(Pocket-lint) - Gaming phones continue to be on the rise. After much teasing Lenovo has finally revealed its first take in this space. Its name? The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel.
Here's everything you need to know about Lenovo's top-end gaming device - which, as it happens, is called the Lenovo Legion Pro for the Chinese market (a much better name in our opinion).
- "Y" Legion logo to rear & pop-up camera - with programmable RGB lighting effects
- Additional controller accessories, sold separately
- Colours: Vengeance Red / Blazing Blue
- Dimensions: 169.2 x 78.5 x 10mm
- In-screen fingerprint scanner
- Weight: 236 grams
It says it in big bold type on the rear: "Stylish Outside. Savage Inside." How about that for a statement of intent?
It's not far wrong though: the Legion Phone Duel brings the signature Legion "Y" logo to the rear, which illuminates, surrounded by a large X-shape pattern and all the rainbow colours you would expect from an extravagant gaming phone.
It's not a small phone by any means either, exceeding 10mm at its thickest point and hitting 236g.
For us one of the most interesting things about this device is the full visualisation of accessories. That's what makes it a gaming phone for all manner of titles after all.
Lenovo is talking up the integrated buttons though, as there's are "virtual joystick and dual ultrasonic trigger buttons" and the phone features "dual haptic engines [to] provide life-like feedback" when you're playing.
There's a real emphasis on the using it in landscape, or "horizontal mode" as Lenovo calls it. That'll be why there's a side-mounted pop-up selfie camera, rather than it being at the top. That's a first!
- 6.65-inch AMOLED panel
- 2340 x 1080 resolution
- 144Hz refresh rate
- 240ms response
When it comes to gaming phones a fast refresh-rate is king. And the Legion phone has that all important 144Hz refresh rate, matching the likes of the Red Magic 5G. That pushes beyond the current swathe of 90-120Hz panels that are entering the market, matching the also forthcoming Asus ROG Phone 3. It's what gamers expect.
It's a large panel too, at 6.65-inches on the diagonal, featuring a 2340 x 1080 resolution - which, while high, isn't the 1440 x 3120 resolution that was originally rumoured. Probably for the best, to not destroy battery life.
- Side-positioned pop-up selfie camera
- Dual rear cameras: 64MP & 16MP
- Four noise-cancelling mics
Rather than going overboard with four or five rear cameras, the Legion gaming phone sticks to two on the rear: a 64-megapixel main unit (which uses four pixels in one for 16MP default output), alongside a 16MP second wide-angle unit.
But what's really out-there is that pop-up selfie camera that's positioned on the side of the phone. It does make total sense for what this phone is about though: gaming, in landscape mode, so you can have a live feed of yourself that would be appropriate for certain games and streaming. It's rather clever - even if it's not practical for all scenarios.
Add in four noise-cancelling microphones and the Legion Phone Duel is well equipped to pick up the voice of the player rather than their environment.
- Dual 2,500mAh batteries - 5,000mAh total, 90W fast-charge via dual USB-C
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, up to 16GB RAM
- Copper tubing for heat dissipation
- Dual liquid cool system
- 512GB UFS 3.1 storage
- Sub-6GHz 5G
- 6dB speakers
The Legion Pro is the first phone to launch with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus platform. That's the most powerful chipset of 2020, again a big statement of intent about how powerful this phone is. Pair that with 16GB RAM as standard (the press release says the 12GB is the optional version!) and you've got one beast of a phone.
When gaming, you could be asking a lot of the processor which can cause a lot of heat. That's why the Legion gaming phone is said to designed with cooling in mind. It uses a dual liquid-cooling system, copper tubes for heat dissipation, and divides the batteries and positions them away from the logic board to help extend life and keep the temperature down.
The battery being split into two 2,500mAh cells is why the Legion Phone Duel can hit such a high-end fast-charging speed. Its 90W system is one of the fastest going - Lenovo says it can charge from dead to 50 per cent in just 10 minutes - using two USB-C terminals to charge up the device. That could even be powerful enough to keep the phone charging during gaming sessions.
Being part of the SD865+ platform means 5G is the norm too - available here in sub-6G form, delivering "up to 2.52 Gb/s" according to Lenovo.
There's also an acoustic chamber - one of the benefits of having such a thick device, we supposed - which the speakers take advantage of, being able to deliver up to 6dB output, making this perhaps the loudest phone ever made (not just visually, but audibly too).
Release Date & Price
- 25 October launch date in UK/Ireland
- £799 or €899 for 12GB/256GB
- £899 or €999 for 16GB/512GB
So when can you get your mitts on one of these hardcore gaming phones? For the UK and Europe, the phone goes on sale from 25 October 2020, and prices start at £799, or €899. That's considerably lower than the price we were expecting following the Chinese market launch.
A Chinese retailer revealed the expected asking price of ￥9999 - which is £1135/€1250/$1430 in equivalent terms - some days before launch.
Lenovo Legion phone rumours: What's happened so far?
22 October: UK and Europe get a launch date and price
Lenovo has revealed the pricing details and launch schedule for Europe, including the UK.
22 July 2020: Official launch event confirms name, spec, more
17 July 2020: Side pop-up camera shown in full
This YouTube video shows off the Legion phone's side-positioned pop-up camera unit.
15 July 2020: Pre-order price and video goes live
8 July 2020: Lenovo confirms Legion phone launch event
Lenovo has confirmed that the Legion phone will be announced in China in 22 July.
8 July 2020: Qualcomm intros the Snapdragon 865 Plus for faster gaming performance on high-end phones
Qualcomm has announced new hardware - the Snapdragon 865 Plus - offering more power for more smartphone experiences. This is thought to be in the Lenovo Legion phone.
5 May 2020: Lenovo Legion gaming phone to feature crazy fast 90W charging and side pop-up selfie camera?
Leaked promotional images for the Legion gaming phone reveal an outlandish design and some other details.
18 March 2020: Weibo leak reveals Legion phone with all its accessories
Showing off the phone plus all its accessories, the first image made the Legion gaming phone a more concrete prospect.
25 February 2020: Qualcomm confirms devices on Snapdragon 865, including unannounced ZenFone 7, ROG Phone 3, Legion Gaming Phone
Qualcomm has confirmed a slew of phones that will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, including name-dropping the new Lenovo Legion gaming phone.