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1 week ago

Google Play 'Cyber Week Deals' discounting just about everything

20

Holiday shopping isn't just about physical goods — you can get great deals on digital, too.

Google Play has just kicked off its "Cyber Week Deals" that run through November 29, sharply discounting games, apps, books, movies, TV shows, comics and more — basically, every category has something on sale.

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1 week ago

Swappa now offers protection plans so you're never without a phone!

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You can now protect your Swappa purchases!

When you buy a phone new, there's usually an option to protect your investment should you accidentally leave it on the hood of your car and drive off holding a taco in your hand instead of listening for notifications. You pay a little extra for that peace of mind and hope you never need it, but accidents happen.

When you buy a phone secondhand, there are usually fewer options for protecting your investment. This isn't a huge deal for some, since the whole point of buying secondhand is to save some cash, but a broken phone sucks no matter what you paid for it. The folks at Swappa get that, and are now rolling out protection plans so you aren't trying to swipe around on broken glass until you can afford your next phone.

Swappa's protection plan is fairly simple. You pay an extra $50, $60, or $70 at checkout depending on the cost of your phone, and if your phone breaks they'll either repair or cover the full value of your phone for a year. Coverage includes:

  • Cracked glass and screen repair
  • Water damage from drops or spills
  • Power surge protection

Those prices are competitive with what you'd get when covering just about any new phone, and unlike Google's Pixel Protect plan there's an option to repair your existing phone instead of swapping out for a whole new one. If you're a regular Swappa customer, or just someone who regularly values tacos over the safe storage of their phone, this seems like a solid add-on.

Take a look at Swappa's Protection Plan for more!

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1 week ago

Google Pixel sales are strong at Verizon as big advertising spend continues

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U.S. Pixel buyers seem to be picking Verizon as their carrier of choice.

Much as everyone (myself included) has bemoaned the "exclusive" launch of the Pixel on Verizon, it seems to be a winning strategy in the U.S. for both Google and the carrier. Even though you can buy a Pixel through several different channels unlocked, including Google's own store, research has revealed that the Pixel is selling extremely well at Verizon directly.

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1 week ago

Put some island beauty on your desktop with these Moana wallpapers

0

Get the island vibe with these Moana-themed wallpapers!

Moana came out today in the U.S., and if there's anything I want to do more than sit around a table filled with stuffed birds and mediocre sides, it's go to the movies. Moana couldn't have shown up at a better time, and to celebrate, we've got some wallpapers of our new favorite Disney heroine.

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1 week ago

Best Amazon.ca Black Friday Deals for Canadians

10

Amazon just can't wait until Black Friday to start offering amazing deals.

Over the next three weeks, Amazon.ca will be featuring thousands of deals as they countdown the days to November 25, aka Black Friday. There will also be some exclusive deals available to customers using the Amazon mobile app, and even more if you're a Prime member, which you can try for free if you aren't already a member.

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1 week ago

With its recent update, the Pixel is now almost perfect

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A small update makes a big difference.

A lot of people were very upset by a fairly big omission in the Pixel's Android 7.1-based Nougat software when it first came out: the fact that, unlike the Nexus 6P, the phone's useful ambient display didn't magically appear whenever the phone was picked up. It seemed like a strange thing to leave out given the phone's lineage, but I am happy to say that with build NPF26J, first released to Canadians earlier this week, the functionality has returned, along with the ability to double-tap to turn on the screen.

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1 week ago

These cases are just $5 for a limited time

2

Enjoy these deals on cases for the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S6 and S6 edge.

Caseology is offering deep discounts on cases for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, along with a bunch of popular Samsung phones — the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge and even a few for the Samsung S6, S6 edge, and S6 edge plus.

Because this is a limited quantity sale, the promo code will expire once the limited quantity has sold out. When going through checkout, make sure you choose Caseology as the seller and not fulfilled by Amazon. It's the only way to get the promotional codes to work, and also get free shipping.

Google Pixel Case

Google Pixel XL Case

Galaxy S7 Case

Galaxy S7 Edge Case

Galaxy S6 Case

Galaxy S6 Edge Case

Galaxy S6 Edge Plus Case

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2 weeks ago

Spoiler Alert! If you're using a Note 7 ROM, you're going to get Note 7 notifications

13

No, Samsung is not collecting your ROM'd phones.

Samsung's recall of the Note 7 means two things — lots of people curious about whether their phone might be next, and lots of misinformation about how Samsung is handling the recall. We've seen reports claiming Samsung will send kill signals to phones, claims that Samsung has been monitoring existing Note 7 users, and now claims that Samsung is pulling phones running Note 7 software.

The one thing all of these stories have in common is that they aren't at all true, but that last one is what happens when you don't fully understand how rooting and romming works.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was running some interesting software that isn't available to all other Samsung phones. As a result, some of the more clever Samsung users out there have flashed modified versions of the Note 7 software to other phones. Samsung doesn't know (or care) about the difference between a real Note 7 and a phone running Note 7 software, which means when Samsung pushes a recall notification to all active Note 7 phones reminding them of the need to submit the phone for a recall everything gets it. One of those people, a Redditor with a Note 4 running Note 7 software, got that message and shared it. What happened next on tech blogs eager to write anything new about the Note 7 will surprise no one.

Is this a reason to panic? Of course not. If you are smart enough to root and flash Note 7 software to your Note 4, you're more than smart enough to know Samsung's recall notification doesn't apply to you. Samsung isn't sending updates to disable your phone, and there is no massive surge in people sending in Samsung phones that aren't the Note 7 for a recall because they're running Note 7 software.

If you'd like to explore applying Note 7 software to something that isn't a Note 7, you should start with our guide to rooting your Android phone and learn from there!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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2 weeks ago

Best Galaxy S7 Cases

107

What's the best case for Galaxy S7? These should do the trick!

The Galaxy S7 is Samsung's best phone and you'll want to protect it with a great case.

Here are our favorites!

Spigen Liquid Crystal

You don't have to hide the beauty of your phone to keep it protected, and the Liquid Crystal case from Spigen proves that. This case offers protection without sacrificing the ability to see the color choice that you made on your initial purchase.

You'll get a nice form fit from this case, and the embossed buttons are easy to press while the case is on the phone. You can grab one on Amazon for just over $10.

See at Amazon


LifeProof FRE

For the ultimate protection, LifeProof is a brand that sits at the top. While the Galaxy S7 may already be waterproof, some additional waterproofing along with drop protection is a no-brainer for many.

The case is designed this time around to be thinner than previous generations, while still providing the same amount of worry-free protection for your phone. You'll pay for the added protection, but it beats the constant worry about breaking your new investment.

See at Amazon

Speck Candyshell

If you want to keep your phone protected, but also want it to be as stylish as possible, you may want the Speck Candyshell case. Available in a variety of different patterns, Speck does a great job of combining style and protection in their cases.

The single piece construction makes it easy to slide your phone in, and keep it protected. From a clear case to show off the beauty of the phone itself, to a fully decorated floral pattern, there is a case here for just about everyone.

See at Amazon

Urban Armor Gear

Urban Armor Gear is known for its rugged designs and great protection with a unique style. The company has announced a variety of cases for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, including one that will also double as a wallet with a place to store some of your credit cards. You can order your case now, with shipments starting around the release date of the phone.

See at Amazon

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

Searching for something a little more on the rugged side? The Unicorn Beetle Pro provides front and back protection for the Galaxy S7, including a durable swivel holster for quick-draw access at your side. On the front is a built-in plastic screen protector that's surrounded by a thick rim to keep the display raised from flat surfaces. The case itself utilizes a shock-absorbent TPU and durable polycarbonate to handle harsh impacts. The Unicorn Beetle Pro's rugged design is great for enhancing grip, too, with plenty of texture on each side of the case. This protective bundle is only $10 and available for pre-order right now.

See at Amazon

Ringke Fusion Crystal Case

For those who prefer to protect their Galaxy S7 with a case while still showing off the phone's sleek appearance, Ringke's Fusion crystal case is definitely one the best options out there. Its simple design is protective enough to handle common drops without bulking things up. Port plugs on the bottom help to keep out dirt and debris, but can always be permanently removed if they're more of a nuisance. Side buttons are easily accessible through the clear flexible plastic along the edges, and the smooth polycarbonate shell sports a large cutout for the S7's camera features.

See at Amazon


Vena vCommute

This is probably the most innovative wallet case I've come across. It's basically a fusion-style case, featuring a TPU bumper and a PC shell, with a wallet slot on the back. The slot is covered by a strong magnetic flap that's three-tiered, so you can open it just a smidge to grab something quickly or open it all the way to fill it up.

I comfortably fit three cards in this one, but you can snugly fit four, though it's a little difficult to get a card out when they're that tight. If you have three, however, it's incredibly easy to remove cards, right down to the last one.

This case is the perfect blend of wallet and protective cover.

Comes in gold/black and silver/black.

See at Amazon


Spigen Tough Armor Case

Spigen's Tough Armor case rocks military-grade protection with its dual-layer design and Air Cushion Technology. The inner skin features a webbed design that the Galaxy S7 rests on, including air pockets in all 4 corners that help handle shock. The raised lip around the front ensures the Galaxy S7's display is always clear from rubbing on flat surfaces, and the glossy bezel around the camera grants clear photos at all times. Unlike the Spigen Slim Armor, the Tough Armor case comes without a flimsy kickstand, leaving a smooth look and feel to its exterior plastic shell. This case comes in gunmetal, champagne gold, and black, starting at $19.

See at Amazon

Samsung S View Cover

Samsung's S View Cover series for the Galaxy S7 is just about as cool as it gets for phone cases. So long as you have NFC enabled on your phone, you essentially get a small window to your Galaxy S7 that lets you answer and decline calls, view message previews, activate the camera, and a bunch more.

Your Galaxy S7 clips into the bumper inside and then you just fold the cover over and, though the display is turned off, the preview screen still shows up through the window. Many folks want a flip cover to protect their phone, but it can be cumbersome to pull it out and open it up, and it's definitely conspicuous in class or at a meeting.

The S View Cover is available in black, gold, and silver to match your Galaxy S7. If you want a super cool, interactive case that does a lot more than just protect your Galaxy S7, then the S View Cover is definitely worth a look.

See at Amazon

Caseology Wavelength

Caseology's phone cases are excellent. I have yet to come across one that doesn't fit perfectly and doesn't feel great in the hand.

The Wavelength series has a wavy pattern on the back (duh!), which offers a wonderfully textured grip. The buttons are covered, but the tactile response is very present, so you're not pressing multiple times wondering if you're even hitting a button.

If you want a great-fitting case with precise cutouts, at phenomenal price (about $15), then check out the Caseology Wavelength. In fact, check out its whole collection — you can't go wrong!

Comes in five color combinations.

See at Amazon

What's your favorite Galaxy S7 case?

Those are just a handful of the best cases to consider protecting your Galaxy S7 with. If you're holding out for a different case, we'd love to hear about it!

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2 weeks ago

Samsung brings Gear S3 and Blue Coral Galaxy S7 to Canada

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Canadians can now get in on the Blue Coral GS7 love.

Samsung is bringing more of its highly-awaited mobile products to Canada this week with the Gear S3 classic and frontier, and the Blue Coral Galaxy S7.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S7 Android 7.0 Nougat release date: When to expect the GS7's biggest software upgrade

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Galaxy S7 Nougat

It's possible — but by no means guaranteed — that updates for some models could arrive by the end of the year.

The Galaxy Beta Program is allowing some Galaxy S7 and S7 edge owners to get an early taste of Android 7.0 Nougat. But as for anyone who doesn't want to use potentially buggy pre-release software, we're left waiting on an official rollout for what's turning out to be a substantial update.

So when's it due out? Officially, Samsung's not saying. But there are a few clues out in the wild.

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2 weeks ago

Google Cast is becoming 'Chromecast built-in'

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Google Cast

New branding should make it clearer that standalone dongles, and devices with integrated casting, all belong to the same ecosystem.

Google is phasing out the "Google Cast" brand for devices with casting support built in, Variety reports. The move comes shortly after the launch of Google Home and Chromecast Ultra, the company's latest products with casting support. Right now the Google Cast site refers to both names — the old Google Cast and the new Chromecast built-in.

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2 weeks ago

Master Python with this in-depth training bundle, now over 90% off

Python 3

Just about everything relies on some type of code nowadays. Cars are computerized; we use computers all day long; and we're glued to our smartphones from sunup to sundown. Python is a major coding language for apps and it's an excellent tool if you're wanting to enter the field of software development, especially if you want to build apps for a living.

But you can't just learn to code with Python over night. You need training, and Python may not be offered at your college of choice. Or, you already have a full-time job and don't have the time to attend classes, day or night. You need online courses and you need to be able to take them at your leisure — even if that means it takes a couple years.

The Python Power Coder Bonus Bundle is a great way for you to get started and to learn to build apps from scratch and learn web programming, as well as other applicable skills that you can use to forge your career as an app developer or programmer. You'll get lifetime access to eight courses, totalling roughly 70 hours of content, and you'll build 17 apps during your studies.

Were you to go anywhere else for these courses, you'd end up paying $1075. But right now through Android Central Digital Offers, you'll only pay $44 for the whole bundle. That's eight courses, over 600 lessons, and about 70 hours of content for over 95% off.

It's a great time to get into the world of app development and programming for the web, but you first need the tools to get a foot in the door. Python is one of the biggest coding languages when it comes to apps and learning to use it and use it well is an invaluable asset right now. But don't pay over $1000 for courses. Get the Python Power Coder Bonus Bundle for only $44 through Android Central Digital Offers.

See at Android Central Digital Offers

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2 weeks ago

HTC kicks off Black Friday deals with $200 off HTC 10, RE Camera for $75

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HTC One M9, HTC 10

Other offers include 40% off accessories, A9 for $275.

HTC is the latest phone maker to given an early launch its Black Friday deals, with a wide range of offers on some of its high-profile phones and accessories. The flagship HTC 10 is down to $499 unlocked, $200 off the standard price, in all four color options. The RE camera — HTC's fun, if underappreciated little action cam — is yours for a mere $75, while the UA Band gets slashed to $79.

Other accessories are on sale for 40% off — including the HTC Ice View case for $29.99, and HTC's Quick Charge 3.0 charger for $20.99.

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro review: Tango should keep the 'project' tag for now

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Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

Few of Google's "projects" have been as fascinating to watch take shape like Tango, but now that the first phone with the AR equipment baked in has hit store shelves it's not entirely clear who should invest in this tech.

The quick take

Tango remains an impressive collection of cool ideas, but the Phab 2 Pro is nowhere near ready to be considered a serious consumer product. Aside from being huge and awkward, Neither Lenovo nor Google's software is fully baked enough for this to be a complete thought.

The Good

  • Decent display
  • Solid build quality
  • Great battery life

The Bad

  • Huge and awkward
  • Camera isn't great
  • Tango is half baked
  • Lenovo's notifications are awful

It's very easy to think about Tango in individual contexts. We've seen it used as an incredible tour guide for museums, deployed on the International Space Station inside NASA's SPHERES satellites, and even used as the eyes of an autonomous drone. The individual possibilities for using the computer vision tech in Google Tango has demonstrated itself as highly useful in very specific situations, but what happens when you put all of that tech in the hands of a consumer?

Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro is the first retail product with Tango onboard, a massive smartphone with all the computer vision potential. You won't find it in a carrier store next to the Moto Z, though. It's available to purchase in Lowe's hardware stores as a phone that gives users the ability to measure objects in space and even place objects in augmented reality so you can "see" the product in the home or office before you buy it. The suggestion here is that the phone isn't really built for the Facebook generation, but is instead a smarter tool for contractors or interior designers to show their customers what their house could look like with a bit of help.

At the same time, Lenovo makes sure everyone knows this phone is also an entertainment powerhouse. A massive high resolution display with a quality audio system and a rich gaming experience thanks to the Tango Core, but it is lacking support for Google's new Daydream VR platform. Lenovo's selling points differ from what you see on the shelf at Lowe's, which differs again from Google's initial vision for Tango.

So, who is this phone for? Is this a massive media and gaming powerhouse? Will this become standard issue for contractors and interior decorators? Should eager tinkerers prepare little robots for this phone to power? Maybe all of the above? Read on to find out.

About this review

I'm writing this review after six days with a retail Lenovo Phab 2 Pro (model PB2-690Y) in Glen Burnie MD on T-Mobile. This review unit, which was provided by Lenovo, was using software version PB2-690Y_S100020_160924, based on Android 6.0.1 with the August 1, 2016 security patch.

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

You'll need two hands

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Hardware

As the name suggests, Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro is a big phone aimed at people who want to do a lot on the go. As much as I despise the word phablet, it really does apply here. This behemoth gave me flashbacks to the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, only thicker and a lot more solid. Make no mistake, this is is only a phone for people who like massive screens and the batteries that drive them.

The outer casing isn't anything special when it comes to design, but checks all the right boxes for a quality build. The aluminum body feels solid and has just the right amount of grip, with a nicely textured power key and a tactile volume rocker with very little wiggle. The edges of the phone have a slight chamfer that catches light well, but offers little towards making the phone comfortable to hold with one hand. Across the top of the phone you'll find the headphone jack off to the left, and on the bottom of the phone you'll find what looks like stereo speaker grilles on either side of a Micro-USB port. In reality, it's a single Dolby Atmos speaker firing down with the other side for what Lenovo calls a 360-degree microphone array.

The front of this Phab 2 Pro is a single sheet of 2.5d curved Gorilla Glass. It's not curved like the Galaxy S7 edge or LG G5, but the edges of the glass slope away into the bezel connector in a way that makes this phone a little easier to grip by the sides. Instead of software navigation keys like most Android phones, Lenovo went with the old school soft keys under the display. You only see those keys when lit up, which isn't all the time, so when the display is off the only thing you see on the face of this phone is the camera off to the right of the top speaker. Toss in a couple of antenna lines on the top and bottom and a fingerprint sensor dead center of the back, and you've got a fairly generic looking phone. You know, as long as you ignore the three cameras taking up the top half of the phone.

This phone should have been an early Christmas present for nerds.

In order for Tango to work, Google uses a standard RGB sensor, and infrared sensor, and a fisheye lens. The standard 16MP sensor and infrared sensor work together to "see" things, and the fisheye lens adds human-style depth perception, among other things. All three of these cameras work together with the specially optimized Snapdragon 652 processor to give this phone the information needed for a successful Tango experience. You hold the phone up with two hands, look at the QHD IPS display as though you were peering into another world, and in theory Tango does the rest.

It's difficult to imagine this phone with a case on it. The Phab 2 Pro is not fun to carry around in your pocket, both because it weighs more than half a pound and because the 6.4-inch display is noticeably larger than any phone I've tested over the last year. People using this phone for commercial reasons, like consulting on hardware installations, are going to want a case — which is going to make this phone even larger. It's possible there are people out there who would buy this phone because it's fairly inexpensive and gets you a massive display and a 4050mAh battery, but either way dropping this phone is not going to be fun for anyone.

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

No, really. When does this get good?

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Software

This is the part where I, the VR and AR nerd, am supposed to tell you how much better your life would be if you had the ability to look through your phone and see another reality. Having followed Tango and drooled over the potential for years, this phone should have been an early Christmas present for nerds like me. Instead, Lenovo and Google seem to have tried their best to make this phone one of the least enjoyable experiences I've had in 2016.

Lenovo's Android has never been great. Previous iterations of their software have been visually uninspiring and on several occasions included bloatware that bordered on offensive. After the purchase of Motorola and the release of the fairly impressive Yoga Book, it seemed as though Lenovo's software was finally getting the overhaul it needed.

While Lenovo has worked hard to stay close to something that more closely resembles stock Marshmallow with this release, it all falls apart with the notifications. They're transparent with either black or white text, which means no matter what wallpaper you're using the notifications are often difficult to read in the best of lighting. Out in daylight, forget about it.

Lenovo and Google seem to have tried their best to make this phone one of the least enjoyable experiences I've had in 2016.

This phone does dial it way back on added software though. The only nonstandard apps installed are Accuweather, McAfee Security, Sound Recorder, and SYNCit for people who want a third-party backup tool for their phone. Sound recorder makes sense, given the special microphone array this phone has. The purpose is to offer a more complete 360-degree recording solution, and it works noticeably better than just sticking a recording app on a Pixel and leaving it on a table to record while you talk. This is a great feature for talking through something in an interview format, but there aren't a ton of other uses for this microphone setup.

Obviously the big software feature here has basically nothing to do with Lenovo. Google Tango already has more apps in the Play Store than Google Daydream does, and only two are actually made by Google. These apps can be broken out into three basic categories:

  • Games take a look at the environment around you and overlay some kind of activity for you to interact with. This can be a small simulated city like Towers for Tango, a firing range where you point your phone and tap to shoot like Tango Targets, or a table full of puzzle pieces for you to walk around the real world and interact with. Most of these require fairly low accuracy and so work fairly well. There's also some surprisingly big names, like Crayola Color Blaster and Hot Wheels Track Builder Tango.

  • Shopping apps let you browse Amazon, Wayfair, Lowe's, and others for a variety of products and then show you what those products would look like in your home. The measurements offered in the product description and Tango's computer vision work together to place objects in augmented reality so they don't clash with anything in the real world, and as long as your room is well lit and you have a fairly open space this method of shopping works well.

  • Tool apps let you measure 2D and 3D spaces with an app, and allow you to store those measurements for later. This can be physical measurements or a way to observe things like signal strength for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular networks in the real world. These apps require accuracy to be effective, which means wide open spaces and proper lighting to "see" everything clearly. Even in perfect conditions, tool apps still have a high failure rate.

Very little in this software experience works the way it should.

While games are a great way to show someone Tango and give a starting idea for what computer vision is all about, it's a serious problem that these are the most accurate apps in the Tango arsenal. Not only is this setup only useful indoors, but even in ideal conditions the software isn't reliable. Google's Measure app starts with a warning that it's meant for estimation and not for accuracy. Shopping apps are more reliable when you're in a well lit room, but fail quickly in low light and handles collision poorly if your goal is to see how well a corner table would look with two real couches on either side.

Very little in this software experience works the way it should. Between the frequent failure rate of individual apps to Lenovo's aggressively mediocre implementation of Android, it's not entirely obvious who would enjoy this experience enough to justify spending money exclusively for playing with Tango. I say playing because that's basically what you're doing with these apps. The tools aren't accurate enough to be considered useful by real contractors. The shopping apps would only be useful to interior designers in an empty, well-lit home. The games are only fun if you happen to have a ton of free space in you home to enjoy them, which isn't a ton of people.

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

Dragons are cool, I guess.

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Experience

You know how some phones just sort of disappear in your pocket? This is not one of those phones. The good news is I don't think I'd ever misplace this phone, regardless of how long I used it. The less good news is I can't take this phone anywhere without either putting it in my jacket pocket or wearing a belt. It's not that the phone is big — though really, this is such a huge damn phone — it's the weight. Some of that is top be expected with a huge battery and a metal body and the additional hardware, but comparing the weight of this phone to every other on my desk is incredible.

Speaking of that big battery, if I don't touch the Tango features at all, I can get through a normal 16 hour day with 55% battery remaining when I go to sleep. With Quick Charge 2.0 on board, I can recharge this phone in minutes and basically never worry about it dying. Unless, of course, I start a Tango app. On average, Tango apps drain 10% of the battery for every 15 minutes of use, which is insane. It's no shock that three cameras and the act of processing that information while displaying content on the screen consumes battery, but you can crush almost half of the battery on this phone with an hour of Tango use. There aren't a lot of situations that call for an hour of Tango use though, so it's unlikely to be a huge deal in day to day use.

There's a lot of promise in tech like Tango, but this phone was not ready for primetime.

It cannot be overstated how poorly Tango operates in less than ideal situations. The Signal Mapper app failed 16 out of the 18 times I tested it. Between Google Measure and the measure tool in the Lowe's app, I got a mostly accurate measurement twice after using both apps every day for nearly a week. The number of time I've seen "Unfortunately, Tango Core has stopped" is embarrassing. In no way should this experience be on a store shelf right now.

But at the same time, the promise of Tango remains. This tech is so damn cool, and now that it's in a form factor that can generously be called a phone at a reasonable price it's accessible to way more people. This may not deserve to be a consumer product yet, but Project Tango as a concept is something incredible and powerful. Right now it just only works when you're inside a big empty room and conditions are perfect.

Some of that may be due to Lenovo's primary camera. It's not the best sensor for grabbing detail, and in low light the sensor struggles a lot. I found myself frequently wondering what would happen if a Tango Pixel existed, with a sensor that handled low light like a champion and could combine powerful AR with Google Daydream VR. That's obviously not happening anytime soon, but it's a cool thought. In the mean time, Lenovo's camera does include a cute AR mode that lets you overlay some animals for you to take some photos. Here's a quick look at some of the shots I grabbed this week.

There's a lot of promise in tech like Tango, but usually that promise is in contained experiences. A detailed 3D guide of a store is cool, but only if enough people own something that justifies the experience. This could be great when specialized for specific things, but on its own it's difficult to imagine wanting this phone in my pocket every day.

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

The bottom line

Should you buy the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro? Probably not

Is it possible that Tango will improve with time? Sure. At one third the cost of Google Glass — that's $499 for the uninitiated — it's the kind of thing we'll see show up at hacker spaces for cool one-off ideas over the next two years. It's difficult to imagine this being the kind of thing you see someone casually using in public, and it's even more difficult to imagine a professional using this to enhance their work and being satisfied with the results right now.

But as a daily driver, even if you're really hyped about Tango and Augmented Reality? This isn't what you want, at least not yet.

See at Lowe's

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