It looks like the Pixel and Pixel XL aren’t the only reality-altering phones that Google will be launching this year.
According to the company’s VP of Virtual Reality, Clay Bavor, Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro, will be launching in November. Bavor reportedly said as much to CNET in an interview from last week’s Made By Google event in California. We’ve reached out to Lenovo itself to confirm Google’s comments.
The Phab 2 Pro will be the first phone to support Google’s Project Tango tech, allowing new capabilities for augmented reality apps by using four depth-sensing rear-mounted cameras. The phone is expected to retail for $499.
Project Tango goes above and beyond what you’re seeing in Pokemon Go; the cameras can scan a room and use that data to project virtual images onto walls and floors. Whereas the monster-catching phenomenon simply puts a virtual overlay on top of what’s captured on-camera, Project Tango’s images will appear as if they were actually in the world around them, allowing you to walk around virtual models, get closer to them, and have them react to the physical environment.
Originally, we expected the phone to be out in September, though that obviously didn’t happen. November is also expected to see the launch of Google’s own Pixel phones, which are the first handsets to support the company’s new Daydream mobile VR ecosystem. The search engine giant’s own headset, Daydream View, will also be launched around this time. As far as we know, the Phab 2 Pro will not be supporting Daydream.
Project Tango could be a vital piece of the Daydream puzzle in the future, especially considering that its depth sensing capabilities might present a potential solution for positional tracking in a mobile VR headset. Bavor himself noted that the two are collaborating when he revealed Daydream earlier in the year, but a phone that supports both mobile VR and the advanced camera system seems some way off.
In the meantime, check out some of the apps that will launch on the Phab 2 Pro.