Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2, Analysis: The Android Mobile That Wanted To Be A Game Console And Did Well

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2, Analysis: The Android Mobile That Wanted To Be A Game Console And Did Well

The mobiles designed mainly for playing games are competitive, very powerful, and have improvements that aim to gain an advantage in games. And there is no phone that takes these premises to a higher level than the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 does: design that evaporates heat, hardware that takes away meaning.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is a mobile that costs both to pronounce and to lead to exhaustion: everything in the phone is designed to give the maximum at any moment . This can be seen in games, the main segment the phone is targeting, but also in the rest of the tasks that a real beast can do. If you want to know how far the Android hardware is, you have to thoroughly test the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2. It is just what we have done.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 datasheet

Full HD + 2,460 x 1,080
Refresh 144 Hz
touch Refresh 720 Hz
HDR10 +
Brightness up to 1,300 nits
PROCESSORSnapdragon 888
GPU Adreno 660
16GB / 512GB
UFS 3.1
REAR CAMERAS64 megapixels
16 megapixels wide angle
FRONTAL CAMERA44 megapixel ‘popup’, 84º width
SOFTWAREAndroid 11
Legion OS
DRUMS5,500 mAh
90W fast charge
From 0 to 100 in 30 minutes
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-C
Stereo Front Speakers
Four Microphones
OTHERSEight configurable triggers
Splash resistant
Integrated fan and steam chamber
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT176 x 78.5 x 9.9 mm (maximum thickness 12.5 mm)
259 grams
PRICEFrom 799 euros

Design: very large, very heavy, very different

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Are you one of those who think that all mobiles are the same? Error, the phone that stars in this analysis is not similar to the rest . And you just have to take a look to see it: the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 was born to differentiate itself on the inside, but also on the outside.

In the hand it feels very large, it is a mobile of generous dimensions. This is especially striking in terms of thickness: the central part of the phone, which is the largest, reaches 12.5 mm; thinning down to 9.9mm at the ends , which is the thickness specified by Lenovo. This, together with the 259 grams of weight, makes carrying with the Legion Phone Duel 2 almost like doing weight exercises. Grab one in each hand and you can exercise your biceps.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The shape of the phone is marked by the design of the internal components. In this sense, and since wasting power leads to the logical excess of temperature, the board, fans and batteries (two batteries, hence the ‘Duel’) are placed in such a way that the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 greatly increases its potential to passively lower temperature (and actively with fans on). As we will detail in the performance section, Lenovo achieves what it sets out to do.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has a thicker central area without the phone becoming unbalanced when placed on a table. Nor does it cause any discomfort (beyond the weight) when used horizontally; contrary to what happens vertically: apart from being very large and heavy to be handled comfortably with one hand, the central thickness does not facilitate the grip . Along with a downside: it is so symmetrical that you never really know what the orientation of the phone is until you turn on the screen. And he’s always upside down, happy Murphy’s Law .

LENOVO LEGION PHONE DUEL 217678.099.9mm (maximum thickness 12.5mm)2596.925,500138.86137.47
NUBIA REDMAGIC 616977.099.72206.85,050131.65127.7
ASUS ROG PHONE 5172.877.210.292386.786,000133.4137.27
ASUS ROG PHONE 3171789.92406.596,000133.38132.05
XIAOMI REDMI NOTE 10 PRO16475.68.11936.675,020125.46101.62
SAMSUNG GALAXY S21 ULTRA165.175.68.92286.85,000124.82111.09
IPHONE 12 PRO MAX160.878.17.392286.73,687125.5992.81
VIVO X51 5G158.4672.88.04181.56.654,315115.4392.81
ONEPLUS 8T160.774.18.41886.554,500119.08100.03
MOTOROLA EDGE161.471.19.291886.74,500114.75106.60

The power button, located in the center of the right side, offers a comfortable press while surprising what it hides: underneath is the front camera in popup format . On the left side are the volume buttons and the second USB C connector (yes second). And below we have the main USB C connector next to the exit of the SIM tray.

The power button is located above the ‘popup’ camera

Apart from the two USB C connectors and the power button above the mechanical opening chamber, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has a collection of touch triggers : four on the right side (two on one end and two on the other). There are two areas behind it (one on each side of the central belly) that are sensitive to movement. Also in the rear area you can see the colored LEDs of the Legion logo, the outlet of one of the fans (also with lights) and the double camera.The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is a hybrid between mobile and console that does not lose sight of the smartphone form factor

It is a very peculiar mobile that maintains a solid aluminum body and different combinations of toughened glass for both sides that not only reinforce the design, but also remove fingerprints (the color of our model is very clean; they do remain somewhat retained on the screen). It is seen resistant in the hand, also of quality . And it offers what anyone could wish for in a top-of-the-line smartphone. All at the cost of the exaggerated size and weight, we must emphasize it.

Display: a panel of great refreshment that deserved a little more resolution

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

We had already made it clear that the mobile in question was large, it is enough to measure the diagonal of the screen: 6.92 inches. Skimming the surface of a tablet, and with the idea of ​​serving as a support for the best multimedia reproduction, the panel of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 leaves a very good feeling despite the fact that it comes quite saturated as standard .

In terms of specifications, the phone’s screen offers 6.92 inches in an AMOLED panel with FHD + resolution and a maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz. The sensation when activating this rate is that of feeling terribly smooth the interface: the fluidity of the phone is amazing . As is often the case, apps are not so fast as they are not compatible with such high rates, but both transitions and movements on the interfaces are improved. All in exchange for higher energy consumption without such consumption being exaggerated.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Although the screen of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 looks uncomplicated, at least a 2K resolution is missing: the surface of the phone is very large, also the category of the phone deserves it. We have seen a certain deficit of sharpness depending on which graphics; in addition to a noticeable saturation in the colors . We were unable to calibrate the display because the menu settings were not working on our test unit (a force close of the settings was skipping).

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The panel does not offer any kind of cutout, it fits well to the front and leaves space for the two speakers of the phone, one in the upper area and the other in the lower area. The brightness is adequate indoors and somewhat fair outdoors (its main use is indoors), the tactile response is excellent, it has viewing angles at the same level and, generally speaking, it is perfect for consuming multimedia content . Too bad about that resolution, a higher pixel density (the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has 388 dpi) would have placed its screen as one of the best in the gaming segment.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 screen is HDR10 + compatible and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 . As an extra, the vibration system subtly accompanies the actions on the panel, its vibrating motor transfers the touches to the user and also the sensations of the game. Lenovo has not neglected this aspect of the phone.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Biometrics is also located in the screen area. Specifically, below: our protagonist bets on including an optical fingerprint scanner under the panel . The zone is comfortable to reach with the thumb, does not malfunction, and remains as usual in terms of reliability. It’s not one of the best finger scanners we’ve tested, nor does it tarnish the unlocking experience. This is done instantly once the mobile detects the correct fingerprint.

Performance: there is no disguise that hides such power

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Each specific mobile for games ends up beating the previous one even if the previous generation was very close to the limit. And it’s just what our protagonist does: not only does it equip hardware that would make the most premium range envy , it also enhances it with the tricks that Lenovo has been learning from the gaming segment . The last name ‘Legion’ is no accident.

As is mandatory given the mobile category, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 includes a Snapdragon 888 with its relevant Adreno 660 GPU. Not only that, Lenovo equips its beast with up to 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512 GB of UFS 3.1 storage . It is just the model that we analyze and we can say it: it is a real beast.

We have not encountered slowdowns or problems starting apps or games beyond some specific errors in the software that we will detail later. At 144 Hz the mobile literally flies . And without overheating with intensive use: the complex heat dissipation system works perfectly. There is also no excess noise from the fans, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is much quieter than other mobiles with active cooling, such as the Red Magic 6.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Performance analysis shift. As usual, we have given our protagonist the Geekbench 5 test , 3D Mark Sling Shot and PC Mark Work . The numbers are impressive, at least in the tests that we were able to conclude: the Slingshot benchmark, a test that we usually use in Engadget, was unable to measure the raw power of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2.

PROCESSORSnapdragon 888Snapdragon 888Snapdragon 888Snapdragon 888Exynos 2100Snapdragon 865Exynos 990Snapdragon 865Kirin 990Snapdragon 856+Apple A14 Bionic
RAM16 GB12 GB16 GB8 GB12 GB6 GB12 GB12 GB8 GB8 GB6 GB
GEEKBENCH 5 (SINGLE / MULTI)1,132 / 3,7891,106 / 3,4931,103 / 3,5201,127 / 3,754991 / 3,272909 / 3,335872 / 2,463885 / 3,136943 / 2,527900 / 3,2961,614 / 4,148
3D MARK (SLING SHOT)(Maxed out)(Maxed out)(Maxed out)(Maxed out)9,2268,3626,3119,4488,7268,747
PCMARK WORK12,93012,78510,38213,03014,04310,77910,01213,4149,47612,656

High performance in the processor, 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage , you cannot ask for more from an Android mobile. The set achieves astonishing speed and fluidity, even in gaming environments. And it is precisely here where the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 shines.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The phone’s design is intended to stand horizontally while offering multiple physical game controls

You may like the design of the phone or not, with the dimensions and weight the same thing. Yes, the fact that mobile gaming is greatly enhanced in our protagonist is indisputable . Because of the power, yes, but especially because of the gamer side that the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

‘Kingdom of Legion’, the gaming space of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The phone’s game mode, called ‘Kingdom of Legion’, allows you to control the experience in detail. It is possible to maximize the processor, the mobile allows you to customize the lighting and the speed of the fans, there are settings to minimize distractions and there is even a background recording system that allows you to retrieve the video of the game even if it is not I would have started recording . And the jewel in the crown: the setting of the pressure triggers.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The gaming experience can be customized during the game: increased power, fans, buttons (Y-Triggers) or vibration

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has a trigger system with two of them on each end of the right side. The design of the phone seeks to simulate the control of a physical console controller ; with the disadvantage that it is difficult to differentiate each trigger during the game: the pressure zones are not sufficiently separated. Still, it is a matter of taking practice.The customization of the pressure triggers makes it possible to simulate a physical game controller very well, although with a downside: finding the buttons in during a game is not an easy task

While it can be cumbersome to control the layout of the touch triggers, their configuration provides a notable advantage in games. What do you want to hit with one trigger, jump with the other, change weapons by pressing a button and reload in the same way? Place the trigger of each of these triggers on the area of ​​the screen that you prefer and the action will be executed by pressure .

Apart from the four triggers on the left side (higher as the mobile is used horizontally), the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has two vertical pressure areas at the rear . They can also be customized to perform actions in games or as phone shortcuts.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Four pressure triggers on the top and two touch zones on the back that can be customized to enhance gaming

The power package, large screen, an extremely customizable game mode and physical triggers for almost every virtual button makes playing with the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 a very close to the console experience . Not only for the graphic and tactile immersion, but also for the sound. What a sound.

Sound: impressive is an understatement

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

We are used to mobiles designed to enhance the gaming experience to elevate all the features related to that content. Sound is never alien to the pampering of each manufacturer ; a point where the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 raises the mark. Literally.

The power of the two front speakers is amazing: not only does it manage to raise the volume to a very high level (during the tests the mobile reached peaks of 95 dB ), it also maintains the quality even by turning it up to the maximum. With the advantage that the audio is focused directly on the user thanks to its double front speaker.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Dolby Atmos can be configured by content type. And offers spatial sound with the front speakers

The mobile offers Dolby Atmos sound with panoramic effect for music, video and games. It has different reinforcements with which to customize the listening, it includes a ten-band equalizer, it offers a ‘wider gaming sound field’ to increase the immersion in the games and, as a finishing touch, it has vibration reinforcement. This booster transmits the shots, explosions and other effects of the games , although it is compatible with few titles. And it doesn’t work too well either (we tested it with PUBG and the feel wasn’t optimal). The vibration motor deserves a separate mention: it is of high quality (subtle or powerful, as required).

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 doesn’t have a headphone jack, but it does pack an adapter in the box (USB C to 3.5mm jack) so no one has to choose between cable or Bluetooth. In our experience, the audio is of enormous quality through the two supports, both for the richness of hearing and for the power and also the nuances. Unsurprisingly, it supports Hi-Fi audio, both via cable and via Bluetooth.

Battery: uneven autonomy and a very, very fast fast charge

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The ‘Duel’ that our protagonist wears as a surname defines his guts as far as autonomy is concerned; not in vain it mounts two batteries, each one on one side of the phone (hence part of its ‘domed’ profile). The Lenovo Phone Duel 2 is not the first to mount dual batteries as manufacturers take this design to dramatically increase fast charging , but none include two charging ports.

The battery stands at 5,500 mAh, a comfortable figure at the beginning that can be done just if the phone is squeezed (a lot). At 144 Hz the autonomy decreases. Notably, especially when launching graphically heavy games . However, the day is usually reached even with extensive use; with the possibility of increasing autonomy over two days (and up to three) if it is used in a more measured way and the refresh rate is limited.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

One of the points to highlight before entering the fast charge is the ridiculous consumption at rest: the Lenovo Phone Duel 2 uses almost 0% of battery with the screen off; and without us having noticed any loss of notifications, the system is very well optimized in terms of energy consumption.

As we said, our protagonist is not satisfied with offering a single charging port since it has two USB C connectors: one on the bottom and one on the left side. One of the other can be chosen depending on how it is being used: the lower one if the main task is social networks, for example; going horizontal if a game is started. And with the option to connect the two ports to get the maximum fast charge: 90 W.By having two charging ports, it is possible to choose at any time how the mobile will be used as it recovers energy: vertically or horizontally. With the advantage that fast charging is multiplied by two if both ports are used at the same time

The charging times with the two USB C ports connected to the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 are as follows:

  • 5 minutes : 17% battery.
  • 10 minutes : 37% battery.
  • 15 minutes : 57% battery.
  • 20 minutes : 74% battery life.
  • 25 minutes : 90% battery.
  • Total : 31 minutes.

Ultra-fast charging is insane for a 5,500 mAh battery. And without the Lenovo Phone Duel, 2 getting too hot, which is why it has both fans and the entire passive cooling system.

Software: clean and air to Android ‘stock’ without losing extra functions

Lenovo maintains the usual ZUI layer of its phones (based on Android 11 ) by separating what is purely smartphone use from the gaming environment. This environment is called ‘The Kingdom of Legion ‘, a section where the launcher of the installed titles, the configurator, and also two more sections are embedded: one in which to discover new games adapted to the possibilities of the telephone and another to the community of players.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Beyond the entertainment, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2’s custom layer maintains striking cleanliness despite the fact that it includes a number of extra options in the settings (not too many). The brand allows you to choose between ‘aggressive’ themes and in keeping with the phone’s exterior design or the ‘Android Style’ theme; It offers a very similar look to pure Android. The shortcut area does differ from the ‘stock’ look: square buttons, sliders for brightness and audio, and rectangular notifications with rounded corners.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

We have not had software problems beyond the fact that we could not access the screen settings when that menu is always closed (also, the security patch is from February 2021, something old to be a new mobile). For the rest, ZUI does not include ‘bloatware’, only some Lenovo application for games, community and security (it maintains the Google Photos gallery, Google Files, Google phone and Google Messages). And it allows you to greatly personalize your phone experience.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

One of the curious details is the rear LED with the Legion logo (and that looks like a Fluzo condenser). This is lit up and can be customized : from the ‘Kingdom of Legion’ settings it is possible to choose colors and even transitions. Also from there you can adjust the refresh rate of the screen.The entire phone interface can be used horizontally, including desktops and the app drawer. ZUI correctly adapts all the elements to that view

Since the use of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is intended for landscape orientation, the entire layer can be used in this regard , including desktops or the app drawer. In addition, the brand includes different modes of energy-saving and battery care, offers improved control of applications through peripherals (keyboard, mouse and game controller) and allows blocking applications with the fingerprint. Among other functions (not too many, the cape is quite restrained).

Photography: no aspirations beyond meeting the minimums

Given the extreme design of the phone, even the cameras are out of the ordinary, both in position and in design. The rear module, made up of a double camera, is in the center of the phone and does not protrude from the body at all (the ‘belly’ of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 already sticks out enough). Ahead, the brand does not break the front at all since it equips the front camera on a ‘popup’ mechanism that opens only when the sensor is needed.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The eccentricities are a hallmark of this mobile, not the photographic experience: despite the fact that its hardware is not poor, our protagonist is committed to saving the experience without offering excessive bragging, neither in hardware nor in software. Without this implying that the set is of poor quality :

  • 64 megapixel rear main camera, f / 1.9 aperture, 1 / 1.32-inch sensor size and PDAF focus.
  • 123º wide-angle rear camera with f / 2.2 aperture.
  • Front popup camera with 44 megapixel sensor, f / 2.0 aperture and 1 / 2.65-inch sensor size.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

All cameras lack mechanical image stabilization (OIS), offer HDR, Lenovo equips the application with scene recognition using artificial intelligence (only the rear ones), offers digital zoom up to 8x for the rear set (little useful due to low quality ), allows you to take photos with the maximum size of the main sensor ( ‘HD Photography’ of 64 megapixels ), it has night mode, portrait mode, you can take photos and videos with the rear and front camera simultaneously, record at a maximum of 8K and 24 fps (rear main camera) and has video recording in HDR10 +.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The versatility of the camera application is wide and its operation does not involve a problem: fast, with instant content saving and with a very intuitive interface. In terms of results, it does not offer too much inconvenience with abundant light beyond a stubborn saturation (more pronounced with the AI ​​activated).

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The images tend to go over saturation, as we said. The detail is usually good outdoors and during the day, at night it accuses the lack of lighting with the consequent loss of detail . This defect is very noticeable in the wide angle: with night photos the results are very poor. And without the night mode tending to save the photo (in the main camera it does achieve better shots at the cost of noise and watercolors, visible to the naked eye).

The dynamic range is acceptable despite the fact that the shots tend to be underexposed, especially in the darkest areas (it does not burn the brighter ones). The jump between the main sensor and the wide angle tends to be noticeable: the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 does not respect the color matching and the white balance very well . In addition, and despite the fact that there is automatic correction of the wide angle, there is some deformation at the ends of the image.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
  • The photo mode cropping is not bad: it applies a sufficiently natural background blur, both in front and behind. On the front, the camera does not do a great job despite the fact that the sensor promises numbers: the selfies lack detail even in good lighting, the processing is excessively neutral. A little more contrast is also missing.
  • The complicated scene solves really well. Great dynamic range despite backlighting, lots of background detail, and a somewhat dark background.
  • Night mode in a scene with streetlight lighting. At first glance, the result is acceptable, although there is a notable loss of detail when zooming in.
  • Portrait mode with a sufficiently precise edge cropping that corresponds to a light bokeh and without too much artifice. The image appears somewhat underexposed, a general defect when the shot is not dominated by light.
  • The front camera performs a good portrait mode; with natural enough cropping and blurring. Scenes tend to be too neutral, they can also suffer the loss of detail even with the 44-megapixel sensor.
  • Below is a sample of photos taken with the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 in a wide selection of situations

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2, the opinion of Xataka

Analyzing a mobile that is intended for a very specific audience raises the logical question: is it recommended for those who do not belong to that audience? Yes, there are very few people who do not play on their mobile, but for this reason, we would not recommend a phone like the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 . This 2021 has brought more content and ‘normal’ designs to this segment of devices, the Red Magic 6 or the Black Shark 4 are a sample.

This new Lenovo is not easy to carry, it is quite uncomfortable as a phone, it weighs a lot and its camera is more or less at the height of a decent mid-range. Now, in the rest, it sweeps with authority: its screen is of great quality (it hits for the resolution and its saturation), the sound impresses, its versatility is very wide, it does not abuse bloatware, it has a fast charge that takes your breath away. and in power … Well, it is intractable, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is the best for those looking for the wildest features.On one side of the scale are the maximum benefits in a mobile; on the other side its convenience as a telephone. Where this scale leans will depend on what each person values

It is not exactly cheap, although it does not exceed the barrier of 1,000 euros either. Knowing that it is not for everyone, we would recommend it to that person who is looking for a different mobile. It certainly doesn’t look like anyone else, for better and for worse.

Categories: Mobile Phones

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