Despite a bumpy start, phone makers have not yet given up on gaming handsets. Encouraged by the advent of cloud gaming services, such as Xbox Game Pass and Google Stadia, ASUS and China’s Nubia have released powerful devices designed for gaming on the go. Now Lenovo returns to the arena with the sequel to its first gaming phone from last year. The new Legion Phone Duel 2 retains the original’s focus on landscape use but doubles down on the controls by adding a total of eight virtual keys to get closer to the feel of a gamepad.
The “octa-triggers” include four ultrasonic shoulder keys, two back keys, and two touchpoints on the screen. These are coupled with a 720Hz touch sampling rate (more than double the responsiveness and accuracy offered by the ASUS ROG Phone 5 and the Nubia Red Magic 6). Lenovo says the setup is tailored to a gamer’s natural grip when held horizontally, so you can perform more actions in battle when speed counts.
Of course, none of these controls would matter if the new Legion didn’t have the specs to support them. Lenovo’s device is the latest to join the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 club alongside its gaming-oriented rivals. It also retains the smooth 144Hz refresh rate of the original Legion, which matches the ASUS ROG 5, but doesn’t reach the 165Hz of the latest Nubia. (The quirky pop-up selfie camera on the side is also back, though upgraded from 20MP to 44MP.) The 6.92-inch AMOLED Full HD display is just a tad larger than that of the ASUS ROG 5 and also supports HDR 10+.
The Legion features a cooling system powered by two turbofans for when you’re gaming for extended periods. Lenovo has also placed the phone’s processor in the middle, so your fingers feel less heat in landscape mode. The new handset also has dual batteries that together offer 5,500 mAh of power – 10 percent more than its predecessor – along with faster 90 W fast charging and two USB-C ports.
Prices for the new phone start from €999 ($1,185) for the 16GB/512GB model with charging dock, while the 12GB/256GB option without the extra accessory costs €799 ($948). The phone will be available first in China starting in April and then in select markets in the Asia Pacific and Europe the following month. Lenovo says availability in North America has yet to be determined.
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