Considering buying a new gaming phone? There’s now one less company to choose from.
In a statement to Android Authority, Lenovo has confirmed that it is longer making Legion gaming phones. The company has discontinued the line, with an spokesperson describing it as “part of a wider business transformation and gaming portfolio consolidation”.
But Lenovo goes on to say that it’s “committed to advancing the gaming category across form factors”, suggesting other Legion products will be unaffected. Legion is one of the most recognisable brands among gaming laptops, desktop PCs, and other accessories, and there’s no sign of it suffering a similar fate.
The move means August’s Legion Y70 was the final phone in the series, although none of the recent handsets have made it outside China. Just two years ago, the Legion Phone Duel 2 arrived in Europe as one of the most talked about gaming phones thanks to novel design including two batteries and a landscape, pop-up selfie camera.
2020’s original Duel was the first gaming phone Lenovo ever made. After a total of seven handsets in just three years, the company has called it quits.
What’s more, it might not be the only gaming phone brand to make an exit in 2023. According to China Star Market, financial issues at Xiaomi’s Black Shark sub-brand led to around half of its employees being made redundant in October. A translation of leaker Digital Chat Station’s February Weibo post hints that a follow-up to the Black Shark 5 Pro may never see the light of day.
Those moves come as part of a tough time for the phone industry as a whole. Just this week it was also rumoured that Chinese phone giant Oppo and its subsidiary OnePlus were ready to pull out of key European markets including the UK, though both companies have denied the report in official statements to Tech Advisor.
With early pioneers Razer having already stopped making gaming phones, what are your alternatives? Two brands – Nubia’s Red Magic and Asus’ ROG Phone – are the leading players, although Vivo’s iQoo and even Poco have made useful alternatives recently.
With the Red Magic 8 Pro still relatively new and the ROG Phone 7 on the horizon, dedicated gaming handsets still seem to have a future, even with Lenovo’s Legion out of the picture.