Lenovo Phab 2 Plus is now officially available in India at a price of Rs 14,999. The phablet comes with a 6.4-inch full HD display, with the promise of DLSR-style photos thanks to the dual-rear camera, and a new Augmented Reality mode. The AR mode on the Phab 2 Plus is pretty similar to how it works on the Google Project Tango smartphone which is the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.
Lenovo’s Phab 2 Plus carries the same price tag as another phablet in the market. Xiaomi’s Mi Max, which also comes with 3GB RAM+ 32GB storage, although there’s no dual camera being offered in this. Lenovo’s Phab 2 Plus is also one of the cheapest phones in the market right now that has such a camera setup. We checked out the Lenovo Phab 2 Plus at the launch, and here’s our first impression of the device.
Design, Display: This is one big phablet with a 6.44-inch screen, and is made of aluminium alloy with 2.5D curved glass design on the front. The full HD display is pretty vivid and sharp, although let’s not forget this is a huge device to handle. Unless you’re specifically looking for a phone that’s so big, the Lenovo Phab 2 Plus has the disadvantage of not being very easy to use. I’ve used the Mi Max in the past, and it was a much lighter phone, but the Lenovo device is not easy to manage in one hand. But the size of the display means, you can consider it a tablet replacement.
Specifications: Lenovo’s Phab 2 Plus has a 64-bit MediaTek’s MTK8783 octa-core processor, Mali T720 GPU. The total RAM is 3GB coupled with 32GB internal storage. The expandable storage limit is 128GB via microSD card. Lenovo has introduced the dual-SIM version in India with a hybrid SIM slot (Micro+Nano SIM or Nano+SD). This is also a 4G VoLTE ready phone, which means it should work with Reliance Jio SIM cards.
Phab 2 Plus has a 4,050 mAh battery with Lenovo promising standby time of 17 days and 23 hours of talk-time. Like other phones in the Phab series, this also comes with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Audio Capture 5.1 surround sound support. The speakers are at the bottom of the device.
Camera: Camera is being touted as the highlight of this phablet, which is a first. Most devices which are above the 6-inch screen are not really seen as geared towards camera usage. With the Lenovo Phab 2 Plus, the company is introducing a dual camera setup on the back, and there’s an Augmented Reality mode.
The Augmented Reality Mode is pretty similar to the one on the Project Tango version of the phablet. I have tried out the Phab 2 Pro at IFA 2016, and the one in this phone is nothing different. In the Phab 2 Plus, you can go in the AR mode as one of the settings on the camera, and you’ll see the option of choosing from different creatures like a kitten, dragon, etc. These cartoon figures get super-imposed in the background, and you can take pictures or videos with them running around. Or even play games with the virtual cat or dog depending on your mood.
There’s also a separate mode for the dual-rear camera function. When a user goes into this mode, both cameras are used. After the picture is taken, the camera app prompts you with two options: refocus or background swap.
I tapped on the refocus option, and in this you can basically create a ‘bokeh-style’ image, or at least that’s what Lenovo claims. A user can tap on a part of the picture where they want in sharper focus, and choose how much of the background should be blurred. It’s not very accurate to be honest, and in low-light settings, I could not see much difference.
On the software side, this is not the smoothest implementation as far as dual-rear cameras go. I would say the process of editing out the photo to bring the object in sharper focus is not seamless, certainly not as simple on the Huawei Honor 8 series. However, I’m hoping to try this out in a more detailed review later on.
Lenovo Phab 2 Plus is clearly aimed at the Xiaomi Mi Max. Big-screened smartphones might be not everyone’s first preference, but these devices are better suited for entertainment purposes. With the Phab 2 Plus though, Lenovo wants to make the camera as the highlight as well.