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Is it the gaming phone 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 singular aesthetic, two cooling followers, two charging ports, eight energetic triggers, and a pop-up digicam. 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 you must know in regards to the Lenovo Legion Duel 2

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 4

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 newest 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 energetic cooling fan, in addition to eight energetic triggers. The machine 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 towards elite 2021 gaming telephones just like the Asus ROG Cellphone 5 and the Crimson Magic 6, in addition to different Snapdragon 888-powered telephones. Lenovo has but to element any plans for a US launch, although you may 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 primarily designing the identical merchandise, new gadgets can get misplaced within the shuffle. I’m comfortable to report that the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 supplies an actual “new machine” 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 standard smartphone.

The Legion Duel 2 seems to be all however boring. The machine sports activities chamfered aluminum sides, two USB-C ports, and a raised again that makes room for 2 energetic cooling followers on both facet. The precise facet contains a considerably loud pop-out digicam, the positioning of which ought to enchantment to streamers who wish to seize themselves whereas gaming.

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

When held horizontally the raised again makes for an extremely snug gaming expertise. Because the CPU, GPU, and followers are housed within the center, the Legion Duel 2 focuses the warmth within the middle of the machine, permitting your palms to remain cool throughout lengthy gaming classes.

The machine additionally options a number of energetic triggers: 4 ultrasonic shoulder triggers, two capacitive buttons on the rear, and two pressure-sensitive buttons on the display screen. Whereas helpful in idea, the implementation of those triggers leaves some issues to be desired, as I discovered the triggers typically 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 mistaken, the triggers operate as they need to, however urgent them is barely extra work than it must be.

Associated: The very best Bluetooth gaming controllers for Android, PC, and extra

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

Along with this, the telephone contains a 144Hz Full HD+ show, with a 720Hz contact sampling charge — a characteristic positive to be appreciated by essentially the most hardcore of cellular players. In the event you discover the battery life to be shorter than ultimate, you may at all times choose the 90Hz or 120Hz choices as a superb stability between efficiency and battery life. The show additionally helps HDR 10+ and may get as shiny as 1,300nits at peak brightness.

General the AMOLED show brings pretty correct colour copy, though take note the HDR functionality is proscribed to 8-bit colour depth. Nonetheless, Lenovo is utilizing Gorilla Glass 5 discovered on simply the show, which is a excessive sufficient grade for the worth, 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 process on cellular 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 pictures — the machine simply lasted into nicely right into a second day. Take into account 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% per hour. That is on par with its rivals, such because the Crimson 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 very best telephone charging equipment

Lenovo states that the Duel 2 can energy up from 0% to 100% in simply half-hour. I used to be in a position to corroborate these claims, and in my testing, the machine charged from 0% to 50% in simply 11 minutes, and a full cost in 33. These extremely quick speeds are made potential by the 90W twin charger included within the field. In an effort 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 further 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 energetic cooling followers yield themselves nicely to holding your palms cool whereas charging. The very middle of the telephone can get somewhat scorching to the contact, however utilizing the machine 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% in slightly below half-hour, which is about twice so long as the 90W charging.

The one actual knock towards the Legion Duel 2’s charging suite is the dearth of any wi-fi charging. That’s a giant 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 newest Snapdragon 888 processor with no less than 12GB of RAM, the Legion Duel 2 handles cellular gaming with nice prowess. I examined the machine with video games equivalent to PUBG Cellular, Asphalt 9, and Geshin Impression, 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 energetic cooling design helps preserve the machine from thermal throttling. That stated, the followers can get fairly loud and could be considerably annoying after some time.

Not each recreation can run at larger refresh charges, and whereas video games like PUBG and Geshin Impression cap out at 75fps, the assist for larger refresh charges remains to be restricted. In consequence, I’d advocate setting the machine to 90Hz or 120Hz to have the ability to make use of these larger refresh charges, whereas nonetheless balancing out battery life efficiency. Take into account the 144Hz and 120Hz modes are adaptive which implies the telephone will robotically cut back the refresh charge when viewing static content material. For essentially the most half this works fairly nicely, however if you want to set the telephone to a relentless refresh charge then 90Hz is your only option. Regardless, the 720Hz contact sampling charge 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 further gaming options equivalent to a LED emblem on the again that permits the consumer to pick a wide range of colours and animations, in addition to a singular 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 referred to as Legion Realm. Its objective serves to be a one-stop-shop for all issues gaming, exhibiting all your 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 characteristic of the UI must be the always-on show, which helps you to set gaming-related clocks and data on the display screen.

For these fascinated by 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 Crimson Magic 6. 3D Mark’s Wild Life check positioned the Duel 2 with a rating of 5,864 and a mean body charge of 35.10fps. These outcomes beat out each the Crimson Magic 6 and the ROG Cellphone 5, however solely by a really slim margin. We additionally ran our personal customized Velocity Check G benchmark, and the Duel 2 accomplished the time check in 74 seconds. This places comfortably among the many prime Android performers of 2021.

I would add that when operating these checks the energetic 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 nasty style in my mouth. It appears Lenovo is attempting to place its finest foot ahead however does so in a manner which may present unrealistic outcomes. In an effort to ensure that this wasn’t the case, I performed a spherical of PUBG after which re-ran Geekbench 5 to seek out solely marginally worse outcomes, so I don’t suppose 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 digicam, and my expectations have been proper. Photographs are usually nice, however Lenovo’s software program processing softens out particulars making for a very 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 unhealthy, however indoor excessive dynamic vary scenes underperform. Sadly, low gentle images 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 digicam is far softer and fewer detailed than the principle digicam, however supplies far correct colour copy than the principle sensor. Its photos are colour correct, however once more should not as sharp and likewise battle with larger dynamic scenes. Sadly, this digicam can be affected by Lenovo’s picture softening, and this can’t be turned off.

The 8MP telephoto digicam performs equally to each the principle and Extremely-wide digicam and tends to provide some overly gentle photos. The colour matches the principle sensor higher however remains 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 sweetness mode, there may be nonetheless a substantial quantity of picture softening taking place, which in my view makes the selfie digicam ineffective for images.

Video appears to be a distinct state of affairs, as you may document all the way in which as much as 4K 60fps and outcomes should not half unhealthy. Whereas the digicam struggles with adapting the publicity to totally different lighting situations, the autofocus stored me in focus the entire time, and I may see this getting used for streaming as a result of distinctive positioning of the pop-up. You’ll be able to try an instance of this here.


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 charge was variable. When it labored it was pretty quick, however as a rule it took a couple of makes an attempt to unlock the telephone. At first, I assumed this was as a result of display screen protector, however I eliminated it, re-registered my prints, and nonetheless bumped into comparable points. This may very well be fastened with a software program replace, however you shouldn’t rely 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 upgrade program page isn’t very encouraging. As for the UI/UX, there are many choices to vary 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 machine to get the show settings to indicate up. All in all, fairly easy and enjoyable Android pores and skin, however positively 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 somewhat underwhelming. That stated, the stereo nature of those audio system means the machine will get fairly loud and really supplies an immersive expertise when viewing content material, and particularly whereas taking part in video games. There’s additionally an included equalizer which helps you to fine-tune the audio. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as 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 common smartphones these days however much less so for gaming telephones.
  • Haptics: Merely put, the haptics on this machine are nothing wanting superb. In-game haptics improve or lower in vibration comparable to sure issues taking place on display screen, and signify essentially the most minute of actions, general including to the immersive gaming expertise.
  • IP score: As a result of fan ports and pop-out digicam, the Duel 2 doesn’t assist any water and mud 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 charge
720HZ contact sampling charge
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° discipline of view
1.0 μm pixel
Twin-LED flash
8K/24fps, 4K/60fps video
16MP ultra-wide sensor
f/2.2, 123° discipline 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 contains a pop-out digicam, the blazing-fast Snapdragon 888, a ravishing 144Hz refresh charge AMOLED show, 90W quick charging, and an extremely giant 5,000mAh battery

The Lenovo Legion Duel 2 sits on the larger 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 costlier than the €599 (or $599 within the US) Crimson Magic 6. The truth that the Legion Duel 2 out-benchmarks each telephones, albeit marginally so, makes it the marginally higher choice for anybody who craves one of the best of one of the best efficiency. The 90W charging shouldn’t be discounted both, and for consumers who have to get a full day’s cost in literal minutes, once more makes the Legion Duel 2 an incredible selection. Lastly, I may see Duel 2 interesting to content material creators or cellular gaming streamers who don’t actually wish to put money into a full setup. There are baked-in settings to stream on to Twitch or YouTube from the machine, and the included pop-out digicam signifies that you might theoretically stream from anyplace.

Associated: The very best telephones for gaming

That stated, if the bizarre and arguably over-the-top gaming aesthetic and barely unwieldy design isn’t your cup of tea, then the ROG Cellphone 5 could 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 machine provides nearly an an identical expertise by way of energy — plus a greater digicam system and fewer buggy software program — the ROG Cellphone 5 is the extra apparent selection for devoted players that additionally need an incredible 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 exceptional audio suite.

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

If gaming isn’t your major focus, then the OnePlus 9 sequence or Galaxy S21 sequence would possibly provide one of the 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 digicam efficiency.

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 evaluation: The decision

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 3

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

I’ve acquired to confess, the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 genuinely stunned me. The modern cooling design, nice efficiency, and over-the-top aesthetics actually make the machine 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 digicam are really distinctive additions. Throw within the stereo audio, superb haptics, customizable adaptive triggers, and the fluid 144Hz show and also you’ve acquired a prime contender that may grasp with the easiest gaming telephones.

Nevertheless, there are some issues that simply aren’t as much as par. The digicam efficiency is sufficient at finest, the fingerprint sensor is quick however unreliable, and the quirky design makes onehanded use awkward in even one of the best of situations.

The Lenovo Legion Duel 2 screams cool.

Whether or not or not the Legion Duel 2 is finest for you comes right down to your priorities. If bleeding-edge efficiency and a top-tier cellular gaming expertise are your primary issues then the Legion Duel 2 is a simple suggestion. Nevertheless, if digicam high quality and day-to-day usability override are simply as essential, you then could 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 choice for any seasoned gamer searching for a singular cellular companion.

What do you think?

Written by virajthari


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