In this short blog post, we will share with you our opinion on the new Lenovo gaming phone Legion Duel 2.
Game phones are in an interesting position between style and functionality. Most gaming phones want to provide features that are different from traditional ones. 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 novel 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 16 GB with 512 GB memory. The phone is similar to its predecessor, but this year Lenovo raised 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 elite 2021 gaming phones like the Asus ROG Phone 5 and Red Magic 6, as well as other phones with the Snapdragon 888. Lenovo hasn’t detailed plans for a US launch yet, though you may 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 are essentially developing the same products, new devices can get lost in confusion. I’m happy to report that the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 offers a real “new device” feel and taste of innovation that is sorely lacking in the modern day.
The Legion Duel 2 looks almost boring. The device has beveled aluminum sides, two USB-C ports, and a raised rear panel that offers space for two active fans on each side. Off-camera, the positioning of which should appeal to streamers who want to capture themselves while playing.
Nevertheless, its striking design is not without its 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 entirely sure where my hand should go, which resulted in me covering multiple cameras on the back. When held horizontally, the raised back makes the gaming experience incredibly comfortable.
Since then the CPU, GPU, and fans are 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 shoulder ultrasound triggers, two capacitive buttons on the back, and two pressure-sensitive buttons on the screen.
Although theoretically useful, the implementation of these triggers leaves some things to be desired, as I’ve found the triggers to be sometimes difficult to push and use in real-time games. The triggers are a little too small and are in an awkward position on the phone bezel. Don’t get me wrong, the triggers work the way they should, but pulling them is a little more work than it should be.
The impressive display, aluminum glass case, and innovative design set this phone apart from the rest. In addition, the phone has a 144Hz Full HD + display with a 720Hz touch sampling rate, a feature that will surely be appreciated by most hardcore cell phone gamers. Choose the 90 Hz or 120 Hz options for a balance between performance and battery life. The display is also HDR 10+ compatible and you can achieve a brightness of 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.
Even so, Lenovo uses Gorilla Glass 5, which can only be found on the display. This is high enough for the price, but isn’t the best Gorilla Glass Victus in the industry found in the 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 counteract this, Lenovo has packed a 5,500 mAh battery in the Legion Duel 2.
After a few hours of YouTube, about an hour of gaming, and some photography, the device lasted well into the second day. Note that the display was set to 144 Hz at all times. I didn’t test the advanced game, but after an hour or two of playing 3D, the phone appeared to be dropping at about 25% per hour.