Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Review
Lenovo has officially introduced its first gaming smartphone that boasts a 6.65-inch display with 144Hz refresh rate and Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel. We finally got our hands on it, so let’s see what this phone has to offer and if it’s the gaming smartphone to get this year.
Design and Construction
Gaming phones are known for their unique and aggressive designs, and that’s what we’re getting with the Legion Phone Duel. A lot is going on in the back, like X angles that complement the Legion logo. You will also see here the “Stylish outside” and “Savage Inside” taglines. As you’ve noticed, this phone is designed to be mostly used in landscape mode.
The glass back is loaded with holographic and metal finishes, and it comes in two colors, Vengeance Red (12GB + 256GB), which we have here, and the other one is the Blazing Blue color (16GB + 512GB). Also, there’s the dual camera in an off-centered placement at the back, and in the center of the back phone, you can see the RGB tri-star Legion Logo that lights up when the phone is awake. The lights are also customizable.
In portrait mode, you will see the power button beside the pop-up front camera and the Y-triggers on the right side. The triggers do not protrude, so there is no tactile feel to tell you that they are there.
On the left are the volume rockers, USB Type-C port, and a Lenovo text logo. At the top is its secondary microphone, while at the bottom, there’s the dual-SIM card tray, primary microphone, and another USB Type-C port. Also found on the front, flanking the display, are the dual speakers — one at the top and one at the bottom.
The phone is also quite heavy, and a bit chunky, but the size doesn’t differ from other gaming smartphones out there. It can still fit your jeans pocket if you want to.
Display and Multimedia
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has a 6.65-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 and a refresh rate of up to 144Hz. There’s no glass protection mentioned, but it comes with a screen protector.
It’s got relatively slim bezels all around and a thick chin. The colors were great, vivid, and deep blacks thanks to its AMOLED display, and it has excellent detail and sharpness. Animations were also buttery smooth thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate. There’s also an Always-On display option with different styles to choose from. Also found here is the fast and responsive in-display fingerprint scanner.
Audio-wise, the speakers are outstanding. The sounds have excellent clarity, very loud volume, and noticeable bass. It’s great, not just for gaming, but for watching videos on Netflix or YouTube, as well. Unfortunately, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack here, but Lenovo is generous enough to include an adapter in the box.
The Legion Phone Duel’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 20MP F2.2 sensor.
Although a gaming smartphone, the rear cameras capture photos with great detail, sharpness, and decent colors when shooting in natural light. Pictures at night are looking really good as well.
There is a “beauty” filter enabled by default for selfies, but you can disable it in the settings. It produces good images, the details are present, and the color is vibrant enough. It’s not great, but not bad either. The quality is good enough for social media postings.
As for selfies, you get a single 20MP side pop-up front camera. It also produces incredibly detailed images in both low-light and bright light situations. There is a “beauty” filter enabled by default, but you can disable it in the settings. There is also a background-removal feature which is handy when live streaming.
For videos, you can shoot up to 4k 30fps. It supports video stabilization, and video quality is surprisingly pretty good. The colors are vibrant, and the details are present.
Though this is not the most powerful camera hardware available, its capability is comparable to mainstream phones.
OS, UI, and Apps
For software, the Legion Phone Duel runs on ZUI 12 / Legion OS based on Android 10. This is a heavily-customized UI, which is evident in icon designs. You can opt to customize your app drawer and add widgets to your home screen, just like any normal Android phone.
Most of the extra features are for gaming. A swipe down from the top of the screen will bring up the Legion Assistant where you can change settings without exiting a game. The settings include game recording, streaming mode screenshots, Controller, Volume, and brightness. Key information about the network and 5G speed is also visible, along with current temperature, FPS counter, battery status, and CPU/GPU speed information.
Aside from the Legion Realm under the Settings, where you can customize the backlighting effect, there’s also a pre-installed Legion Realm App, another utility that helps you quickly access your games and tweak various settings, including some for the Legion Assistant and the physical Y-trigger controllers.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Legion Phone Duel is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus with an Adreno 650 GPU, and coupled to 12GB or 16GB RAM and 256GB or 512GB storage.
Given the configuration, the Legion Phone Duel breezes through anything we throw at it and can open as many apps as we want thanks to the large RAM. We noticed that the phone heats up after just 5 to 10 minutes of playing, at around 43-degrees C. It’s nothing serious, though, as phones naturally heat up when playing games. But it looks like the Dual-Liquid Heat Pipes, Graphite sheets, and copper foils are effective in keeping things cool.
• AnTuTu v8: 632,168
• PCMark: 11,197 (Work 2.0)
• 3DMark: 7,940 (Slingshot Extreme, OpenGL ES 3.1)
• GeekBench 5.1: 987 (Single core), 3,310 (Multi-core), 3,450 (OpenCL)
• AndroBench: 1,647.43 MB/s (Read), 758.86 MB/s (Write)
If you like streaming, the Legion Phone Duel also has a feature called Stream Mode, where you can stream live directly from the phone, complete with background works and some filters. The Legion Phone Duel also makes gaming easier with its dual ultrasonic shoulder keys with dual haptics that let you quickly trigger in-game actions like firing.
Connectivity and Battery
When it comes to connectivity, the Legion Phone Duel has everything like dual nano-SIM support, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, WiFi 6, and 5G support. This phone is pretty much future-proofed in this aspect.
The Legion Phone Duel is equipped with a pair of 2,500 mAh batteries for a total capacity of 5,000mAh battery. It supports Dual Type-C Charging, so you can charge using the ports on the phone’s bottom and side. You can choose to use one or both Type-C charging cords from the bundled 65W charger. With both cords plugged in, the phone will Turbo Charge from 0% to 100% in 34 minutes, which is impressive.
In our PCMark Battery test, it managed to get 11 hours and 59 minutes of battery life. Our standard video loop test involves playing a 1080p video in Airplane Mode, 50% brightness, 50% volume, with earphones plugged in. The Legion Phone Duel lasted 18 hours and 26 minutes.
Gaming phones are no longer new, and there are several options available for smartphones in this category. However, the Legion Phone Duel impresses us with its gaming-centric features to satisfy a serious gamer’s basic needs. There’s landscape orientation of the front camera, which streamers will love, and the fast dual Type-C charging that will save gamers time. Do we need to mention the most powerful Qualcomm chip to date, large RAM, fast storage, 5G connectivity, and 144Hz AMOLED display? The Legion Phone Duel is simply a beast.
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel in Blazing Blue (12GB / 256GB) and Vengeance Red (16GB / 512GB) will be available at authorized Lenovo resellers in the Philippines starting November 1, 2020. Stay tuned on October 24, 2020, at the Legion launch in this year’s Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) for the prices.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel specs:
6.65-inch Full HD+ (2340 x 1080) 144Hz AMOLED display
240Hz touch sampling
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G octa-core CPU
Adreno 650 GPU
12GB, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
256GB, 512GB UFS 3.1
• 64MP F1.89 (main)
• 16MP F2.2 (ultrawide)
20MP F2.2 side pop-up front camera
5G LTE, 4G LTE
WiFi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax)
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
Dual-front speakers w/ DIRAC, AWINIC 88264 smart amp
Quad-microphone system w/ Qualcomm Noise Reduction
Ultrasonic game key
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
Dual ultrasonic shoulder keys
Dual vibration engines
Multidimensional vibration control
Customizable RGB lighting
ZUI 12, Legion OS (Android 10)
5,000mAh battery (2,500mAh x2) w/ 90W Turbo Power Charging
Dual liquid-cooling, copper tubes
169.17 x 78,48 x 9.9 mm
Vengeance Red, Blazing Blue