Unannounced Lenovo Android Gaming Prototypes Sold in China

Lenovo Legion Play in white and black.
(Image credit: Lenovo)

Prototypes of a Lenovo handheld gaming console, reportedly called the Legion Play, went on a seemingly unauthorized sale in China, according to reports from Lilliputing  and YouTuber Taki Udon. The latter purchased one and posted a YouTube video with a pretty deep hands-on.

Taki Udon wrote that he purchased the model for "around $160," and said in the video that after being shown images, he received it in the mail shrouded in bubble wrap. That price is likely far lower than what the device would have sold for if it was ever officially released.

Luckily, a big sticker on the back of Udon's device lists some of the specs, suggesting this device was codenamed "Zelda." Back in 2021, Liliputing noted that there were some hidden references to the Legion Play on Lenovo's website around Mobile World Congress 2021, which suggested a 7-inch, 16:9 display, HDR10, dual speakers, vibration, and a 7,000 mAh battery. Udon's model, which comes in blue, does appear to meet those specs. In Udon's video, you can see that the system came with 64GB of storage.

In Aida64, Udon found that the Legion is running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor (the same chip in the Logitech G Cloud) and 4GB of RAM. It appears to be running Android 11, another similarity to the G Cloud. The main difference is that this prototype supports display out over USB Type-C, which the G Cloud does not.

Parts of the UI look like stock Android, but it is pretty heavily customized and in some ways seems to be influenced by the Nintendo Switch's minimalistic UI. There's also an application from Tencent that appears to be extremely similar one on the Logitech G Cloud. For some game demos, including emulation, you should check out the full video.

Udon seemed to largely like the physical device, though he said he would like to have seen better rubber on the D-Pad and taller A/B/X/Y buttons.

It's unclear why Lenovo never launched the Legion Play. As both Udon and Liliputing point out, this prototype appears to be from 2021, and if the company was prepared to launch at Mobile World Congress that year, it would have been before Valve's Steam Deck was ever announced (that x86-based gaming machine in July 2021). Since then, Logitech has launched the G Cloud, and at CES Razer launched the Razer Edge. Both of those devices run on Android and are cloud-focused for gaming on Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now.

As for how a batch of these Lenovo prototypes went on sale in China, we may never know. But those who were in the know as these devices went on sale now have a weird piece of Lenovo's history.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon @FreedmanAE.mastodon.social.