Lenovo has killed off its Legion gaming phone division
The gaming phone market is shrinkingBy Rob Thubron 9 comments
What just happened? Lenovo's Legion gaming smartphones are no more. The company has confirmed it is discontinuing the group as "part of a wider business transformation and gaming portfolio consolidation," marking another blow for the gaming phone industry.
A Lenovo spokesperson told Android Authority that the company "is discontinuing its Android-based Legion mobile gaming phones as part of a wider business transformation and gaming portfolio consolidation."
"As a leader in gaming devices and solutions, Lenovo is committed to advancing the gaming category across form factors, as well as focusing on where it can bring the most value to the global gaming community."
The Legion smartphones gained a reputation for boasting impressive specs and features. The Legion Phone Duel 2, for example, has a 144Hz refresh rate, up to 18GB of LPDDR5 memory, dual 2750mAh battery packs, and dual active cooling fans. The phone is engineered to be used primarily in landscape mode for gaming.
The last flagship Legion handset Lenovo released, and only in certain markets (not the US), was the Y90 in February last year. It features a pop-up selfie camera and a RAID 0 storage stripe option that combines a 128GB SSD with 512GB of flash. There was also the less-impressive Y70 announced last August.
Lenovo didn't say if its decision will affect Android updates being pushed out to current Legion phones. Hopefully for owners, the company will copy what LG did when it shuttered its phone division by pledging three years of Android updates for the Legion handsets.
Lenovo will now focus on its Moto phone line and other Legion-branded products, including gaming PCs, laptops, and gear.
The announcement is another blow for those invested in the gaming smartphone industry. It comes soon after Xiaomi-backed brand Black Shark laid off most of its employees and failed to pay severance payments, though the company is still making gaming phones.
But the market certainly isn't dead. Brands like Nubia Red Magic and the Asus ROG line are still around. In the case of the latter, the Asus ROG Phone 7 arrives on April 13.
Gaming phones have always been a niche area. Most people who want a handheld gaming device tend to opt for something like the Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch rather than pay for a usually more expensive phone. Don't be surprised if more big players decide to follow Lenovo's lead in the future.