Lenovo Legion Phone Duel: Has the ASUS ROG Phone met its match?

It’s a hot, hot day for gaming smartphones. Lenovo has officially marked its entry into the gaming smartphone arena with the launch of its Legion Phone Duel in China. Lenovo now joins the likes of ASUS, Xiaomi, Razer, and Nubia in the premium gaming smartphone segment.

This phone is one of the industry’s worst kept secret but I guess these days it’s hard to keep anything under wraps. Even Apple’s tightest lips can’t keep rumour mills and leaks at bay.

The good news is that Lenovo took a no holds barred approach with its maiden effort. Much like ASUS with the original ROG Phone (the ROG Phone 3 just launched, by the way, what a day!).

The Legion Phone Duel crams plenty of scorching hardware into its 239g shell, starting with a 6.59-inch FHD+ AMOLED display (2340 x 1080) that touts a 144Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate.

Under the hood is Qualcomm’s finest—the Snapdragon 865 Plus with one Kryo 585 prime core at 3.1GHz, three Kyro 585 performance cores at 2.4GHz, and four Kryo 385 efficiency cores running at 1.8Ghz. This top-of-the-line SoC is mated to a speed-binned Adreno 650 GPU (10 per cent faster than stock), up to 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage.

It boasts a massive 5,000mAh battery with support for 90W Turbo Power charging. What’s interesting is that the phone, like the ROG Phone, comes with two USB-C ports, one at the bottom and one on the side. Charging the two ports simultaneously will allow you to charge the battery from zero to 50 per cent in 10 minutes, with a full charge within 30 minutes. The phone uses a split-cell design positioned at the top and bottom of the device.

The Legion Phone Duel rocks an edgy aesthetic, complete with a multicolour LED on the back, beneath the Legion logo.

What’s unique is a side-mounted pop-up front facing camera. Seeing that most gamers play in landscape mode, the unconventional position makes sense, especially for game streamers. The selfie-camera is a 20MP sensor, by the way.

On the back, the rear-facing cameras are also unconventionally positioned, towards the centre of the device. The justification for this, I reckon, is again how users would presumably use the phone more commonly in the landscape position.

Lenovo has opted for a modest dual-camera system consisting of a 64MP f/1.89 primary camera and a 16MP f/2.2 wide-angle (120-degree FoV) camera.

On the audio side of things, the Legion Phone Duel packs a pair of front-facing speakers tuned by Dirac Audio and a quad-mic system. The phone also has dual ultrasonic sensors located on the side of the device, giving it a virtual joystick and trigger buttons for more immersive gameplay.

Connectivity-wise, it ticks all the cheque boxes—sub-6 5G, Wi-Fi 6 (2×2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/BeiDou/QZSS.

The phone runs Android 10 with ZUI 12/Legion OS.

A gaming phone is not complete with dedicated gaming software. The Legion Phone Duel is no different. It comes with a gaming dashboard called Lenovo Legion Realm where you can tweak performance settings, browse through the latest game titles on Google Play, or select the best network to play in.

Lastly, the phone features a in-display fingerprint scanner.

Disappointingly, Lenovo has not revealed any accessories with the device. Perhaps these will come at a later time.

Pricing and availability        

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel will be available soon in China. Pricing is as follows:

  • 8GB RAM + 128GB storage – CNY3,499 (~MYR2,126)
  • 12GB RAM + 128GB storage – CNY3,899 (~MYR2,369)
  • 12GB RAM + 256GB storage – CNY4,199 (~MYR2,551)
  • 16GB RAM + 512GB storage – CNY5,999 (~MYR3,645)

The phone will be hitting select markets in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America later.

Source: Lenovo

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Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.