Today Lenovo has announced its Legion Phone Duel 2, perhaps the most unapologetic gaming phone that we've ever laid eyes on. While the Asus ROG Phone 5 that we reviewed recently certainly embraces its nature as a gaming phone with its aesthetics, the Legion Phone Duel 2 bear hugs its gaming nature to death.
The Legion Phone Duel 2 features a prominent built-in rear fan assembly that also integrates RGB lighting. This is truly a gaming laptop jammed into a phone form factor. Further solidifying this point is the pop-up camera on the side of the phone that is geared towards live-streamers. And lest you be concerned about power, the Legion Phone Duel 2 is packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and up to 18GB of RAM that could make it the fastest Android phone yet.
Here's a closer look at everything there is to know about the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 including pricing, availability, specs, design and more.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 price and availability
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 will be available starting in May in some markets in Europe and the Asia Pacific region. However, the company has not settled on availability in North America yet.
The base model Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 starts at €799 with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You can upgrade to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for €999 and that model also includes a charging dock. Lenovo has also indicated that a model with 18GB will be available, but did not yet have details regarding its pricing or availability.
Both models will be available in either Ultimate Black or Titanium White, but color options will vary by region.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2|
|Display (resolution, refresh rate)||6.92 inches, 2460 x 1080-pixels; 144Hz AMOLED|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888|
|RAM||12, 16 or 18GB|
|Storage||256 or 512GB|
|Rear Cameras||Dual camera; 64MP, f/1.9 main and 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide|
|Front camera||44MP, f/2.0|
|Video capture||Up to 8K at 24 fps; 4K at 60fps|
|Battery capacity||5500mAh (up to 90W charging)|
|Colors||Ultimate Black or Titanium White|
|Size||6.92 x 3.1 x 0.39 inches (0.49 at middle)|
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 design
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 gives up any pretense of being a normal phone from the moment you lay eyes on it. It's cover would be blown if someone just placed it in your hand blindfolded. It is absolutely massive at 6.9 x 3.1 x 0.4 inches and that ignores the swollen middle of the phone that is a full 0.5 inches thick.
Let's stick to the back of the phone for the moment. Whether it is to your taste or not, it is pretty remarkable. While Asus has a fan attachment available for the ROG Phone 5, Lenovo simply built in a Twin Turbo-Fan Cooling System which is the reason for its massive midsection. This goes to the internal CPU design that keeps the thermal components as clear as possible from your hands and allows for easier centralized dissipation with the fans.
That section also houses the pop-up front-facing camera, which is designed for use with the phone held horizontally to suit usage for game streaming. The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 features eight different touchpoints, that it calls Octa-Triggers that can be mapped to different actions on screen. The central area also has support for RGB lighting as if you needed anything else to convince you this was a gaming phone.
Turning to the front this is the one area of the phone that you could say is reasonably non-descript. In fact, since there is no front-facing camera, it is more featureless than most. It still does have some bezels at the top and bottom, but the sides are essentially bezel-less. Those top and bottom bezels could be related to the dual front-facing speakers with dual smart amplifiers.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 display
While the area around the display may be non-descript, the display itself had considerable attention lavished on it by Lenovo.
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has a flat 6.9-inch, FHD+ (2460 x 1080) AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It also sets a new high bar with its 720Hz touch sampling rate that is almost certainly faster than my reaction times.
The display is HDR10+ certified and Lenovo claims it covers 111.1% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and offers a 1 million to 1 contrast ratio. An AI-powered Pixelworks i6 Processor is present to help ensure the picture quality is always at its best for whatever content you are viewing.
Lenovo also claims that the display is capable of 800 nits outdoors and up to a peak brightness of 1300 nits. All of this should make the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 almost as adept a video consumption device as it is a gaming device.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 cameras
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 doesn't overdo it with its rear cameras, sticking to just two. They are part of that central column of fans and RGB lighting with a 64MP f/1.9 main wide-angle camera and a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide.
That primary camera is by far the most interesting as it is the new OmniVision OV64A image sensor that features a large 1/1.32-inch image sensor with 1.0µm pixel size. We haven't seen any results from this sensor yet, but the specs alone are promising. Obviously, it won't have anywhere near the versatility of something like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, but the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 may at least outclass other gaming phones.
The front-facing camera gets considerably more attention from Lenovo as the relatively large pop-up module houses a 44MP Samsung GH1+ sensor at f/2.0. Video is a heavy focus as again they are targeting game streamers, so Lenovo talks up built-in background remove or replace, 4K video recording at up to 60fps. With the possible exception of the Asus ZenFone line that flips to use the entire rear camera array as its front-facing cameras too. This could be the most impressive front-facing camera we've seen.
Video for the rear-facing camera is pretty standard fare for a current flagship with 8K at up to 24fps, 4K at up to 60fps and HDR10+ recording at up to 4k 30fps.
The software could certainly make or break things with the cameras on this phone, but it's a more compelling array than you typically find on a gaming phone.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 performance
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 naturally uses the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset. While there are quite a few phones out there with that same processor at this point we've certainly seen some manufacturers move the needle somewhat considerably versus others.
The OnePlus 9 Pro currently tops the performance charts among the Snapdragon 888 phones and even managed to overtake one of the iPhone 12 models. But it seems very plausible with its built-in cooling solution that the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 could claim the top spot for itself.
Even the base option for the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 features 12GB of RAM, with a 16GB and 18GB option above it. Storage options are either 256GB or 512GB, both are UFS 3.1.
Connectivity is fully future-proofed with support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 battery life and charging
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has a massive 5500mAh battery, once again relying on the split battery design that appears to be picking up steam with many manufactures to allow for faster charging.
Lenovo is packing in a 65W charger with the Legion Phone Duel 2, but it supports up to a mindblowing 90W. However, that charger will be sold separately. Like the ROG Phone 5, it has both a side and bottom-mounted USB Type-C port to provide charging options that won't interfere with your gaming.
Lenovo claims this is sufficient to get the phone fully charged in just 30 minutes, which matches the OnePlus 9 Pro, but notably, this battery is 1000mAh larger than that of the OnePlus 9 Pro. The 90W charger on the Legion Phone Duel 2 and charge the equivalent 4500 mAh of the OnePlus 9 Pro in 17 minutes.
I said at the outset that the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is the most unapologetic gaming phone that I've ever seen. And the more I dug into it, the more I found that to be true. The size alone is going to eliminate this phone from consideration for a huge swath of the market. But for those that value gaming above all else, this also seems like it could offer more on that front than any other gaming phone we've seen to date.
Many people rightly question what place dedicated gaming phones have in the market. Especially when devices like the OnePlus 9 Pro or Galaxy S21 Ultra deliver solid gaming performance with an excellent well-rounded device. It's hard to look at the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 and not acknowledge that this could be the perfect fit for some buyers. I struggle to see many people using this as their only phone,. And that's where the ROG Phone 5 has a clear advantage as the size of this phone just seems unwieldy, but giving up on trying to straddle that line may give the Legion Phone Duel 2 an edge with the niche market it's targeting.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.