We thought we’d seen every iteration of selfie cam—standard front-mounted, notched a la the iPhone, hole punch like latter Galaxys, teardrop in Motorola fashion, and pop-up cameras like some OnePlus designs. Lenovo appears to be shaking things up with a new Legion-branded gaming phone. It has a pop-up selfie camera the jumps out of the side of the phone.
The Legion phone was leaked via Chinese tech site, showing an extra-wide camera module that pops up in the exact center of the device when held in landscape mode. The precise purpose of that isn’t clear—it would certainly be awkward if you tried to take a photo of yourself while holding the phone in the standard portrait orientation.
Legion is Lenovo’s gaming hardware brand, so perhaps the idea is that you can stream your face in landscape while holding the phone and playing a game at the same time. Leaked materials say that the module can deploy or retract in just half a second.
“Gaming” phones tend to be big, power-hungry devices, and the leaked materials indicate that the Legion will follow this trend, powered by a Snapdragon 865+ processor, 6GB of RAM, and a 90-hertz 6.67-inch screen. Stereo speakers, RGB lighting, and 128GB of storage round out the specs. It’s expected to release in China later this month for around $670 USD, but there’s no indication of a wider rollout—recall that Lenovo owns Motorola, and has relied on its subsidiary for mobile competition in most worldwide markets for several years.
Designs for gaming phones tend to be fairly unique, so don’t expect to see this selfie cam on any other hardware anytime soon.
Update: The Legion phone has been officially announced. Some of the specs above turned out to be wrong: it actually starts at 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, with options going up to 16GB and 512GB. There are also some even more unique hardware choices: a 144hz screen, dual 2500mAh batteries (5000 total) with insanely fast 90-watt charging, and dualk USB-C ports for charging while playing in landscape mode. The selfie cam in that side-mounted slider is 20MP, with 64MP and 16MP ultra-wide cameras on the back.
As expected, the phone is launching first in China, but may come to some markets in Asia and Europe later this year. It’s starting at 10,000 yuan, which is about $1400.