Lenovo Legion Phone Duel pairs gaming grunt with side-sliding selfies

Lenovo has revealed a new gaming phone, with the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel packing Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 Plus along with a side-sliding camera and up to 16GB of memory. Intended for players who take their mobile gaming seriously, the Legion Phone Duel has a 6.65-inch 2340 x 1080 AMOLED screen that's designed to be as happy in landscape orientation as it is in portrait.

Indeed, Lenovo figures that some people will want to use it that way around most of the time, whether they're gaming or not. The display has a 144 Hz refresh rate and a 240 Hz touch sampling rate.

On the edge is arguably the most distinctive feature, a slide-out selfie camera. Rather than popping out of the top of the phone, as we've seen on other handsets, the Legion Phone Duel's 20-megapixel actually emerges from the side. It can shoot up to 4K 30fps video, and will automatically drop back should you drop the phone. The back gets a 64-megapixel camera and RGB lighting effects.

A virtual joystick and dual ultrasonic shoulder triggers are included for standalone play. Or, there's support for wired or wireless gamepads, or even a keyboard and mouse, depending on the title. Audio to Vibration (A2V) takes directional audio in the game and triggers appropriately localized vibrations from the phone. There's also Dirac Audio tuned 3D dual front-facing speakers.

Lenovo envisages it all being used by streamers, who'll be able to use the things like YouTube and Twitch streaming while they play. Four noise-cancelling microphones take care of the audio. Lenovo will preload various video filters, and there'll be background-removal and selfie auto-enhancement too.

Gamers will be able to record their session, and the view from the selfie camera, and then merge them with picture-in-picture for upload afterwards. If you forgot to hit record before you started playing, there's a video rewind feature which captures what happened in the last session, and optionally allows you to save it.

Of course all that would be wasted were this not a powerhouse of an Android phone too. Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G chipset is inside, combined with either 12GB or 16GB of LPDDR5 memory. Storage is up to 512GB UFS 3.1.

There's sub-6 5G, together with WiFi 802.11ax (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC. Not only one but two USB-C ports are included – one on the bottom and one on the left side – with Lenovo packing the Legion Phone Duel with 5,000 mAh of battery, split across two packs. With a 90W Turbo Power Charging adapter plugged into both USB-C ports, a halfway charge takes 10 minutes, while a full charge can be completed in 30 minutes.

Dual liquid-cooling and copper tubes have been used to keep the phone cool enough, and Lenovo intentionally positioned the batteries where your hands will fall during gaming, so you're not trying to grip the hotter logic board. A full charge is expected to be enough for up to 24 hours of normal use, or up to 7 hours of intermittent gameplay, the company suggests.

All in all it's shaping up to be a real powerhouse of a gaming phone. Lenovo says it will launch this month in China – as the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro – and then follow on as the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel in Asia Pacific, EMEA, and Latin America later. Pricing will vary by market. Sadly, at this point anyway, Lenovo says there are no US launch plans.