At some point, you needed to own a Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy S8 phone in order to take advantage of ARCore, but this is no longer the case.
Google has been working with device makers like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and more recently Nokia, Transsion Holdings (Infinix Mobility and Tecno Mobile) and others to bring AR (augmented reality) to several smartphones regardless of their prices.
Rather than spare this tech for the elite smartphone buyers, Google hopes that by partnering with these OEMs, nearly every smartphone user will enjoy the greatness of AR without breaking the bank.
Google keeps a list of ARCore-certified devices that it updates regularly when it approves new devices to join the program. The last update was made a week ago and in the updated list, Tecno Phantom 9 and Infinix Note 6 are included, the first from the two companies to receive this certification.
Google must rigorously test devices in order to add them to this list and if these two passed, it says a lot about where Transsion is headed and how it sees the African market.
To certify each device, we check the quality of the camera, motion sensors, and the design architecture to ensure it performs as expected. Also, the device needs to have a powerful enough CPU that integrates with the hardware design to ensure good performance and effective real-time calculations.
Google says ARCore enables your smartphone to sense its surroundings, understand the world around it and interact with information it can easily access to deliver augmented reality experiences.
ARCore taps into motion-sensing capabilities of your phone to understand and track its position and with environmental understanding, the phone is able to detect the size and location of everything around it, including walls and even a coffee table. This tech then taps into light sensors on your phone to estimate the prevailing conditions of the environment.
However, it’s interesting to note that both Tecno Phantom 9 and Infinix Note 6 haven’t arrived in Kenya, at least officially. They both came out in July 2019 and it looks like the wait is still on. Tecno Mobile Kenya is the hyper one yet nothing concrete seems to come out of all the noisemaking.
Nonetheless, it’s great to know you’ll be able to play AR-based mobile games such as Pokemon Go on the Phantom 9 and Infinix Note 6 when they arrive.
You can find the full list of supported devices here.