Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Review: Cut For Mobile Gaming

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The Legion Phone Duel is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus, 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM with 512 GB of storage in UFS 3.1. Without forgetting its AMOLED screen which can go up to 144 Hz, its double battery and its double USB-C connection. In short, an impressive smartphone on paper. Will he be able to seduce mobile gamers with such paraphernalia? We had the opportunity to test it.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel

Lenovo has unveiled its first Legion-stamped smartphone. Legion is his gaming brand where you can find mainly laptops. We recently tested one of the laptops from this brand, a benchmark that offers excellent value for money in 2020.

With the Legion Phone Duel, Lenovo comes up against other brands, including Asus and its ROG Phone 3. The latter is very well equipped: a 6.59-inch AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz without notch , a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ SoC supported by 12 to 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a 6000 mAh battery.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Data Sheet :

ModelLenovo Legion Phone Duel
OS VersionAndroid 10 Q
Manufacturer interfaceZUI
Screen Size6.65 inch
Definition2340 x 1080 pixels
TechnologyAMOLED
SoCSnapdragon 865+
Puce Graphique (GPU)Adreno 650
Random access memory (RAM)16 GB
Internal memory (flash)512 GB
Camera (Back)Sensor 1 : 64 Mp
Sensor 2 : 16 Mp
Camera (front)20 Mp
Video Recording4K
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (ax)
Bluetooth5.0
NFCYes
Fingerprint SensorUnder Screen
Battery5000 mAh
Dimensions78.48 x 169.17 x 9.9mm
Weigh239 grams
ColorsRed, Blue
Price899 €

 

An Attractive Design :

If you are familiar with dedicated gaming laptops and their flamboyant designs, you will notice the similarities in the design of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel. There is nothing in this device that looks like a normal phone.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel /

The glass rear features metallic and holographic finishes. On the left side of the back it is written Stylish Outside, and on the right it is written Savage Inside. Right in the middle is the Legion logo, which glows red when the device wakes from sleep. It also lights up green when charging. The customization remains quite limited for the LED on the back.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel

It’s heavy, of course, at 239 grams, and it’s a bit thick (9.9mm). This means that it’s not the most comfortable phone to carry around on a regular basis. It wasn’t designed to be left in a jeans pocket.

READ ALSO : Samsung Galaxy A42 Full Review

Its entire design has been imagined to be used in landscape mode, as you can see with the pop-up front camera that comes out of it or even by the presence of two USB-C. Note that the unlock button is located above the front camera, this is an interesting design choice. In fact, the entire interface works in landscape mode. You also have tactile (ultrasonic) triggers located under the index fingers. As you can see, this is a smartphone designed for mobile gaming.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel

You’ll also notice that the two cameras on the back are just off-center and don’t stand out. The idea, once again, is not to interfere with the two-handed grip.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel

Finally, Lenovo has also integrated a semi-real vibration function. The idea is to enhance the immersion, it’s a more precise and advanced kind of vibrate mode. A function compatible only with certain games, including Real Racing 3.

Top Performance For 2020 :

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is equipped with the most powerful Qualcomm chip of 2020, the Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC. What are the differences with the S865 that equips most of the high-end smartphones of 2020?
  • A Qualcomm Kryo 585 Prime processor clock speed of up to 3.1 GHz, a 10% increase.
  • The Qualcomm Adreno 650 GPU offers 10% faster graphics rendering.
  • Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 compatibility supposed to offer Wi-Fi 6 speeds up to 3.6 Gbps.

It is nothing more or less the same architecture as the S865 with overclocking of the CPU chip and GPU. It therefore heats more than an S865 and consumes more energy. For this purpose, Lenovo has installed an active cooling system to limit heating. This heater does not have a huge impact on performance, however it will prevent burning your fingers when holding the smartphone horizontally.

ModèleLenovo Legion Phone DuelSamsung Galaxy S20 FE 5GAsus Zenfone 7 ProOnePlus 8 Pro
AnTuTu 8631407576410629173584217
AnTuTu CPU187096170630183666N/C
AnTuTu GPU240220222250242192N/C
AnTuTu MEM11424792350107333N/C
AnTuTu UX898449118095982N/C
PC Mark 2.011369114211508211364
3DMark Slingshot Extreme7901730474577089
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics9268844889388103
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics5210495647194929
3DMark Wild Life4263N/CN/CN/C
3DMark Wild Life framerate moyen25.50 FPSN/CN/CN/C
GFXBench Aztec Vulkan/Metal high (onscreen / offscreen)31 / 22 FPS30 / 21 FPS32 / 22 FPS18 / 20 FPS
GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen)44 / 55 FPS46 / 52 FPS46 / 55 FPS26 / 51 FPS
GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen)89 / 131 FPS109 / 127 FPS89 / 128 FPS59 / 123 FPS
Sequential read / write1720.38 / 760.33 Mo/s1546 / 683 Mo/s1729 / 771 Mo/s1731 / 754 Mo/s
Random read / write55965 / 55425 IOPS57796 / 57711 IOPS62338 / 61672 IOPS52800 / 50000 IOPS

 

As expected, the performances are there. The phone is extremely responsive, the interface is fluid and we can easily switch from an app to a game. With its 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM associated with 512 GB of storage in UFS 3.1, we could almost take this Legion Phone for a laptop.

We had fun comparing an iPhone 11 Pro (Apple A13 Bionic) to the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel on the same game: Genshin Impact. As you can see, the two images look very similar at first glance. However, looking at it in detail, the rendering is slightly cleaner on iPhone. In any case, these two smartphones certainly offer very good performance for this type of game. The comparison is interesting, as the Snapdragon 865 Plus is often compared to the Apple A13 Bionic as the two SoC have comparable performance in many tasks.

Legion Phone Duel

This comparison also leads us to explain to you that … while the boosted Snapdragon 865+ is impressive, it is less powerful than the Apple A14 Bionic that powers the iPhone 12 (and 12 Pro). Fortunately, the Legion Phone has this 144 Hz screen on its side… that few mobile games use. Among the 144 Hz compatible games, we noted: Alto’s Adventure, Arma Mobile Ops, Battlelands Royale, Dead Trigger 2, Card Thief, Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked, Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go, Minecraft, Sonic Dash 2, Fruit Ninja , Slam Dunk… a good fifty games in total. There are also 120Hz compatible games, but this is still a minority of games compared to the entire Play Store mobile game catalog.

A 144 Hz Screen :

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has a 6.65-inch AMOLED display in 19.5:9 aspect ratio in FHD + definition with a refresh rate that can go up to 144 Hz. It is a display designed for gaming. Obviously, you’ll have noticed that it has 1080p resolution instead of 1440p, but for gaming it’s common to sacrifice some definition for a higher refresh rate.

In practice, this is a good AMOLED display that shows excellent performance.

  • RGB : 202 %
  • DCI-P3 : 135 %
  • Average Delta E on DCI-P3: 4.65
  • Temperature: 7228 K.

We recommend that you configure it in Vibrating mode, among the three display modes available. We were unable to measure the maximum brightness because it activates under very specific conditions. We measured 400 cd/m², but the screen is certainly capable of going above 600 cd/m².

Average delta over DCI-P3 space

As explained many times, this large screen very pleasant to use for playing and viewing content. The 6.65-inch diagonal is very large, so you have to be aware that this is not a compact smartphone at all.

You can customize the refresh rate on the fly from the settings according to your desires and needs.

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An Efficient Camera :

The photo part is clearly not the most prominent point on a gaming smartphone and this Lenovo Legion is no exception to the rule. He therefore has only two sensors at the rear:
  • a 64-megapixel main sensor.
  • a 16 megapixel ultra wide angle.

Placing these two sensors right in the center of the rear panel does not necessarily facilitate vertical shooting: there is always a risk that your finger will cover the lens. So keep that in mind. Also note that, by default, the images produced display a watermark in the lower left corner. It’s quite annoying as you will see in the images below. Fortunately, the option can be turned off.

Overall, the Lenovo Legion does a good job with daytime photos. The colorimetry is efficiently managed and when you do not use the IA mode – disabled by default – you are treated to rather natural tones, although a little warm. We are entitled to a good dynamic overall, but be careful: if you face the sun, the part of the sky concerned will tend to be overexposed. Nothing too bad, but other smartphones do better under these conditions.

By activating the camera’s AI mode, you will especially greatly increase the contrasts for more saturation. Depending on the situation, this can be an interesting aesthetic bias. However, beware, the scene then deviates markedly from reality.

At night, the main sensor is not bad, but we can clearly feel that the dive is deteriorating. Images lose sharpness quickly as you approach the edges of the immortalized scene, and strong light sources could be a bit better handled to reduce the halo effect.

In particularly dark scenes, you can use the night mode. However, don’t expect miracles: the latter works well, but the image brightening it allows at the cost of longer exposure time is only very moderate.

Also on this main sensor, it also allows you to take 64-megapixel photos to provide more details in the images. When the right light conditions are met, this function can be quite useful, at least the gain in sharpness is felt.

The ultra wide angle is clearly less good in terms of fine detail and is more exposed to lens flare effects and digital noise at night. However, it does its job well by capturing more elements in the scene while maintaining some color consistency.

On selfies, the 20-megapixel pop-up sensor does the job of providing enough detail on the face. Be careful, you have to take the fold of looking at the lens on the side of the smartphone and not above it as is usually the case.µ
For video, you can shoot up to 4K at 30 fps.

Almost Virtual Tracers :

That’s right, it’s not hard to find a phone that’s powerful enough or too expensive to run most games on the App Store or Google Play Store. It’s also easy to buy a DualShock 4 or Xbox One game-pad, then pair it to your phone via Bluetooth so you can have a console-like gaming experience without being glued to your couch. So how do you make the Legion Phone stand out?

READ ALSO : Huawei Mate 40 Pro Full Test

After the power and the large 144 Hz screen, Lenovo has set about adapting Android by adding some functions and menus. This is the case, for example, of this special menu which gives access to indicators (reception quality, chip clock frequencies, screen brightness, screen refresh rate and interior temperature) as well as as streaming and recording functions.

You will also be able to adjust the force of pressing on the touch triggers and configure the actions associated with these triggers. A very useful function, I must admit, especially on FPS.

Regarding the classic interface, Lenovo has made some cosmetic changes to Android 10. The whole is still effective but may lack consistency.

Up To 2 Days Of Autonomy :

The Legion Phone Duel has two 2500 mAh batteries that can be charged separately, so it can get a fast charge of 90 W. You can also use the two USB-C connectors for its charging. It really is the phone of excess.

  • 1 USB Type C to USB 3.1 port with DisplayPort support (side port).
  • 1 USB type C port to USB 2.0 (lower port).

Autonomy is clearly one of its strengths, it can last up to 2 days with this configuration. We played several games over long sessions, the phone can handle all of that easily. Note that it is not compatible with wireless charging. Charging will therefore be wired and even doubly wired: you can connect two cables to charge the smartphone from 0 to 100% in less than 1 hour despite a total battery capacity of 5,000 mAh.

Audio And Connectivity :

The two speakers are capable of reaching super high volumes and creating an immersive 3D audio effect when playing games. The audio quality of these speakers is truly above all current smartphones. Note the lack of a headphone jack.

Regarding connectivity, the Legion Phone Duel is compatible with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC. There is also 5G (Sub-6 GHz) and we have not noted any 4G compatibility issue (it is compatible with the B28 700 MHz band).

Price And Availability :

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is sold from 899 euros. We tested a version sold at 100 euros more with 16 GB of RAM instead of 12 as well as 512 GB of storage instead of 256.

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