LeEco(Known as LeTV in China) is the latest Chinese company to enter the Indian market with hopes of striking gold in one of the world’s biggest mobile user-base. LeEco made its debut in India by announcing Le Max which is their high-end phone and Le 1s, their budget device which was the first one to be made available to consumers via flash sales. The first flash sale happened on Feb 2nd, selling 70,000 devices in under 2 seconds. That is one heck of a demand for a device by a company which has just entered the Indian Market.
While LeEco is new to the Indian market, they are pretty big in China. They’ve been around for over a decade, making some of the best television screens. Also, they are the Netflix of china: producing and streaming content. While they do not have any content in India, they have partnered with Eros Now and Yupp TV. Every LeEco device comes with 1 year Yupp TV subscription for free!
The design is definitely the highlight of Le 1s. It has an all metal body and super-thin bezel on its sides. It is a 5.5 inch device, but is really comfortable to hold thanks to it’s almost non-existent bezel.
The fingerprint reader is present on it’s back, right above the branding(Which is still LeTV!). It blends in pretty well with the design of the phone. About the actual working of the reader, it is impressive that it works pretty well! In my personal experience, it is as good as the one on iPhone 6(But definitely not as good as the one on iPhone 6s which is TouchID 2).
The best part of Le 1S is it’s display which is unbelievably good! It is better than the display on my iPhone 6s Plus, even though both are 5.5 inch 1080P screens with a pixel density of 403PPI. The colours are more vibrant. LeTV has been making TVs for a decade and it really shows on the Le 1s that they know displays better than anyone else! At the time I had this for reviewing, I preferred catching up on YouTube and Netflix on the Le 1s over any other device I had.
The phone is powered by a 2.2Ghz Octa-Core Mediatek Helio X10 processor which is powerful enough for everyday tasks. The phone handles casual gaming really well. But while long hours of intense gaming, I did see a few frame drops. Also, it has 3GB RAM and 32GB storage which is non-expandable. It also comes with Bluetooth 4.0.
Le 1s has 3000mAh Li-Po battery. Though the battery is big, it is not big enough for this device. With moderate usage, it seems to hold up pretty well for one whole day. But with heavy usage(which I usually do), it was already out of charge at halfway through the day. But one good thing about the device is that it supports fast charging which seems to be ridiculously fast! Also, charging is done via USB Type-C. It can be an inconvenience for now, but Type-C is the future. So, it is a good move.
The microphone and speaker grill is present at the bottom. The speaker is generally loud enough and the placement has not been an issue. The power and volume buttons are present on the right side and SIM tray on the left which is accessed using a SIM eject tool. LeEco Le 1s is a dual SIM phone supporting 4G on both the SIMs. One SIM is Micro and other is Nano. The 3.5mm headphone jack is present on the top. Along with that, an IR blaster is present on the other side. Yes, this device has an IR Blaster which is really fun to use! Anything that has an IR receiver can be controlled including TVs and AC. I got it to work with with my Apple TV too!
On the front, a notification light is present right above the display. Also, three capacitive buttons are present at the bottom for multitasking, home and back. They are a part of the bezel on the bottom and do not light up unless touched. Also, they are not visible when they are not used, giving it a really clean look. One disadvantage of this is that under bright sunlight, they are not visible even with the backlight ON. It does not matter though, because after a couple of days with the device, I knew where to touch without looking at it. The whole front is a single piece of glass giving it a premium feel. The phone weighs 169 grams, but I swear there is no way it weighs that much. It feels lighter by at least 30-40 grams. Coming the colour, only gold colour is available in India now even though an additional colour Silver is available in China.
Le 1S runs on Android 5.0 with its own skin, eUI. It feels like using iOS, but it is a lot better at times. It does not have a lot of pre-loaded bloatware. It has the paging system of iOS for apps where the widgets can also be included in-between. The notification centre has just the notifications and no toggles. Hitting the multitasking button, it is something close to the control centre on iOS(This is called control centre on Le 1S too!). Here, the multitasking menu is present along with two rows of toggles, music control and brightness settings.
To be honest with the camera, it is a hit and a miss. Photos taken outdoors with natural light came out to be really amazing. But with low light or artificial lighting, the colours are over-saturated and had a lot of noise. The front camera is also not that great. One nice addition to the camera is that the finger print reader can be used as a shutter button which is thoughtful and handy at times.
Check out some of the photos we shot with the LeEco Le 1S here:
We are absolutely surprised with how good this device is. It falls short with the battery and camera. But it is too damn good in every other segment. In some parts like the screen, it is better than other flagship devices which cost five times as much as this one! If you do not mind the average camera and battery(Or have frequent access to charging ports), this is the best device at this segment.
The cost of this device is Rs. 11,000 and you can get it on Flipkart when the next flash sale happens. The device screams premium and is hard to believe it costs just this much! You can’t expect more out of a device in this segment.
- Amazing Display
- Premium Build
- The fingerprint sensor is good
- Battery life is average
- The camera is good at times