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.
But to give a truly final verdict, we’re still missing one key component. Pricing. Price and bundles (if any) will be revealed on October 24, 2020 at the Legion launch in this year’s Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS).
We’ll hold off a final verdict until then and will update this space once the pricing is final.
Cyberpunk 2077 gets delayed, once again
Fans are fuming with anger
Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed again, this time by 21 days. The game was supposed to launch on November 19, but the developer has announced a slight delay, and it’ll be releasing on December 10. Rest assured, fans are furious.
Gamers have had enough of delays and are fuming in anger right now. The game’s initial launch was scheduled for April 2020, but the Coronavirus pandemic radically changed plans. Furthermore, fans are disappointed because the developers had made it certain that the November deadline will be respected.
“We’re aware it might seem unrealistic when someone says that 21 days can make any difference in such a massive and complex game, but they really do,” director Adam Badowski and CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski said in a release.
We have important news to share with you pic.twitter.com/qZUaD6IwmM
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) October 27, 2020
Keep in mind, the developers are working on the game entirely from the work-from-home model. However, CD Projekt Red is indicating the added development time will be all worth it.
The most frustrating part for fans is, the game has been in development for eight years. Apparently, the game was ready-to-play in January itself and has gone Gold already. Going Gold means that the master disc is ready, indicating it’s also ready for release.
So technically, they’ve already created Cyberpunk 2077, and it’s ready for distribution. But, the game awkwardly still isn’t finished. Let’s hope the game released as planned, and there are no more delays. Because, looking at the anger online, another delay could doom the game even before anyone plays it.
Garmin launches an Instinct smartwatch for esport athletes
Comes with exclusive features too
Garmin’s line of Instinct smartwatches traditionally caters to outdoor sports, with variants built for running, swimming, and even golfing. Now, the company is introducing a new smartwatch variant that caters to e-sport athletes and gamers — Garmin Instinct Esports Edition.
For some skeptics, this is not just another Garmin smartwatch though. It actually comes with a unique set of features for esports athletes and gamers. The most unique feature of the smartwatch is the ability to live stream the health data of a gamer to audiences.
Thanks to a dedicated esports activity tracking function, gamers can keep tabs on their heart rate and stress while in a gaming session. A PC tool called STR3AMUP! broadcasts these data to live stream platforms, allowing audiences to see a gamer’s vital info too. That tool also allows customization so gamers can personalize the data to their own liking.
Now, some might be skeptical about this. After all, health data are sensitive information and some audiences might not really find those data useful.
However, Garmin sees potential with their smartwatch all the more thanks to an exclusive live broadcast feature. During a game, gamers can tune in to the new Body Battery Energy Monitor reading, which combines heart rate, stress, and sleep data to determine their body’s energy.
Same specs as other Instinct smartwatches
Besides those unique selling points, Garmin Instinct Esports Edition is no different from the regular Instinct smartwatch. As such, it has a heart rate monitor, all-day activity tracking, and some smart features like receiving and viewing notifications.
Unfortunately, there is no support for third-party apps like other Garmin smartwatches. Support for music storage isn’t here too.
On the bright side, the smartwatch can stand the extreme elements thanks to a fiber-reinforced polymer body and a water rating of 10ATM. Garmin’s official battery figures are 80 hours in esports mode and 14 days in smartwatch mode.
As for the pricing, the smartwatch starts at US$ 299.99 and comes in a sole Black Lava configuration. Gamers can now purchase it directly from Garmin’s website.
Lenovo Legion: The Empire Christmas Sale
Lotsa gaming treats
Have you always wanted to be part of the Legion? Now’s your chance with The Empire Christmas Sale.
The massive promo is open to customers who will purchase qualifying products from October 31 to December 31, 2020.
To enter, gamers must sign up and upgrade their account in Legion’s The Empire website — Lenovo’s exclusive gaming community and rewards program. Members are granted special perks including access to Legion merchandise, VIP entry to Legion gaming events, and more.
Members earn corresponding Empire Points for every product purchase which they can use to redeem exclusive Legion merchandise or products. Points may also be obtained by joining weekly missions posted at The Empire website.
Participating models for The Empire Christmas Sale include:
- IdeaPad L340 Gaming
- IdeaPad Gaming 3i
- Legion Y540
- Legion Y545
- Legion Y740
- Legion 5/5i
- Legion 5Pi
- Legion 7i
- Legion T530
- Legion Tower 5i
- IdeaCentre Gaming
- Legion Phone Duel
For the full mechanics, ‘like’ the Legion official Facebook page.
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