Lenovo’s Legion Phone Duel 2 is seriously cool, and in more ways than one

You need a cool head to play games at a high level, you need a cool phone to look the part when doing so, and the phone itself needs to be kept cool so it performs at its best. The new Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 has a comprehensive cooling system with a real, spinning fan, plus masses of power and a highly unusual design, making it a seriously desirable mobile gaming companion.

It doesn’t look like any other smartphone available at the moment. The Legion Phone Duel 2 is made to be held in landscape orientation, with three glass sections on the back and a metal chassis, which houses a total of eight different touch-sensitive buttons — four on the shoulders, two force-touch buttons in the screen, and two touchpads on the back. There are up to 200 different possible configurations for all these keys, giving masses of control over games.

What about the cooling? First, there’s an actual, physical, spinning fan built into the back of the phone, which pipes cool air through a dedicated tunnel inside the phone. Don’t worry, the fan doesn’t blow air directly onto the device’s components, so there’s no risk of dust or water ingress. It’s just part of the extensive cooling system, which consists of copper tunnels and pillars, graphite panels, and a vapor chamber too. A set of 14 sensors dotted around the phone’s body monitor the temperature and avoid any overheating. The system’s design ensures the parts of the phone you hold are kept as cool as possible.

Why go to all this effort? Lenovo says by minimizing the temperature as much as possible, it can unlock even more power from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip powering the phone, which is joined by up to 16GB of RAM. On the front is a 6.92-inch AMOLED screen with a 2460 x 1080 pixel resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, and a 720Hz touch sampling rate, plus support for HDR10+. Audio is played through dual stereo speakers housed inside 1.6cc chambers, complete with Dolby Atmos support. On the back, the Y logo has customizable RGB lighting effects to complete the gaming device’s look.

The Legion Phone Duel 2 has a pop-up selfie camera, but it’s set on the side of the phone making it ideal for streaming games, which are mostly played in landscape orientation. The 44-megapixel camera has a wide-angle lens, auto-focus, a 240 frames per second slow-motion mode, the ability to blur the background in your shot, and a “virtual avatar” mode if you want to remain anonymous. On the back of the phone is a 64MP main camera and a 16MP wide-angle camera.

What else? There’s a dual-cell 5,500mAh battery which can be charged up in 30 minutes if you use the dual USB Type-C ports, or 45 minutes if you use just one. There’s 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, a fingerprint sensor, four microphones, dual haptic feedback motors, up to 512GB of storage space, and a choice of black or white color schemes.

Lenovo will release the Legion Phone Duel 2 in the U.K. and Europe during May, but it has not confirmed when or if it’ll come to the U.S. The 12GB/256GB model costs 699 British pounds, or around $961, while the 16GB/512GB model is 899 pounds, or about $1,236. When it arrives, Lenovo will be going up against the current gaming phone champion, the Asus ROG Phone 5.

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