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Lenovo Legion Duel Review – What does it feel like to have a Gaming Phone?

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Before we embrace the sought-after–powerful Snapdragon 888 processor in the global market, The Lenovo Legion Duel is one of the latest smartphones as of date to equipped with the latest chipset in the market–Snapdragon 865+ 5G. The device is a Gaming Phone, very distinct from other flagship smartphones. The build really is for gamers, but how was the user experience? Does it give a real gaming feel?

Phone Gamer Feel

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Starting with the build, the Lenovo Legion Duel phone is pretty heavy, it weighs 239 grams but despite the hefty build, it translates to a robust gaming phone feel. It has an unusual design and built which makes it unique from other smartphones and other gaming phones. The camera design at the back is right in the middle placed next to the RGB lighting design–it adds an extra frame in-game–that is in landscape orientation. It was made to operate in landscape mode because of the printed text and the mechanical pop-up selfie. There’s also a rainbow X-pattern when light hits the surface and it has a rough texture on the sides which adds grip. It feels like rubber and gives better hold.

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While the back is gamer designed the frame has an elegant design with a matte texture, it has antenna bands around the corner, the power button is integrated into the pop-up selfie which at first glance, I thought is the button to retract the selfie cam. It has a capacitive trigger button just like other gaming phones, the triggers have texture to find where they sit–but it is not very textured. It is difficult to know if your finger is really on the trigger especially when in intense gaming, I’m just relying on muscle memory after weeks of gaming.

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There are two USB Type-C ports at the bottom and on the left of the phone–portrait orientation. The purpose is not only for the cord getting in the way when charging while gaming, but you can charge simultaneously with two USB Type-C cord for dual charging of 90W, unfortunately, we only have one cord that is free in the box.

I really like the RGB lighting on the phone it really feels like you have a powerful device, which is– a really powerful device.

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Display Efficiency

Even if it doesn’t have notches or cutout since it has a pop-up front cam, the screen to body ratio is just 81.7%. If you look closely at the front panel the stereo speaker is placed in its chin and head that’s why the bezels are a bit large. The Lenovo Legion Duel boasts a 6.65-inch AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate in FHD+ resolution. 144hz is the fastest refresh rate we can see on smartphones as of date. The overall screen is wild because it has a 19.5:9 ratio compared to the cinematic 20:9.

Since it is a gaming phone means we will use the full power of the device more often than the minimum clock speed, hence that we will more likely drain the battery much faster and the display is one of the factors to consider if we need to extend our usage. I have a few things that I notice that may be improved, The screen is sharp and vivid thanks to the wide variety of display customization, however, the dark mode is not so dark at all.

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We know that AMOLED, in order to save power we need to use dark mode and the black needs to be black in order to turn off the pixels. But it turns out the pixels is in grayish tone–means that it is turned on. It will still save power but the best optimal power saving should be considered.

Overall, the display quality is great and sharp it has great visibility outdoors and the fast 144hz is very pleasing to look at.

Camera-centric?

There’s not much special in the camera since it is a gaming-centric phone, however, even though it is not a featured pack camera-centric device–it has a lot of cool stuff as well. This includes the Dual-Screen shooting that records video clips using ultrawide and main lens simultaneously. It can also shoot with front and back cameras at the same time. It also has a slow-motion up to [email protected], 4k video recording, and even macro video. All video resolutions have stabilization as well.

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Talking about photography, even though there are only two cameras, we saw a portrait, ultrawide, and macro mode in the viewfinder.

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The qualities are good, the macro shots are detailed with less noise, not the best macro shots, and not the closest to the subject but the fact that it gives you a flexible option to enable it is what we consider.

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The subject to background separation on the portrait mode is impressive and it outputs true to life colors. I can say that it captures the best portrait mode I’ve seen so far.

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The 16MP Ultrawide appears quite soft it has less dynamic range but the overall quality is acceptable.

On the 64MP main camera, here’s what I noticed, white balance is quite off indoors. I compared the portrait shots on the output of the main cam. The portrait image is quite better in color reproduction as it nails the white balance so I guess AI in the main cam needs to learn the white detection of the portrait mode.

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Still, in the main camera, colors are a bit saturated, it output blacks that can eliminate the detail but the overall quality is fine for a gaming phone, not the best but it has decent sharpness. The 64MP mode outputs a very sharp image as well. Though the binned down shot has an impressive dynamic range I think the main problem is it struggles to balance the exposure and white balance, it feels like it needs to be adjusted in post.

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Nonetheless, night time shots are impressive it has the details on the floor and the light exposures illuminated on the reflective surface has great details.

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Switching to the 20MP selfie cam, it outputs impressive sharp images. The texture and details are a standout, the blacks didn’t crash, also the skin tone is so close to true to life colors. However, the exposure balance and HDR handling are what makes the overall image bad. The overexposed highlights become soft when shooting in HDR mode. The edge detection is at lower 90% accuracy. This can still improve in the software optimization though not to mention when you capture in portrait orientation, your eyes feel like your looking somewhere else but I am just looking directly at the screen.

Overall what I love about the selfie cam is the sharpness of the subject.

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Beastly Performance

Unto performance, we don’t have to talk much about the chipset since it is the fastest chipset right now. It is equipped with Snapdragon 865+ (7nm+) with 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, and NFC. It has 16GB of ram that is more than enough to multitask or stream. Also, it has a huge 512GB of storage–it is efficient as it doesn’t have external storage.

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The Lenovo Legion Duel phone is really fast the benchmarks scores have good numbers especially in Antutu, it is just less than 100 points from the Asus Rog Phone 3.

The Legion Duel is currently running on Android 10.0 with Legion OS. You can opt for the gaming theme or just the stock theme. UI is just okay, dragging down the notification panel feels less flow in animation but that’s not a big deal.

Gaming Features

What’s more important to know is the gaming feel and this is our take on the immersive gaming experience.

It has stereo speakers that give surround sound and it is really satisfying. The sound is much louder compared to other phones in its price segment. It will get more immersive when you enable the vibration feature which only supports 3 games. Nonetheless, It has a very good haptic thanks to the Dual X-axis linear motors. It really is following the environment or what’s happening in the game and it resonates with the sound which gives an immersive experience.

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Display as we mentioned is in a 144Hz refresh rate it is fast and doesn’t lag at all. The 240Hz sampling rate is the winning game of the phone, you can easily target the enemies more precisely, it is very easy to land skill shots thanks to the faster response time. Lastly, it has a very good grip thanks to the texture at the back which gives a worry-free and less hassle experience.

So what are the downsides?

For me, I found the trigger button’s positions hard to locate if I am in the middle of the game. Like we said earlier, the texture isn’t that noticeable. There’s also no dedicated button to switch to the gaming mode, instead, you hold the two trigger buttons at the same time which is kind of a hassle. As I hold the phone vertically I can accidentally press the two triggers which will launch the Legion Realm unwantedly. The pop-up selfie is also on the side if you hold the phone upright. I feel like mechanical gears can be jammed when blocked by your fingers. Also, the body ratio feels quite large, my little hands had difficulty using the trigger buttons but it gets the job done.

Temperature

On our temperature test, as so you know, it has dual liquid heat pipes, graphite sheets, and copper foils to dissipate heat. Though I only encountered heating when I am playing Genshin Impact at the highest possible settings. Lenovo Legion Duel can play Genshin Impact at a very high setting but expect that it will use all the resources and will heat up fast. However, other games like triple games or graphically demanding games didn’t encounter any heating issue and is working fine with no stutters and lags.

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Battery

Now unto the battery, the battery architecture of the Lenovo Legion Duel is quite different, it has two 2500mAh batteries separated, which adds up to a 5000mAh power cell. This technology, I believe, is used when you have a fast-charging capability. The phone can take up to a whopping 90W fast charging and Lenovo claims that in just 30 mins it will be fully charged from 0%. We can’t test the full potential of 90W since it needs to be charged with two USB cord occupied to the 2 Type-C port, as we mentioned earlier we only get one charging cord.

Still, we managed to conduct a test, using the device’s capacity for up to 65W with a single cord. It still has an impressive charging time of 57mins (0%-100%).

Overall, Imagine charging the phone with 50% juice in just 10minutes for a nonstop gaming experience really is amazing.

Verdict

For the price of P49,990 for a 16GB+512GB configuration, Lenovo Legion duel offers nonstop gaming action with ease and comfort. It is not for my bare hands but for the normal people with normal hands, it is perfect. The device is a featured pack gaming phone that really gives an immersive feel. An all-in-one device for your gaming, streaming, and other hobbies. Because it is not just a gaming phone it has good camera flexibility as well and has the capability to fully charge in just 30 minutes thanks to the 90W Twin Turbo charging. This phone is a beast and will surely satisfy you as a mobile gamer.

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Specification

Lenovo Legion Duel
Design 239g
9.9mm
Glass Back, Aluminum Frame
Gorilla Glass Front
Vengeance Red, Blazing Blue
Display 6.65″ AMOLED
1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio
144Hz Refresh Rate
HDR10+
388 PPI
Camera 64MP f/1.9 Main Camera
16MP 120˚ Ultrawide
[email protected], [email protected], gyro-EIS
Selfie 20MP f/2.2
[email protected], gyro-EIS
Performance Snapdragon 865+ (7 nm+)
Adreno 650
Android 10, Legion OS/ ZUI12
16GB RAM
512GB Internal Storage
Battery 5000mAh (2x2500mAh)
65W – 90W Fast Charging
Features Wi-Fi 6
Dual USB Type-C
Bluetooth 5.0
Capacitive Trigger Buttons
Legion Realm
Dual X-Axis Linear Motor
Dual Liquid Cooling system
Fingerprint (under the display)
NFC
5G
Gyro
Face Unlock
Price P49,990 (16GB + 512GB)

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