Lenovo's Tango-Enabled Phab 2 Pro Smartphone Now Available

After several months of delays, the unlocked $500 Phab 2 Pro, which runs on Android, can now be ordered through Lenovo.com.  

Lenovo, Phab 2 Pro, smartphones, Android, Project Tango, Google, Tango-enabled

The unlocked Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Tango-enabled smartphone will be available for purchase starting Nov. 10 after several months of delays that pushed back the launch date for the handset.

The Phab 2 Pro, which is the first handset to feature Google Tango augmented reality capabilities for consumer use, was unveiled at Lenovo Tech World in June, along with two other Phab phone models and two new Moto Z smartphones that feature modular accessories that can be added and removed as needed.

The Phab 2 Pro (pictured) includes a 6.4-inch quad HD In-Plane Switching (IPS) curved touch-screen display (1,440-by-2,560 resolution), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Tango-edition processor, 4GB of memory, 64GB of onboard storage, a microSD slot for storage cards up to 128GB and a 4,050mAh Li-Ion battery with fast charging capabilities.

The 4G LTE-capable handset also includes a 16-megapixel auto-focus camera, an 8-megapixel fixed-focus front-facing camera with an f/2.2 aperture lens, Dolby Atmos audio and an aluminum alloy unibody. It runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity are also included. The Phab 2 Pro is available first in Gunmetal Grey, with a Champagne Gold version expected in the future. The phones were originally slated for release in September.

The Phab 2 Pro is being launched in partnership with Google, which introduced Project Tango in February 2014 as an initiative to compress current understanding about robotics and computer vision into a mobile phone, according to a past eWEEK article. The idea of the project is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion that will allow the devices to provide more data to users than is seen on a touch screen. Project Tango is designed to capture and track large amounts of data using 3D measurements to help make it possible using extra intelligence.

The Project Tango-enabled smartphone will give users new ways to experience the world—enabling them to map their way inside a museum or to create a 3D gaming environment to, for example, visualize how a new refrigerator might fit into their kitchen. The handset includes a myriad of special sensors and special software from Google that allow the device to sense and map its surroundings to provide augmented reality capabilities.

One of the uses for the new technology is that homeowners will be able to remodel their homes using the handset to visualize how new appliances or other home furnishings will fit in their rooms. A Tango-enabled app created by home improvement company Lowe's will let users make such decisions using their Phab 2 Pro phones. Lenovo said it will also sell the handsets in Lowe's stores by the end of the year.

Other Tango-enabled applications slated for release with the phones are games including creature-focused game Phantogeist, pet-inspired game Raise and the sandbox adventure Woorld.

The Phab 2 Pro is 7.08 inches long, 3.49 inches wide and 0.42 inches thick. The smartphones come with JBL earphones and a charger. The handset offers standby time of up to 13 days and talk time of up to 18 hours.