Gaming phones are among the most exciting and innovative devices on the market today. Their combination of industry leading hardware, aggressive aesthetics and unique design solutions position them as taste-makers in the modern smartphone sector. With formidable devices like Asus’ new ROG Phone 5, and ZTE’s Nubia Redmagic 6R landing in recent weeks, the space is becoming increasingly competitive. Lenovo’s Legion Duel 1 was released last summer and made a splash with its innovative split design. Now the Legion Duel 2 is here and we take a look at what Lenovo has done to build on the successes of last year’s model. With 16GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 888 processor, 5,500mAh battery and a 144hz screen, the 2021 model commands respect.

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 Review

It Takes Two

The “Duel” in the name is somewhat of a play on words, as this phone’s design is very much a game of two halves. The hardware is optimised around being the best possible gaming phone on a horizontal plane. To achieve this, it is effectively split down the middle. The Legion Duel 1 boasted innovative heat-sinks and cooling solutions in order to improve thermal performance. The Legion Duel 2 has taken this to an entirely new level, and ships with not one but two 1500rpm cooling fans contained within the device. While it is not unusual to see gaming phones boasting attachable fans, it’s rare to see them so finely integrated in a device’s core hardware, with two fans being a first in the sector.

Gaming

As expected from a top tier gaming phone, the Legion Duel 2 and its Snapdragon 888 processor handle gaming with ease. Whether you throw resource-hungry games like Genshin Impact and Asphalt 9 at it, or unwind with classic casino games and the likes of Clash of Clans, the Legion Duel 2’s 12GB of RAM ensures you won’t be running into any lag or drops in frame rate. The Lenovo’s unique cooling solution also plays a big role in preventing any thermal throttling when the device is under a heavy workload and the high speed display ensures gameplay always feels responsive and snappy, even if many games aren’t ready to take full advantage of the 144hz refresh rate yet.

One feature common to gaming phones is the inclusion of physical shoulder buttons on the horizontal edge of the phone that can be mapped to various functions or screen touches in-game. The Legion Duel 2 takes this a step further by offering no less than eight adaptive buttons and triggers positioned in various ergonomic positions on the back and sides of the phone bringing unrivalled customizability and tactical feedback to a smart device. These buttons, as well as the ability to tune the in-device vibration feature, are managed through the device’s custom game launcher app, Legion Realm.

Elsewhere, the Legion Duel 2 features a vibrant LED logo that can be customised with your preferred light patterns and colours. We have seen this feature elsewhere on rival gaming phones such as the ROG Phone 5 and Razer Phone 2. The vibrant RGB lighting has become something of a hallmark for gaming phones, taking after their gaming laptop relatives.

Battery

The double duty of this phone extends into the battery department. As games are particularly taxing to battery life, one feature all gaming phones have in common is a large battery capacity. The Legion Duel 2 is no different, boasting a 5,500mAh battery, 10% bigger than last year’s. This gives the Duel 2 a stable day and a half of battery for most tasks. One drawback to such a large battery is that it can drive up charging times. The Legion Duel 2 gets around this through the inclusion of two 90w USB-C fast charging ports. This enables the phone to charge to full capacity from 0% in just 30 minutes, with a 50% charge achieved in just 10 minutes, ensuring you always have enough juice for even the most prolonged gaming sessions.

Price and Availability

The device retails for £699 in the UK and €799 in Europe respectively. While the phone is not on general release in the North American market it can be imported for around $699. 

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