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CNET First Look
A peek at a weird, wonderful future -- but not the phone to get us thereThe Lenovo Phab 2 Pro makes a cool toy for developers seeking to unlock the potential of Google's Tango augmented reality software. Too bad the hardware can't keep up.
[MUSIC] This is the first phone to have Google's augmented reality software built right in, and it is truly something to behold. The software is called Tango. The phone is the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. And the two together is an early look at how AR on a phone could make the apps you use so much cooler by interacting with the world around you in weird and wonderful ways The problem is that Tango isn't very developed on it's own and the phone itself makes a lot of compromises to [UNKNOWN] or work. The sample is very big and heavy. It should be because there's a huge battery in it and lots of processing power and you need both of these things to run the kind of intensive programs. That scan and track the real world around you and then place things in it. But battery life drains really quickly and the phone, with its huge 6.4-inch screen, is very bulky and awkward to use. Apps you can download will make you feel like Zeus on high as you kill innocent villagers, or preview how good a lamp or a plant might look in your room. The possibilities are endless here and the platform is just waiting for developers to dive in. But unfortunately, most of the apps so far are either unintuitive, inaccurate or simply poorly made. When a error gets good enough that virtual dominoes fall off the table and on to the floor, then we've truly made strides. For now though, they just hang in the air, and that's a problem. Even if your curious about AR, and like the Phab 2 Pro size and price, it just isn't a stellar phone. Camera quality is so-so and it takes way too long to process a photo. I ran into issues here and there with buggy software and dropped calls too. As excited as I am to see AR cameras and IR sensors together on the same phone, this just isn't the right combination. Right girl? [SOUND] Bottom line, if you aren't a developer trying to experiment with AR app the Fab 2 Pro isn't a good buy despite its cutting edge promise. [MUSIC]