Lenovo Legion Phone Duel revealed — and the specs put Galaxy Note 20 to shame

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel
(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo is getting into the gaming smartphone business, unveiling the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel today (July 22). But depending on where you live in the world, you may have a hard time getting into the game.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Specs

Price: TBA
OS: Android 10
Display: 6.59-inch AMOLED (2340x1080; 144Hz)
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM: 12GB, 16GB
Storage: 256GB, 512GB
Rear cameras: 64MP main (f/1.85); 16MP ultra wide (f/2.2)
Front camera: 20MP (f/2.2)
Battery size: 2x2,500 mAh (5,000 mAh total)
Size: 6.7 x 3.1 x 0.39 inches
Weight: 8.43 ounces

The Legion Phone Duel boasts the kind of beefy specs you'd expect from a high-end gaming phone. Lenovo was one of companies to commit to using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 Plus system-on-chip — the other was Asus for its upcoming ROG 3 phone — and that gaming-optimized chipset is inside the Legion Phone Duel. The phone also sports a dual-liquid, mid-thermal floating cooling system, a 6.59-inch AMOLED display and up to 16GB of RAM.

What it doesn't have is a US ship date. A Lenovo spokesperson told us that the Legion Phone Duel will debut in China this month at an undisclosed price. The phone will then roll out to select markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A US launch is not in the cards.

That's sure to be a disappointment for US gamers, as the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel seems to boast a number of features that could make it a top contender for best gaming phone

Some of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel's highlights include:

Lenovo Legion phone

(Image credit: Lenovo)

A horizontal pop-up camera: You're already aware of this feature if you've been following Lenovo Legion Phone Duel leaks, but the gaming phone features a 20MP pop-up selfie-cam that emerges from the side bezel. Why the unusual placement for a front camera? All the better to stream you with, my dear. Lenovo opted for a horizontal selfie cam because that's the orientation you're holding the phone in when you play games, and placing the camera should make it easier to stream your gaming sessions from the Legion Phone Duel.

The camera uses quad-mic noise cancellation and background removal to help with your live streams and should you drop the Legion Phone Duel, an auto-retract feature will activate, causing the camera to pop back into place.

A super-fast refresh rate: Premium phone makers are now hip to the idea that faster refresh rates on displays make for more immersive experiences, particularly when it comes to gaming. To that end, a handful of phones now feature 90Hz refresh rates, including midrange models like the newly introduced OnePlus Nord. Some phones have started turning to 120Hz refresh rates, which is double the frequency found on most phones.

Lenovo ramps things up even further, with the Legion Phone Duel boasting a 144Hz refresh rate. Meanwhile, the phone has a touch sampling rate of 240Hz, which should eliminate any lag during your gaming sessions. Throw in Full HD resolution and 4X stereo speakers, and Lenovo is betting that it can deliver one of the more immersive experiences available to gamers.

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Dual-charging ports: A phone that delivers this much power needs a big battery, so Lenovo has gone with two power packs. A pair of 2,500 mAh batteries combine to give the Legion Phone Duel a total of 5,000 mAh, which should keep you gaming all day. In a clever touch, Lenovo says it moved each battery to the side of the phone, so your hands won't feel the heat of being placed on top of the logic board when you hold your phone in landscape mode.

Speaking of landscape mode, if you want to top off your battery while playing a game, there's a USB-C port on the side of the phone, on the opposite end from the pop-up camera. That lets you plug in and charge without the cable getting in your way. There's still a traditional USB-C port on the bottom of the phone, and you can charge via both ports at once. A full charge should take only 30 minutes, Lenovo says.

Other gaming-centric features: The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel comes with other capabilities and enhancements that are probably best experienced to see how they bolster game play. The phone features an embedded virtual and dual ultrasonic trigger buttons, with dual-vibration engines providing haptic feedback on some games.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

A horizontal mode lets you use the phone in landscape, with customized layout themes letting you fine-tune the home screen to your liking. There's also a home mode for casting or playing games on a connected display while you use a wireless keyboard or mouse.

Because a Snapdragon 865 Plus is powering the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel, the handset will be able to connect to 5G networks where available. This device also supports Wi-Fi 6, the new wireless network standard that provides faster and more efficient connectivity. The bottom line is that your streaming gaming sessions shouldn't suffer from lags or latency on Lenovo's new gaming phone.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.