double tone flash, the infrared emitter and the 16 MP camera. He Tango module presents a couple of cameras . One packages in an infrared emitter to determine the distance of the objects, while the other is a wide-angle camera with a fisheye lens to support the device's motion tracking system.
When it comes to appearance, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro it looks like a premium device, thanks to the beveled edges and brushed aluminum backrest with antenna bands. In addition, the device can be gigantic, but it is easy to hold due to its slightly curved back. It is available in two versions: Gunmetal Gray and Champagne Gold . We have the Gunmetal Gray version with us and it looks amazing. If you can exceed the massive size and volume of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, find a smart phone (or phablet) that looks great.
With so much focus on its AR capabilities, we are pleased that Lenovo has incorporated a huge 6.4-inch IPS LCD screen with Quad HD resolution (2,560 x 1, 440p) . On paper, it looks like a great display, but it didn't impress me too much. While the text and everything else looks sharp and defined, the screen not very bright (425 nits with maximum brightness), which would have been understandable if it had been an AMOLED screen.
When you compare it with other LCD packaging devices such as the iPhone 7 or even the AMOLED packaging pixel, the brightness falls short.
On the side positive of things, the viewing angles are excellent and the reproduction of the color is good, but if you are fantastic of AMOLED screens, you miss the vibrant colors. That said, since it is an "assertive" IPS LCD screen, you can customize the tone and colors in the device screen settings. To summarize, the screen of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro does not match the star standards, but it is still quite decent.
Google Tango has been working for more than a couple of years and is supposed to revolutionize Augmented Reality in smartphones. Technology identifies objects in the real world along with depth and dimensions to overlap better 3D objects in the real world . So how is the Google Tango experience in the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro?
When you set up the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro for the first time, the " Discover Tango "In the end, it presents Tango's experience through a demonstration that shows how technology uses depth perception, area learning and movement tracking. To Superimpose 3D objects in the real world. Phab 2 Pro It also comes with the preloaded Tango application, which houses the various applications enabled for Tango. The device comes with 3 preinstalled applications .
There is the Measure application, which, as the name implies, allows you measure the length, height and even the volume of objects . You can even take pictures of the measurements you take. The accuracy of the application is debatable, but it remains a good example of how AR can be useful.
Another preinstalled application is Amazon Product Preview, which from now on only allows you to see how certain will look televisions on your wall . It works very well and you can even buy one of the TVs on the same page. The third pre-installed application is the Lenovo AR camera, which allows you to place AR pets by your side .
Apart from that, there are around 35 applications enabled for Google Tango in Play Store. There are fun games like Ghostly Mansion, in which you are a ghost that explores a 3D mansin. Some great apps like Solar Simulator, which brings various objects from space to your living room. There are also several applications that allow you to see how a piece of furniture looks or fits in your home. As of now, the number of applications is not excellent, but the amount should increase in the near future, with more Tango devices to come.
When it comes to experience, Google Tango is amazing when it works. The technology is still quite incipient and, therefore, the inaccuracies are understandable. That said, Google is certainly in the right direction and we hope the company is innovating on the front of AR.
The Google Tango platform is definitely the USP of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, but it is important to know about the Android experience, if you are paying 500 dollars. I have not really been a fan of Lenovo's Android appearance, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro features a Android version that is mainly stock . Sure, there are some items that remind you that it is a Lenovo device, such as the shading of notifications and the user interface of the application drawer, different icons compared to Android, integrated applications such as SHAREit, McAfee Security, AccuWeather, its own Galley and Camera application. However, the interface is mainly of values, which is something that I definitely love about the device.
While it looks like Android, Lenovo has added some of its own options and features. For example, there are Smart Assist of Lenovo, which offers functions for one-handed use, double tap to wake up, Smart Reduce (reduce the volume of the ringtone when you answer a call), etc.
Although not everything is good. The device comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, which is a shame, since Android 7.0 Nougat has been here for several months. Turrn features as a multi-window will have improved the experience in the Phab 2 Pro. While we can expect the update to arrive sooner or later, it would have been much better if it had come with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
The cameras are essential to show the Google Tango AR platform and, therefore, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro presents some cameras full of energy, at least on paper. On the front, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro has a 8 MP camerawhile the part Later it has a 16 MP camera with laser detection autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash .
Talk about the rear camera first, surprisingly it is not so impressive. Take some you take great when there is a lot of light, but it has difficulties when it comes to low light photography . We recommend that you use HDR mode to capture photos, as it takes better photos. However, photos taken in low light or at night come with a lot of noise, and are even a bit blurry, due to their focus problems. Even with that laser autofocus module, the rear camera has trouble focusing . There are also " frame delay "that is, when you move the device, the camera's viewfinder only takes too much time to reposition. We don't know if it is a software problem, but if it is, we hope Lenovo will fix it with a software update.
The conclusion is that, if you use the Phab 2 Pro camera to take pictures during the day, be happy, but not so much if you like to take photos in low light or at night. Here there Some pictures I took of the camera with HDR mode activated:
The video recording with the 16 MP rear camera is not that impressive either. My biggest complaint is the fact that the device is limited to recording 1080p videos And, considering the device packages on a QHD screen, it is a shame that you do not even take advantage of the full resolution of the screen, let alone record 4K videos. There are focus problems but other than that they are the videos.
Turning to the front camera or selfie, as people like to call them these days. The 8 MP camera It does a good job, actually, and the fact is that I have seen selfie cameras much better on other devices. While drinking clear photos, the colors just look a little destroyed and the camera sensor is a bit inconsistent in the capture of light . In general, the front camera of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro should be good enough for your occasional selfie, but don't expect amazing photos to be taken. Here is a selfie that our own Devinder took:
To summarize, I think the cameras of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro are simply average and considering that the cameras have such an important role in AR, it is sad. That said, if you just want to experience Google Tango, you should be fine with the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.
When it comes to the internal aspects, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro does not qualify as a very high quality device. Under the cap, the device works with the 64-bit Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor with Adreno 510 GPU . There are 4 GB of RAM for all your multiple task needs, along with 64 GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128 GB) .
According to Lenovo, the chipset is custom designed to handle the AR needs of Google Tango. If you are worried about heating your Android devices, you will be glad to know that Phab 2 Pro has been designed so that the heat dissipates from the outer edges of the metal frame and faces quickly, thanks to the shielding in the processor.
That aside, you must ask yourself, how does the device work in real life? Well, I found that the performance of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is average. While driving well certain everyday tasks with ease, s struggle a bit when it comes to intensive applications. For example, I usually surf the web on Chrome, while I also do multiple tasks between Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram and, in my case of personal use, the device works decently. However, this occurred occasional hiccups and frame rate reduced when it comes to extensive Tango applications and games.
I made a reference of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro in a couple of applications, AnTuTu Benchmark and Geekbench 4. Well, it did quite decently and here are the results:
Call and speaker quality
As I mentioned, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is huge and if you plan to use it for phone calls, well, good luck with that. That said, I made some calls from the device and the quality of the call seems decent . I could hear the caller clearly and the person also suggested that the voice was clear enough.
When it comes to speakers, the device is paired in loud speakers, comparable to those of an iPhone 7, but lack the serious ones that I would have liked. In addition, it has the Dolby Atmos support, which aims to offer a sound volume without distortion, a surround sound field, etc. for an improved musical experience. The Dolby Atmos application on the device brings several sound profiles, which really enhance the sound experience when headphones are connected.
The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro comes with a battery quite large of 4, 050 mAh, which is more than most smart phones offer (even high-end ones). While the advantage with a larger battery is slightly denied due to the big screen, but still It has an admirable performance . In intensive use, the device lasts a day and a half. In moderate use, the device easily lasts a couple of days. The Phab 2 Pro runs out of battery quickly when Tango applications are running.
Therefore, if you plan to constantly use Tango applications, you can expect it to last around 7-8 hours. Well, the battery performance is where I find the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro very impressive.
The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro includes the connectivity options we expect from a modern smart phone. There is 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Dual SIM, support USB OTG and microUSB 2.0 connectivity. It also includes important sensors such as fingerprint scanner, proximity, gyroscope, compass and accelerometer. Apparently The only thing missing is NFC support .
- Premium metal unibody
- A look into the future with tango.
- Great battery life
- Value for money
- Huge and bulky
- Inconsistent performance
- Average camera
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro: a look at the future of AR
As you should have noticed, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is not free from defects. It is a huge device, it fails when it comes to performance and presents a disappointing camera, but if you consider that it is the first Google Tango phone and is offered at $ 499, know that it is not really a bad business. You are receiving a decent smart phone, along with a look at the future AR. However, there are other smart phones in the same price range that offer better performance. There is the OnePlus 3T, Moto Z, ZTE Axon 7, etc. Having said that, if you want to experience Google Tango and can't wait for the Asus Zenfone AR, you should get the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.
Well, that's it for my review of Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on the first Google Tango phone. Turn off your opinions in the comments section below.