(Pocket-lint) - It's battle of the gaming phones. And with the Asus ROG Phone 3 and Lenovo Legion Phone Dual (or Legion Pro as its (better) named in China) being unveiled on the very same day - 22 July 2020 - it seems only fitting to pitch these two devices side by side.

Design & Display

  • Asus ROG Phone 3: 6.59-inch AMOLED, 1080 x 2340 resolution, 144Hz refresh, 270ms touch response
  • Lenovo Legion Phone Duel: 6.65-inch AMOLED, 1080 x 2340 resolution, 144Hz refresh, 240ms touch response
  • Asus: 171 x 78 x 9.9mm  / Lenovo: 169.2 x 78.5 x 10mm

Being gaming phones, these devices are big. Big on everything from battery to spec - but also physically large to aid with cooling down those powerful innards. Both the Asus and Lenovo devices are around 10mm thick, which is no slim delivery.

The Lenovo has a marginally larger display, although the way it's all wrapped together sees both devices being almost identical in size. There's very little in it, except that the Lenovo shuns top bezel because there's no camera notch or punch-hole - it's got a side-mounted pop-up camera instead.

Originally it was thought that Lenovo was going to push hard on extra resolution, but that rumour was unfounded. Instead, just like the Asus phone, it's a Full HD+resolution. It's like-for-like in that regard.

Both devices also tick the 144Hz refresh rate, targeting the latest must-have for gamers who want ultra-fast visuals and response times (it's a 240mstouch  response for the Legion, 270ms for the ROG Phone 3).

We've seen the Lenovo Legion has a light-up "Y" logo to the rear, the Asus ROG Phone 3 is a little more subtle - presenting a design that's largely similar to the second-gen device. Well, maybe subtle isn't the right word: both go in big on RGB lighting.

Hardware

  • Asus ROG Phone 3: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, 16GB RAM
  • Lenovo Legion Phone Duel: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, 16GB RAM
  • Asus: 6,000mAh battery capacity, 30W fast-charging
  • Lenovo: 5,000mAh, 90W fast-charge, dual USB-C
  • Both devices: 5G (sub-6GHz)

Gaming phones go all-out when it comes to hardware, leaving no stone unturned in offering the top-end spec going. It's fairly similar between both ROG and Legion on paper, with both offering Qualcomm SD865+ processor with up to a huge 16GB RAM apiece.

But it's how those components are handled with cooling hardware and software intervention that ought to give one device the edge over the other - something we can't comment on until we've used both.

The Legion makes a big deal about its cooling capabilities, because it uses a dual battery setup. Its two 2,500mAh cells are positioned away from the logic board to avoid overheating. But more than that: each battery can charge super-fast thanks to 90W charging speeds and two USB-C ports to enable this kind of rapid re-juicing - from zero to 50 per cent battery takes just 10 minutes. 

When it comes to longevity, Asus doesn't want to be outshone, going the extra mile with a 6,000mAh battery capacity. The company has previously released a phone with such a cell, so it can draw upon that experience - although with 30W fast-charging it's not as speedy as Lenovo's offering.

Cameras

  • Asus ROG Phone 3: Triple rear cameras, 64MP f/1.8 main, 13MP f/2.4 wide-angle, 5MP macro
  • Lenovo Legion Phone Duel: Dual rear cameras, 64MP main f/1.9 & 16MP f/2.2 wide
  • Asus: 24MP front-facing selfie camera
  • Lenovo: 20MP side-positioned motorised pop-up camera

With rear cameras not really being a main focus for gaming phones - the space is better reserved for other trinkets! - it's interesting to see how both brands have approached this. There's a 64-megapixel main sensor in both cases, alongside a lower resolution wider-angle offering - but it's only the Asus that goes one camera further by tacking on a 5MP macro lens for close-ups too.

It's on the front that there's the biggest and perhaps most exciting difference: the Legion Pro has a side-mounted pop-up selfie camera. Yep, it's on the side, not the top, for use when holding the phone landscape during those gaming sessions.

It's a bold move from Lenovo, one that helps define this device as more standout, but it benefits the screen as there's no punch-hole or notch to get in the way - unlike the ROG Phone 3, which has a larger bezel section to the top in order to contain the front-facing camera.

Release Date & Price

  • Asus ROG Phone 3: Price from €799 to €1,099
  • Lenovo Legion Phone Duel: July release expected, price from ¥9999

So how much cash can you expect to part with to own one of these devices? Asus has been very forthcoming with European prices, but Lenovo isn't saying where the device will launch outside of China or for just how much yet.

Interestingly, the dual naming of the Lenovo device - it's the Legion Pro in China, but Legion Phone Duel elsewhere - effectively confirms that it won't be a China-only launch. That's a big deal for a company that doesn't really ship its phones elsewhere, so we'll have to see how that unfolds in the near future. Those in China/applicable Asia regions had the price confirmed as from ¥9999 - that's equivalent £1135/€1250/$1430 - when it goes on sale in late July.

Asus has long been pushing its ROG Phone series in wider markets, and continues to do so again with the third-gen device. It'll be available in three forms, with the pricing as follows:

  • 8GB+128GB 'Strix Edition': €799
  • 12GB+256GB base edition: €999
  • 16GB+512GB top-end version: €1,099

We think that's a bargain whichever option you choose. Not that we think 16GB RAM is necessary for Android titles at the moment - but if you want to future-proof then go for it. Also, Asus has gone in big with accessories - you can read all about the add-on controllers, mini PC rig, keyboards and so on in our dedicated Asus ROG Phone 3 feature.

Writing by Mike Lowe.