If names like Huawei and ZTE sound exotic to you, Letv will probably elicit only a blank stare. The Chinese company is known in its homeland for online video (think YouTube and Netflix), but over the past year it acquired a taste for smartphones. Big, powerful, flashy smartphones.

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The latest in Letv’s arsenal is the Le Max Pro, a device that incorporates no fewer than three industry premieres.

As announced on stage at CES 2016 by Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf, the Le Max Pro is the first smartphone to run on the brand new Snapdragon 820 processor. The successor to the much maligned Snapdragon 810, the 820 is supposed to deliver 40% higher graphics performance at 40% lower power consumption. It’s a win-win made possible by the use of a smaller manufacturing process (14nm) and the use of custom Kryo cores for the CPU, as opposed to ARM’s default Cortex option.

This quad-core processor, integrating an Adreno 530 GPU, will power most high-end Android devices in the next year, starting with variants of the Galaxy S7, the Xiaomi Mi 5, LG G5, and the next HTC One. It doesn’t matter too much who announced a Snapdragon 820 device first, but for a relatively obscure brand like Letv, the ability to say “first!” is a coup.


It doesn’t stop there: the Le Max Pro is the first commercial device to feature Sense ID, another piece of Qualcomm technology that we expect to see in more phones in 2016. Sense ID is an ultrasonic-based fingerprint scanner, that’s supposed to deliver better performance when compared to the capacitive sensors found on many smartphones today. We’re yet to test out Sense ID on a commercial device, but we look forward to testing Qualcomm’s tall claims in the close future.

The Le Max Pro also features support for the WiFi 802.11ad standard. Operating in the 60 GHz band, WiFi 802.11ad enables very high data transmission rates (8 Gbps), with a big caveat: the range is very small and you need direct line of sight between devices. In short, this standard is useful for transmitting heavy data streams, like uncompressed video, between a smartphone and, say, a hi-res TV. Given its main business, Letv is very interested in this application, but it’s safe to say that very few users will be able to use WiFi 802.11ad in the next couple of years.

Industry premieres aside, the Le Max Pro is a very capable smartphone, featuring a refined, if very Huawei-esque design. Besides the Snapdragon 820 chip, specs include a huge 6.33-inch display, 32, 64 or 128GB of storage, a 3,400 mAh battery with QC 2.0, a 21MP camera, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Letv wants Le Max Pro to be its first device that is available in the US market, though there is no official info on its price and availability.

We look forward to taking the Le Max Pro and its tech pizazz for a spin at CES 2016. Are you impressed with this device?

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • Robert Johnson

    Probably going at the high end of the price spectrum for mobile phones

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    It looks like a huawei phone :/

    • R.G. Etienne

      Just like Huawei’s phones were heavily inspired from the HTC One Max…

      There must be a lot of rebranding going on…

    • Slowpoke

      And the name sounds like it came from a meme comic.

  • Tony Shi

    The problem with most Chinese cellphones is that they don’t feature any of the google services which is essential to most android users, not to mention that they come with heavily skinned software that’s slow and unfriendly to the users, made by developers that only care about how good something looks.. If LeTV can somehow manage avoiding these. I bet this phone will do great in the North American market.

    • SharkGaming

      Google services are installed most of the time as they have a non-chinese version of the rom shipped with the international version of the phone which has gapps, and even if they don’t it is a ten minute boot to recovery and installing gapps from a .zip.

    • Karly Johnston

      I suggest you learn what Gapps is so you no longer have this problem.

      • lolwut

        You would have to unlock bootloader, root, install custom recovery etc.

        • forresthopkinsa

          Which would take less than an hour. Ten minutes if you already know how to use the software.

        • Hye Sai Lee

          I want a new firmware etc because the chinese sucks.
          But If i unlock bootloader OR root, then i won’t be able to use my banking app anymore to receive codes for transactions. even if i close the bootloader and root again the app still won’t work.. happened with my old phone.

    • blaflagla

      It’s a shame that Chinese Android manufacture think that imitating Apple ugly UI is the best for them.

  • Avieshek Rajkhowa

    Next year?

  • Avieshek Rajkhowa

    Thank you for letting us know about the 802.11ad standard.

  • Mister Pyrrhuloxia

    If this is going to have a Snapdragon 820, shouldn’t it come with QC 3.0 and not 2.0?

    • cristoux

      That’s right, same as the Xiaomi Mi5.

  • jamesindc

    I want it!

  • JR_V

    Too many questions . USA LTE?, NFC? Qi? 6.33″ ips? 4k? uSD? Dual Simm? Stereo spkrs? FDA ultrasonic certs.? Pressure screen? Gorilla 4?

    • forresthopkinsa

      and most importantly, price

    • Dante

      this is basically a newer version of the le max , i have them in stock right now and finally opened a le max box
      – Stereo speakers check , ips check, dual sim – check , nfc check , Usa Lte will be in this one 100% .Gorilla Glass 4 check in this one, 4k video check

      • Cleveland Stamps

        Are you confirming that this phone works in USA? I checked the GSM bands and they match my carrier Tmobile. They said a unlocked phone will work on their network. I’m looking for confirmation by someone who has actually had success before I buy two of them. Thanks

  • Say What??

    This would be perfect it the battery was larger than 3400mah

  • Avieshek Rajkhowa

    0.8mm bezels. I expect every bit of information from a techno-site.