Nash DavidJan 22, 2016 12:12:42 IST
Since the beginning of the year, we've had a new found interest in yet another company from China that was looking to making it big in India. That's precisely the perception that it is yet another Chinese company. But when it comes to LeTV, which is now re-christened as LeEco, things change. LeEco is pronounced lah-eeko. Le is the in French, while Eco refers to the ecosystem based approach that the company has successfully implemented in China, and intends to rollout in India.
(Also read: The complete review of the Le Max.)
And while the feature rich device did gain significant interest, a budget device in the LeEco portfolio is generating a lot of online buzz as well. We had the opportunity to try out the device. Here's our first impressions of the LeEco Le 1s.
Build and design
At first look, the device captures your attention with its use of aluminium. The choice of gold and silver as colours also add to the impression it creates. The finishing of unibody design has a certain level of elegance in it. Unlike the Nexus 6P and 5X released in 2015, where the build material is different; in case of LeEco, the higher-end flagship as well as the budget offering have a visually consistent feel. The LeMax is huge on specs, with a superior design. At about one-third the price, the Le 1s manages to retain a similar visual identity.
If exquisite detail is the secret to an enamouring work of art, chamfering indeed is the recipe to artistic product design. That seems to be a checklist many device manufacturers are incorporating into their products. And at the price that the Le 1s has been launched, it does check all the boxes recommended by modern day industrial design.
There's unibody design, a symmetrical language in the product, chamfered edges and it does feel good to hold. And since it comes in colours such as gold, silver and gray, it could convince a novice that it's a higher end offering as well. Even the fingerprint sensor on the Le 1s has an element of elegance in it.
The Le 1s manages to pack in a good list to begin with. Similar to the build and design, the Le 1s also features an impressive spec sheet when it comes to the display. With a 5.5-inch Full HD display, the device promises a larger viewing experience. That places it with a pixel density going up to 403ppi, which means the viewing quality shouldn't disappoint. The IPS display comes with 10 point multi-touch.
Chipset, RAM, Storage
The LeEco Le 1s is powered by the MediaTek Helio X10 a, which is a 64-bit octa core chipset clocked at 2.2 GHz. This is the same chipset found on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2. Among the budget devices currently available, the Helio X10 chipset compares among the best chipsets out there. Compared to 4GB on the flagship Le Max, the Le 1s comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage. With 3GB RAM, handling a plethora of apps shouldn't be a problem.
Software and OS
Just like the Le Max, the Le 1s also runs on Android 5.0 with a layer of its proprietary eUI. Simply put, the plain Android experience is refined by making it more practical. To begin with, there's no app drawer, just like we see in most customised user interfaces from Chinese vendors.
There's a working homescreen where you swipe through apps. When you check out the Settings, the UI resembles iOS to quite an extent. In fact, it is a good looking and vivid user interface. However, the sheer amount of customisation possible here is what makes it interesting. LeEco also mentioned that the OS should upgrade to Marshmallow around March or April this year. On the flip side, the company's devices are known for added benefits, especially in terms of content. However, it still doesn't have much India-centric content to offer, but this bound to change with time.
On the camera front, the Le 1s has a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and phase-detection autofocus (PDAF). For selfie lovers, it comes equipped with a 5MP front-facing camera. The device supports slow motion video recording as well. And although the images we saw during looked good, we'd be able to give an informed opinion only after we do a detailed review of the Le 1s.
Battery and Connectivity
The 'super value phone' as LeEco refers to it, has a 3000mAh battery whereas the Le Max has a 3400mAh battery. According the LeEco, with fast charging, 5 minutes of charge time provides 3.5 hours of talktime.
In addition, the LeEco Le 1s supports all the prominent GSM bands including WCDMA for 3G services (quad band) as well as FDD and TDD LTE bands including 1800, 1900, 2100 and 2300 bands that are used in India. The dual SIM device supports a micro and a nano SIM. For navigation, it supports GPS, A-GPS and GlONASS.
The Le 1s, similar to the Le Max comes with the USB Type-C for faster charging. The connectivity options include Wi-FI 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, along with Wi-Fi Direct for streaming to a Wi-Fi Direct compatible smart TV. The Le 1s is fitted with an infrared port that lets the device add up as an infrared remote control for your television or set-top box. It also includes presets for most popular brands currently available.
When we used the Le Max, we were impressed. And why not, it is packed with specifications. And with that kind of a spec sheet, performance is bound to follow. Albeit, it is still premium, with a premium pricing. However, with the Le 1s, that is bound to change. Not only has it sweetened the deal in the price range of Rs 11000 that it was announced, it also betters the deal as an offering. It will further intensify the competition in the fierce Indian budget segment. While it got ignored for most part prior to the launch event, when LeEco announced pricing in India, the Le 1s has spiked in interest. Watch out the space for a detailed review soon.
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