The Chinese brand LeTv got a rebranding recently and became LeEco. It has now become a very popular name in India. Chinese tech major launched its first set of devices (Le 1S and Le Max) in January 2016 that gained a lot of attention owing to their premium design, aggressive pricing and company’s rich content ecosystem.
The last time we reviewed the LeEco Le1s, it didn’t reach our expectations but now with the Le 2, will it reach those expectations? Let’s check it out in our full in-depth review.
The Le 2’s design looks much similar to the Le1s and the Le1s Eco variants with just a few tweaks. When you get this device you’re your eyes first, you’ll feel like it’s a bulky device and will be too heavy. But when you get it into your hands, it gives a premium feeling which is not at all bulky. The round corners and the smooth metal finishing just look and feel great. It stole our heart too just like OnePlus 3 did.
When you take a look at the right side of the phone, you’ll address the volume and the power buttons there whereas on the left side there’ll be dual SIM card tray (both micro SIM slots). On the top, we just have an IR blaster and nothing else while at the bottom, we have those symmetrical speakers same as it’s predecessors and the USB Type-C Port. On the front of the device, you’ll get the same capacitive buttons, the front-facing camera, and a proximity sensor. When we take a look at the back, the things change up a little bit here. The camera is not at the top left now. It is now a bit centered with a larger glass on it which protects it and looks good in terms of design too. The fingerprint sensor is the same mirror finished one as the predecessor but it is now a bed rounded rectangular shape one this time. One thing I still didn’t get is why is the Letv branding still there on the Le 2. They’ve changed the name ages ago and they still have the Letv branding. I don’t know why. LeEco please change it at least from the next phones.
We can’t ignore that it don’t have a 3.5mm audio jack. But, LeEco has covered you up with the USB Type-C earphones and the USB Type-C to 3.5 mm audio jack connector in the box contents. The CDLA technology is fairly new for consumers and will take the time to replace the 3.5mm audio jack. Moreover, you cannot charge the phone while listening to music as the USB Type-C port serves the purpose for the both. So you have to compromise on one aspect, which is again a disappointment.
In overall design aspect, I quite like the design of the Le 2 compared to the Le 1s and I would say that it improved a lot than his predecessors.
Under the hood, The Le 2 is the first smartphone in India to come with the Snapdragon 652 SoC. It is an Octa-core processor clocked at 1.8 GHz paired up with 3GB of RAM to handle the multitasking. The company claims that the Snapdragon 652 CPU is the world’s most powerful octa-core CPU and performs 21% better than the Snapdragon 800 SoC. Moreover, LeEco said that the 652 even outperforms the Snapdragon 808, which was the last year’s flagship CPU.
The smartphone comes with a non-removable 3000mAh battery and has 32GB internal memory, which is unfortunately not expandable.
As far as connectivity goes, the smartphone supports 4G LTE and 3G bands with a dual SIM setup – one micro SIM card and the other nano. There is Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and USB 2.0 Type C port as other connectivity features.
The performance was quite good as a normal user and games ran without lag. Application loading was quick and smartphone handled almost everything we threw at it without breaking up a sweat. The 3GB RAM also made sure that multiple applications run simultaneously without any lags. However, we noticed signs of heating while playing graphic intensive games or shooting videos, even when the resolution was set to 1080p format. But it was nothing major and the handset cooled down shortly.
There’s nothing much to talk about the display as it is same as the previous LeEco devices. But still, the 5.5-inch full HD display on Le 2 is one of the highlights of the smartphone. It churns out a pixel density of 403ppi that makes icons, texts, images and everything else look adequately crisp. The color reproduction is also good and the smartphone serves as a good multimedia handset to watch movies or play graphic intensive games. The underlying software on Le 2 allows you to tweak the color levels of the IPS display. You get a number of modes – LeECo, Vivid, natural and Soft to change the colors as per your liking.
The camera didn’t change at all from its predecessor. I think LeEco might have thought about the camera too, but they did miss it.
The LeEco Le 2 comes with a 16MP, f/2.0 rear camera with a dual LED flash and a sensor size of 1/31″ inches. It is capable of recording 4K video at 30fps and 720p slow motion video at 120fps. The front shooter is an 8MP affair with an aperture of f/2.2.
The 16MP rear camera is a capable shooter that quickly focuses the object and results in some good quality images. While the detailing is not the best in the segment when you zoom in the images, the sensor captures a good amount of lighting to result in images with natural colors. The macro shots also turn out to be good and the rear camera really does a good job in 1080p and 4K video recording. The camera performance in low-light is decent but does not match the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 3.
Besides, the 8MP front camera is capable enough to make you look good in selfies or during video calling. It automatically uses the beauty mode to turn you look pretty (but at the same time a little bit dumb too).
You can check out some sample photos and videos right below.
The non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery in the Le 2 lasts a day with moderate or normal usage. But, when things get heavy like I do, you should get a battery 6-8 hours since last full charge. Besides gaming and video playback, we also noticed that the camera usage takes a ton on battery backup, especially when you are shooting videos.
But, LeEco has covered us here with Quick Charge technology through their lightning fast USB Type-C port (until and unless if you’ve charger). It charges up from 0 to 100% in 50 minutes approximately.
The LeEco Le 2 runs on company’s own eUI 5.8 (after the recent update) running on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. While, the UI isn’t that appealing, full of colors and feels snappy ( not in most times) in everyday usage, the amount of customization done by Le Eco will not be liked by users who are fond of stock Android. There’s no app drawer (like most of the smartphones from Chinese brands do), the quick settings is now a part of app switcher, which looks like iOS’s control center with some extra options. It allows you to toggle the commonly used functions such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, etc. The OS is devoid of unnecessary bloatware and the stock apps such as Notepad, Calculator, Clock, etc. follows a subtle and minimal design approach.
I didn’t like up all of those things and ditched the default launcher and switched back to the Nexus Launcher. And guess what, the phone became super fast. Having the default launcher, I was getting around 1.2 GB RAM available out of 3 GB RAM whereas I got 1.9 GB approximately while using other launchers.
Besides, you get a one-year free subscription of LeEco’s content ecosystem, which as per LeEco is worth Rs 4,900. You can renew your subscription after a year if you feel it’s worth it. The content eco-system is one of the key businesses of LeEco in the homegrown market and the company wants to expand its horizons towards India, which is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.
It covers all bases with regards to TV shows, movies as well as music. The TV content and movies are provided by YuppTV and Eros Now and give you access to Bollywood and regional movies, Tv channels, music and more. The Le Music will give you access to over 3.5 million songs from 25 different languages in partnership with Hungama once it goes live in Q3 2016.
Further, a 5TB of cloud storage can also be accessed when you make a LeEco account.
I just wanna suggest LeEco that, if you get rid of the eUI and get back to stock ROM with a little much bloatware (which we should be able to remove) and your phones be the much better phones.
Le 2 is a great phone for its price. Its hardware makes everything done in a snap. The only thing that will restrict someone buying the smartphone is the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack and the microSD card slot. But all of them in their place, the Le 2 is a great phone for its price which is around Rs 11,999 and this makes the smartphone a great value for money proposition. You can bang this phone right now! Until and unless if you don’t have any problem with eUI. It’s the best phone under 15000 you can get right n0w.