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.
PG 5 sneakers gets the PlayStation 5 colorway
It just makes (dual) sense
Nike and PlayStation are collaborating once again for the signature sneakers of NBA star Paul George. For its fifth iteration called the PG 5, these basketball kicks are going to get the PlayStation 5 treatment.
On the PlayStation blog, Paul George notes that Nike and the PlayStation designers including Yujin Morisawa took inspirations from his game to bring this collaboration to life.
What to expect:
- The tongues of the shoe have the PG and PlayStation logos
- The colors of the shoe are heavily inspired by the industrial design of the PS5 with references on the sock liner and outsoles.
- Iconic PlayStation shapes are integrated and can be seen along each shoe in the same pattern as on the DualSense wireless controller.
The P5 G PlayStation 5 colorway also comes with a special hangtag to celebrate the partnership.
The PG 5 PlayStation 5 colorway drops in select regions starting May 14, 2021. Specific pricing and availability details have yet to be announced.
League of Legends’ animated Netflix show is coming soon!
Out by this fall!
The new animated series is titled Arcane. And, it’s coming from the League of Legends (LoL) publishers themselves: Riot games. Despite releasing countless animated shorts, Arcane is a first for the League franchise. Riot Games partnered with Fortiche Productions to develop and produce this series; keeping character designs and art close to home.
Since the first hint of it in 2019, fans have been waiting patiently for this release. And if you want the series now, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer. It’ll be out on Netflix and on Tencent Video in China by fall this year.
We follow two iconic League champions, their origins, and the power that tears them apart. The backdrop to the story is the utopian region of Piltover and the oppressed underground of Zaun.
Riot Game’s Global President of Entertainment, Shauna Spenley said, “Arcane was created as a love letter to our players and fans, who have been asking us for more cinematic experiences that dive deeper into the worlds and champions in League of Legends.”
Netflix’s video game animated series
Arcane is just one of few new video game adaptation slates in Netflix’s lineup. Which, spells good news for fans and players of games. One recent release was Dota: Dragon’s Blood, an animated series inspired by Valve’s multiplayer online battle arena (moba) game DOTA 2. Other Netflix series based on the video game realm include Assassin’s Creed, Castlevania, Cuphead, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, and Assassin’s Creed.
Discord, Sony team up to integrate the app in PlayStation consoles
Xbox lost the game!
Sony is partnering with Discord to integrate the popular online communication app with the built-in social media tools of the PlayStation consoles. The instant messaging app is top-rated in the gaming community and is specially designed for gamers.
While the exact nature of the partnership is still unclear, Sony says that the two companies are “hard at work connecting Discord with your social and gaming experience on PlayStation Network.”
The Japanese console maker already has a host of in-built tools, but their capability is limited, and nothing can reach the potential of Discord. We also don’t know whether to expect the complete Discord app within the PlayStation system or just a few bare minimum bits of it.
As part of the deal, Sony is also investing an undisclosed amount of money into Discord as part of its Series H investment round. Keep in mind, Sony is a minority investor and hasn’t acquired the app directly.
Interestingly, Discord already has a partnership with Sony’s arch-rival, Microsoft’s Xbox. Although, it’s limited to profiles, and there’s no link between Xbox Live party chat and Discord’s audio chat.
The announcement will surely hurt Microsoft, which was reportedly trying to acquire the chat app for a whopping US$ 10 billion a few weeks ago. The talks ended inconclusively, and Discord decided to continue as an independent company.
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