One look at the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel and you know right away that it’s made for people who hardcore want to play. But smartphones are for more than just gaming and that balancing act is what Lenovo tried to achieve.
The company has an interesting messaging on why it’s named “Duel”. It’s mostly on how it was built, but it’s also about striking a balance between work and play. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first unbox the phone.
The box looks fantastic and is easier to figure out than its primary competition.
Opening it up reveals the Legion Phone Duel. A mechanical door opening sound effect plays every time you open the box.
Digging deeper into the box you’ll find the massive power brick with two USB-C ports for dual charging. More on that later.
Elsewhere inside the box is USB-C to 3.5mm audio jack, a sim tray ejector tool, and the user guide.
It also comes with a plastic case for “some” protection. It snaps on the phone any which way as part of the dual, symmetrical design.
Taking a closer look at the phone, at the back you’ll find Legion’s slogan: Stylish outside. Savage inside.
How well does it play?
Let’s jump right into the gameplay. To launch games you have installed, the phone has the Legion Realm. It’s the gaming hub where you can customize how much of its combination of specs — Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus and up to 16GB RAM — will be used for your gameplay session.
Funny thing is, it doesn’t seem to know exactly which apps are games or not. Upon firing it up the first time, it incorrectly identified Skype, Guitar Tuna and VSCO as gaming apps. You can, of course, manually take out and add apps, but this is a software kink that has to be fixed in an update.
Speaking of software kink, the Legion Phone Duel is built to go on landscape mode even on the home screen. But every time I try to enable auto-rotate, the screen kind of glitches for a second. It’s not that big of a deal but is worth mentioning.
Alright. Let’s jump in for real.
Call of Duty: Mobile
This is the game that I spend the most time with. On any given day, I would fire up a quick match when I need to step away from work for a while. I got pretty much the exact same sensations when I first played Call of Duty: Mobile on the ROG Phone 2.
The 144Hz screen refresh rate is smooth AF. It almost feels like you have an edge over the other players. Moving around and aiming the crosshair at my targets was easier.
This being a first-person shooter also really takes advantage of everything the phone has to offer. The shoulder buttons feel amazing and responsive. With this, you’ll be racking up kills in no time.
This is the game that I wish I could spend more time on. I typically don’t enjoy playing Action-RPG types on smartphones, but the combination of the phone’s raw power and stunning display along with the game’s design and gorgeous visuals made this such a fantastical experience.
Would like to note, though, that this is also the title where I experienced the most level of heating. It was nothing alarming, though and it mostly happened during days when it was also unbearably humid.
League of Legends: Wild Rift
Honesty hour again. For this game, I only really played the tutorial part — which I thought it handles better than Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. I personally get no kick playing these types of games, but if this is your jam, know that it looks great and plays really well on the Legion Phone Duel.
This is the standard game for testing/playing racing games. The last time I played this though was on a budget tablet and I was pleasantly surprised at how good the game looks and plays on a high-end device. Again, same satisfying experience all throughout.
This is my go-to for trying fighting games, but like Action-RPG titles, I prefer to play fighting games on devices where I can button mash. That said, this game had the most noticeable graphical jump for me. I just don’t remember it looking this good on the other devices where I played it.
Delivers on gaming
As a gaming smartphone, the Legion Phone Duel impresses. All the design decisions that went into making this a truly satisfying gaming experience hits all the right spots.
The Dual Shoulder Controls with Dual Haptics feel great. The Legion assistant app is easy to access in-game and doesn’t feel intrusive. And it has just the right width and heft that won’t wear you out during extended gaming sessions.
The Dual front-firing speakers are okay. They’re great on a phone but since I regularly use HiFi audio accessories, it was easy to detect that it’s not able to register certain higher frequencies.
Fret not though, the Legion Phone Duel supports all kinds of HiFi audio format. If you have the gear for it, you’ll enjoy this even more.
Lenovo says the Legion Phone Duel was built only as a phone in mind. With that, it doesn’t come with any special Legion-branded accessories at launch,
However, it is compatible with other more universal accessories. And if you have a keyboard and more, or another controller lying around, you should be able to connect the phone with the right kind of dock.
Weak point: Cameras
The hardware is present: 64MP main camera and 16MP wide angle.
Even the design and camera position is thoughtful for what it’s trying to be. But the results are… well, they need improvement.
Some photos look like they have some sort of filter.
But every so often you will get a few good shots.
Be careful about shooting vertically, though as you might end up with something like this.
It’s decent indoors with a fair amount of lighting.
But it really struggles at night.
Occasionally, you’ll get something decent.
Up front is a 20MP Pop-up camera.
It’s steady. Selfies are about as hit and miss as the rear cameras. You also get this nifty dual shot feature.
But I used it more on a few video calls. It’s wide angle and captures a lot. Quality-wise, it’s decent. Better than any webcam on a laptop.
Another dual aspect is charging. Instead of a single power cell, the Legion Phone Duel has two 2,500mAh situated on the sides of the phone as you hold it horizontally.
It also has two USB-C ports that you can use at the same time when juicing the phone up.
The results I got are as follows:
- Started “dual” charging at 10%
- Got to 100% in 1:12:25
- Started single charting at 43%
- Got to 100% in 49:34
Battery life is around what you expect. On a regular day where you’re doing work and are just browsing and playing during breaks, you won’t need to top-up overnight.
But on days where you do nothing but play, expect to run it dry twice as fast than on a regular day.
Dual looks, other things of note
Like any other Android phone, you can customize the Lenovo Phone Duel depending on your preferences. For its part, Lenovo has a selection of default wallpapers that look hardcore gamer and casual user.
As a media device, this phone is also fantastic. The 6.65” FHD+ AMOLED Display is such a treat to the eyes. That’s true whether you’re watching K-Pop videos on Youtube.
Or perhaps catching up on your favorite Netflix series.
The display is also great even when you’re just casually browsing on social media.
Doubling down on its “dual” approach, the phone (In the Philippines at least), is available in only two variants.
- Blazing Blue — 12GB+256GB
- Vengeance Red — 16GB+512GB
(Editor’s Note: This was previously written as Blazing Blue (16GB+512GB) and Vengeance Red (12GB+256GB) as initially shared by Lenovo. This has now been corrected).
Asked why this was the case, Lenovo channeled their inner Yes or Yes Mina saying it’s to make the choice more simple for the buyers. It will be available in all authorized resellers by November 1, 2020.
Is Legion Phone Duel your GadgetMatch?
Lenovo has a few things to fix on the software end. The hardware, though, is fantastic. As a gaming smartphone, the Legion Phone Duel won’t leave you wanting.
It has the raw power to play just about any mobile game. The display is gorgeous with a speedy response time. The front-firing speakers are good on their own but paired with HiFi audio accessories, and you’re in for quite an immersive treat.
It has the natural shortcomings of a first generation gaming phone — the photos just aren’t there yet. However, it has more to do with Lenovo’s software processing more than anything. With a few software updates, I don’t see how this can’t improve.
As far as expectations for a gaming phone goes, the Legion Phone Duel is part for the course. It made some truly interesting design choices that it would probably take someone heavily invested on mobile gaming to make this their main smartphone.
PlayStation 5 pre-order second batch in PH happening Jan 22
Another 5-minute window
You’ve been waiting for this, haven’t you? The second batch of pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 in the Philippines is officially happening on January 22, 2021.
Just like the first batch, the pre-order period will happen for only five minutes from 2PM to 2:05PM. Participating retailers should still be the same. They are as follows:
- Metro Plaza
- Game One
There were some pre-order blunders the first go round but here’s to hoping there won’t be a repeat of that.
Animal Crossing is launching a ColourPop makeup collection
Featuring your favorite characters
Despite a full slate of exciting games last year, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was one of the most influential games of 2020. The island life simulator allowed everyone stuck at home to connect with another despite the pandemic. However, even with the gameplay, the game is just so darn cute. If you wholeheartedly agree (and why wouldn’t you?), Nintendo is collaborating with ColourPop for an Animal Crossing-themed makeup collection.
Featuring fun shades inspired by the island paradise life, the @ColourPopCo x Animal Crossing: New Horizons makeup collection adds some new hues to your look on 1/28! #ColourPopxAnimalCrossing
🏝️: https://t.co/KT70wQfwLu pic.twitter.com/JvKvDAidkK
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) January 15, 2021
In its announcement post on Twitter, Nintendo unveiled four color palettes in the collection. The forefront of the collection features Isabelle’s yellow complexion and her cute-as-a-button pink top. If you’re looking for something more inspired, Blathers and Celeste have their own color palette featuring combination of their colors. For the stylish, the Able Sisters shine in purple and lilac. If, however, you’re looking for capitalist chic, Tom Nook has his own palette featuring his cash-money green.
The Animal Crossing x ColourPop collection will launch on January 28. Though only four palettes were showcased, the collection might include further characters. Besides the main characters around your island, the game also has a wide variety of cute potential villagers.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game – Complete Edition out now
Took them long enough!
Thanks to Ubisoft and their collaboration with Universal Games and Digital Platforms, you get to team up, fight for love and defeat the league of seven evil exes. Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game – Complete Edition celebrates its 10-year anniversary and includes Knives Chau and Wallace Wells downloadable content.
The game oozes inspiration from the iconic graphic novel series and 2010 Universal Pictures film. It sticks to the series’ humor and classic gameplay combo. You can even rediscover the beloved 2D arcade-style beat ’em up game familiar to fans! And, if that wasn’t enough, the 8-bit animation by Paul Robertson, the critically acclaimed soundtrack from Anamanaguchi, and original cutscenes from Bryan Lee O’Malley will get to you.
You’ll need to team up with up to three friends locally or online, revive each other and share health and coins to defeat your enemies. And, you can compete with friends in mini-games of dodgeball, battle royale matches or cooperate in either boss rush or survival modes.
If you want the game, it’s out on the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia and Windows PC, as well as on Ubisoft+, the Ubisoft subscription service and Amazon Luna for $14.99. The game will also be playable on PS 5 and Xbox Series X|S via compatibility mode.
If you’re a huge fan of the classic series, there are pre-order Limited Editions of the Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game – Complete Edition with exclusive merchandise and awesome features. Pre-orders for the physical and Limited Editions will be available for six weeks exclusively through limitedrungames.com.
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