LeEco Le1s Review
The Chinese brand famous for its TV products and content has rebranded itself to reflect its entry into a wider range of businesses like smart cycles, internet-linked electric cars, and smartphones. LeEco has done exceptionally well in China and wants to bring the same magic to the Indian market with its budget handset the Le1s
With its significant branding and marketing, LeEco created quite the hype around the launches of the Le1s and the LeMax early this month. However after two flash sales and a lot of hype, does the Le1s make sense for you? And should you get in line to own one today? Let’s Find out!
The Le1s is an excellent purchase handset but does have a few let downs. It is possibly right there in the top region for the best handset around the 10k price bracket, and there is a good reason. The company, however, is so new that they launched themselves at the launch of the phone. A new name, a new product and with that a whole lot of new promises of delivering service without suffering to the consumer.
Build Quality and Design
From a build perspective, the Le1s is probably something that truly looks its part. All metal shell is brilliant; it was only a few months ago when an all-metal design was highly coveted. Today it seems to be easily available in the set price bracket. More than that the front glass also gets Gorilla Glass 3 for strength. The sides are polished and chamfered to give it that additional premium look that the phone deserves and gets. The buttons are tactile and also made of metal which gives this phone a re-assuring feel and finish.
The design is very modern and taken from the likes of Samsung flagships and the Apple iPhone. You will see hints of similar design in the handset throughout. it’s a little harder in the hand, and it does not feel nimble or soft. Despite sporting a larger display than the iPhone, the Le1s is slightly shorter and has more display to mass ratio, which seemed to have been a big selling point for the company at launch. The phone is available now in a silver color along with the gold variant you see in the pictures.
The Le1s is spec’d out, with a list of hardware on paper that stumps any and many in this price bracket. The phone runs on a MediaTek Helio X10 Turbo clocked at 2.2 GHz on eight cores along with a VR6200 GPU, 3GB RAM with 32GB storage.
|5.5-Inch Full HD Bezel-less floating glass display
|1080 x 1920 pixels (~403 ppi pixel density)
|2.2 GHz MediaTek X10 Turbo
|Octa-Core Helio X10
|13 MP with F 2.0 aperture
|32 GB ROM
|3000 mAh (Embedded)
|Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.2 / NFC / Type-C USB
|Android OS 5.1 Lolipop with EUI Skin
Display and Multimedia
The display on the Le1s is a 5.5 inch LCD with a full HD resolution, which is not such a great deal and now is more of a standard practice. But, what is different is the floating glass nature of the display along with an almost bezel-less design. which not only looks fantastic but also helps reduce wastage on the front of the device.
The display is bright, and the colours are sharp, levels of black are deep. The bezel-less screen makes the display look big although there is a black frame around the screen which sits on the edges – hence making it a bezel, but you won’t be complaining about that when the screen is turned off.
As far as the audio is concerned, the speakers are good enough, and the output from the earphone jack is great. The balance of the sound when listening to music is a little off and can be easily tweaked using an amp application. However, a balanced sound would have been nicer. Especially if you have decent headphones to use the Le1s with.
Camera and Photography
The front camera on the Le1s is a 5 MP snapper; it has a wide angle lens but its nowhere near what you get on Galaxy S6 and sister handsets. The rear camera is a 13 MP shooter, for the tech junkies it includes a ‘Blue Glass Infrared Filter’ along with a wide F2.0 aperture for good low light pictures.
The camera is good in dim light. However, the best part about a phone camera has to be the response of the shutter which is okayish in the Le1s. The color on the images is accurate, and the exposure mostly comes out spot on. You do get some manual controls but nowhere near a pro mode seen on some smartphones. The UI is mostly like the iOS camera UI and you do get some filters. Images tend to be blurry if you are not perfectly stable throughout the image capture process.
The Le1s shoots 4k UHD video which is brilliant for the price it costs. The video is quite smooth and lag free. With video too colours are accurate and frames sharp.
Overall the Le1s has a fantastic set of cameras for the price that the phone is available at. See some samples below.
Performance and UI
The UI on the Le1s is fast and responsive, The use of proprietary user interfaces usually slows down the handsets, but for the LeEco Le1s, this is not the case. The UI remains quite snappy through usage and handles multitasking well. Designed again to look a lot like iOS or MiUi whichever you prefer. No app drawer and simple, minimal elements. The UI Looks clean and is functional, takes a little time getting used to it, though.
The control center at the bottom and notification panel at the top is also very reminiscent of an iOS strategy. However, Android regulars will not appreciate the complex mix it takes to find the settings icon.
Running games on the Le1s is great, the display is a great size, and the performance of the handset is good. The phone automatically switches modes and depending on applications entered a “High-performance mode” when needed. Graphics and animations are excellent and for the price you really cannot ask for more
The mirror-faced fingerprint scanner on the back is fast at unlocking the device. The company promises
Phone Networks and Battery
The network and call quality remained healthy throughout our tests, with little or no call drops. LTE network is not bad and works well on the Le1S with excellent data download speeds.
Call quality complaints arise from poor microphones which do not let the audio pass through properly to the receiver on the other side of the call which means that the Le1s at the moment is not good at its core job, which is making phone calls.
Battery life is good, with the bundled quick charger and USB type C you truly get a fast charge in 15 minutes, leading up to usage for many hours. However, we are not sure if the battery will manage to do this six months from now.
Overall the battery will easily last you a day, but if you are planning to buy this phone, make sure you have spare USB type-c cables. Because if you forget your charger, you won’t easily find folks with a USB type-c charger to spare, not as easily with micro USB at least.
Talk Time: 6 Hours
Internet: 8-10 Hours
Music: 18 hours
Video: 6 Hours.
In a time of day when a lot of handset manufacturers make half promises and fewer delivieries, LeEco seems to want to stand out. Setting up 500+ service centers before launch was an excellent show of force. But how well will this service fall into play, would only be known once the consumers start facing problems. With any new company LeEco deserves a fair chance, and with a product like the Le1s it seems they are off to a great start.
The Le1s deserves an expandable store especially since everything on the handset works well including the cameras. The phone also needs a better microphone, and hopefully, LeEco can fix the issue with a quick software patch, the problem, however, seems to be a design flaw. The OTG storage should solve the problem for storage mongers. However, inbuilt access is always better.
With those two cons aside, the Le1s truly has a fantastic set of specs on paper and translated well into the physical product. For the moment, it is possibly the best handset in the price bracket of 10K.