When I think of a purpose-built gaming smartphone, there’s only one that comes to mind—the ASUS ROG Phone 3. Call me biased but the ROG Phone 3, to me, encapsulates everything a proper gaming smartphone should be. I’ve said it once. And twice. That said, does that mean competitors can’t do better? Hold on to that thought because here comes the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel.
Making a debut three years ago, Lenovo Legion has become the fastest-growing gaming PC brand in the Asia Pacific, with its line-up of gaming notebooks, desktops, monitors, and accessories.
Perhaps it’s not quite unexpected. Perhaps it’s a natural progression into the world of mobile gaming. And what an entry, I might add.
Aesthetically, the Legion Phone Duel isn’t quite as edgy as the ROG Phone 3 nor as brash as a BlackShark or Razer Phone. Sitting nicely in between, the Legion Phone Duel comes in Blue or Red options, with an adjustable RGB “Y” Legion logo on the back to boot.
Under the hood is truly where its at though. Like the ROG Phone, it takes the no bolds barred approach, revving things up with Qualcomm’s finest—the Snapdragon 865 Plus with 5G (in select markets).
The blazing chip is paired with up to 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
On the front is a “gaming grade” 6.59-inch FHD+ display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate.
The device boasts “Dual Technology Architecture” – from dual 2,500mAh batteries to dual liquid heat pipes and dual USB Type-C charging; from dual shoulder controls and dual haptics to dual front-facing speakers and dual livestreaming features.
The dual-battery design places two 2,500mAh batteries on either side of the phone. Lenovo says this keeps the warmest area (the logic board) away from the hands, making the phone comfortable for long hours of gameplay. Complementing the unique battery design are dual-liquid heat pipes, graphite sheets and copper foils for maximum thermal performance.
The Legion Phone Duel integrates two USB-C charging ports—one at the bottom and the other on the side. You can choose to charge through one or both using the bundled 65W charger. What’s impressive is that if both cords are plugged in, the phone will turbocharge from zero to 100 per cent in just 34 minutes (or 0-60 per cent in 15 minutes).
Gamers will appreciate the dual ultrasonic trigger buttons with built-in haptic engines that will bring deeper immersion in games. Feedback and pressure levels can be tweaked to your liking.
You can even set continuous burst of fire by long pressing the triggers. A gyroscope sensor lets you change your in-game view whenever you rotate the phone on its horizontal axis.
Good audio is crucial regardless if you’re playing games or otherwise. Thankfully, the Legion Phone Duel packs dual front-facing speakers, coupling Dirac Audio technology with large 1.4cc acoustic chambers for a 3D-like soundstage.
In terms of optics, the phone features a 20MP pop-up front camera that takes just 0.5s to activate or retract. The camera enables the Legion Phone Duel’s dual livestreaming feature, which lets you broadcast your voice and facial reactions as you play. When you activate the pop-up camera, you can overlay your image on-screen. This feature is compatible with popular streaming apps like Twitch and even comes with an auto green screen feature that removes the background and auto-enhances your image.
In addition, four noise-cancelling microphones ensures you sound loud and clear when you stream.
On the rear, a 64MP main camera pairs with a 16MP ultra-wide shooter. The dual-camera system is capable of up to 4K @ 30fps video recording.
A gaming phone is not complete without a gaming focused dashboard to control and manage your gaming experience. Legion Realm is the central dashboard that lets you tweak hardware performance settings, scroll through downloaded games as tweak RGB lighting on the Legion logo.
What’s cool is that as soon as your gaming session ends, you’ll be able to review all the gaming highlights via a preview screen. You can then select and merge recorded clips together before sharing them.
Never miss that headshot. Just in case you forgot to hit “Record,” all you need to do is to use your finger to slide the right ultrasonic trigger key to the left. The phone will replay captured moments automatically in the background so you can “reverse-record” for posterity.
Pricing and availability
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is available for purchase in Malaysia starting today, 26 October 2020. Visit Lenovo Malaysia’s official website or selected participating partners. Available in Vengeance Red and Blazing Blue.
Pricing is as follows:
- 12GB RAM + 256GB storage – MYR3,399
- 16GB RAM + 512GB storage – MYR3,999
Customers are entitled to free gifts worth up to MYR329, including the Legion H500 Pro 7.1 headphones. While stocks last.
Has the ROG Phone 3 met its match? It’s certainly close, at least on paper. What Legion is lacking though is the rich ecosystem of add-on accessories that ASUS’ phone offers. Perhaps we’ll see some of that soon?
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