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Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 'Tango' Review: Best Augmented Reality Phone?

By Cameron , Dec 09, 2016 07:07 PM EST
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The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is the first phone to feature Google's "Tango" technology. The price of this phone is $733.33. The main selling point of this phone is its ability to give the user the augmented reality experience in real-time. Now, let's discuss the review.

Design

The first thing you're going to notice about the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is its size, which is 7.08 x 3.49 x 0.42 inches and weighs 259g. The sides and back are covered in metal and it has some "fashionable" exposed screws at the bottom. On the top of its back design, there is a fairly looking standard smartphone camera. Below it, there is an enormous camera that features an ultra-wide angle camera dedicated to measuring depth measurements to round out the Tango technology and some kind of sensor.

Display

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro features a 6.4 inch 1440 x 2560 Quad HD screen. Its display quality is acceptably bright but struggles a little bit with visibility under sunny conditions. Though the display quality is good, it has some issues with color reproduction. Also, it struggles with mid-range tones becoming oversaturated. But despite these flaws, users can fix this by adjusting the color temperature and intensity on its software controls.

Sound

The sound quality is average at best, as you will notice that it is not rich with bass notes. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro package comes in with a pair of JBL earphones which just like the phone's speaker sound quality, its sound quality is average. One thing great about the earphones is that it is quite comfortable to wear.

Processor

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro runs on the latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Its chipset is the Snapdragon 652 which is quite surprising, given that the Tango technology demands a high processing power. But still, the Snapdragon 652 is somewhat capable of giving the phone some nice balance in its own way.

Memory

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro's RAM is only 4 GB. Again, though this is not really surprising and in fact acceptable. But to be honest, I was expecting it to be at least 5 GB knowing that it features the Tango technology. The inbuilt storage is 64 GB and the external storage supports microSD up to 256 GB.

Battery

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro houses a 4050 mAh battery which is commonly seen in 7-inch tablets. Now, because of its 6.4-inch screen, its battery life does not last long. Base on the video source, its screen-on time lasts for around 7 hours only. Recharge time is great because it can charge from zero percent to full battery in 100 minutes.

One more thing, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro does not feature the Type-C USB which is currently supported by most phones these days. Instead, it supports microUSB. Yes, it does not affect how the user uses the phone, but it feels kind of outdated in my opinion.

Camera

Its 8 MP camera performs fine. Its 16 MP camera performs fine as well and supports HDR which is great. However, both cameras struggle with the autofocus feature but still can deliver good quality pictures.

Video

Its performance is below average. First, it does not shoot in 4k. Second, the max resolution is only 1080@fps even though it has a Quad HD display. Third, it has issues with the noise canceling audio and focus. And lastly, based on the video source, there is said to be a clicking noise when viewing the recorded video samples.

About the clicking noise issue, the video source raised this issue to Lenovo. The answer Lenovo gave was along the lines of "that problem is out of the ordinary and you may just have ended up with a bad handset." Now, I'm not saying that this is true or this is exactly what Lenovo was implicating. Anyway, just view this video and interpret it for yourself.

Tango Experience

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro has a number of apps for its Tango or augmented reality feature. I will only name 2 features that caught my interest. If you want to know the other apps, here is the link.

The first app is the Wayfair Measure. The idea of this app is like when you want to buy furniture, you can see how the furniture will look if it is placed in your home or anywhere you want to put it. I think this is a great app because you won't have to worry about buying a furniture out and impulse and only to later find out that it is not the best fit.

The second app is the Holo. The idea of this app is similar to Pokemon Go. However, with this app, you can choose when and where you would like to use the augmented reality feature. You can also walk around it in full 3D space, you can get close to it, and you can step away.

The Verdict

There were some issues shown about the augmented reality feature, but I chose not to touch on that topic for now because there are not that yet many source materials for that and I might make a mistake. But based on what I saw, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Tango apps would struggle and sometimes crash down when its augmented reality is pushed to its limits. For now, all I can say is that if you're the person who wants to experience new things, then this phone is for you. But if you're a person who prefers great quality performance, then the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is not for you.

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