LeEco recently released the LeEco Le 1s Eco and there has been a lot of buzz around it, primarily for what it offers. Early this year, LeEco entered the Indian market with the hugely successful Le 1s. The phone was sold at a cost below the actual cost of making the phone and when asked, we were told that LeEco intends to get the money back through selling content. LeEco Le 1s Eco is the answer to that content. Le 1s Eco is a made for India phone, which is optimised for the Indian market. LeEco is betting on the long run here with the Le 1s Eco through their content.
The Le 1s Eco is the exact same Le 1s on the hardware side except for two changes. The shiny chamfered edges which used to get scratched easily have been given a matte finish now. The second change is on the internal side, with the processor. The Le 1s Eco uses an Octa-Core MediaTek Helio X-10 processor clocked at 1.85Ghz instead of 2.2Ghz on the Le 1s. Not sure why this was done, but on comparing the performance of both the phone, they were the same. Both phones took the same time to do the same tasks. Other than that, it has the same 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and USB-C for connectivity. The front camera is 5MP and back camera is 13MP with 4K video recording.
Apart from the two hardware changes, the most important change is the software on LeEco 1s Eco. LeEco has been all in about building an entertainment ecosystem and the phone is all about that. In China, LeTV is the biggest content provider and they have their own content. They stream all the popular sports and movies on demand to their customers on all their devices and they’ve been doing this for a really long time. But they are a very new company here in India and they do not have any content here. For this reason, they’ve partnered with multiple content providers for each service picking the best in each category.
For starters, Levidi is an app which curates videos from multiple sources on the internet and puts them there so that we can watch them anytime. One big part of the Levidi app is it’s movies part and right now they have 3,000+ movies across 10 different languages. For these movies, they’ve partnered with Eros now and they stream inside the LeVidi app.
Live is another important aspect on the phone. Live TV is an important aspect of entertainment here in India and for this, they’ve partnered with YuppTV. A ‘Live’ icon lives on the bottom of the screen at the dock. Normally, this is where the app launcher would sit on other phones. This is how much importance is given to entertainment on Le 1s Eco. Hitting the Live icon would open up the Live Interface and play Live TV from nine different sources instantly(Provided you have the bandwidth for that). Right now, there are 100+ channels which can be viewed live across 12 different languages.
For music, LeEco has partnered with Hungama Music which has a library of over 3.5Million+ songs across 25 different languages. It will be available later this year and when it is, it will be integrated right inside the Music App. Apart from that, LeEco will be streaming over 50 concerts across the world live this year in real time.
Another aspect of LeEco’s ecosystem is their cloud storage. It includes 5TB of storage and it can be used to store any file, including automatic backup of photos and the phone. LeCloud is not yet available, but it should be later this year.
Apart from these content, content delivery and optimisation is really important for a market like India where Bandwidth is limited. For this reason, LeEco is setting up their in-house Cloud and Content Delivery Network across 10 different cities in India. This will ensure better optimisation of content before it is streamed to you. Also, LeEco is bringing multiple Indian languages via OTA in the coming months to make the phone ‘Made for India’.
The phone is priced at Rs. 9,999 and this includes the phone itself and one year of LeEco Membership which is worth Rs. 4,900. The innovation on hardware has been reaching its saturation point and the next thing to look for is the experience provided by each phone. In terms of experience, content is really important, especially in a market like India. In fact, a lot of people in India buy smartphones only to consume media and LeEco is bridging that gap between hardware and content with the LeEco Le 1s Eco. Previously, we gave the Le 1s a very good rating and you can check out the full review here. The Le 1s Eco is just a better version of the Le 1s with a lot of content to consume!