Lenovo Phab2 Pro Review: Tango One: Telephony, Multimedia, Audio Quality, Loudspeaker

By 05:16 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Telephony

Our US variant of the Phab2 Pro is HD-Voice and VoLTE-compatible. We had a constant notification that let us know when the phone was ready for VoLTE calls. It simply reads: "Device is HD capable". This was done becautilize there is otherwise no indication that the call is in "HD", not even on the in-call screen.



VoLTE-ready notification

The Dialer is AOSP-based and features a familiar look. There are three tabs, one for favorited contacts, the second is a call log, and the third one displays all your contacts. Call options include: how contacts are displayed, ringtone options, the ability to change the pre-set quick responses, SIP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) account settings, and extended setup which offers a couple of options like automatically answering the call when you lift the phone to your face.







Favorite conacts • Recent calls • Contacts • Dialer options • Edit quick responses






Speed dial • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) settings • Misc call options • Initiating 4G conference call

To dial, tap the dial-pad icon and a dialer pad will pop up, where you can input a phone number, or search for a contact by using predictive text. Enter '333' to find "Dee-Dee".



Dial with predictive-text to find contact

The in-call classy screen is shown here. The highest volume level in-call is adequate and not too loud. We took the Phab2 Pro to a park that's adjacent to a busy highway. We found ourselves using the volume booster to hear our caller better. Likewise, our caller assumed that we sounded clear and despite the highway noise, our caller was still able to hear us thanks to the phone's active noise-cancellation.




In-call classy screen • Volume boost ON

SMS

SMS is quite a standard affair. The Phab2 Pro comes with Google's standard SMS app 'Messenger' out of the box. It's a simple, but feature-rich SMS app which offers a few SMS perks like GIF-support, stickers, an in-app viewfinder to snap photos to embed directly into an MMS message, and you can sdiscontinue photos and a location viewable in Google Maps.







Main classy screen • Settings • Thread • Viewfinder to snap photo directly to MMS • Stickers

Video

The Lenovo Phab2 Pro comes with a really bare, stock video player. All it has is a back button, play, pautilize button, and a progress bar for the video. Even Google Photos' viewer has a couple more features, but you'll be much better off downloading a third-party video viewer like VLC or MX Player which have plenty more features.



Bare-bones video player

Music

With music streaming apps on the rise, fewer OEMs are putting dedicated music players for listening to local mp3's. Since then, Google Play Music has quietly become the default music player for Android devices. You can hold advantage of added features for a paid subscription, but the free version will allow you to store up to 50,000 of your own music files in Google's cloud so you can stream it all later. You can access millions of songs ad-free, and you can also listen to Google's curated playlists with unlimited skips.





Welcome to Google Music • Main menu • curated stations

Anyway, the music player does fine with local files, you can search for local music by title, artist, genre, or album.






Offline mode • Organize by Playlist • Browse by Artist • View all tracks

Google Music offers a few options in the settings area such as: signing up for a Google Music subscription, sleep timer, equalizer (which forwards you to the handset's built-in Dolby Atmos equalizer), or stream only on Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) to save data.





Settings • More settings • Sleep timer

The Dolby Atmos equalizer has several options for listening including: Movie, Music, Game, Voice, and two custom slots that you can adjust to your heart's content. Each slot has sliders and a smart equalizer that will automatically adjust itself if you raise the volume level so high that the sound starts clipping.





Dolby EQ shows when channel is clipping • EQ settings • Choose from a preset or adjust manually

Contrary to our high initial expectations, the included JBL earbuds are just okay. Bass is average and there is no punchiness that some other earbuds have. If you want to create them sound better, you can try fiddling with the equalizer, we found that listening to music with the "Open" preset gave a richer sound, and we could hear the instruments better.

Audio output starts off bright, falters with headphones

When plugged into an active external amplifier, the Lenovo Phab2 Pro posted excellent scores top to bottom with no weak points to its performance. Its loudness was nicely high too so a remarkable showing here.

Unfortunately things hold a sharp turn for the worse when headphones come into play. Stereo crosstalk shoots up drastically and some distortion creeps in. Frequency response also goes a small shaky, so it's not really a performance worth writing home about.

And now here go the results so you can create your comparison.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk

HLenovo Phab2 Pro+0.02, -0.03-92.392.20.00410.012-63.5

Lenovo Phab2 Pro (headphones attached)+0.71, -0.08-91.791.60.2100.373-21.7

Huawei Mate 9+0.03, -0.01-92.293.00.00260.0093-93.3

Huawei Mate 9 (headphones attached)+0.06, -0.05-91.191.80.0160.056-63.5

Google Pixel XL+0.01, -0.03-94.094.00.00330.0066-92.9

Google Pixel XL (headphones attached)+0.17, -0.04-92.092.70.00670.125-62.0

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus+0.06, -0.02-83.983.00.00330.047-84.9

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus (headphones attached)+0.95, -0.10-82.083.30.2450.564-48.0

Apple iPhone 7 Plus+0.10, -0.04-93.193.10.00150.0098-80.5

Apple iPhone 7 Plus (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.03-93.193.00.00130.015-76.8

LG V20+0.01, -0.03-93.093.10.0036

0.0075-93.7

LG V20 (headphones attached)+0.04, -0.09-92.492.40.051

0.105-57.5




Lenovo Phab2 Pro frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Loudspeaker

The Phab2 Pro's speakerphone is adequately loud, and scored 'good' in our loudness test. The speaker is mounted on the bottom edge on the phone and the speaker grille is pretty wide so you won't be accidentally covering it with your palm. Likewise, you won't be missing calls with this guy.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score

OnePlus 3 62.4 71.0 77.8 Good

Lenovo Phab2 Pro 64.5 66.2 81.8 Good

Apple iPhone 7 Plus 68.3 72.2 72.9 Good

Xiaomi Mi Mix 64.2 72.8 86.0 Very Good

Huawei Nexus 6P 74.7 77.8 72.1 Very Good

Google Pixel XL 73.4 72.1 84.1 Excellent

Huawei Mate 9 83.1 74.5 85.0 Excellent

Sony Xperia XA Ultra 88.9 79.3 82.7 Excellent

While the speaker is loud enough for listening to music while cooking or showering, the quality of sound is not as remarkable as the Dolby branding on the phone's internal EQ might suggest. Bass tones are quite muffled while mid tones and treble tones lean toward the tinny side of things. At least, the sound that comes out of it remains distortion-free even at the highest volume.


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