Legion Phone Duel Legion Phone Duel

Gaming

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel review: Raw gaming power

Everything you expect from a gaming smartphone

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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.

Legion Phone Duel

Opening it up reveals the Legion Phone Duel. A mechanical door opening sound effect plays every time you open the box. 

Cheated a little bit here. The phone will be wrapped with the usual plastic protection when you first open it up.

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

Legion Phone Duel

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.

Genshin Impact

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.

Asphalt 9 

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.

Injustice 2

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.

Accessories? 

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. 

Legion Phone Duel

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. 

Dual Charging 

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.

Legion Phone Duel

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.

Legion Phone Duel

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.

Gaming

Stardew Valley developer announces second game, Haunted Chocolatier

Manage a haunted chocolate shop

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Years since its launch, Stardew Valley is still one of the most popular farm simulators in gaming history. In fact, ConcernedApe, the game’s sole developer, still released substantial updates to the game recently. Riding on the popularity of the first title, ConcernedApe is already working on his second title called Haunted Chocolatier.

The developer has often stayed silent regarding future games. At the very least, he already confirmed work on several projects during Stardew Valley’s lifespan. Today, however, ConcernedApe finally revealed much-awaited details on the next project.

Haunted Chocolatier is a similar management game. This time, players take control of a chocolatier living in a haunted castle. As such, it shares in the same formula that made Stardew Valley so popular. Players are just crafting different chocolates now, instead of crops.

In terms of design, the game will look similar to the first game. Players are still collecting materials and fighting in combat mechanics. However, ConcernedApe does confirm that the game will have more action-RPG mechanics rather than a dedicated focus to management.

Though the developer has already confirmed the game, ConcernedApe has not announced a launch date for the chocolate-making game. According to the game’s FAQ, he would rather focus on the game without worrying about deadlines.

SEE ALSO: Couple co-op games to play during the pandemic

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God of War is officially coming to PC

Shouting “boy” in 4K

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In recent years, no game really came near to perfection as 2018’s God of War. The popular PlayStation 4 game won several accolades and universal acclaim since its release. In fact, the game’s upcoming sequel God of War Ragnarök is one of the most hotly anticipated titles today. To stave off the ongoing thirst for the sequel, fans might enjoy something coming up for the franchise: God of War is coming to PC.

Posted silently overnight, the game just got its official Steam page, announcing a launch on January 15, 2022. The new page doesn’t seem like a mistake either. Steam isn’t shy about the upcoming release. The game is currently on the platform’s front page. And soon after it first appeared, Steam officially posted an article confirming so.

As expected, it’s a direct port. It won’t come with any additional gameplay content. However, PC gamers will have access to more graphical features. Highlighting the port, of course, is 4K widescreen (up to 21:9 resolution) support. It will also have unlocked framerates. Users will have access to higher-resolution shadows, reflections, ambient occlusion, GTAO, and SSDO.

For smaller machines, the port will come with NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling and NVIDIA Reflex to optimize how the graphics will perform under different hardware configurations.

Anyone who purchases the game on PC will have access to some free digital content: Death’s Vow armor sets, Exile’s Guardian shield skin, Buckler of the Forge shield skin, Shining Elven Soul shield skin, and Dökkenshieldr shield skin.

God of War on PC will cost US$ 49.99.

SEE ALSO: God of War actor blames himself for Ragnarok delay

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits isn’t for everybody

And, that’s fine

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an action-adventure third-person video game. The game is developed and produced by Ember Lab. In the game, you play as Kena. She’s a young spirit guide who uses her magical abilities to help people pass on into the spirit world.

The game is stunning and deep dives into spiritual aspects like emotional entanglement with the physical word after passing away.

In case you don’t have a working pair of eyes

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a gorgeous game. Stunning yet scuffed at times, this game is nothing short of eye-candy. The background details and character design is just *chef’s kiss*. But, big butt (Editor’s Note: Not sure if this is a typo but we’ve decided to keep it as is), by the way, this aesthetic might not be to some people’s liking. Hear me out: this game looks and feels like you’re playing through a Disney Pixar movie. And, honestly, that might not be for everyone.

On the scuffed end of things, you’ll find that some things glitch through objects and terrain. But, to that, I think it adds to its charm. The silliness is often welcome and strangely expected in the whole gaming sense. This isn’t the first scuffed game to come across a gamer’s life and it won’t be the last. I think each game has its improvements and patches to develop and incorporate and the glitches make the whole experience memorable and meme-able.

The crutch everyone won’t shut up about

This game is weirdly forgettable for people who’ve played a lot of third-person action adventures. Why? Well, this isn’t the first of its kind. Kena: Bridge of Spirits takes from many games before it and blends its inspirations together pretty nicely without overcomplicating its mechanics.

I would say though, that this can be what I personally found to be endearing with Kena. It unapologetically makes for a good entry-level action-adventure game for people who might not normally gravitate to games like it. With its beautiful visuals and memorable take on grievances, Kena pulls at sentimental heartstrings without the stupidly complicated skill building of most other action adventures out there.

Don’t hate the game

Nor, the player. The game is simple. That can be refreshing for some players or just boring to some. Which, I’ll say now, to each their own. Most games under the same category are far more convoluted and complex. So, if that’s something you like, this isn’t for you. And that’s totally fine.

Most of the game plays on collecting cute Rot along the way. And, on top of the usual skill building, most rewards you’ll find in hidden spots are either more Rot or hats for them. It doesn’t really require that much mental gymnastics to play this game. You can play to relax and just enjoy the journey. Which, for me, is great! Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the perfect game for when you want to play with family watching. I’m sure it’ll feel like a movie to them.

Is this your GAME Match?

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a game worth trying no matter how familiar you are with video games in the same category. The barrier of entry is super friendly and simplistic so, you won’t need that much video game experience to immerse in the story. Plus, you can customize the game for when you want more of a challenge.

I do have to say though, that this game might fight to keep your interest at times but, it sure can lure you back in. As for me, I was happy to play this game. It was challenging at times and, it might not be the best one on my list. But, it gets honorary points for being simple, gorgeous, and family-friendly.

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