Lenovo’s just announced PHAB2 Pro smartphone, which incidentally is the world’s first smartphone to feature Google’s Tango technology, will not support Google’s Daydream VR project. When asked if the augmented reality-powered phone will support Daydream, Lenovo said, “No day dream support. We started before daydream was announced/ established. Going forward, we’ll definitely look at daydream devices at Lenovo.” Last week, Huawei announced that it will launch its first Daydream VR-compatible phone by Autumn, and going by the look of things, it seems the first non-Nexus phone to support Daydream VR won’t arrive before June is over.
Even though PHAB2 Pro is capable of running augmented reality apps and games, the fact that it doesn’t support Daydream VR is not really surprising. When Google announced Daydream VR at its I/O conference in Mountain View, California, it announced a list of OEMs which will develop new smartphones compatible with the VR system, and neither Lenovo nor Motorola figured in the list. However, Lenovo did say that it will look at Daydream devices, so we cannot rule out the fact that there could be a Lenovo device supporting Daydream by early next year. To run Daydream VR, Android devices will have to run Android N as a minimum requirement, feature a Super AMOLED display and may have to feature ARM’s latest Cortex-A73 processor and Mali G71 GPU as well which have been tailor-made to run Daydream VR along with augmented reality content. “We’re pleased to have been working with Google to ensure our range of Mali GPUs, video and display processors are able to deliver the ultimate mobile VR experience on Daydream. In addition, ARM has been working closely with a number of our leading silicon partners, enabling them to ship their first wave of Daydream-ready devices,” said an ARM spokesperson. We wonder if Lenovo is among select manufacturers who have discussed this with ARM.
Even though you will not be able to run Daydream VR on the PHAB2 Pro, the device will still let you perform a lot of tasks which no existing smartphone can offer. Priced at $499, the phone will not only let you play with augmented reality apps and games like virtual dominos on your kitchen table or raising digital pets in your bedroom, but will also let you experience augmented reality museum tours through the GuidiGo app. A partnership with home improvement company Lowe’s also brings in new technologies in PHAB2 Pro like letting you visualize how new furnishings and products will look like and fit in your room. The phone will also perform functions like depth perception, area learning and motion tracking to visualize its surroundings and to identify surfaces and obstacles.