Innovative, collaborative and fun are the three words that best describe Lenovo’s lineup of products at IFA 2017. The launch event was concise and centered around four products which prove the company’s focus is on leveraging new technology and partnerships to create superior consumer products. Lenovo pushed forward with developments in mixed reality but held to its design DNA across the Yoga and Motorola brands – a strategy that’s clearly working well. Here’s the rundown on the big four that took center stage.
The fourth edition of Moto X4 features a smarter camera that does more than just snap photos. It comes selfie-ready with a whopping 16 MP front camera and Panoramic Selfie Mode which captures a wider background – and other people – around you. Moto X4 has dual 12 MP and 8 MP rear cameras with dual Autofocus Pixel technology to render professional quality images every time. The new Landmark Detection feature on Moto X makes it an ideal travel companion and enables the scanning of business cards too. With the integration of Amazon Alexa, this smartphone is actually smarter than it’s ever been before. As far as multimedia experiences go, the spotlight is on the wireless sound system that allows you to connect up to four Bluetooth devices at the same time. Moto X4 features are rounded out with a 3D rear contour designed aluminum frame, Corning Gorilla Glass, a 3000 mAh battery and IP68 rating for water resistance. You’d expect a heavy price tag for all of these features but Moto X4 carries a mid-tier price of €399.99.
The Yoga 920 maintains the features we love like it’s thin metal body, watchband hinge and nearly bezel-less 4K IPS touchscreen in a 13.9-inch frame. It weighs just 1.37 kg (3.02 lbs) and the four-mode convertible flexes 360° from a laptop into a tablet while giving you up to 15 hours of battery life. Additionally, voice recognition comes to the Yoga 920 by way of Cortana. A new standby mode keeps the device active, even when the lid is closed, and recognizes voice commands from up to 4 feet away. You can give audible commands to add to a shopping list, send messages, play music and more. Cortana even uses AI to learn from its owners, so the Yoga 920 grows smarter over time. It fuses power, such as up to an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and Windows 10 OS for a superior computing experience. Because many of us prefer creating with a pen, you can customize your experience with an optional Lenovo Active Pen 2. It works great with Windows Ink and has 4,096 levels of pen sensitivity for drawing and making notes with no discernible lag time.
“With Lenovo, the force is strong with us”, said Matt Bereda, VP of consumer marketing PC & Smart Devices, during a briefing session. Consequently, the Yoga 920 comes in limited edition Gorilla Glass cover designs as part of the Yoga 920 Vibes collection which includes Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Rebel Alliance and Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Galactic Empire6. Both designs are available in limited quantities and are set to be released on December 15th alongside the Star Wars movie. Yoga will start at €1,599.99 and the Star Wars edition starts at €1,899.99.
Note: Lenovo will also be offering a 12-inch Yoga 720 model that’s .62 inches thin and 2.53 pounds. It comes with optional Active Pen, fingerprint reader and Cortana digital assistant.
Lenovo’s partnership with Microsoft brings us, Lenovo Explorer, a stand alone, PC driven mixed reality headset. You can experience more than 100 VR-ready titles, access Microsoft Office suite, browse online, watch shows in a virtual home office environment, and watch 3D, 360-degree and 4K videos. You can set it up in just minutes by connecting a 3.3 meter cable to your PC. The headgear is relatively lightweight and easy to adjust with a single, rotating button to control its circumference and flip up spectacles that are large enough to accommodate glasses. Lenovo Explorer has a definite edge over other MR headsets with its inside out camera tracking system whereby tracking happens inside the device eliminating the need to place sensors around the room. Lenovo Explorer is set up to work with Steam, Windows Virtual Reality and hand controllers in a space that measures 3×3 meters.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges
Perhaps the most exciting announcement of the evening came by way of a collaboration between Lenovo and Disney. Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is a new augmented reality Star Wars product that allows you to experience the action that you see in the Star Wars movies. Jedi Challenges features a smartphone-powered Lenovo Mirage AR headset, Tracking Beacon, and Lightsaber controller – yes, the hardware includes a lightsaber. The game is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones and the list of compatible phone models grows daily as testing is still underway. Here’s how it works. You start by downloading the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges app onto your smartphone and then slide it into the tray of the Lenovo Mirage AR headset. With a sleek, lightweight design similar to Lenovo Explorer, the Lenovo Mirage AR headset provides full immersion and comfort during gameplay. The Tracking Beacon is placed on the floor and acts as a stable base for the headset’s sensors to detect movement during gameplay. Remember that Lightsaber? It’s collectible-quality and modeled after the one wielded by Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker and Rey. Designed to be a key part of the experience, the Lightsaber acts as a controller and pointer, allowing you to navigate the user interface, with all controls, actions and commands activated with a simple two-button configuration. There are currently three games available; LightSaber Battles, Holochess and Strategic Combat. Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is expected to be available later this year and is priced at $199 in the U.S. That’s great value for the money so let the games begin!