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This phone with a side-mounted pop-up camera is bananas

Lenovo's upcoming gaming phone could stand out thanks to this and other design tweaks.

Published onMay 5, 2020

The Lenovo Legion Gaming Phone is a stark departure from previous Lenovo devices, such as the one seen here.

Lenovo has slowly issued a few details about its upcoming Legion Gaming Phone, such as 90W charging speeds. But a new leak suggests that the phone could be a major change in terms of design.

XDA-Developers has captured screenshots of a promotional video, and easily the most eye-catching feature is the side-mounted pop-up selfie camera. This is in sharp contrast to other phones with pop-up cameras, all seen at the top instead. Check out the screenshot below.

The Lenovo Legion Gaming Phone selfie camera, according to XDA.

A side-mounted pop-up camera seems to make sense for a gaming phone, as Lenovo likely expects users to spend most of their time playing games. PUBG, Fortnite, and Call of Duty Mobile are some of the more popular games that are played in landscape orientation, so we imagine Lenovo envisions gamers streaming these titles as well as their faces in this orientation.

Then again, we also have to wonder whether a side-mounted selfie camera might be more awkward than a top-mounted sensor when holding the device in portrait orientation (you know, like a phone). I imagine that users will need to be careful not to block the camera when holding the phone upright — not an issue for traditional pop-up camera phones.

This isn’t the only eclectic design feature set to appear on the Lenovo Legion Gaming Phone, as an XDA screenshot also shows a rear camera housing closer to the middle of the phone. This also points to Lenovo catering to people who frequently take landscape orientation shots, and we understand the logic here. It could also be handy for augmented reality applications and games in landscape mode. Check out the screenshot below.

The back of the Lenovo Legion Gaming Phone, according to XDA.

In saying so, we could see this being a problem for people who prefer to take portrait orientation shots or one-handed shots. I definitely expect users to either cover the lenses or fumble with the phone when trying to take a shot in portrait orientation.

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Otherwise, XDA-Developers‘ source reports that the Lenovo Legion Gaming Phone is packing a Snapdragon 865 chipset, UFS 3.0 storage, and LPDDR5 RAM. It’s also believed that the phone has a 144Hz screen (no word on OLED or LCD), a 64MP+16MP ultra-wide rear camera pairing, and a 20MP selfie shooter.

Lenovo doesn’t exactly have a sterling track record as far as marketing goes, so I wouldn’t be surprised if these renders don’t quite represent the finished product. But hopefully this does come to fruition, because a different take on the gaming phone would be welcome.