It is been 6 months since the brand LeEco (earlier known as LeTV) rising rapidly in the Indian Market. Lately, they have launched their latest smartphone in the mid-range segment LeEco Le 2 after Le 1s and Le 1s Eco. Launched in April 2016, this smartphone has been priced at Rs. 11,999.
When LeEco launched the Le 1s in India, it seemed to be a moderate hit. The smartphone had a typical design that was implemented well, offered a good display panel, reasonably decent performance, and most importantly, a strong value proposition among buyers. Until Xiaomi introduced the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650-powered Redmi Note 3 in India, the LeEco Le 1s topped the budget segment. With the Le 2, LeEco again seems to snatch the baton back from Xiaomi.
When it comes to design, LeEco doesn’t seem to make many alterations as the Le 2 is identical to Le 1. Only a few minor changes can be noticed including the camera sensor is now shifting to centre and is now much larger in size when compared with the camera module on the Le Eco Le 1. The fingerprint sensor has also been revamped and is now square shaped.
The biggest design differentiator is the custom headphone jack. Le 2 lacks standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead the company has invented compatible earphones with the set i.e. CDLA – Continual Digital Lossless Audio. LeEco claims that when collective with the company’s CDLA earphones, the smartphone offers the best-in-class audio quality. I tried the earphones and the audio quality is actually good with immense clarity of sound. This technology is fairly new and might take time to replace the old 3.5mm audio jack. Also, a very important highlight is that, you cannot charge the phone while listening to music as the Type C USB port serves the purpose for the both. It is disappointing in this age of multitasking!
Le 2 is lighter than Le 1 which makes it quite easy to carry for a 5.5 inch smartphone. One handed operations are smooth. The volume rockers and the power button are placed ergonomically on the right side and the SIM card tray is positioned on the left. The bottom has the Type C port and the speaker units, only one of them (the right) is functional as the other one is just to match the symmetry.
Overall LeEco Le 2 is an attractive looking handset with premium design but misses the 3.5mm headphone jack that can be a deal-breaker.
The 5.5-inch Full HD IPS in-cell display of the LeEco Le 2 is quite similar to Le 1s offering 400 ppi pixel density. The display is sharp and colours appear natural, although with slight intend towards the blue spectrum. The phone is adequately bright, although the adaptive brightness feature isn’t that great. Watching movies or videos on the display is a pleasure. The contrast seems to be quite good. You even get various color modes to choose from like Vivid, Natural, Soft, and LeEco mode. Outdoor visibility is quite good even under direct sunlight thanks to the 500 nits back lighting with adaptive brightness taking care of the brightness quite well and fast. Viewing angles are good but not as good as AMOLED display.
Performance & Battery
LeEco Le 2 features octa-core Snapdragon 652 SoC, coupled with 3GB of RAM, Adreno 510 GPU, X8 LTE modem, Hexagon 680 DSP and 32GB of storage. The octa-core chipset keeps two A53 cores on sleep, unless all of the eight cores come into action in High Performance Mode. The Hexagon 680 DSP takes care of background applications with ease, and even when you play a graphics and processor-intensive game as Modern Combat 5 or Asphalt Airborne, there are no notable stutters to the smartphone.
The graphics rendered on the LeEco Le 2 are crisp, smooth and fluid, but there is a noticeable difference between the Adreno 530 and Adreno 510, where the Adreno 510 renders lesser frame rates, and the smartphone often takes half a second more to open a menu or a Settings option. LeEco’s eUI attempts to mask this with smooth animations, but it really shows. The UI, though, is thankfully less taxing on the processor, which enables the entire system to work seamlessly when you are browsing through multiple Google Chrome pages, wish to instantly switch to Live and tune in to Al Jazeera, simultaneously respond to emails, and with a couple of apps running on the background. All of this works seamlessly, and thanks to the Hexagon DSP, the Snapdragon 652 SoC can keep essential apps running in the background and render games with highly playable graphics and ample smoothness.
LeEco Le 2 features a 16 MP Primary Camera with Dual LED Flash, F2.0 Aperture, PDAF, 1/3.1 inch Sensor Size, Auto Focus, back-illuminated sensor and a wide-angle lens with 78.6 degrees field of view. It supports 3840 x 2160 (4k) video recording @ 30 fps and Slow Motion Recording (720p at 120 fps).
On the Front, it has a 8 MP shooter with 1.4 μm large pixel size, F2.2 Aperture and and 76.5° super wide angle lens. The Camera Interface is Pretty Loaded in the Le 2. It has a big shutter button in the center; above the shutter button it has the options for video recording, slow motion recording, photo and panorama. Then it has different modes to choose from like HDR, Night, Square and Beauty mode. It has a flashlight On/Off Button at the top center and a settings button on the top left.
Le 2 also features a lot of color effects to edit your photographs. Some of the color options are Mono, Nature, Tonal, Warm, Normal, Chrome, Lomo etc. I took pictures and selfies in different light conditions, and in all the cases, the images turned out to be good, crisp and covered wide area as expected. The full zoom quality is not very great… But, Le 2 Camera is better than most of its competitors like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. Only, Moto G4 Plus has a slightly better camera than Le 2. But still the Le 2 Camera gives highest quality at this price segment. Below are some clicks from the phone front and back cam…
- The Full HD display
- Remote control feauture
- LeEco’s Le 2 USB Type-C audio
- Fingerprint sensor
- Dual sim
- Great display
- ‘Revolutionary’ CDLA audio technology
- Snapdragon 652 SoC
- Stellar build quality
- Promising content ecosystem
- Similar design to its predecessor
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- Heavily customized UI
At a price of Rs 11,999, the LeEco Le 2 seems to be a great value for money. It promises to deliver great performance with the Snapdragon 652, has a fantastic display and comes with a ‘innovative’ CDLA audio technology and upgraded cameras. However, the lack of a headphone jack, and the same design as it’s predecessor pulls it down.
HTMTNT Rating – 7.5/ 10