Smartphone makers started making gaming phones a few years ago, which are basically just Android flagships that push their hardware to the limits. Lenovo was one of the first Chinese vendors to go this route, launching its uniquely designed Legion handset a couple of years ago. Lenovo is now back with the Legion Y90, a gaming phone that comes with SSD storage in addition to the typical high-speed memory that you see on mobile phones.
Gaming phones seem like overkill, considering that any modern flagship will deliver a great mobile gaming experience. The Galaxy S22 phones are great gaming phones, as they feature the best possible chips for Android devices, fast RAM, and fast storage.
But gaming phones like the ones Lenovo makes are responsible for bringing certain features to our attention. Gaming phones were the first to pack high refresh rates, and now 120Hz screens are the new norm for high-end smartphones.
They also pushed RAM beyond anything we had seen before. And they introduced new cooling systems for sustained performance. We’ve seen these features hit non-gaming devices as well.
The Lenovo Legion Y90 is the latest addition to the gaming phone category. The handset features the same unusual rear panel design as its predecessor. The camera system sits in the middle of the handset so that gamers can hold it comfortably while playing games on it in landscape mode. Therefore, the camera bump is right in the middle.
The Lenovo Legion Y90 gaming phone
The specs are really where Lenovo’s 2022 gaming phone will impress. Some of them will sound familiar, as they’re similar to what you’ll find on the Galaxy S22. But Lenovo pushed the hardware to make the most of it. The 6.9-inch Full HD+ OLED display has a 144Hz refresh rate and 720Hz multi-finger touch sampling rate. A fingerprint sensor is embedded into the screen.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 System-on-Chip (SoC) is identical to the one in the Galaxy S22. But it’s paired with 12GB or 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. The storage starts at 256GB of UFS 3.1 flesh memory for these models. Choose the 18GB RAM version, and you get 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage and a 128GB SSD.
Using an SSD inside a phone is unusual, but Lenovo is doing it to bump up random write performance by 50%.
Also unusual is the dual fan cooling, but that’s something we saw before on Lenovo’s 2021 gaming phone variant. The fans work together with liquid cooling so that the phone can sustain an additional 4W of power.
The Legion Y90 also comes with 2 USB-C ports like its predecessor. As a result, the 5,600 mAh battery supports 68W fast charging. You’ll need about 35 minutes to reach a full charge. Aside from the fast USB-C ports that support up to 10Gbps transfers, you also get fast Wi-Fi 6E wireless internet and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity.
Price and release date
The new Lenovo handset wouldn’t be a gaming phone without rocking gaming triggers and RGB rear lighting. Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos sound are also present.
Finally, the main camera features a 64-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 aperture. The secondary rear camera has a 13-megapixel ultra-wide lens. A 16-megapixel camera sits on the front.
If the specs of Lenovo’s gaming phone convinced you to buy one, you should see the pricing structure. The 12GB/256GB Legion Y90 version will cost you 4,299 yuan, or about $681. The most expensive model, the one with the built-in SSD storage, will cost 5,299 yuan ($839). Those who preorder the gaming phone will get an instant 300 yuan ($48) discount.
The bad news is that Lenovo will initially start selling the Legion Y90 in China. There’s no telling when international markets will get the new gaming phone.