Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 review: from hardware to software to video

Emanuele Cisotti

19/04/2021 ore 09:13

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 Review

If there is a company that has entered the world of gaming phones with arrogance in 2020, it is definitely Lenovo. This year the company restarts from its own Legion Phone Duel and updates it with the latest solutions in circulation, to bring an even more extreme smartphone to the end user. Let’s find out together.

Packaging

Inside the large package of Legion Phone Duel 2 we find, of course, in addition to the smartphone, the 90W power supply, two USB-C / USB-C cables, a transparent plastic cover and a USB-C to 3.5 mm audio jack adapter.

Construction and Ergonomics

If the first model was recognizablely a gaming phone, this enhances this feature even more by going even further with the design. The frame is still matte metal, but it’s on the back where we find the real changes. The glass shell is indeed divided into three parts, with the central one raised compared to the other two, while maintaining a symmetry. This is because Lenovo has completely redesigned the smartphone inside bringing all the components of the motherboard in the central part, dividing the battery into two portions on its sides. In this way all the components that could create thickness and above all warmth during the game are now far from where you would place your hands. A design never seen before on a smartphone.

We were perplexed about what daily use as a smartphone with this different format than usual would have been, but we changed our mind. The central bulge does not create problems, also considering that in any case Legion Phone Duel 2 is still a smartphone often (9.9mm) and above really heavy (259 grams). Inside this central part are then included two fans, one that pushes the hot air out of the back and one towards the long side of the smartphone.

Hardware

Lenovo starts from last year’s excellent model and updates it with Qualcomm’s latest SoC. We obviously speak of the Snapdragon 888 octa 2.8 GHz core with Adreno 660 GPU and 12 or 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM to support. The memory is not expandable but will still be available in 256 and 512 GB in UFS 3.1 technology, therefore very fast. Excellent connectivity: we have support 5G dual SIM (both Sub6 and mmWave), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and of course NFC. There is also a good fingerprint reader inside the AMOLED screen and excellent front stereo audio: one of the best points of this smartphone.

One of the fronts where the company has worked more on this second variant is on the thermal front. As mentioned, the company has concentrated all the fundamental components in the central part of the smartphone, surrounding them with copper plates and vapor chambers much larger than in the past and also on several levels. Everything is then connected to two active fan systems that spit the hottest air outwards. We have an Octa Trigger system that allows you to take advantage of 4 virtual ultrasonic triggers on the long side of the smartphone, as well as two capacitive ones on the back and two “virtual” ones on the screen. Also present is a “realistic” haptic feedback system called Dual Haptix and that activates in some specific compatible games (like PUBG).

The 3.5mm audio jack is missing, but there are two USB-C ports: so you can still charge your smartphone while using wired headphones.

SCHEDA: Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Camera

Undoubtedly you don’t buy a gaming phone for its camera, but at the same time it obviously cannot be denied that it is a fundamental aspect of any smartphone, considering that it is probably also the only one that we carry with us. Lenovo has “silently” carried out a fairly important update of its photographic sector. The specs tell us about a duo of cameras similar to last year, but the results seemed better to us. We therefore have a camera from 64 megapixel ƒ/1.9 and a 16 megapixel ƒ / 2.2 wide angle. The photos are of excellent quality in good light and perhaps only slightly too contrasted in low light. In addition, the company seems to have listened to us by redesigning the camera app, bringing various functions at your fingertips (such as the wide-angle camera and automatic HDR). Even with less light the images taken remain enjoyable and at night the special mode is more than discreet. Don’t expect top results from top of the premium range but you will still have in your pocket a set of cameras absolutely up to it, without the tinsel of other useless 2 or 5 megapixel sensors.

In addition, the biggest surprise is found in the camera 44 megapixel front. It has been positioned laterally and opens a retractable mechanical mechanism. The position is also optimal for selfies and not just for live streaming. But it is the quality that amazes the most: absurd that one of the best selfie phones on the market is a gaming phone from Lenovo. Kudos!

Discrete also the videos up to8K (o 4K @ 60fps). Too bad that to have better stabilization you have to go down to 4K at 30fps, however a very high resolution. There is also the possibility of recording videos in HDR and also in dual camera mode by combining the shooting from the main and wide-angle camera, or from the front and the main (in Full HD).


Display

Once again Lenovo used a great panel for this Legion Duel 2. We are talking about a gigantic 6.92 inch diagonal with resolution FullHD + (1080 x 2460 pixels) and AMOLED technology. It obviously supports HDR10 and has no interruptions whatsoever, as the front camera is included in a retractable mechanism. The screen supports the refresh rate at 144Hz, but you can also choose lower values ​​and then let the software go up to 144Hz only in the (few) compatible games. In this way you still get an exceptional experience, while maintaining a higher autonomy. We have 1300 nits peak brightness, support for DC dimming technology (to reduce flicker at low brightness), and we have 111% DCI-P3 color space support. Also present is the always-on display, customizable but which shows notifications with a generic icon.

Software

From a Lenovo software point of view Legion Phone Duel 2 is based on Android 11 updated with the February 2021 patches and with a Legion customization. This is mainly reflected in the preset theme, since otherwise it is a software quite close to the stock philosophy and without many customizations. However, the system is always fluid. Where, on the other hand, the company has worked a lot is in its Legion Realm module, which can also be started by holding down the two main backbones. From here you can have a quick overview of all the games installed and you can customize some performance settings and above all the Legion Assistant, which is the contextual menu that can be opened inside the games by scrolling from the top down. From here you will immediately have a clear indication of the performance of the smartphone (with a button to maximize them) and you can also have in real time the status of the Wi-Fi network and data at the same time, allowing you to choose which one to use at any time and switch from one to the other. other quickly. Among the other most useful functions, the functionality to be included within the screen certainly deserves a mention, also allowing you to cut out or increase transparency, so you can do live streaming (directly on YouTube or Twitch). In addition, you can also record short clips directly from this panel, by selecting the duration and quality in advance (so that you don’t have to record huge gameplay and then search for clips to cut).

The software we tested is not final and is not yet 100% stable. A clarification perhaps useless for those who will buy the definitive smartphone, but due in case you have seen some imperfection in our video.


Autonomy

The battery is a great one 5.000 mAh. The autonomy of this smartphone is truly remarkable, better in proportion to that of the other Snapdragon 888 smartphones. It is possible to complete any day of even more intense use without worries (in our case we kept the display at 120 Hz). The cooling system probably does its duty very well and the active fans rarely start even when running games. Plus we have perhaps the fastest charging system ever. This is the possibility of charging the smartphone from 0 to 100% in about half an hour: this value can still be reduced if you use both cables in the package and both USB-C ports. This is because the power supply is 90 W, a record in the world of smartphones and even more than the charging power of power supplies designed for notebooks.

Price

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is available for pre-order on the company’s website starting with € 899 for the 12/256 GB model. This is a fair price for a product that has respectable hardware, but which obviously has yet to make itself known in its market niche.

Photo


Final judgement


Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 is once again the most extreme smartphone around. And we like the idea of ​​applying the idea of ​​”double” on many aspects: double battery, double triggers (triple), double speaker, double USB-C port and double active fan. But not only that, exceptional solutions such as that of the side popup camera demonstrate great dedication to the concept of gaming phone. There are some limitations, but this (like last year) is a smartphone for gamers, without exception.

of Emanuele Cisotti

Pro
  • Maximum power
  • Lightning-fast recharge
  • Popup front camera
  • Refresh rate di 144 Hz
Versus
  • Audio jack with accessory only
  • Non-expandable memory
  • No wireless charging
  • Slightly lean software
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

  • CPU
    octa 2.8 GHz
  • Display
    6,92″ FHD+ / 1080 x 2460 px
  • RAM
    12 GB
  • Front
    44 Mpx ƒ / 2.0
  • Camera
    64 Mpx ƒ / 1.9
  • Battery
    5000 mAh

NEXT Call of Duty Warzone: A point on the map guarantees an inglorious end