Google-Lenovo Project Tango will hit shelves 'this summer'

8 Jan, 2016

Budget phone with image-based mapping tech will use Qualcomm chips

Google and Lenovo have finally announced a release date for Project Tango - sort of.

The partnership, which was announced this week at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, will bring 3D location technology like new indoor tracking and augmented reality features, to the budget smartphone.

Project Tango was first announced back in 2014, when Google sent out 200 prototype devices to developers. The device was tipped to reach the market in 2015 as a 7in tablet created in partnership with LG.

However, for reasons unknown, that version of Tango never appeared, instead re-emerging in this 6in, Lenovo-made form.

"We locked arms with Google to bring out a consumer device based on Tango," said Lenovo VP, Jeff Meredith.

"We are extremely proud of where we are at this stage of the effort. We don't want this to be a niche technology," he added.

The device, which exclusively uses imagery and mapping for location, not GPS or other sensors, to work out its position in relation to its environment, will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, with the software developed by Google (presumably involving a version of Android as an operating system, although this hasn't been confirmed) and the rest of the hardware and distribution taken care of by Lenovo.

The device will, according to the announcement by Google and Lenovo, cost less than $500 (£343) before tax and be released in the US this summer.

Unfortunately for those living elsewhere, there is no release date or estimated price for other regions as yet.

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