Lenovo’s been selling gaming PCs under its Legion brand since 2017. And in 2020 the company expanded that brand to include gaming phones. But now Lenovo is bringing that chapter to a close.
Rumors had been circulating for the past week or so that Lenovo was getting out of the gaming phone business, and now the company has released a statement to Android Authority confirming those rumors.
According to the statement “Lenovo is discounting its Android-based Legion mobile gaming phones as part of a wider business transformation and gaming portfolio consolidation.”
Mobile gaming has become increasingly popular in recent years, but gaming phones are still a pretty weird category. Most mobile games are designed to run well on mid-range and flagship phones alike, and the rise of game streaming services means that you can use just about any recent phone to play PC or console-quality games by streaming them over the internet or a local network.
But gaming phone makers have still found ways to make the experience of gaming on a mobile device more pleasant by adding features like big batteries, speedy storage, extra USB ports, vapor chamber cooling (or sometimes even spinning fans for active cooling), and shoulder trigger buttons. And RGB lighting… so much RGB lighting.
Lenovo released a couple of Legion-branded phones over the past few years before deciding to shut down its gaming phone business. As far as I can tell, they were never widely available in the US, but they were sold in China and Europe.
Lenovo was hardly the only company playing in this space though. Asus continues to sell gaming phones under the ROG Phone brand, and is expected to release a ROG Phone 7 in the coming months. Xiaomi sells gaming phones under the Black Shark brand (although Android Authority notes that this division was hit by layoffs recently), and Nubia continues to sell gaming phones under its RedMagic brand.
Not surprised, Lenovo has an unreleased handheld gaming system and no follow-up or new version for their Y700 gaming tablet, it’s like everything is experimental for them.
This is disappointing. I was hoping they’d out out a new one this year. Maybe I’ll buy the y70.
I’m not that interested in a “gaming” phone, but I did like some of their features. The dual ports on the y90 let you use USB peripherals or video out and still be able to charge without any worries.
The y70 has bypass charging and desktop mode so you can theoretically use it as a desktop alternative for hours without damaging the battery (I’m avoiding the word “replacement” since that really depends on one’s use case). With bypass charging your not charging it discharging the battery, which is good for it, and be not doing either you generate less heat which is good for both performance and battery life)
I don’t get the appeal to the dual-USB ports, especially for a desktop use case. If you’re connecting it to a monitor, and power, the easiest way to do that is with a USB hub with HDMI-out, and passthrough charging. That serves all purposes, and even offers USB-A ports for mouse, keyboard, storage, etc. Plus, you only need to plug one cord into your phone.
yes and no
there are a variety of situations where it could be useful to have the second port
-for example if you have a simple hdmi adapter with no power input
-another one is that the power input in the hub isn’t high enough most let you use 100W but I’ve seen ones with lower power levels and many new phones actually have high wattage potentials
another one is when you want to connect something via USB-C and not through a hub. A perfect example is my portable monitor. It has a USB-C port and that’s it and can only connect to a USB-C port. It has another USB-C port which lets you connect a high power charger to charge your phone or tablet but you can’t connect anything else (like a keyboard or flash drive). I have not seen ANY USB-C hubs which have extra USB-C ports out and even less with ones which can handle video.
The only one I’ve potentially seen is the miradock or whatever that was announced recently but 1) it’s not out yet, and 2) I kinda have to see it in action to believe it’s fully functional.
So yeah, a secondary port isn’t necessary some of the time, but it doesn’t change the fact that it makes any device more versatile. I refuse to get a new computer with only 1 USB-C port for the same reason
So, narrowing down your smartphone search to 1 specific model of phone is the best solution for someone who only owns a USB-C to HDMI cable, and doesn’t want to spend $50 on a USB-C hub that supports 100w?
Seems like a silly way to shop for smartphones. That’s like saying “I had to buy a Honda, because my keychain ring wasn’t big enough for a BMW key”.
I’m not sure there are any “low cost” power delivery USB-C hubs with USB-C DP alt mode video out confirmed to be working with smartphones available. Maybe there are some with data-only USB-C outputs which may or may not work with arbitrary USB-C video display devices.
In practice it seems you have to buy a TB4 USB-C hub to have that functionality AFAIK, the cost of which approaches mid-tier smartphone devices and may even exceed low-cost smartphones, so the comparison to a car keychain ring VS car cost is not exactly appropriate.
There are dozens of USB-C hubs on Amazon that support USB-C DP alt-mode, provide HDMI-out, and also support 100W power delivery.
Plenty of them are under $50, some as low as $25.
I use both an Anker model, and Apple’s “Multiport adapter”. Both of them work fine on the several Android phones that I’ve tested them on. Full support for fast charging, and it handles video-out with no issue.
It seems we are talking about different things – HDMI out VS USB-C DP alt mode out hubs. The latter are rare, expensive and finicky – they might or might not operate properly.
Imagine a scenario with nReal Air or any other exclusively USB video display device – you can’t directly connect it to the cheap HDMI-only hub.
So, I’d say smartphones with multiple USB ports are very cool and I’m surprised only Asus produces them. I might be wrong about that though, maybe there are others now..
Outside of emulators, Android/iOS aren’t great for gaming. Not inherently but that’s how it’s become. It never did get much beyond those early days of Candy Crush and Fruit Ninja with the occasional decent game. Cloud gaming is okay.
I’m glad x86 handhelds are taking off for both Windows and Linux.
Mmorpg is huge market too with lot of money there.
But most mobile games are a bunch of autoplaying gacha trash.
Too bad it’s infecting pc and console gaming as well.