Chinese smartphone makers are entering India every once in a while and greeting us with a path-breaking device that easily stands out from the competition, and few go unnoticed. Now to be on the strong side of the segment companies have to bring out a great device that gives a run for the devices twice their price. One among such is LeEco (formerly known as Letv). The company is famous for its content streaming biz in China and eventually they ended up introducing their smartphones line-up, Smart Televisions and many more. LeEco recently entered the Indian markets with two incredible products and one among them is surely a bang-on and worth every penny the company is asking. Trust us we’ve never seen such an incredibly power-packed device for this price range, sure we might have said something similar to some other device back then, but that is until we started using the Le 1S. The thing that instantly amazes us is the build quality and impressive display. But build and display are all that it takes for a smartphone to be called perfect? Well, Let’s find out now.
LeEco Le 1S Review:
LeEco Le 1S Design and Build: Starting off with the box contents, the packaging is minimal with a plain white color box that includes a beautifully designed Le 1S, USB Type-C cable, wall adapter with fast charging support, SIM tray ejector tool and some reading material for first-time users. Moving along, the USB cable provided is good quality so is the wall adapter. The moment you hold the LeEco 1S you will understand what’s the fuss about the build quality is about, the device features full metal body unibody design with a slim profile that fits perfectly in your hands. The edges are engineered perfectly around the corners, but the only complaint I have is though bezels are narrow the finishing around the bezels is a bit rough not on the levels that it will start hurting you, but it’s something worth mentioning. The Build quality is just brilliant and impressive if not for the light bulk for first-time smartphone users but trust me you will get used to it once you start using it. To cut it short hands down one of the best looking and amazingly built smartphone money can buy under Rs.15,000.
Design wise, up front, a neat 5.5-inches Full HD 1080p On-cell display, a 5-megapixel front camera, mail earpiece, the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensor, down below the slim bezel-less display you find the three touch type of capacitive buttons that are indeed backlit. Flipping the phone to the rear, you find the 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash, a secondary mic for noise cancellation one thing about the rear camera is that the camera bump makes it hard for the device rest on the flat surface, uneven. Moving on, you find the fingerprint sensor down below the rear camera module, Letv branding.
On the right side, power on/off button, Volume rockers these buttons are made of metal and give an amount of feedback. On the left side, you don’t find anything. On the top, you have 3.5MM audio jack, IR blaster to control electronic devices like AC, refrigerator, TV. On the bottom, we find USB Type-C port, speaker grill. It’s a no-nonsense design with a fantastic build quality you can surely vouch for the design.
LeEco Le 1S Display: Another strong segment for Le 1S, The device sports a 5.5-inches Full HD (1920*1080) On-Cell display though that doesn’t come with any protection it sure looks robust enough to hold on for few occasional drops we suggest you use a screen protector. The display panel used on the 1S is one of the best we have seen on any smartphone under 11,000 or for that matter 15,000. The viewing angles are fantastic, color reproduction is nearly accurate, colors are vivid, but if you are still not satisfied with the display, you can head over to display settings and tweak with the display settings the device offers four different modes-Letv, Vivid, Natural, and Soft. The sunlight legibility is on the mellow side as it not all that bright but decent enough on a bright sunny day.
The sunlight legibility is on the mellow side as it not all that bright but fair enough on a bright sunny day. The auto brightness sensor is good, and it is not as overpowering as some other smartphones in the similar budget. There were no freezing or hanging problems with the display during the time we’ve tested, and we don’t expect them. On the whole, the display is sure a big plus point for the LeEco Le 1S.
LeEco Le 1S Performance: The Le 1S is powered by MediaTek Helio X10 8-core Soc clocked at 2.2GHz Octa-Core processor with PowerVR Rogue G6200 GPU. It packs in 3GB of Ram coupled with 32GB of internal storage, thanks to the 3GB Ram multitasking and switching between apps was never an issue at any point of time. The Helio X10 is considered as one of the best chipsets from MediaTek in the recent times, and LeEco Le 1S is no exception with an incredible performance be gaming or normal day-to-day usage like checking emails, push messages, etc. We played games like Asphalt 8, Need for a speed run, Nova 3 and for the most part, all these games ran fine although it tends to get warm with continuous usage near the camera region. But then again we are not saying it overheat, just regular heating considering the device is completely made of metal this is, of course, expected.
Apps open up real quick, and the Ram management is also good enough, the background apps stay in memory even though they are left idle for a long time but occasionally the apps force close which is not expected to happen and it is annoying at times. Other than that the performance is just on par with the so-called flagships. On the whole, it is simply the best performer in the under 11,000 price segment.
LeEco Le 1S Camera: The 1S features a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash, Secondary mic for noise cancellation and up front, you get a 5-megapixel selfie shooter for selfies and video calls. Talking about the camera performance, it’s just a hit or miss, I mean if you have a good amount of light and brightness the camera can click decent images, but then sometimes the images are overexposed which makes the images look artificial. If you did manage to click decent pictures, there is a lack of details in them. The front camera is no exception the images captured look artificial and faded out. The rear camera can record 4K videos which is just a gimmick and the video recorded in 4K is hazy and shaky, so it’s not suggestible. The camera app is simple and minimalistic with primary modes like Photo, Video, Slo-mo, Panorama but under the menu, you can find other modes likes HDR, Night, Scene, etc. On the whole, the camera performance is not on par with other departments of the smartphone.
Below are the camera samples which showcase the camera performance.
LeEco Le 1S Fingerprint Sensor: Just like few other similarly priced smartphones out there, Le 1S also comes with a fingerprint sensor and is just brilliant and accurate in identifying the finger. It is placed just down below the rear camera module where we find the sensor quite often. You can register up to 5 fingers at most. Like we said, the fingerprint sensor is just fast and accurate all the time.
LeEco Le 1S OS and Battery: The Le 1S runs on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with EUI overlaid on top, during the time we’ve tested the device we have performance improvement updates and it good to see the company pushing out updates addressing the issues. Coming back the OS, the user interface is simple, and all the apps are arranged on the home screen just like any other Chinese brand, you don’t get any app drawer although you can install custom launcher if you have the need for an app drawer. Apart from LeEco default apps, we barely have any bloatware which is a great thing. As we mentioned in the performance device section, we faced issues with the apps force closing is the only thing that annoyed us. When you press the left most capacitive button, you will find all the running apps in the background and control center where all the quick toggle shortcuts are placed which is quite different from the regular arrangement. The company has announced that it will push out the Marshmallow update in the Late April or May 2016. You have few other themes to select from that will slightly change the look and feel of the device and some basic level customizations are available.
The device packs in a 3000mAH non-removable Battery on board and to talk about the battery department is just sought of an average performer with our normal day-to-day usage it lasted for a single day which includes listening to songs, some videos, push notifications and stuff like that. But if you are a heavy user you might want to stay near a wall adapter to charge it before the day ends. The maximum screen on time we noticed is around 3:30 hours at most. Thanks to the fast charging support, the device goes from 0 to 100% in under 2 hours which is a real thing after all. Though there are some battery saver modes, the battery life is kind of average for a regular user.
LeEco Le 1S Others and Connectivity Features: The 1S features Dolby audio and Dirac HD audio technology that ensures immersive audio experience, though the apps force close now and then, the software opens up a feedback app yet another neat addition. Connectivity features include 4G LTE, Dual SIM(Micro+nano), Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, IR blaster, MHL 2.0. There is no external MicroSD card slot, so all you get is 32GB (25GB usable), but it does support OTG.
Verdict: Except for the Average battery and camera, LeEco Le 1S is an incredible package and for the price. Amazing build quality, super accurate fingerprint sensor, great display, though it is 5.5-inches display it is still usable with one hand and finally a fantastic performer with no lags or stutters at any point, it can run anything you throw at it, well Helio X10 is a clear winner for Le 1S. If you are in the market looking to buy a smartphone under 11,000 or 15,000 just blindly get the LeEco Le 1s. You are also covered in terms of Service centers and after sale service, LeEco tied with 555+ third-party service centers. If you want they also have 24/7 call center support for voice support, live chats option is also available, lastly if you are still not satisfied the company is also offering free home pickup and drop-off service. So you are covered in each and every aspect for the after sale service.