LeEco Le 1s review: Affordable yet Incredible Beast
When it comes to affordability in the smartphone market, you may have compromised in the past. But some new entrants recently entered the market to deliver you a premium experience. The premium experience comes from a metal build, competitive specifications and an easy-to-use interface. Letv’s LeEco is one such entrant and launched the Le 1s with an aim to bring the high-end, premium experience closer to affordability. The smartphone has already garnered over 15 lakh registrations for two flash sale rounds, surpassing the record made by Xiaomi in the past.
We started using the LeEco Le 1s soon after its arrival in the country to test its features as well as to test how it offers a premium experience even at the price of Rs. 10,999. So here starts our in-depth review.
What’s in the Box
The LeEco Le 1s is targeted to compete against some of the flagship offerings. Therefore, you’ll notice some similarities with some of the high-end Android devices. But the box and the in-box content are somehow making it closer to Apple iPhone.
Once unboxed, you’ll find the Le 1s unit on top while a 24W AC charger and a USB Type-C cable is available underneath it. The charger supports fast charging, and the cable has a USB Type-C connector on one end and a USB Type-A connector on the other one.
One of the most noticeable features of the Le 1s that you’ll be pleased on the very first glimpse is its metal build. The smartphone has an aircraft-grade aluminium unibody design in a gold color option that makes it a “SuperPhone”.
The front of the LeEco Le 1s features a bezel-less display with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on top. There are three touch-sensitive navigation keys below the display panel, and on the top, there is an earpiece, notification LED light, proximity and ambient light sensors and a secondary camera sensor. The navigation keys are invisible when idle but come with a backlight and haptic feedback. The Gorilla Glass 3 resists scratches, but we recommend to use a screen protector to enhance protection.
On the left, the Le 1s has a SIM tray that holds up to two SIM cards (one nano and one micro SIM). But you cannot use a microSD card instead of a secondary SIM, unlike many other Chinese offerings, due to lack of a hybrid SIM tray.
The right side has a power/lock key and a volume rocker. Both have a gold finish on top.
The LeEco Le 1s has a USB Type-C port and two loudspeaker grills on the bottom. One of the grills has a monophonic, single speaker and the other one has a primary microphone.
On the top, there is a 3.5mm jack and an Infrared (IR) blaster.
The back of the Le 1s has a simple, non-removable metal panel with Letv’s branding. It also sports a mirror-finish fingerprint sensor and a primary camera sensor along with an LED flash and a secondary microphone. Although there is matte finish to resist accidental slips, the back panel is a bit prone to scratches.
The LeEco Le 1s weighs 169 grams with its all-metal build and 7.5mm thickness. Moreover, it has a 151.1mm height and 74.2mm width that overall offers an ergonomic design with a robust feel.
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Letv is one of the most youngest companies in the smartphone market. But still, it offers high-end camera hardware on the Le 1s to compete against other affordable offerings.
The LeEco Le 1s has a 13-megapixel ISOCELL camera sensor with a blue glass filter and phase-detection autofocus (PDAF), F2.0 aperture lens. Besides, a 5-megapixel camera sensor is featured on the front.
To distinguish from other Android smartphones, the Le 1s has a proprietary camera app that comes with an interface similar to the iOS camera app. The app enables features like HDR, Night, Panorama and Slo-Mo as well as comes preloaded with filters such as Tonal, Chrome, Gorgeous, Nature, Normal, Mono, Warm and Cold among others. For professionals, it allows manual settings to adjust contrast, exposure, ISO and white balance. The app also supports video recording with a maximum resolution of 4160 x 3120 pixels (UHD) at 30fps.
We tested camera capabilities of the LeEco Le 1s by capturing shots under different environments. The smartphone offers bokeh effect in macro shots by enabling shallow depth of field and captures a sufficient amount of light in day shots. Also, the built-in ball bearing VCM provides optical image stabilisation (OIS) even when you capture frames with shaky hands. You may notice some noise in low-light shots, but this is acceptable considering the price and the single LED flash presence.
For selfies and video chatting, the front camera has enough power. But you can’t expect anything beyond that. Moreover, the presence of the rear-facing fingerprint sensor provides an ease in capturing selfies.
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We mentioned the design aspects and camera capabilities of the LeEco Le 1s in the previous sections. And here, we are covering all its pros and cons to complete the review.
The LeEco Le 1s features a 5.5-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 pixels (full-HD) resolution that make a pixel density of 403ppi. The display panel uses the built-in ambient light sensor to intelligently control the brightness. Also, there is 10-point touch support. The quality of content on the Le 1s is close to the one featured on an AMOLED or Retina display. Moreover, there are deep black and white color levels and sufficient amount of brightness to make the on-screen content visible under direct sunlight.
Letv has provided Android 5..0.2 Lollipop operating system on the Le 1s with EUI skin version 5.5. The smartphone also has the option to receive future updates, but there is no official word on Marshmallow update.
The presence of the proprietary EUI skin on the LeEco Le 1s brings a special experience. The skin is not similar to Xiaomi’s MIUI or Huawei’s EMUI but somewhere identical to Apple’s iOS. There is a Control Center that you can enable by touching the menu key for once. The Center has toggles as well as app shortcuts and thumbnails of all the recent apps. Swiping from the top brings a notification panel with a shortcut to the Settings menu. There isn’t any app drawer available on the smartphone, but app icons are available along with widgets and folders right on the homescreens. Besides, the interface supports personalised themes and wallpapers. We were expecting some system-level tweaks like tap-to-unlock and gesture inputs, but these were missing.
The proprietary skin brings a custom telephony and messaging experience on the Le 1s. There is a smart dialler to let you dial a number and Google Keyboard for typing text. The smartphone has a dual-SIM support that enables 4G LTE connectivity on both SIM networks. Also, it offers an advanced in-call menu that allows you to record voice from your important calls. We haven’t found any issue with the network strength and voice quality on the Le 1s throughout our testing. Notably, the presence of the secondary microphone enables noise cancellation during voice calls to deliver you an enhanced calling experience.
For browsing the web, the LeEco Le 1s comes with pre-installed Google Chrome and a proprietary Browser. Both the web browsers support multiple tabs but the proprietary one has some new features, too. There is an option to block ads that by default enabled on the handset. We observed that the Browser opened web pages faster than Chrome. Also, it offered smooth scrolling experience without any noticeable lag at the time of our testing.
The smartphone has preloaded Google Play Music and Play Movies & TV as well as a proprietary Music and Video apps to deliver a decent multimedia experience. However, there isn’t an FM Radio app. The built-in speaker produces remarkable results, and the display has a sufficient resolution to support 1080p content. Moreover, we haven’t noticed any lag while playing some large-size videos.
On the productivity front, the LeEco Le 1s has a File Management app and a PDF reader. The smartphone has USB OTG support to read files directly from an external flash drive or hard drive. But you won’t be able to create, edit or even view Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents as there isn’t any pre-installed app available on the smartphone. You can, of course, install one directly from Google Play store.
The LeEco Le 1s is one of the first affordable offerings in the market that has a built-in fingerprint sensor. The sensor is capable of unlocking the smartphone in just a few milliseconds. Also, it adds a security layer on top of the default Android ecosystem. We haven’t found any issues with the fingerprint sensor. Importantly, its position on the rear side gives a comfortable experience to unlock the smartphone using an index finger.
Apart from the fingerprint sensor, the LeEco Le 1s sports an IR blaster that distinguishes its presence in the market. The company has provided a Remote Control app that uses the IR blaster to enable remote control functionality. We tested the same on some of the available TV sets and Air Conditioners at our labs and found it quite accurate. You can also use the functionality to create your own universal remote by pairing remote controllers of multiple devices.
To test the performance of the LeEco Le 1s, we installed some benchmark apps. It got 54,504 scores on AnTuTu Benchmark version 5.0.4, 1,355 on Vellamo (Metal) version 3.2.3, 59.4fps on NenaMark 2, 24,925 scores on Quadrant Standard Edition version 2.1.1 and 17 seconds elapsed time on RealPi Benchmark.
We also installed some of the games on the Le 1s to test its overall performance in real life scenarios. For this, we chose Asphalt 8: Airborne, Minion Rush, Subway Surfers, Temple Run and Traffic Rider. The smartphone didn’t lag during our testing, and the graphics were comparable to other models in the same price bracket. We felt some warmness from the rear, but no incidents of overheating were found throughout our testing.
Hardware-wise, the LeEco Le 1s has a 64-bit MediaTek MT6795 (Helio X10) chipset with eight cores of ARM Cortex-A53 at 2.16GHz clock speed. There is also a PowerVR Rogue G6200 GPU, 3GB of DDR3 RAM and 32GB Toshiba eMMC storage. User accessible memory on the smartphone is around 25GB, which cannot be expanded through a microSD card. Also, the smartphone has an array of sensors — accelerometer, proximity, ambient light, magnetometer, gravity, linear acceleration and vector sensors. There is Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS and a USB Type-C port on the connectivity front.
The LeEco Le 1s packs a 3,000mAh Lithium Polymer battery that supports fast charging technology and receives current through the built-in USB Type-C port. The battery pack is claimed to deliver 3.5 hours of talk time with just five minutes of charge through the provided 3A cable and the 24W charger. On our testing, we found that the fast charging technology works flawlessly, but the smartphone can last only for a single day without charge.
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- 5.5-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 pixels (full-HD) resolution
- 2.16GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6795 (Helio X10) processor
- 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage
- Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS with EUI 5.5
- 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS, USB Type-C port
- Dual-SIM with 4G LTE support
- 3,000mAh battery
- Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
- Huawei Honor 5X
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
The LeEco Le 1s is an incredible piece of hardware. It has all good things including a premium metal body and decent hardware to lead the race in the affordable market segment of under Rs. 15,000.
Turn to the next page to know the LeEco Le 1s specifications.
|Model||LeEco Le 1s|
|Display||5.5-inch IPS display|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|OS||Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS|
|Camera||13MP AF primary camera with LED flash, 5MP FF secondary camera|
|Video||Yes, 4K (UHD) @ up to 30fps|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Ambient Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer, Gravity, Linear Acceleration sensor, Vector sensor|
|Chipset||MediaTek MT6795 (Helio X10)|
|CPU||2.16GHz octa-core ARM Cortex A53|
|GPU||PowerVR Rogue G6200 GPU|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, A-GPS, Infrared, USB Type-C port|