The competition in the smartphone is intense and companies are looking for new ways to attract consumers. LeEco is yet another Chinese tech company that made its India debut this month with Le 1s -- an affordable smartphone that challenges several premium phones in the market. Le 1s has got the design and the specs to become one of the bestsellers in India, a market with huge demand for feature-heavy budget-friendly devices.
We spent a few days with the LeEco Le 1s, which will be available in India for the first time in a flash sale Flipkart on 2 February, and here's what we think about. Need we remind the Le 1s is priced at Rs 10,999 and flaunts one of the best-in-class spec sheets out there. Let's look at the individual specs of Le 1s and whether if it's really worth the hype or not.
LeEco Le 1s has a simple yet elegant design. The metal unibody made of aircraft-grade aluminium gives a sense of premium feeling when you are holding or even looking at it. The edge-to-edge display with ultra-slim bezels is yet another appeal and is truly impressive. Another key highlight of the Le 1s is the chambered edges that add to the looks.
LeEco Le 1s is available in just gold, while the company said at the launch that Le 1s comes in silver and grey hues as well. The gold Le 1s does not cease to impress as it has a unique shade to stand out in the crowd.
The key orientation is standard. Le 1s has the power button on the right side panel alongside the volume rocker controls and a SIM card tray appears on the left. A USB Type-C port and the speaker grilles are at the bottom of the handset and a 3.5mm headphone jack along with IR blaster appear on the top.
The rear side of the Le 1s features the fingerprint scanner, which has a mirror finish to add to the looks, and camera module on the top left corner.
LeEco Le 1s is overall a beautifully crafted with focus to smallest details such as no screws are visible anywhere on the device. The Le 1s measures 151.1 x 74.2 x 7.6mm and weighs 169 grams.
As we noted in our quick review for the device highlighting the best specs Le 1s offers, the handset's display is visually appealing with good viewing angles. The Le 1s sports a 5.5-inch display has a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 403ppi, 80% NTSC colour gamut and 500nit brightness. The capacitive touch buttons at the bottom panel of the phone lights up when the screen is turned on.
LeEco Le 1s features a 13-megapixel primary camera with PDAF, ultra fast focus, ISOCELL 5P Lens, f/2.0 aperture and LED flash. On the front side of the device, we find a 5MP snapper with the same f/2.0 aperture and a wide-angle lens to capture larger landscape.
The camera UI is simple. The settings can be accessed by tapping the gear icon at the left bottom, the gallery can be accessed from the right bottom and swiping the screen switches camera modes between photo, panorama, video and slow-motion video. At the top right corner, you can access various filter and a drawer just above the capture button lets you switch to HDR, Night, Scene and Square options. The camera settings allow further customisations with ISO, Contrast, White Balance, Exposure, Sharpness and Saturation.
We tested the camera briefly in sunlight, indoor light and during the night and received good quality images. Below are a few sample images shot using the Le 1s: [Slideshow]
LeEco Le 1s has really impressed us with the performance. The interface is very smooth without any lags. Playing power-consuming games did not affect the device's performance and multi-tasking was handled with ease.
The Le 1s is powered by a 2.2GHzv64-bit octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor with CorePilot 2.0 optimised for gaming, which explains the smooth performance. There's a 3GB RAM and the device runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop-based eUi, which is intuitive and responsive. The handset's home screen houses all the apps in different pages, which can be accessed by swiping left. The shortcuts to main settings, which are usually in the notifications area, can be accessed by tapping the capacitive menu button.
When the device is locked, the users can access the quick menu by simply tapping the menu option. The notification drawer looks a lot like an iPhone's control center.
We also ran benchmarking tests to see the Le 1s' true potential and the results were impressive. Check out the screenshots of the benchmark test results below:
As most metal smartphones have in common, Le 1s also heats up after extensive gaming or continuous video playback. But the heating does not reach an unbearable point, which is commendable.
LeEco claimed Le 1s delivers 3.5 hours of talk time with just 5 minutes of charge. The handset must be applauded for its quick charging capabilities, which we found intriguing. The USB Type-C port may have a major role to play in it, a feature usually found in flagship smartphones. The users will love the fast charging capabilities of the Le 1s, and the discharging levels were well balanced.
The Le 1s has different modes to extend the battery life. The smart power saving mode controls features such vibration and network sync based on the scenario to limit unwanted background activity. This feature helped us push through the day with average usage. Super Power Saving mode limits dynamic visuals and lastly, the ultra-long standby time allows basic apps such as calling and messaging.
The users can rely on the battery of the Le 1s and the quick charging capability will provide adequate juice to keep you going in urgent situations.
LeEco boasts Le 1s to feature world's first mirror-surfaced fingerprint sensor and we were equally impressed by how accurately and swiftly it can unlock the device. The sensor can authenticate the registered fingerprint from any angle. The device rarely failed to recognise the registered fingerprint and it is safe to say the accuracy levels were at par with the company's claim of 99.3 percent or at least close.
LeEco Le 1s has decent sound quality, which is clearly audible in closed rooms but gets faint in noisy environment. LeEco said the handset's speakers have Dolby and DTS sound setup for the clarity. When we tested the in-ear headphone sound quality (using LeEco's all-metal in-ear headphones), the sound quality was excellent and well balanced.
LeEco Le 1s, in our view, is one of the worthiest smartphones one can buy in the market right now. Its biggest competitors are Lenovo K4 Note and Huawei Honor 5X. Le 1s is not only the cheapest among them, but it also offers equal or sometimes better specs. The key highlights of the Le 1s based on our review are the design, performance and battery. The camera could be better in the Le 1s, but it serves the purpose for most (daylight shots are great). Fingerprint sensor and the USB Type-C ports are just the added benefits that make Le 1s future-proof.
At Rs 10,999, Le 1s has the potential to be one of the most innovative smartphones in the affordable smartphone range.