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LeEco Le 1s review: Fast, powerful and a lot like an iPhone

Le 1s Review | LeEco | Rs 10,999

tech Updated: Jan 20, 2016 17:34 IST
Anirban Ghoshal
The Le 1s, with its aluminium body and plastic strips on the edge, speaker grill and the bottom, it look a lot like the latest iPhones, except for the fingerprint sensor
The Le 1s, with its aluminium body and plastic strips on the edge, speaker grill and the bottom, it look a lot like the latest iPhones, except for the fingerprint sensor(LeEco)

Chinese smartphone maker LeEco (previously Letv) launched its first smartphone in India — the Le 1s — on Wednesday. The company has been harping about how powerful the phones are to a point where they refer to them as superphones instead of smartphones. But are they?

Body and looks: The Le 1s, with its aluminium body and plastic strips on the edge, speaker grill and the bottom, it look a lot like the latest iPhones, except for the fingerprint sensor. Instead of an Apple logo, the Le 1s has a fingerprint scanner with a a mirror finish. Even the colour reminds you of the iPhone’s rose gold iPhones. The phone is almost as slim as the iPhone 6S or 6S plus and weighs lesser than them. It has an almost bezel-less screen. The camera and flash unit is positioned on the top left corner on the back. The back is sand-blasted for the nice matte texture. There is a SIM slot at the side. The 1s has a non-removable battery and no expandable storage slot.

The square shaped button brings up the shortcuts menu which has options of WiFi, Bluetooth, auto-brightness, rotation, mobile data, flight mode and mute mode. (Sanshey Biswas)

Display and sound: The Le 1s sports a 5.5-inch fHD display with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Watching movies or playing games on this smartphone is a delight. We were quite happy with the viewing angles. The Le 1s has a decent sound quality too.

Hardware: The Le 1s is powered by MediaTek’s latest Mt6795 Helios X10 octa-core processor and a 3GB RAM. The phone is really fast and showed no sign of lags while multi-tasking. The phone comes with a Power VR G6200 GPU which doesn’t disappoint on running graphics heavy games like Modern Combat 5. Also, the phone didn’t heat up even on prolonged gaming sessions. There is 32 GB of internal storage at your disposal. Although the phone supports connectivity features like Bluetooth and WiFi, it doesn’t have NFC or DLNA. Also, the phone’s 3,000 mAh battery supports fast charging allowing at least one hour of standby time with just five minutes of charging, for which you’d need a USB Type C cable. The faster charging also works with a laptop or or desktop. Users can chose this option while connecting the phone via USB on a desktop or a laptop. The phone supports two 4G-enabled SIM cards.

The Le 1s has a fingerprint scanner with a a mirror finish. Even the colour reminds you of the iPhone’s rose gold iPhones. (Sanshey Biswas)

Camera: Letv’s Le 1s has a 13-megapixel rear camera which it claims, takes 0.09 second to auto-focus along with a LED flash. The rear camera takes really good and detailed pictures in all kind of lighting conditions at a break-neck pace. However, the quality of the image suffers without flash in low-light conditions. The front five-megapixel camera is perfect for selfies and video chats. The turn off is that the phone doesn’t come with a manual or professional mode for the cameras. LeEco has provided four modes — slow motion, video, still capture and panorama — for its users. Although the phone doesn’t allow users to edit the photos on the go, it has several colour effects built in for users to try.

Software, UI and apps: The Le 1s runs Android Lollipop 5.0.2 on the base with proprietary EUI 5.5 user interface on top. The EUI is a simple user interface with no bloatware or inside menus. All apps can be accessed from home screens. However, it is not only the body of the phone that draws inspiration from Apple iPhones, two menus inside the phone also do. Unlike other phones, the dropdown menu doesn’t have shortcuts -- like Apple. Instead, the shortcuts can be reached from the bottom part of the screen by pressing the square shaped button on the right.

The square shaped button brings up the shortcuts menu which has options of WiFi, Bluetooth, auto-brightness, rotation, mobile data, flight mode and mute mode. The menu also has music controls along with calculator, camera, torch, copy and paste and remote control app shortcuts. The same menu also shows the apps running in the background along with free RAM. Users can close apps from here as well.

The main ‘settings’ menu of the phone also looks exactly like the iPhone menu with the separation of the app control settings on Le 1s. The combination of all the menus with three buttons on the front surface also makes the phone easy to be operated just by one hand. The phone also comes with LeCloud where users can store extra data.

Verdict: The Le 1s with all its features is a good buy as it is a good multi-tasker with no heating problems and a big screen to enjoy content on. The negatives that we see is the absence of expandable memory, NFC and a professional camera mode. The phone is priced at Rs 10,999, making it a good option to try.

LeEco Le 1s specifications

* 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) in-cell display with 500nits brightness

* 2.2GHz Octa-Core Mediatek Helio X10 (MT6795T) processor with PowerVR G6200 GPU

* 3GB LPDDR3 RAM, 32GB eMMC5.0 internal memory

* Android Lollipop based EUI 5.5

* Dual SIM (nano + micro)

* Dimensions: 151.1x 74.2 x 7.5mm; Weight: 169g

* 13MP rear camera with LED flash, f/2.0 aperture, ISOCELL sensor, PDAF, 4K video recording at 30 fps, 720p at 120 fps

* 5MP front-facing camera, Samsung S5K5E2 sensor, 85-degree wide-angle lens

* Dolby audio, Dirac HD audio technology

* Infrared sensor

* 4G LTE / 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n (2.4GHz / 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0 with APT-X, GPS, USB 2.0 Type C, MHL 2.0

* 3000mAh battery