Leagoo Elite 1 first impression
Leagoo Elite 1 first impressionLeagoo Press Kit

Leagoo is a Chinese smartphone brand that hasn't made its mark in the global market like its home-rivals Xiaomi, Lenovo and Meizu. The smartphone manufacturer offers a wide range of smartphones to suit various budgets and needs of consumers. The Elite 1 is one of the budget smartphones in the company's product portfolio that unifies class and affordability.

We are reviewing the affordable Elite 1 smartphone by Leagoo, a brand which isn't the first choice while shopping for new smartphones. But the handset does offer some compelling features that could make buyers reconsider their choices. Leagoo Elite 1 is available in China, but can be shipped internationally and costs around $170. 

While the handset's review is under process, we are sharing our first impressions of the Elite 1. It's worth mentioning the handset has been around for a while now, but it still manages to challenge some recent entries in the sub-$200 segment. 

Design

Leagoo Elite 1's design is clearly one of the strongest suits to catch consumer's eye. It looks a lot like iPhone 5s, but it has some key differentiators. The Elite 1 smartphone has a compact design, a metal frame that adds weight to the body and glass back brings a style statement.

Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Design
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: DesignIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Leagoo Elite 1 features a rectangular Home button, which has an integrated fingerprint scanner protected with Sapphire glass, surrounded by two capacitive touch buttons on both sides. Other physical buttons are placed on the metal frame along the sides.

The volume rocker and power on/off buttons appear on the right side of the device. There's also a smart button towards the bottom of the right panel to snap photos or start music. Two speaker grilles are placed at the bottom of the handset with a microUSB slot sitting at the centre. Only one of them works as a speaker, which is usually the case in most phones.

Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Design
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: DesignIBTimes India/Sami Khan
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Design
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: DesignIBTimes India/Sami Khan
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Design
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: DesignIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Towards the top of the phone, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a SIM card tray sits on the left side of the device.

Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Design
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: DesignIBTimes India/Sami Khan
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Design
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: DesignIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Leagoo could have improved on the bezels at the bottom of the handset, which takes a little more space than necessary. Otherwise, the Elite 1 has the looks to impress.

Display

Leagoo Elite 1 sports a 5-inch IPS display with full HD resolution, 441ppi and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The display is made by Japan Display, maker of Apple iPhone 6s displays. There was minimum reflection while using the handset in sunlight, but the brightness had to be set in at maximum. At lower brightness levels, the screen clarity suffered due to reflection.

Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Display
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: DisplayIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Camera

The Elite 1 sports an impressive 16MP Sony sensor with f/2.0 large aperture that enables low-light photography with great results. On the front side of the handset, there is a 13-megapixel shooter with Sony's sensor in it. A single LED flash accompanies the front camera for low-light selfies and the rear camera has a dual LED flash.

Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Camera
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: CameraIBTimes India/Sami Khan
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Camera
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: CameraIBTimes India/Sami Khan

We are yet to test the camera for its photo quality under different settings and scenes. Detailed review of the camera would be shared later, but our initial impression at the handset's camera is satisfying.

Fingerprint scanner

To add security to the device, Leagoo integrated a fingerprint sensor in the Home button, which makes it convenient to access, instead of having the scanner at the back of the phone. The scanning capabilities are impressive, works from every angle with most accuracy.

Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: Design
Leagoo Elite 1 first impression: DesignIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Sound

The Elite 1 is a winner for its audio performance. The music plays loud and does not break the sound at the maximum volume, which is quite impressive for a handset in its price range. We tested the sound using earphones and the quality was equally satisfying. But the review unit we tested seems to be facing some issues on the headphone, which automatically stops playing after few seconds. It is unclear if this is a widespread problem or just with the review unit we are testing.

Specifications

Leagoo Elite 1 offers quite impressive specs, but that's just on paper. We will be testing the handset's performance by putting it through some serious tests, multi-tasks and games. We will share the results in our upcoming review. 

In terms of specs, the Elite 1 is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6735 octa-core processor based on 28nm architecture. It is backed by a 3GB RAM and offers 32GB onboard storage. It runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Leagoo OS 1.1, which has its own customisations to give a unique user experience.

There's a 2400mAh battery onboard, but the battery life results are inconclusive as of now. The handset supports dual SIM cards and high-speed 4G bandwidths.

Leagoo also has an official video for the Elite 1, you can watch it here.