In the past few years, dedicated Gaming phones have risen as a category as more and more people use their phones as a primary, or frequent, gaming system. The new Lenovo Legion Phone Duel (called Legion Pro in China) aims to up the ante in that market.

Unsurprisingly, this new phone offers “must have” high-end technical specifications sought-after by gamers: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ SoC, 6.65-inch AMOLED 144Hz display with 240-ms response time and a huge battery (5000 mAh, which is 2x 2500mAh), paired with a 90W dual-port power-adaptor.

Non-gaming high-end phones also have fast processors and even though Snapdragon 865+ (and 16GB of RAM!) is of course slightly faster than the original Snapdragon 865, the real strength of these gaming phones is the cooling system that has been designed from the ground-up for “sustained performance”.

Unlike benchmarks that run for a few minutes at most, people can play games for tens of minutes if not hours. Thin and light phones are great, but they simply trap too much heat, and the processor’s speed must be slowed down to avoid a system malfunction.

The Lenovo Cooling system

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel has a powerful cooling system that functions way better than default solutions utilized in conventional phones, to ensure that gaming performance is as stable as possible, over time.

Performance aside, there are other things that makes the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel an advanced gaming phone. For instance, it is optimized for landscape (horizontal) usage with the following features:

  • Shoulder keys integrated in the chassis with motors for feedback
  • Horizontal 20MP webcam for live streaming while gaming. Quad-microphones noise cancelation ensures your voice is clear
  • Wired keyboard/mouse connectivity for lag-free and reliable controller inputs
  • Dual USB-C connectors

The dual-SIM 5G connectivity is not particularly specific to gaming phones, but it does help with mobile gaming has the next-gen networks tend to have slightly faster speed in the worst case scenario, and amazing speed and low-latency in the best scenarios.

We have not spotted a memory-card based storage option, so it is important to decide if you want 256GB or 512GB of local storage at purchase time. The good news is that the storage system uses UFS 3.1, the fastest available for mobile devices.

The 144Hz display hits the speed mark that many buyers are looking for, but I wonder which games actually run that fast (drop a comment, if you know which). I have not heard the audio yet, but looking at the specs, putting the speakers on the front is the best placement possible for this kind of user-experience.

The only downside of these phones is they are big and heavy. If you thought that the iPhone Xs Max was heavy at 208g? This phone weighs 239g. However, it is not possible to hit all the other Gaming Phone objectives, without sacrificing size and weight.

Even though I worked in the video-games industry for more than a decade, I usually don’t have a big interest for gaming phones. But I admit that this is one of the most interesting design I have seen in the past few years.

I really like the attention to details, and how Lenovo designed the phone around the actual user experience. If you can only afford one gaming device, this may just be it.

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