In this short blog post, we’ll share with you our review of the new Lenovo Legion Duel 2 gaming phone.
Gaming phones are in an interesting position between style and functionality. Most gaming phones want to offer different functionality than traditional phones. Enter the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 – the first Android gaming smartphone with a unique aesthetic, two fans, two charging ports, eight active triggers and a pop-up camera. Despite all these new features, is the Legion Duel 2 a winner?
Find out in the Lenovo Legion Duel 2.
2 (12 GB / 256 GB): € 799 / £ 699 Legion Duel 2 (16 GB / 512 GB): € 999 / £ 899
The second version of the Legion Duel comes with the latest Snapdragon 888 processor and up to 16GB with 512GB of memory. The phone is similar to its predecessor, but this year Lenovo lifted the back of the phone to make room for an additional active fan as well as eight active triggers. The device is available in two colors: Ultimate Black and Titanium White. You get the phone, a 90W charger, a plastic case, and two USB-C to USB-C cables. Prices start at € 799 and the phone will be available in Europe and China from May 2021. It competes with 2021 elite gaming phones such as the Asus ROG Phone 5 and Red Magic 6, as well. than other phones with the Snapdragon 888. Lenovo has no choice. There isn’t detailed plans for a US launch, though you can import it for around $ 699 from some online retailers. How is the design maintained? It’s been a long time since I’ve been really surprised and excited about a new phone. Smartphone manufacturers basically develop the same products, new devices can get lost in the confusion. I’m happy to report that the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 offers a true “new device” feel and taste for innovation that is sorely lacking these days.
The Legion Duel 2 almost seems boring. The device has bevelled aluminum sides, two USB-C ports, and a raised back panel that offers room for two active fans on either side. Off-camera, the positioning of which should appeal to streamers who want to capture themselves while playing.
Still, its striking design is not without quirks, as the Legion Duel 2 makes everyday use impractical. Using the device in portrait orientation creates an uncomfortable experience. The one-handed phone is weird and I wasn’t quite sure where my hand should go, so I covered several cameras on the back. When held horizontally, the raised back makes the gaming experience incredibly comfortable.
Since then, the CPU, GPU and fans have been in the middle. The Legion Duel 2 concentrates heat in the center of the device, keeping your hands cool during long gaming sessions. It also has several active triggers: four ultrasonic shoulder triggers, two capacitive buttons on the back, and two pressure sensitive buttons on the screen.
While theoretically useful, the implementation of these triggers leaves some things to be desired, as I’ve found triggers to be difficult to push and use in real-time games at times. The triggers are a bit too small and are in an awkward position on the phone’s bezel. Don’t get me wrong, the triggers work as they should, but pulling them out is a little more work than it should be.
The impressive display, aluminum glass casing and innovative design set this phone apart from the rest. Additionally, the phone has a 144Hz Full HD + display with 720Hz touch sample rate, a feature that will surely be appreciated by most hardcore cell phone gamers. Choose either 90Hz or 120Hz options for a balance between performance and battery life. The display is also HDR 10+ compatible and you can achieve brightness up to 1300 nits at maximum brightness. Overall, the AMOLED display offers fairly accurate color reproduction, but please note that HDR capability is limited to 8-bit color depth.
Regardless, Lenovo uses Gorilla Glass 5, which can only be found on the screen. That’s pretty steep for the price, but isn’t the industry’s best Gorilla Glass Victus found in major flagships (and the ROG Phone 5) for battery life? Games tend to use the most electricity compared to other tasks on cell phones. To counter this, Lenovo packed a 5,500mAh battery in the Legion Duel 2.
After a few hours of YouTube, about an hour of playing and a few photos, the device lasted until day two. Note that the display was set to 144Hz at all times. I haven’t tested the advanced game, but after an hour or two of 3D play the phone seemed to drop about 25% per hour.