The first Google Tango phone just launched for under $500

Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla | First published: 2 November 2016, 20:09 IST
The first Google Tango phone just launched for under $500

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. Remember that name, because it's the first smartphone on the market with Google's Tango technology and is cheaper than Apple's latest iPhone or Google's Pixel. At just $499, this is Lenovo's implementation of the augmented reality (AR) technology from Google.

Lenovo's Phab 2 has a special sensor inside of it that allows anyone to create a 'real-time 3D map' of the the room they are in. According to Lenovo, one of their key demographics is interior designers. These designers can see how furniture can fit into a room without physically putting the furniture there. To this end, Lenovo will go beyond the traditional retail outlets and sell the phone in places like Lowe's home improvement stores and others.

The phone allows for apps that can visualise things and measure them in the real world. Boil it down and it can measure objects just by looking at them. Coming with the phone are over 35 augmented reality apps that are designed specifically to use the cameras 3D mapping features.

For those that just want to know the specifications before hearing about the rest, well, here you go.

The Specs

It has a super large 6.4-inch display with a 1440x2560-pixel resolution. Inside the hood, it has a Snapdragon 652 processor with 4GB of RAM and a whopping 64GB of storage (more than most people need). Finally, it has a large 4,050 mAh battery, a 16-megapixel back camera, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.

Google's Tango team is now part of the company's larger virtual reality division. It may have been years in the making, but, thanks to Lenovo, it is making its consumer debut. Expect to see a lot more phones with Google's Tango come 2017.

History of Tango

Tango started as a project within Google's Advanced Technologies and Projects division (ATAP) and the initial idea was to integrate multiple sensors and cameras into a smartphone so that it could figure out its relative position compared to its surroundings.

From various demos and reports, we know how Tango's 3D-mapping technology can be used for giving directions in museums and even assisting in home improvement projects.

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