Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Review – Powerful But Needs That Oomph Factor
Lenovo's first gaming phone under their Legion sub-brand, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel packs top-tier hardware for an enhanced mobile gaming experience. Is it worth your money? Let's find out.
+ Excellent performance
+ Decent stereo speaker experience
+ 144Hz refresh rate
+ Surprisingly good camera
+ RGB lighting
+ Pop-up selfie camera orientation is ideal for streaming
+ Ultrasonic buttons are a great addition for gaming
- At high refresh rates, the colours become a little dull
- A little pricey
- Competition offers more value for their gaming phones
- Battery life could be better
- Worries of longevity of pop-up camera module
- No headphone jack
Unboxing the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel
Let’s kick off our Lenovo Legion Phone Duel review with the unboxing. Interestingly, there is a sound that plays whenever you open the box. Inside the box, you will be able to find the following items:
- Charging brick
- USB Type-C
- Clear protective case
- Quick Start guide
- USB-C to 3.5mm adapter
- SIM Ejector tool
- The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel itself
As this is a gaming phone, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has a rather aggressive look to it. It’s available in two colour options; Blazing Blue and Vengeance Red. For our review units, it’s the latter colour, and Blue is my favourite colour, Vengeance Red is the more appealing option between the two, but this is subjective.
Looking at the front, you have a 6.65-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with minimal bezels on the side but rather noticeable ones for top and bottom. This is understandable as it houses the dual-speaker setup, and gaming phones don’t typically follow the sleek design of regular smartphones. There is no notch of any kind here as it uses a pop-up selfie camera. As for fingerprint scanner, this one uses an under-display type.
On the left side, you have a Lenovo logo clad in red, volume rockers, and its secondary USB Type-C port. As for the right side, you have the power button which is centered and between the two Ultrasonic game buttons. Moving over to the top, you only have a lone microphone hole residing in solitude while on the bottom, you have the SIM tray slot, another microphone hole, and its primary USB Type-C port.
Moving to the back, you have the Legion logo, which has RGB lighting, on the center in a glossy, red back. Right beside the logo, you have the dual-camera setup. As for where the Legion text is seen, that is the pop-up selfie camera module. The left and right sides have texts which says ” Stylish outside” and “Savage inside”, and it doesn’t feels as smooth here where the lines are, making it easier to hold.
Overall the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is an attractive-looking gaming phone complete with RGB lighting. It’s definitely one that is designed to stand out, so if you’re not into the whole gamer aesthetic, this may seem a little tacky. This is definitely one of the better looking gaming phones out there today.
|CPU:||Snapdragon 865+ Octa-core (1 x 3.09GHz Kryo 585 + 3 x 2.42GHz Kryo 585 + 4 x 1.8GHz Kryo 585) 7nm|
|Display:||6.65-inch AMOLED (2340 x 1080), 144Hz refresh rate, 388 ppi|
|Storage:||UFS 3.1 256GB|
|Camera:||Main Camera(s) 64MP f/1.9 wide angle camera, PDAF 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle, Dual-LED dual-tone flash, panorama, HDR, [email protected] gyro-EIS Front Camera Motorized pop-up 20MP f/2.2, wide angle camera LED Flash, HDR, [email protected]|
|OS:||Legion OS based on Android 10|
|Connectivity:||5G Band 1, 3, 28, 38, 41, 77, 78, 79 SA/NSA LTE Band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)|
|Battery:||Li-Po 5000mAh (non-removable, dual 2500mAh) 65W / 90W fast charging|
|Dimensions:||169.2 x 78.5 x 9.9mm|
|Ingress Protection:||None, only water-repellent coating|
In Antutu v8, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has one of the highest scores in our list of benchmarked devices. This isn’t a surprise given that it’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+, which is also the same chipset that beat this phone in 1st place.
As for Geekbench 5, the single core is the highest among all the devices but the multi-core is slight lower. It’s still excellent performance nonetheless, and the difference between that and the top-scoring devices can be considered negligible.
Moving on to 3DMark, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel performed well in Ice Storm Unlimited, Sling Shot, and Sling Shot Extreme. It’s a little odd that it lost to the S20 FE which uses a regular Snapdragon 865 in Ice Storm Unlimited but given the high score, it’s not really something to worry about.
In PCMark’s Work 2.0 benchmark, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel proved to be a practical device for everyday use, garnering a very high score. Once again, it’s one of the top scoring devices thanks to the powerful chipset.
Lastly, we have the battery endurance test, which is a bit hard to expect given the dual-battery concept. It managed to last 11 hours and 27 minutes (687 minutes) before it died out, which is decent enough for this day and age. It’s far from the best around, but it should be plenty enough for most people to use, at least for a full day’s worth.
Speaking of battery, it’s worth noting that the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has some of the fastest charging speeds on any smartphone available today. You will however need to use both USB-C ports to really take advantage of it. Realistically, you’re going to only use one because plugging in two can be a bit of hassle after a while, and the speed is still acceptable. I personally would have liked wireless charging for added convenience, but most gaming phone don’t have that anyway so that’s still okay.
Looking for a new laptop that’s a bit out of the usual? Check out our Lenovo ThinkBook Plus review by clicking right here.
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has a Full HD+ display with 144Hz refresh rate. This puts it ahead of the competition as most other gaming phones out there uses 120Hz. With that being said however, it’s really hard to tell the difference between the two, and being able to take advantage of it in games is kinda tough as not many mobiles games have support for high refresh rates. It is indeed buttery smooth but the colours are a little dull at high refresh rates. Just keep in mind that high refresh rates will result in lower battery life as the screen needs to refresh more often.
As it is a gaming phone, playing mobile games on it is generally fun. You get a rather large 6.65-inch AMOLED display, stereo speakers, and Ultrasonic game buttons. They’re not actual physical button and they work by simply touching the area. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to map these into the games for the ones that support them.
As for the stereo speakers, it can produce a surprising amount of depth and quality. Sure, it’s lacking in bass but that’s to be expected from built-in speakers. Together with a good amount of volume, I can say for sure that anyone will be happy with the speakers on this. If you want to use headphones, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack. You will either need to use a wireless one, a USB-C headset, or a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter which is included in the box.
Whether it’s for work, gaming, or casual use, I did notice that the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel can get a bit warm. It doesn’t ever get too hot, and it’s at a temperature that shouldn’t alarm anyone. Given that this doesn’t come with a cooler like its competitors, it might be something that would make you worried but you don’t have to overthink it. It will work just fine.
For our unit, it came with Legion OS based on Android 10. The UI is generally easy to use as it looks like stock Android. However, I can’t help but feel like it looks a little outdated. I feel like this is a UI I’ve seen from Android 8 or 9. It’s not really anything to complain about as it still works just fine and isn’t confusing to use. It’s just one that I prefer less over other UIs.
The camera UI on the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is very simple and straightforward. Whether it’s changing shooting modes or adjusting settings, you pretty much have everything you need on the screen. The only thing I found confusing at first was changing to the front camera but once you figure out which icon to touch, you won’t forget it.
While gaming phones typically do not excel in the camera department, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has a surprisingly capable shooter. Pictures are typically well-defined with a good amount of detail on it. Colours may not pop as much compared to other smartphone cameras but honestly, it’s a lot better than I expected. Sure, typical flagship smartphones can take noticeably better pictures, but the one here isn’t bad at all.
Due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in Klang Valley, I chose to limit my outings as much as possible. As such, I don’t go out as much so I couldn’t take much photos.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Verdict
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is a good gaming phone and it’s certainly one that is worth considering over its competition. You get a display with 144Hz refresh rate, excellent performance, surprisingly good camera, decent stereo speaker experience, RGB lighting, pop-up selfie camera orientation that is perfect for streaming / video calls.
However, the UI feels a little outdated, it’s a little pricey, the competition packs more value in their gaming phone offerings with free coolers and other accessories, the battery life could be better, no headphone jack, the colours become a little dull at high refresh rates, and there’s the worry of the longevity of the pop-up camera module.
At the end of our Lenovo Legion Phone Duel review, I award this with our Silver Pokdeward.
Big thanks to Lenovo Malaysia for sending us this smartphone for the purposes of this review.