Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Gaming Review – Mobile Gaming At Its Finest

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Review 7
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Lenovo is known fairly well for its gaming product line - Legion - and this year it finally entered the mobile gaming market with the Legion Phone Duel. This is its answer to companies like Razer, ASUS and others. It's a device packed to the brim with gaming features, and a device that's impossible to ignore.

Lenovo Legion Phone
Rating
star star star star star
Pros
  • Streamer-ready camera
  • Turbo charging with dual charging ports
  • Giant 144Hz screen
  • Front-facing speakers
  • Really good heat management
  • Good feedback on ultrasonic shoulder keys
  • Keyboard and mouse key mapping
Cons
  • A bit heavy to hold for more than a couple of hours
  • Not sold in the US officially

Lenovo provided us with the Legion phone for the purposes of this review. They did not see the contents of this review before publishing.

Lenovo may not be the king in terms of popularity when it comes to gaming, but the Legion Phone Duel demands your attention. Scratch that. It commands it.

And you should probably oblige. Because this is one hell of a gaming phone that has a lot to offer the consumer looking for this specialized piece of hardware. Gaming phones aren't for everyone. They are however gaining more and more popularity and presence in the mobile market and gaming market these days.

All thanks to the rise in popularity of mobile gaming as a whole. The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is one of the only new gaming phones from a big recognizable brand to come out so far this year. The other being the ASUS ROG Phone 3.

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With the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel, you're letting the world know that you take your mobile gaming seriously. The one downside is that it isn't officially coming to the US. It's not unattainable in the US, you just won't be able to buy it direct from Lenovo, and instead have to deal with third-party resellers.

Let's dig in and take a closer look at why this is such a great device for gaming. And why it's an utter shame that most US consumers won't be able to get their hands on it.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is the perfect phone for streamers

If you play mobile games competitively, or you're a content creator who focuses on games, this is the perfect phone for that.

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All gaming phones can be used for live streaming. But there's just something about the way that this phone handles it that makes it special. The uniqueness of its design makes it impossible to miss.

You know that it's there, and that sort of makes you want to use it. I am of course referring to the front-facing camera. Normally it's hidden from view. But once you hop in a game, you can open up the Legion Assistant gaming dashboard with a quick downward flick of the finger from the top of the display when in landscape mode.

Off to the right side, you have a series of digital buttons that lend themselves to different features. One of these is labeled "stream mode." Tap that and the motorized front camera slowly lifts itself up.

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Once Stream Mode is active, there are a few different things you can play with. Such as filters to add to your image (I quite enjoyed these as there were some fun ones). You can also move around your image to find the perfect spot, make it more transparent, and allow the camera to show the background.

It's a neat little feature. And one of the cooler things about the phone. The mechanism seems to work really well too, as the camera lifts up and closes without issue.

The battery life is good, but the real star is the charging time

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 3

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I found the battery life on the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel to be pretty good for what it is.

It's a powerful phone with a lot of hardware and features that can easily drain the battery faster than you'd expect. But throw all that to the side because the battery life isn't what you should be focusing on. What you should be focusing on is the charging time.

Lenovo packaged this phone with a large power adapter to charge the device. It comes in either 65w or 90w depending on the region, and has two USB-C output ports.

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This is so you can charge the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel in either one of or both of its ports. And trust me, you're going to want to charge the phone with both ports because this is how you get it to charge up blazing fast.

When I say blazing fast I mean blazing fast. Lenovo says that the phone can be charged up to 50-percent in about 10 minutes. IF you're using the dual charging method with both cables being plugged into one of the ports.

For my experiences, I found this to be mostly true. At the end of a ten-minute period, the phone was charged up to 40-percent from a a completely dead battery. I used it till the phone shut off. At the end of 30 minutes exactly, the phone was at 95-percent.

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So Lenovo is pretty close to what they're advertising here. And that's actually really awesome because that means you can use the phone for continuous gaming for anywhere between 4 and 7 hours, then charge it almost all the way back up in 30 minutes.

Utilize the Legion Assistant and game settings

Yes the Legion Phone Duel is packed with beefy specs but don't sleep on its software features.

Legion Assistant is the gaming dashboard which gives you access to various feature. This is where you'll find Stream Mode, controller settings, a back recording button, a button for screenshots while playing games and more.

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While you don't need to use Legion Assistant at all, you should. At least some of the time. It was actually pretty useful while I was playing Call Of Duty: Mobile or Black Desert Mobile. Especially if I was trying to stream and take screenshots.

In fact you'll need to open the Legion Assistant if you want to take a screenshot while in Stream Mode, because the phone's power button is right where the front camera is that pops up. Pressing it will only push the camera back down. This is why Lenovo added a screenshot button into this control panel.

There's also buttons for turning on the vibration, cleaning out the RAM, and enabling/disabling calls and notifications. You can also turn of gestures, lighting and access WhatsApp and Line chat.

There are also slider bars for both the game volume and screen brightness at the bottom of the panel. And a Rampage button which diverts all CPU and GPU resources to your gaming. Lenovo also displays the battery life frames per second, and temperature of the phone's internals here. So it's an all-around useful feature to have.

Legion Realm is the home for all your games

Aside from legion Assistant, there's also the Legion Realm app, which is more or less just a hub for all of your games. Lenovo added a software feature that lets you long-press both ultrasonic triggers to launch into Legion Realm even if you're not in gaming mode.

If you use Legion Realm, this is a quick and nifty way to get to it. Though you could also just keep the app shortcut on the home screen and that was really just as fast for me personally.

There's no easy way to find games that support the vibration feedback

This was one of my pet peeves with this device. The vibration feedback is a big feature that Lenovo advertised quite a bit.

You can turn this on from the Legion Assistant panel, but only if the game you're playing supports it. If it doesn't, you'll just be met with a message that says game not supported.

The problem is that there doesn't appear to be an easy way to identify what games support this feature and what games don't. I've played a handful of games on the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel and none of them allow me to enable the vibration.

Unfortunately this made it impossible to really sample. It's a shame really, because this was one of the more exciting features about the phone and it helps with game immersion. But without knowing which games support it, it's almost useless.

Top-notch performance, as expected

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Whether you go for the base model Legion Phone Duel, or the big boy that comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage for games and apps, the phone performs.

Exceptionally too. I used the phone for everything from mobile games to a bit of game streaming through GeForce NOW and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and never once did I run into issues with performance.

It has more than enough power to run all mobile games at max settings. And everything runs very smooth while doing so. The best part is you can keep an eye on your FPS from the Legion Assistant app if you're ever questioning what it might be, or if you're curious to know what it is.

If you want to perform at your best, the Legion Phone Duel is equipped to help you do that.

Probably the best cooling system of any phone so far

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Lenovo boasted quite a lot about the Legion Phone Duel and its cooling capabilities. And it seems for a good reason.

The phone definitely gets warm, but only barely enough to notice. After two straight hours of playing Black Desert Mobile without putting the phone down, it never got too hot to hold.

In fact I never noticed it getting warm enough to even be slightly uncomfortable. After that same two hours of constant gaming, display on, with the Rampage mode going, the phone got up to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit/41 degrees Celsius.

This wasn't enough to make the phone feel uncomfortable. I also didn't see performance take a dip at all. Which tells me that Lenovo knew what it was doing with the cooling technology and that it executed things very well.

Clear & immersive sound thanks to Dirac-tuned front speakers

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There's nothing that kills the excitement more than bad audio when playing a game.

At least for me. When I'm playing a game I want to be immersed in it as much as I can, and while audio alone isn't going to toss me into the world of the game it certainly helps.

The Legion Phone Duel does this better than most phones out there with front-facing speakers. Are these the best phone speakers on the market? I don't know that I would go that far.

But they are really good, and they make gaming more enjoyable which is the main reason to get the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel.

The ultrasonic triggers are pretty easy to use

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Despite appearing as though the triggers are more inward, they're actually reactive near the very corners of the device.

They're pretty easy to use. And you can always adjust them to be more or less sensitive from inside of the Legion Realm app. The default setting for these is at 35-percent. But if that's not quite sensitive enough for you, then you can always change it to be more around 15-percent.

The same can be done if you need them to be less sensitive. Unfortunately it doesn't look like you can save the sensitivity to a profile. So if you prefer it to be different for certain games, you'll have to manually change it every time.

Overall, I was very pleased with how well Lenovo implemented the ultrasonic triggers. They work just as well as I'd hoped they would.

And because my hands are a little smaller my pointer fingers sit very close to the corners of the device. So I was worried I wouldn't be able to use the triggers efficiently. That's not the case as the sensors cover a pretty large area of the edge they're on.

Should you buy the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel?

If you live in the US, it's going to be a little bit harder to come by. Lenovo isn't selling it in the US officially. Though you can find it from third-party sellers.

Since it's not being sold in the US though, you may want to make sure that it'll work with your phone carrier if this will be your main phone. If you live in a region where this is sold officially, then it's a good device to have for your gaming needs.

It's definitely one of the best gaming phones out right now and it checks some really important boxes. Like the cooling, performance, and charging speeds. Everything else is great, but to me they felt more like bonuses as they weren't something I needed to have on a gaming phone.

If you can find the device and it'll work for everything you need, heavily consider it. Because Lenovo knocked this one out of the park.