Lenovo PHAB2 6

After years of waiting, the first smartphone with Google’s Tango 3D mapping camera, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, is finally on sale to the public. The phone, which costs $499.99 unlocked, also comes with over 35 augmented reality apps in the Google Play Store that work specifically with the Tango camera.

The 6.4-inch Lenovo Phab 2 Pro has a 2560×1400 display, and inside you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage, along with an 8MP front-facing camera, with Android 6.0 Marshmallow holding it all together on the software side.  However, the most unique feature of the phone is the 16MP Tango-based rear camera, which Google developed for years under the code name “Project Tango”. It has a depth sensor that can “see” its outside surroundings and create detailed 3D maps that could be used for augmented reality games apps and more.

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As you might expect, many of the apps that work with the Tango camera are games. In a blog post, Google points out some of the more interesting Tango-supported titles, One of them is Hot Wheels Track Builder, which lets kids (and their parents) build virtual Hot Wheels tracks that appear in the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro to be in their living room. Players can race their Hot Wheels cars in these AR tracks.

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Not all of the Tango-based apps are game related. There are a few that actually help get some real work done. An example of this is the Lowe’s Vision app from the well-known home products retailer. The app allows owners of the Phab 2 Pro to measure rooms in their house to see if they can put in new furniture and appliances. That info can be saved and shared so the home owner can go to their nearest Lowe’s to get the right products for their house.

Since this Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is the first smartphone with Google’s Tango technology, it will be interesting to see how many consumers decide to buy the phone, even with its unlocked higher price. The phone’s listing shows that shipments will arrive in about four to five weeks, which means the first units may not get to buyers until early December.

Do you think that AR-based camera like the one on the Phab 2 Pro will become more popular on smartphones in the near future? For even more details on all the great apps that are coming out, be sure to head over to the official blog post from Google.