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How to use Google Tango to get the perfect TV size for any room

by Todd Haselton | December 15, 2016December 15, 2016 9:30 am PDT

I’ve been using the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the first Tango phone, recently and, contrary to a lot of other reviews out there, I’m really digging it.

I recently purchased a home and have been trying to fit furniture in various places. Given the holiday sales on TVs, I’ve thought about upgrading the 32-inch TV I currently have sitting on the fireplace mantel in the living room. My friends keep telling me it’s too small. Our own Joey Davidson even told me I was basically watching TV “on a microwave door.” I just wasn’t sure what size would fit best, then I thought… my Phab 2 Pro with Tango will tell me.

In fact, believe it or not, Amazon has an app that actually lets you size up various TVs for spots in your house. It’s crazy that the phone had exactly what I wanted. I fired it up and tested out a few sizes. 40-inches still looks small where I want it, but 55-inches looks too big to me… though I know there’s plenty of folks who would argue there’s no such thing as “too big.”

In any case, maybe you’re facing the same situation as me. Here’s how to use Google Tango to get the perfect TV.

Buy a Tango device

I know, I know, this part kind of sucks. There’s only one available right now, outside of the original dev kits, and it’s the $399 Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. It has its software shortcomings, but otherwise it’s a pretty solid device. It has a massive 6.4-inch Quad HD display, expandable storage, a metal design and more. It’s just huge, but that’s because it has Tango inside. You can buy it online or from the home improvement store Lowe’s. You probably don’t want to buy a phone just to buy a TV, so buy this only if you plan on doing a bunch of other projects that can take use of Tango, too.

Install “Amazon Product Preview”

This is an app from the Tango Store. It lets you choose various sizes of TVs that are sold on Amazon and then “try them on” in various spots around the house. In my case, I tried several on the aforementioned fireplace mantel. You don’t need to buy the TV from Amazon, you can just use the app to get a good idea of what fits best. And since this is Tango and full-on augmented reality we’re talking about, you can walk up close to see the depth of the TV, what it looks like from near and far, and more. It’s as if there’s a TV sitting there, rendered right in your living room.

Snap photos

The app lets you snap photos, and I found this useful for going back through my pictures to find which size I liked best. There’s a small difference between 48-inches and 50-inches on paper, but the change in size makes a big difference if you’re working with a limited amount of space, as I was. I also wanted to make sure the TV didn’t seem to dominate the living room.

Buy the TV!

If it works out, go out and buy it! This is what the app is for. Even cooler, there are apps from Wayfair and other companies that let you try to size up all sorts of things, from couches to desks and other furniture. Tango rules and, if you’re in a similar position as me, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro makes life a heck of a lot easier, removing all the guesswork ahead of time.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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