New Leaks Reveal Lenovo’s Plans to Make an Android-Based Gaming Handheld

New Leaks Reveal Lenovo’s Plans to Make an Android-Based Gaming Handheld
Image: Lenovo

Even though MWC 2021 happened months back in the summer, new leaks have revealed a device that looks like Lenovo’s attempt to create its own Android-based portable gaming handheld.

While the Lenovo Legion Play was never officially announced, Brad Linder from Liliputing recently discovered some source code hidden in Lenovo Germany’s and Lenovo Japan’s MWC 2021 press sites containing images and a description of Lenovo’s potential handheld.

According to the leaked files, the Legion Play’s description says:

“Designed for AAA gaming, the Lenovo Legion Play is the first Android cloud gaming console. The console lets users play hundreds of cloud games, stream their game library, or play mobile games. It features a 7″ 16:9 FHD bezel-less display, HDR 10, built-in controllers, dual speakers, dual vibration, and 7000mAh battery to provide the best gaming experience. Our developer program is open to all game developers. Coming soon in select markets.”

Image: Lenovo Image: Lenovo

When compared to the new OLED Nintendo Switch, the Legion Play would have a similar 7-inch screen but with a denser 1920 x 1080 resolution, but without the OLED Switch’s more vivid colours or the ability to detach its controllers from the side of the device. The Legion Play also sports a familiar button layout to other gaming handhelds with the device featuring two analogue sticks, a d-pad on the left, a handful of face buttons on the right, and multiple shoulder buttons across the top.

In photos, the Legion Play looks like a slimmer and more compact version of Valve’s Steam Deck, however, instead of running a custom version of Linux, the Legion Play would be based on Android. If true, this would position the Legion Play as having a somewhat different use case than the Steam Deck, because instead of running AAA games locally on the device, the Legion Play would be better suited to playing mobile games downloaded from the Google Play Store, emulated games, and titles from cloud gaming services like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Image: Lenovo Image: Lenovo

Currently, it’s unclear if the Legion Play supports cellular connectivity or if it’s restricted to wifi only, but in either case, I think the Legion Play would need to be a bit cheaper than the Steam Deck’s $US400 ($551) starting price, lest it find itself in an increasingly crowded market smashed between the Steam Deck, all the different versions of the Nintendo Switch, and other upcoming devices like Qualcomm’s rumoured gaming handheld.

Either way, with the success of the Switch and big reservation numbers for the Steam Deck, it feels like the floodgates for future Android or PC-based gaming handheld are about to be blown wide open. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s an official date or timetable for the Legion Play’s release, so here’s hoping we hear more before the end of the year.

Anybody need a phone with water cooling? (Image: Lenovo) Anybody need a phone with water cooling? (Image: Lenovo)

And in case one gaming handheld wasn’t enough, it seems Lenovo’s press sites also had a handful of files about a somewhat bonkers concept gaming phone called the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel H20 edition, which as you might have guessed, features some kind of water cooling component to help ensure that excess heat doesn’t impact the device’s performance.

Lenovo’s description says:

“The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel H2O Edition is a water-cooled concept of the Legion Duel 2. Adding the active Twin Turbo-Fan was already a bold move, but bringing water cooling to a mobile phone is the perfect solution to dissipate heat and improve the device’s stability in high-performance mode. Featuring the latest processor, this phone is perfectly capable of staying cool and extracting the best performance available. To make it an epic gaming phone, we also maxed out the other specs; it comes with 18GB of ram and 1TB of storage. This product is still in the concept phase.”

And while Liliputing seems to think this concept is too wild for Lenovo to ever turn into a real thing, with Lenovo already having released a gaming phone with dual cooling fans and a side-mounted selfie cam earlier this year, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if a water-cooled phone from Lenovo popped up sometime next year (or maybe even earlier).