In June, Lenovo Philippines has launched its latest gaming smartphone— the Legion Phone Duel 2. It boasts plenty of improvements over last year’s Legion Phone Duel, as it now comes with a new design, a more powerful processor, and added gaming-centric features. So is this a worthy gaming smartphone to get? Find out in our review!
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
Looking at the Legion Phone Duel 2, you will immediately notice the design that screams gaming. It is sleek and premium-looking in Ultimate Black. It comes with a cold metal frame and smooth glass— and it is highly reflective like a mirror. With that said, this is a smudge and fingerprint magnet, so you’ll have to wipe it now and then if you don’t like using a protective case.
Found here at the back are the module for the 64MP main and 16MP ultrawide cameras, LED flash, microphone, 2 x rear capacitance (for gaming), RGB-illuminated Legion logo, and the RGB-illuminated fan for the cooling system. The lights are also customizable via the Legion Realm app—and we’ll talk more about that in a moment.
From this angle, the Legion Phone Duel 2 looks premium and powerful. Nonetheless, like its predecessor, it is designed to be used in landscape for gaming, so let’s talk about it in that orientation.
Up top, we have the textured power/lock button, and directly underneath it is the motorized pop-up module for the selfie camera.
Found on its left and right sides by the bezels are the dual-front speakers for stereo sound.
Located at the left and right-hand sides of the module are its capacitive buttons (4 x shoulder ultrasonic) for additional control for gaming. The triggers do not protrude, so there is no tactile feel to tell you that they are there. Meanwhile, also found here is a vent for the passive cooling system.
On the left is just a microphone, while on the right are the USB-C port, microphone for calls, and the card tray for two nano-sized SIM cards.
Down at the bottom are another USB-C port, a microphone, the volume buttons, and the second vent for the cooling system.
The Legion Phone Duel 2 is a pretty tall device at 176mm and wide at 78.5mm when used as a regular smartphone in portrait mode. Plus, it’s also chunky at 9.9mm and hefty at 259g. Those numbers mean that it could be challenging to hold with one hand (especially if you’ve got a small hand). Still, it’s easy to grip, though, thanks to its curved frame and back panel.
Display and Multimedia
The Legion Phone Duel 2 boasts a 6.92-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, and a significantly improved 720Hz touch sampling rate. In addition, it doesn’t have a notch or a hole punch, so you’ll get an unobstructed viewing experience.
For protection, it is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and it also got pre-installed with a screen protector. The smartphone comes with relatively slim bezels all around and a thick chin.
With its AMOLED display, the Legion Phone Duel 2 delivers vibrant colors (especially when it comes to reds, greens, and blues), and it has deeper blacks. This, too, has excellent detail and sharpness.
By default, the color profile is set to ‘Vibrant,’ which explains why the display has been so punchy and vivid. However, you have the option to change that to ‘Natural’ or ‘Standard,’ whichever you prefer. Plus, you can change the color temperature to a certain level from Cold to Warm by enabling Night Light.
Other than these, you may also do some display enhancements to improve the gaming experience or improve video dynamic range and color details.
The animations were also buttery smooth with excellent dynamic effects, especially when set to its highest screen refresh rate.
Audio-wise, the speakers are excellent, too. The sounds deliver superb clarity, loud volume, and noticeable bass. You’ll also appreciate the stereo sounds coming from its dual-front speakers with Dolby Atmos. It’s great, not only for gaming but also for binge-watching videos on Netflix or YouTube and music streaming as well.
Unfortunately, it got no 3.5mm headphone jack, but Lenovo includes an adapter in the box.
The Legion Phone Duel 2’s camera has a rear dual-camera system consisting of a 64MP F1.9 main and 16MP F2.2 ultra-wide. For selfies, it has a motorized pop-up camera with a higher resolution 44MP F2.2 sensor.
Although it is a gaming smartphone, the rear cameras capture photos with excellent detail, sharpness, and decent colors when shooting in natural light. Pictures at night or with low lighting are looking really good as well. Check out some sample photos below.
It’s quite awkward to take selfies, though, as the camera is located up top in a landscape mode. So, ideally, you’ve got to take selfies in that manner. There is also a “beauty” filter enabled by default for selfies, but you can customize or disable it in the settings. I really don’t recommend it for taking selfies, but the camera’s quality is good enough for streaming.
OS, Apps, and Features
Software-wise, it runs on Legion OS 12.5 based on Android 11. The interface feels like a stock Android but with a blue/violet/grey theme and rounded square icons. You can opt to customize your app drawer and add widgets to your home screen, just like any normal Android phone.
One of the main features here is Lenovo’s built-in game launcher— the Legion Realm app. Legion Realm is a one-stop gamer ecosystem where users can game, stream, and chat directly with other gamers.
This is where users can also get news from Lenovo Legion’s authorized partners and see trusted reviews from other Realm gamers.
It offers an array of convenient settings, wherein you can optimize your gaming experience with its “Rampage” performance mode, turbo-fan mode, touch latency tweaks, virtual key assignments, real-time performance metrics, and other useful adjustments.
If you’re in a game, you can also swipe down from the top of the screen to quickly access Legion Assistant. From there, you can easily access useful functions like mute calls and notifications, game recording, and more. Key information about the network (and 5G speed) is also present, along with current temperature, FPS counter, battery status, and CPU/GPU speed information.
Moreover, gamers who wish to stream their game live may do so via Stream Mode. YouTube and Twitch streamers may directly access this feature. It works with the pop-up 44MP autofocus camera with an ultra-wide lens that enables gamers to capture a 4K video. Plus, it also supports background removal and customizable animated filters, which content creators would appreciate.
What’s more, as mentioned, the Legion Phone Duel 2 is packed with added gaming-centric features. It includes the Octa-Trigger that gives you a virtual key array (4 x shoulder ultrasonic, 2 x rear capacitance, and 2 x display force-touch) in a natural console-style grip. These features are also customizable via Settings > Legion Realm.
Through the Legion Realm found under Settings, you may adjust the lighting effect of the RGB-illuminated Legion logo and fan. This allows you to customize the lights on certain experiences and notifications based on your liking, which is really cool.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Legion Phone Duel 2 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC with a 2.84GHz octa-core CPU, Adreno 660 GPU, 12GB or 16GB of RAM, and 256GB or 512GB UFS 3.1 storage. The unit that we have got 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. As expected, performance is excellent, and it can handle all tasks we threw at it, including gaming. It can also run as many apps as we want, thanks to its large RAM.
In addition, the smartphone doesn’t heat up that fast, but after beyond 30 minutes of continuously playing games, its temperature reaches up to 49-degrees C. It’s nothing serious, though, as phones naturally heat up when playing games. However, it is also good that the heat surfaces mostly at the center part of the smartphone, where the hands rarely reach. Further, it seems like the Legion Phone Duel 2’s integrated thermal system (including an active turbo-fan) does help to keep it cool despite intensive gaming sessions.
It also scored high in benchmarks apps. Take a look at the scores below:
• AnTuTu v9 – 818,972
• Geekbench 5 – 1,115 (Single-Core), 3,330 (Multi-Core)
• 3D Mark – 5,920 (Wild Life), 1,526 (Wild Life Extreme)
• PC Mark – 14,217 (Work 3.0)
• Androbench 5 – 1,925.39 MB/s (Seq. Read), 739.37 MB/s (Seq. Write)
Connectivity and Battery Life
The Legion Phone Duel 2, like any other flagship smartphone, has everything when it comes to connectivity. There’s dual-SIM with 5G connectivity, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, USB-C, and multi-band satnavs.
Keeping it powered are two 2,750mAh batteries with a total of 5,500mAh capacity. It supports Dual Type-C Charging, so you can charge using the ports on the phone’s bottom and side. With both cords plugged in, the phone will Turbo Charge from 0% to 100% in 31 minutes, which is great.
Our video loop test, which involves playing a 1080p video on loop in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume, got us 20 hours and 29 minutes of playback, which is good.
It’s no longer surprising to see how gaming smartphones are getting the hype nowadays. The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 indeed deserves the hype with the premium look and flagship performance. It’s got the looks, a great display, immersive speakers, great performance with good thermal management, powerful charging capabilities, and it’s loaded with gaming features that can satisfy competitive gamers. It’s got a competitive price tag, too.
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 priced at PHP 39,995 for the 12GB + 256GB variant and PHP 49,995 for the 16GB + 512GB variant, and is now available in stores.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 specs:
6.92-inch (2460 x 1080) AMOLED 20.5:9 display
144Hz refresh rate, 720Hz touch sampling rate
HDR10+, Pixelworks i6 AI tuning
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G 2.84GHz octa-core CPU
Adreno 660 GPU
12GB, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
256GB, 512GB UFS 3.1
• 64MP OmniVision OV64A F.19 main
• 16MP F2.2 ultra-wide
44MP Samsung GH1+ F2.0 front camera
5G, 4G LTE
2x USB-C (2.0 & 3.1)
GPS (L1+L5), A-GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU (L1+L5), Galileo(L1+L5), QZSS
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
Dual front speakers (7-magnet stereo speaker w/ dual smart amplifier)
Four mics w/ noise reduction technology
ATA 2.0 (Advanced Technology Architecture)
Octa-Trigger (Quad Ultrasonic Shoulder keys, Dual Capacitance keys, Dual Force Touch sensor)
Dual HaptiX – Dual X-Axis Haptic Vibration Linear Motors
Legion OS 12.5 (Android 11)
5,500mAh (2,750mAh x2) battery w/ 65W, 90W fast charging
Integrated Cooling System:
• Passive cooling components
• Vapor Chamber liquid cooling
• Twin Turbo-Fan Cooling System
176 x 78.5 x 9.9 mm (12.56 mm mid)
Ultimate Black, Titanium White