Lenovo has been a brand that is well known for its formidable notebook computers. Before the age of smartphones as we see today Lenovo has been known to be making great and solid notebooks that would last for ages and is more reliable than almost anything else you can get your hands on in the market. Fast forward to yesterday though everything is plenty different. Times have changed, and that is clearly portrayed in Lenovo Tech World 2016 yesterday. Personal computing has taken a backseat this time and Lenovo did not seem to want to make a fuss about what is what with their computing line. Apart from personal computing not being the primary agenda of the show, Lenovo should be confident enough that their computing products can actually sell. What the whole world is concerned about though currently is smartphones. This is a plague that is not only affecting Lenovo, it is affecting every major manufacturer out there in the world that is making major announcements. It has become an expectation even. Tech World 2016 though did not disappoint. In this Lenovo Tech World 2016 they have announced a potentially game changing device – the Lenovo Phab 2, not just any Phab 2; it is the Phab 2 Pro.
The regular Lenovo Phab 2 is the most basic of the whole line of Phab 2 phones. It is also the most plain if you must ask. While all of them are topped with the 6.4-inch IPS display their internals could not be more different. Starting with the amount of pixels you get from underneath the 6.4-inch glass; you only get 720p HD 720 x 1,280 resolution from the regular Phab 2. You get a MediaTek MTK8735 quad-core processor chipset paired up with 2GB of RAM. Internal memory comes at 32GB and expandable up to 128GB via MicroSD. Gracing the plastic back is a 13-Megapixel rear camera with LED flash paired up with a 5-Megapixel shooter up front with no flashes in sight. Powering the Android 6.0.1 device is a 4,050mAh battery that should be adequate for a whole day of use. Overall nothing to shout about.
The bigger brother of the Phab 2 is the Plus version. The Phab 2 Plus is a Phab 2 except with a Full HD 1080p 1,080 x 1,920 resolution for the 6.4-inch display. You get an upgrade on your processor too. Instead of a quad-core you get double that from a MediaTek MTK8783 SoC paired with 3GB of RAM which should make things run even smoother and faster. Internal memory is similar at 32GB and expandable up to 128GB via MicroSD as well. The back of the device is also a step up from the Phab 2 with its metal casing and fingerprint sensor. While the rear camera stays at 13-Megapixels it has two of it. The front camera gets a 8-Megapixel treatment as well for better selfie moments. The Android 6.0.1 device is also juiced up by the 4,050mAh battery that could last it a whole day.
The cream of the crop though is the Phab 2 Pro. This is a potential game changer; why? It is not only Lenovo’s first Tango enabled smartphone, it is in fact the first in the world. If you remember Project Tango and the kind of possibilities it poses and its real world application potential, you are going to like this phone. The 6.4-inch IPS display fires out Quad HD 1,440 x 2,560 pixels of resolution into your eyes for that extra sharp images. Processing is handled by a Tango optimised octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 clocked at 1.4GHz (Cortex-A53) and 1.8GHz (Cortex-A72) for each four of the cores respectively. It is paired up to a 4GB RAM for that extra processing power and that buttery smoothness of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow goodness. Internal memory tops at 64GB but expandable up to 256GB via MicroSD card. To keep everything powered up is a 4,050mAh battery that, again should last for an entire day. The back part of the smartphone though is the part where it gets interesting. This smartphones has three cameras; one 8-Megapixel up front, one 16-Megapixel out the back which also is a Fish Eye lens camera, and one RGB camera out the back below an IR emitter. The two cameras and IR emitter out the back working together is what makes the Tango work. The IR emitter will blast IR signals to create a grid and measure distance in the space it is pointing at, the RGB camera that acts as a sensor to its surroundings and objects in its way, and the fish eye camera that feeds what the software sees to the display. In the demo of the launch we basically see the smartphone and Tango work in variety of ways including house and furniture planning. This Tango technology could also be very useful in the future of augmented reality and virtual reality. Of course we did not forget that there is a fingerprint sensor as well below all these cool stuff.
These Lenovo devices will be available globally September 2016 onward. There are no official statements yet as to when the Phab 2, Phab 2 Plus, and Phab 2 Pro will make their way to this part of the world but we are suspecting that September 2016, is the date alongside the global availability. Prices are set to US$199 (MYR811) for the Phab 2, US$299 (MYR1,218) for the Phab 2 Plus, and US$499 (MYR2,033) for the Phab 2 Pro. Keep in mind that these prices are for the United States market and there are no official pricing yet for this region, for now at least. Do watch this space for more updates on this game changing device. Press release and photos after the break.
Lenovo Unveils World’s First Tango-Enabled Smartphone –
PHAB2 family brings augmented reality to smartphones
SAN FRANCISCO – June 9, 2016: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today launched the much anticipated PHAB2 Pro – the world’s first Tango-enabled smartphone to enable augmented reality experiences – plus the dual-camera PHAB2 Plus and full-sized PHAB2 smartphones.
PHAB2 Pro: World’s First Tango-Enabled AR Smartphone
Unlike any other phone, the PHAB2 Pro, powered by Tango technology – a set of sensors and software from Google that senses and maps its surroundings – makes a host of cutting-edge smartphone augmented reality (AR) experiences possible. For example, using AR apps, students can place true-to-scale virtual dinosaurs in their classrooms and enhance their learning through AR data overlays that appear while they walk around the creatures. AR gaming experiences let you play virtual dominos on your kitchen table, raise a digital pet in your bedroom and fight back swarms of aliens invading your house. With Tango technology the PHAB2 Pro can even begin to change the way people think about mapping indoor spaces to create new experiences like future augmented reality museum tours via the GuidiGO app. With Tango, the PHAB2 Pro offers unprecedented experiences on a smartphone that will continually learn and improve.
“Put simply, we wanted to take what was an amazing concept and transform it into a commercially viable mobile device,” said Jeff Meredith, vice president and general manager of Android and Chrome Computing, Lenovo. “From the moment we saw Tango, we knew it could become pervasive, just like GPS. However, to truly make the PHAB2 Pro a game-changer, we developed it at an affordable price for mainstream consumers, delivering not just a bleeding-edge phone, but an all-around fantastic phone that’s first to market.”
“Tango enables our devices to sense physical motion and space and, as a result, has the power to change how we interact with our surroundings. We believe that devices with positional tracking functionality will be pervasive and are happy that the PHAB2 Pro will introduce these new capabilities, making your phone even more useful,” said Johnny Lee, Engineering Director at Google.
“Lenovo needed a highly robust and dependable platform for Tango and we are extremely pleased they chose the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor for its advanced technology and comprehensive design,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The close collaboration between Lenovo, Google and Qualcomm Technologies allowed this new and innovative user experience to be implemented completely in software on the Snapdragon 652, allowing us to meet Lenovo’s aggressive deployment schedule without needing a separate co-processor or requiring hardware re-certification.”
Homeowners can also now use their PHAB2 Pro to remodel their homes by visualizing real home furnishings in their living rooms and kitchens. Home improvement company Lowe’s is one of the first partners to develop a Tango-enabled application, Lowe’s Vision. The app empowers customers by leveraging Tango technology to measure spaces and visualize how products like appliances and décor, or materials like countertops or backsplash tile will all look and fit together in a room. With Lowe’s Vision, customers will be able to control a new generation of augmented reality tools with a mere tap of the finger.
“Tango technology will allow customers to see how their home improvement visions translate into reality like never before,” said Richard Maltsbarger, Lowe’s Chief Development Officer. “By bringing the PHAB2 Pro to Lowe’s, we want to empower customers with a tool to help them design, start and complete their home improvement projects with confidence.”
The Technology Behind Tango
Three core technologies bring Tango experiences to life: motion tracking, depth perception and area learning. Through motion tracking, the PHAB2 Pro’s “eye” sees its own location in 3D. Area learning tells the smartphone its location. Depth perception lets the device analyze the shape of the world around it by detecting surfaces and obstacles. And now for the first time ever, your smartphone can visualize and understand its surrounding objects and environment via sensors that capture more than 250,000 measurements a second.
Premium Smartphone Design
While Tango makes the PHAB2 Pro unique, the device stands on its own as a premium smartphone. It is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 652 processor, which brings efficient hardware integration and processing, leading 4G LTE connectivity, and cutting-edge time stamping and camera and sensor processing capabilities. Demanding computer vision processing is performed by a single, integrated and highly efficient Snapdragon processor with a tightly integrated suite of key modules including a DSP, ISP and integrated sensor hub. The Snapdragon heterogeneous computing platform is optimally balanced for a Tango workload and is designed for all-day use. The Snapdragon 652 processor also quickly processes and time stamps all the rich sensor data simultaneously received from multiple camera sensors, gyro and accelerometer, resulting in a fast, smooth augmented reality experience, where 3D AR graphic overlays track more naturally to the physical surroundings.
The PHAB2 Pro features Dolby AudioTM Capture 5.1 with Dolby Atmos® playback capabilities to help capture life’s moments on video with great quality audio. With Dolby Audio Capture 5.1, you can use crystal-clear 5.1-channel surround sound to record and share the full panorama of your life, adding amazing richness, clarity and depth to your special moments. Making this possible are three microphones, spatial capture with noise reduction, along with an onboard 16mp camera that supports crisp video recording. Also, when you watch Dolby Atmos content over headphones, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the action on screen with immersive, moving audio. The 6.4-inch PHAB2 Pro boasts an intelligent Assertive Display with a pin-sharp QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution, capable of optimizing image quality based on ambient lighting and content.
To find out more about Lenovo’s development of the PHAB2 Pro with Tango, please visit our newsroom at http://news.lenovo.com/TechWorld2016. Watch the livestream from Tech World here: www.YouTube.com/lenovo
PHAB2 Plus: Amazing Photos
Known for its photos, the PHAB2 Plus comes with two 13MP rear cameras that have instant focus, fast F2.0 lenses and the same professional-grade Futjitsu Milbeaut® image signal processor that powers the Leica camera. Shutterbugs can capture amazing pictures with crisp low-light shots, high contrast while retaining lifelike colors, high detail in the shadow areas and a captivating background blur. Meanwhile, the camera software incorporates a manual mode as well as other special effects.
PHAB2: Amazing Price
The PHAB2 offers an affordable AR smartphone with many of the attractive features found in higher-end models. PHAB2’s AR mode, for instance, allows you to create more unique photos and videos by superimposing effects such as virtual backgrounds or cartoons onto your pictures – perfect for sharing on Facebook or Instagram. Other highlights include a huge 6.4-inch HD display, complete with a fast-focusing 13MP camera and 32GB onboard storage expandable via a microSD slot.
Pricing and Availability1
Pricing for the Lenovo PHAB2 will start at $199 (USD); PHAB2 Plus will start at $299; and PHAB2 Pro will start at $499. All will be globally available beginning in September. In the US, the PHAB2 Pro will be sold at select Lowe’s stores nationwide and online by the end of the year. Pricing and availability may vary from country to country.
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a $46 billion global Fortune 500 company and a leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and enterprise technology. Our portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers PCs (including the legendary Think and multimode YOGA brands), workstations, servers, storage, smart TVs and a family of mobile products like smartphones (including the Moto brand), tablets and apps. Join us on LinkedIn, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@Lenovo) or visit us at www.lenovo.com.