Is it the gaming telephone to beat?


Gaming telephones lie in an attention-grabbing place between aptitude and performance. Most gaming telephones look to supply options that diverge from the mainstream. Enter the Lenovo Legion Duel 2: a gaming-first Android smartphone which a novel aesthetic, two cooling followers, two charging ports, eight lively triggers, and a pop-up digital camera. Even with all these novel options, is the Legion Duel 2 a winner? Discover out in Android Authority’s Lenovo Legion Duel 2 evaluation.

About this Lenovo Legion Duel 2 evaluation: I examined the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 (16GB/512GB) for seven days operating software program model 12.5.062. The Legion Duel 2 evaluation unit was offered to Android Authority by Lenovo for this evaluation.

What it is advisable know concerning the Lenovo Legion Duel 2

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

  • Legion Duel 2 (12GB/256GB): €799/£699
  • Legion Duel 2 (16GB/512GB): €999/£899

The second iteration of the Legion Duel comes with the most recent Snapdragon 888 processor and as much as 16GB with 512GB of storage. Design-wise the telephone is much like its predecessor, however this 12 months Lenovo raised the again of the telephone to make room for an extra lively cooling fan, in addition to eight lively triggers. The system is available in two colours Final Black and Titanium White. Within the field, you get the telephone, a 90W charger, a plastic case, and two USB-C to USB-C cables.

Costs begin at €799/£699 and the telephone is on the market from Could 2021 in Europe and China. It competes in opposition to elite 2021 gaming telephones just like the Asus ROG Cellphone 5 and the Pink Magic 6, in addition to different Snapdragon 888-powered telephones. Lenovo has but to element any plans for a US launch, although you possibly can import it for round $699 from some on-line retailers.

How does the design maintain up?

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 1

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

It’s been a very long time since I used to be genuinely stunned and excited by a brand new telephone. Since smartphone producers are basically designing the identical merchandise, new gadgets can get misplaced within the shuffle. I’m comfortable to report that the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 offers an actual “new system” really feel and a style of innovation that’s sorely lacking from the fashionable flagship market.

The Duel 2 is constructed for taking part in video games in panorama mode. That makes it barely awkward to make use of as a conventional smartphone.

The Legion Duel 2 appears to be like all however boring. The system sports activities chamfered aluminum sides, two USB-C ports, and a raised again that makes room for 2 lively cooling followers on both aspect. The suitable aspect incorporates a considerably loud pop-out digital camera, the positioning of which ought to attraction to streamers who need to seize themselves whereas gaming.

Nonetheless, its placing design isn’t with out its quirks, because the Legion Duel 2 makes day-to-day use considerably impractical. Utilizing the system in portrait mode makes for a cumbersome expertise. Because of the raised nature of the again, holding the telephone one-handed is unusual, and I wasn’t totally positive the place my hand was purported to go, leading to me masking a number of cameras on the again.

When held horizontally the raised again makes for an extremely comfy gaming expertise. Because the CPU, GPU, and followers are housed within the center, the Legion Duel 2 focuses the warmth within the heart of the system, permitting your arms to remain cool throughout lengthy gaming periods.

The system additionally options a number of lively triggers: 4 ultrasonic shoulder triggers, two capacitive buttons on the rear, and two pressure-sensitive buttons on the display screen. Whereas helpful in concept, the implementation of those triggers leaves some issues to be desired, as I discovered the triggers generally troublesome to press and use in real-time gaming. The triggers are only a tad too small and lie in an ungainly place on the bezel of the telephone. Don’t get me unsuitable, the triggers operate as they need to, however urgent them is barely extra work than it must be.

Associated: The most effective Bluetooth gaming controllers for Android, PC, and extra

Downsides apart, the spectacular show, aluminum-glass physique, and revolutionary design undoubtedly make this telephone stand out from the pack.

Along with this, the telephone incorporates a 144Hz Full HD+ show, with a 720Hz contact sampling price — a function positive to be appreciated by essentially the most hardcore of cell avid gamers. Should you discover the battery life to be shorter than splendid, you possibly can at all times choose the 90Hz or 120Hz choices as a very good stability between efficiency and battery life. The show additionally helps HDR 10+ and may get as brilliant as 1,300nits at peak brightness.

Total the AMOLED show brings pretty correct coloration replica, though bear in mind the HDR functionality is restricted to 8-bit coloration depth. Nonetheless, Lenovo is utilizing Gorilla Glass 5 discovered on simply the show, which is a excessive sufficient grade for the value, nevertheless it’s not the best-in-class Gorilla Glass Victus discovered on the highest flagships (and the ROG Cellphone 5).

How’s the battery life?

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 21

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Gaming tends to suck essentially the most energy in comparison with another activity on cell handsets. To counterbalance this, Lenovo included a hefty 5,500mAh battery contained in the Legion Duel 2.

Battery life stretches to a full day after which some. Over the course of my testing — consisting of social media, a couple of hours of YouTube, an hour or so of gaming, and a few images — the system simply lasted into properly right into a second day. Consider the show was set to 144Hz always. I didn’t check prolonged gameplay, however after about an hour or two of 3D gaming, the telephone appeared to drop at about 25{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} per hour. That is on par with its rivals, such because the Pink Magic 6 and Asus ROG Cellphone 5, however the place the Legion Duel 2 pushes past these gadgets is in uncooked charging speeds.

Associated: The most effective telephone charging equipment

Lenovo states that the Duel 2 can energy up from 0{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} to 100{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} in simply half-hour. I used to be in a position to corroborate these claims, and in my testing, the system charged from 0{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} to 50{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} in simply 11 minutes, and a full cost in 33. These extremely quick speeds are made doable by the 90W twin charger included within the field. As a way to accomplish these insane charging speeds, you really should plug in two USB-C cables. In follow, this can be a comparatively seamless course of that didn’t take any extra time in comparison with plugging in a single cable. Additionally, the place of USB-C ports makes charging whereas gaming feels extra pure.

Contemplating how briskly the Legion Duel 2 costs, its raised again and lively cooling followers yield themselves properly to protecting your arms cool whereas charging. The very heart of the telephone can get slightly sizzling to the contact, however utilizing the system whereas charging was not uncomfortable in any respect. In fact, there may be at all times an choice to cost at 65W with one cable, however that ends in considerably longer charging instances. At 65W the telephone can cost up from 0 to 50{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} in just below half-hour, which is about twice so long as the 90W charging.

The one actual knock in opposition to the Legion Duel 2’s charging suite is the dearth of any wi-fi charging. That’s an enormous miss at this value level.

How does the Legion Duel 2 deal with gaming?

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 19

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

As you’d count on from a gaming telephone with the most recent Snapdragon 888 processor with at the very least 12GB of RAM, the Legion Duel 2 handles cell gaming with nice prowess. I examined the system with video games comparable to PUBG Cell, Asphalt 9, and Geshin Influence, and never as soon as did I encounter body drops or laggy efficiency. Largely, that is as a result of Snapdragon 888, however Lenovo’s twin lively cooling design helps preserve the system from thermal throttling. That mentioned, the followers can get fairly loud and could be considerably annoying after some time.

Not each recreation can run at increased refresh charges, and whereas video games like PUBG and Geshin Influence cap out at 75fps, the assist for increased refresh charges continues to be restricted. Consequently, I’d suggest setting the system to 90Hz or 120Hz to have the ability to make use of these increased refresh charges, whereas nonetheless balancing out battery life efficiency. Consider the 144Hz and 120Hz modes are adaptive which implies the telephone will robotically cut back the refresh price when viewing static content material. For essentially the most half this works fairly properly, however if you need to set the telephone to a continuing refresh price then 90Hz is the best choice. Regardless, the 720Hz contact sampling price of this show makes gameplay really feel ridiculously easy.

The Legion Duel 2 is filled with gaming options and greater than sufficient energy to match.

There’s a bevy of extra gaming options comparable to a LED emblem on the again that enables the person to pick a wide range of colours and animations, in addition to a novel in-game UI for customizing the eight adaptive triggers and buttons. Like most gaming telephones, the Duel 2 comes with its personal customized recreation launcher known as Legion Realm. Its function serves to be a one-stop-shop for all issues gaming, displaying your entire put in video games with choices to put in new video games and filter outcomes by assist adaptive triggers or twin vibration. Nonetheless, in all probability my favourite function of the UI must be the always-on show, which helps you to set gaming-related clocks and knowledge on the display screen.

For these curious about benchmarks, the Legion Duel 2 dealt with itself admirably in each check. Geekbench 5 noticed respective scores of 1,132 and three,759 in single and multi-core efficiency. These outcomes are on par with rivals such because the ROG Cellphone 5 and the Pink Magic 6. 3D Mark’s Wild Life check positioned the Duel 2 with a rating of 5,864 and a mean body price of 35.10fps. These outcomes beat out each the Pink Magic 6 and the ROG Cellphone 5, however solely by a really slim margin. We additionally ran our personal customized Pace Take a look at G benchmark, and the Duel 2 accomplished the time check in 74 seconds. This places comfortably among the many high Android performers of 2021.

I’d add that when operating these checks the lively followers come on instantly upon opening the benchmark apps. Whereas it doesn’t appear to have a huge impact on benchmark outcomes, it nonetheless left a foul style in my mouth. It appears Lenovo is attempting to place its greatest foot ahead however does so in a approach which may present unrealistic outcomes. As a way to make sure that this wasn’t the case, I performed a spherical of PUBG after which re-ran Geekbench 5 to search out solely marginally worse outcomes, so I don’t assume this can be a main space of concern.

How are the cameras?

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 14

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

I didn’t count on superb outcomes coming from the 64MP f/1.9 digital camera, and my expectations have been proper. Images are typically high quality, however Lenovo’s software program processing softens out particulars making for an excessively painted picture. At first look, photos look pretty engaging, however upon nearer inspection, the colours are oversaturated and never correct. I’ll admit dynamic vary isn’t half dangerous, however indoor excessive dynamic vary scenes underperform. Sadly, low mild photographs carry out terribly, as the photographs are very gentle with little to no element, and there’s a appreciable quantity of noise and oversoftening current in every picture.

One of many extra attention-grabbing observations is that the 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide digital camera is way softer and fewer detailed than the primary digital camera, however offers far correct coloration replica than the primary sensor. Its photos are coloration correct, however once more are usually not as sharp and likewise battle with increased dynamic scenes. Sadly, this digital camera can be affected by Lenovo’s picture softening, and this can’t be turned off.

The 8MP telephoto digital camera performs equally to each the primary and Extremely-wide digital camera and tends to supply some overly gentle photos. The colour matches the primary sensor higher however continues to be not correct.

Lastly, the 44MP f/2.0 front-facing shooter performs the worst out of all of the cameras. Its photos produced make my face look pale and washed out, and soften my pores and skin past any cheap level. Sadly, whilst you can flip off the wonder mode, there may be nonetheless a substantial quantity of picture softening occurring, which for my part makes the selfie digital camera ineffective for photographs.

Video appears to be a special state of affairs, as you possibly can document all the way in which as much as 4K 60fps and outcomes are usually not half dangerous. Whereas the digital camera struggles with adapting the publicity to completely different lighting eventualities, the autofocus stored me in focus the entire time, and I might see this getting used for streaming as a result of distinctive positioning of the pop-up. You may take a look at an instance of this right here.

The rest?

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 9

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

  • In-display fingerprint reader: I had combined success with the in-display fingerprint reader. I discovered it took fairly a couple of further tries to get it to learn throughout setup. After that the success price was variable. When it labored it was pretty quick, however most of the time it took a couple of makes an attempt to unlock the telephone. At first, I believed this was as a result of display screen protector, however I eliminated it, re-registered my prints, and nonetheless bumped into related points. This might be mounted with a software program replace, however you shouldn’t depend on that.
  • Software program: The Legion Duel 2 runs Android 11, although future replace assist is unclear. We’ve requested Lenovo to make clear if it has a set dedication to updates and can amend this evaluation accordingly. The truth that it (or its predecessor) isn’t listed on Lenovo’s official improve program web page isn’t very encouraging. As for the UI/UX, there are many choices to alter the theme, icons, and the RGB led on the again. For essentially the most half, the system is fairly simple to navigate, though I did discover the menus and settings to be a tad complicated. I additionally needed to manufacturing facility reset the system to get the show settings to indicate up. All in all, fairly easy and enjoyable Android pores and skin, however undoubtedly some quirks right here and there.
  • Audio: The twin-firing audio system present a good sufficient soundstage, with first rate mids and highs for a smartphone, however the bass was slightly underwhelming. That mentioned, the stereo nature of those audio system means the system will get fairly loud and actually offers an immersive expertise when viewing content material, and particularly whereas enjoying video games. There’s additionally an included equalizer which helps you to fine-tune the audio. Nonetheless, there isn’t a 3.5mm headphone jack, which implies you’ll have to use a dongle with one of many USB-C ports. That is frequent for basic smartphones these days however much less so for gaming telephones.
  • Haptics: Merely put, the haptics on this system are nothing wanting superb. In-game haptics improve or lower in vibration akin to sure issues occurring on display screen, and symbolize essentially the most minute of actions, general including to the immersive gaming expertise.
  • IP score: Because of the fan ports and pop-out digital camera, the Duel 2 doesn’t assist any water and dirt resistance score. Whereas there are many telephones within the value vary that do have official scores, this can be a trade-off you’ll should reside with for these novel gaming options.
  • 5G: The Duel 2 helps each mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G networking.

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 specs

Lenovo Legion Duel 2
Show 6.92-inch AMOLED
144Hz refresh price
720HZ contact sampling price
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 660
RAM 12/16/18GB
Storage 256/512GB
UFS 3.1
Battery 5,000mAh battery
90W dual-wired charging
Cameras Main:
64MP OmniVision flagship OV64A, 10x digital zoom
f/1.9 aperture, 82° area of view
1.0 μm pixel
Twin-LED flash
8K/24fps, 4K/60fps video
16MP ultra-wide sensor
f/2.2, 123° area of view
1.0 μm pixel
Entrance: 44MP Samsung GH1+
f/2.40 aperture
.07 μm pixels
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
Twin nano-SIM
Working System ZUI 12.5
Android 11
Audio Twin Stereo audio system with Dobly Atmos
Dimensions 176mm x 78.5mm x 9.9mm (12.56mm mid)
Colours Final Black
Titanium White

Worth and competitors

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 Titanium White

Lenovo Legion Duel 2

Lenovo Legion Duel 2

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 incorporates a pop-out digital camera, the blazing-fast Snapdragon 888, an exquisite 144Hz refresh price AMOLED show, 90W quick charging, and an extremely massive 5,000mAh battery

The Lenovo Legion Duel 2 sits on the increased finish in terms of gaming gadgets. Priced at €799 for the 12GB/256GB base mannequin, the Duel 2 prices precisely the identical as the bottom ROG Cellphone 5 however is dearer than the €599 (or $599 within the US) Pink Magic 6. The truth that the Legion Duel 2 out-benchmarks each telephones, albeit marginally so, makes it the marginally higher possibility for anybody who craves the very best of the very best efficiency. The 90W charging shouldn’t be discounted both, and for patrons who have to get a full day’s cost in literal minutes, once more makes the Legion Duel 2 an important selection. Lastly, I might see Duel 2 interesting to content material creators or cell gaming streamers who don’t actually need to put money into a full setup. There are baked-in settings to stream on to Twitch or YouTube from the system, and the included pop-out digital camera signifies that you might theoretically stream from wherever.

Associated: The most effective telephones for gaming

That mentioned, if the weird and arguably over-the-top gaming aesthetic and barely unwieldy design isn’t your cup of tea, then the ROG Cellphone 5 is likely to be the higher purchase. Whereas the ROG Cellphone 5 nonetheless holds true to the gaming aesthetic, its design follows a extra easy and simple interpretation. Moreover, contemplating the system gives virtually an equivalent expertise when it comes to energy — plus a greater digital camera system and fewer buggy software program — the ROG Cellphone 5 is the extra apparent selection for devoted avid gamers that additionally need an important on a regular basis telephone. It additionally has an enormous vary of customized equipment for die-hards, the choice of a extra stock-like software program setup, and an outstanding audio suite.

The Legion Duel 2 offers a flashy and atypical gaming telephone expertise.

If gaming isn’t your major focus, then the OnePlus 9 sequence or Galaxy S21 sequence may supply the very best of all worlds. These gadgets additionally ship with the Snapdragon 888 and carry out equally in terms of benchmarks and gaming, however completely destroy each the Duel 2 and the ROG Cellphone 5 with their digital camera efficiency.

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 evaluation: The decision

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 3

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

I’ve obtained to confess, the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 genuinely stunned me. The revolutionary cooling design, nice efficiency, and over-the-top aesthetics actually make the system stand out amongst the competitors — even within the quick and flashy world of gaming telephones. Options just like the 90W dual-wired quick charging and horizontal pop-out digital camera are actually distinctive additions. Throw within the stereo audio, superb haptics, customizable adaptive triggers, and the fluid 144Hz show and also you’ve obtained a high contender that may dangle with the easiest gaming telephones.

Nonetheless, there are some issues that simply aren’t as much as par. The digital camera efficiency is satisfactory at greatest, the fingerprint sensor is quick however unreliable, and the quirky design makes onehanded use awkward in even the very best of eventualities.

The Lenovo Legion Duel 2 screams cool.

Whether or not or not the Legion Duel 2 is greatest for you comes right down to your priorities. If bleeding-edge efficiency and a top-tier cell gaming expertise are your predominant issues then the Legion Duel 2 is a simple advice. Nonetheless, if digital camera high quality and day-to-day usability override are simply as vital, then you definately is likely to be higher suited to the ROG Cellphone 5, or perhaps a extra conventional flagship just like the OnePlus 9 Professional or Galaxy S21 Extremely.

Nonetheless, the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 screams cool and is a good possibility for any seasoned gamer in search of a novel cell companion.

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