It has been a long time since LeEco launched its first flagship Le Max in India earlier this year. While the company's Le 1s stole a lot of limelight, it would be fair to say the Le Max wasn't seen for its true potential in the market. The supersised phablet is comparable to any other flagship in the market, but it has met with resistance from consumers due to its high price tag.
LeEco launched the Le Max in India for Rs. 32,999 for 64GB and Rs. 36,999 for 128GB variants. The device was highlighted for its massive screen size measuring 6.3-inches among other premium features. After spending some quality time with the Le Max as a primary smartphone, here's our review of the handset.
LeEco Le Max follows the company's signature design, but has some unique elements that make look different than its other smartphones. The Le Max is crafted to be a true entertainment device with a large, bright display with edge-to-edge finish. It has a metal unibody that measures 167.1×83.5×8.95mm with a 6.3-inch display and weighs 204 grams.
While the size of the handset may target specific users with the love for big smartphones, after using it for a while we grew accustomed to its comfort. Even so, single-handed operations were a hurdle we couldn't overcome. The single glass panel covering the display has a unique appeal and there are three capacitive touch buttons at the bottom and an earpiece, sensor and front camera lined at the top.
The rear design of the Le Max is standard, with the company's logo at the bottom, rear camera module at the top alongside dual LED flash and a secondary mic. The fingerprint sensor is placed just below the camera.
Turning over the sides, a power/lock button is on the right within easy reach of the thumb despite the large size of the device and dual nano SIM slots without any microSD card slot in it. On the left, there are volume controls and a mute switch, just like the one in the iPhones.
At the bottom of the device, there is a USB Type-C port with speaker grilles on either sides, but only one of them works as stereo. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top along with an IR blaster.
The most highlighted feature of the Le Max is its display. The 6.33-inch display is quite a delight to look at and delivers good picture quality. Of course, it has a 2K resolution. The display is manufactured by Sharp and shielded by Corning Gorilla Glass. The edge-to-edge screen is an absolute delight and looks bezel-less when the screen is turned off or when dark wallpaper is set.
The colours are well-balanced and vibrant. We had to adjust the brightness levels of the display to higher levels for outdoor visibility, even so there was disturbing amount of reflection. Setting the brightness levels to minimum compromised the true colours. The touch interface worked smooth for us in all corners. Rarely did we find difficulty navigating with its intuitive touch display.
LeEco Le Max is a performance powerhouse. The top-notch specifications ensure a lag-free experience and found it handling multiple tasks with ease. Even high power draining games such as Asphalt 8 and Brothers in Arms played extremely well without stutter. General apps, too, worked seamlessly. However, the handset does heat up, which is a common problem with most of the powerful metal smartphones.
This is made possible by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC, 4GB DDR4 RAM and Android Lollipop based eUI ROM. The interface is quite pleasing and enhances the overall experience. It is simple and spontaneous. We also ran some benchmarking tests on the device, and it turned out to be one of the highest scorers.
Le Max also delivers good call quality and 4G/3G speeds worked without any problem. There is a fingerprint sensor at the back of the device, which is not mirror-surfaced like the one on Le 1s. But it is equally accurate and quick in unlocking the device. The accuracy of the fingerprint scanner could easily score 9 out of 10.
The sound quality is top notch. Bottom facing speakers can play audio quite clearly, but playing games in landscape mode will suppress the sound as the palm tends to block the speaker. We were appalled by the audio quality on headphones and we have the Le Hi-Fi for music and Dolby Audio for video to thank for.
We got mixed feelings about the Le Max's camera. The 21MP Sony IMX320 sensor with 6-physical lens, OIS, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture and dual LED flash for the rear got us really pumped up about the picture quality. We wouldn't say the camera was a disappointment, but it certainly didn't meet our expectations.
We took the Le Max's camera out for testing and found expectedly great results in day light. But the camera suffered to capture details in low-light conditions, which is not what we expected from a Sony IMX230, f/2.0 aperture camera lens.
Le Max offers various camera modes, including HDR, night, beauty, scene and panorama. The video quality goes up to 4K and will not disappoint its users. But the autofocus feature malfunctioned at times, forcing us to manually focus while shooting videos and even in some macro shots.
The selfie camera has a 4MP sensor with 2.0µm pixel lens, Blue-glass filter, 5-physical lens, 81-degree view, f/2.0 aperture. The landscape area covered by the front camera is good, but the quality suffers in low light. Below are some photos taken using Le Max during our review: [SLIDESHOW]
LeEco Le Max is equipped with a 3,400mAh battery. We found the device to take considerably long time to fully charge itself despite having a fast charging feature. Given the battery's size, it is quite understandable.
As for discharging levels, the Quad HD display surely drains a lot of power. With mixed usage of 3G data and Wi-Fi combined, music for at least one hour a day, calls, messaging and average gaming, the device lasted us for about 8-9 hours. But if you limit your usage, the device can easily run up to 11 hours. Thankfully, LeEco offers plenty of power saving modes, which come in quite handy at the time of need even though they limit the performance and back-ground activities of apps.
If we are considering the device for its specs and features, Le Max is truly a work-of-art, but there are some flaws such as camera quality, which the company can overcome with a minor software update. The Le Max is a good performer, has great design, reliable battery and not to mention the upcoming LeEco content integration.
But we cannot disregard the fact that it is priced at Rs. 32,999 for a 64GB model and Rs. 36,999 for a 128GB variant. While it may sound reasonable at first, LeEco is asking for as much as most premium brands like Samsung, LG and others, which offer similar specs at a competitive price.