About a month ago, Lenovo announced the availability of the new Legion Phone Duel, which is solely targeted towards mobile gamers. After using it for 2 weeks, here are everything that we found out about the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel.
Let’s start off by talking about the unboxing experience. The sleeve pops off and we’re greeted in this Gmail-looking box design. I recommend you watch the video because it involves sound.
Now, let’s talk about the phone itself, starting off with the design. This phone is reminiscent of the ROG Phone 2 and ROG Phone 3 in terms of its geometry and its size. The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has a 6.65-inch 1080p AMOLED screen that can go up to 144Hz and has HDR 10+ support too.
If you’re concerned, this phone, with the Snapdragon 865+, can run games without any issues at all. PUBG at 90fps or Genshin Impact at the highest graphical settings – this phone can handle it but does get quite toasty. About 49.4°C was the highest that I’ve seen, and the phone was uncomfortable to touch.
But back to the phone itself, the back is what makes the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel so special. It literally screams “gaming” to everyone that looked at it from the back, and it’s also functional at the same time.
Both the Stylish Outside and Savage Inside have these lines that at opposing angles but slanted downwards, which can be touch and felt. This adds extra grips while holding the phone in landscape mode and playing games. Smart idea – but adding a protective case will just render them useless.
The one big gimmick about this phone is where the selfie camera is positioned. I honestly think yes, this is the most logical position to put a selfie camera if you ever want to livestream while playing games on your phone. It even has a button within the Legion Assistant (which is what they’re calling their gaming toolbar) but doesn’t do anything other than opening up the selfie camera to look at you. Sure, you can add some filters and remove the background – but that’s about it. It doesn’t actually stream to Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, or whatever.
Granted, I understand that playing games like Genshin Impact at the highest graphical settings while streaming is literally impossible for a phone.
There is a redeeming point here though, which is to use a capture card. This phone has two different USB-C ports, which actually is the same as all generations of the ASUS ROG Phone. There’s a slower bottom port, and another fast side port. That high-speed side port also supports HDMI output over USB-C, which they’re calling ExtCast.
One burning question that we had since the original ROG Phone was “what happens when we plug in two chargers at the same time – one to the bottom, and another at the side?” Well… I did that to the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel, and I discovered that this phone has something called Dual-Turbo Charging. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
So, I benchmarked the charging speeds on all 3 different combinations. The first two charging tests were done using the included 65W charger – the first test at the bottom only, the second test at the side only, and the last test with two different chargers, one for each port. We used the Ugreen 65W GaN charger as our second charger and holy shit, the charging speed is both insane and weird at the same time. For some reason, there are some drops in battery level while using two chargers at once, presumably because of heat.
And speaking of the charger, the 65W charger that’s included with the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has two output ports. One is at 65W, whereas another one is at 30W. If you use both, then it’ll split its 65W power into two ports.
But ultimately, I think the most unique part about this phone is the software. What I want to focus here is what specialty it brings while gaming. Let’s take PUBG for example.
Opening up the game and dragging down from either corner of the screen, we get a very nice dashboard with the appropriate information displayed right in front of us.
Problem is, the translations are problematic and confusing. We have things like “stream mode” and “controller” but they don’t do the things that at least I expect them to do. In this case, pressing “stream mode” opens up the selfie camera while “controller” is actually to tune the Y-triggers. There is also the option to activate “sim-slide” which uses the phone’s gyro as the analog stick. Problem is, there is no button to recenter the gyro, and please don’t use “stream mode” if you’re also using the “sim-slide”.
There’s also keyboard/mouse and controller support, which needs to be enabled manually in the Lenovo Labs in the settings menu. It… is confusing as heck to set up. I paired a controller to the phone and it does not work for games like PUBG Mobile. The ROG Phone 3 on the other hand, was very easy to set up and worked flawlessly.
Now, at this point in time, I mentioned the ROG Phone a lot because, from the moment I first saw and held the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel in my hands, it felt like the ROG Phone – actually, the ROG Phone 2 to be exact. That is because all the features found on the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel resembles the ROG Phone 2 more than the ROG Phone 3.
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel starts at RM3,399, whereby the ROG Phone 3 starts at RM3,799, but you can get the STRIX Edition for RM2,999.
In my opinion, if I were to pick between these two, I still prefer the ROG Phone 3 – particularly the STRIX Edition – more than the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel. Firstly, the software is a lot more fleshed out and also has a bunch of well-established first-party accessories, as well as a great support for third-party accessories.
But before we end this review, we need to talk about the one gaming phone that I think is criminally underrated – the Black Shark 3 Pro. Yes, this phone is supremely expensive at RM4,199 but it has the best feature on a gaming smartphone yet – physical, clicky trigger buttons that pop up when needed and shrinks back in when you’re done gaming. But that’s not all – the screen is also pressure-sensitive, acting as two more additional triggers.
But the Black Shark 3 Pro doesn’t support HDMI output over USB-C, making it purely only for playing mobile games and not for streaming.
So if you don’t want to stream and want the best mobile gaming experience that money can buy, forget about both the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel and the ROG Phone 3, get the Black Shark 3 Pro.