LeEco – formerly known as LeTV – may have come out of nowhere in the past year but the Chinese company is intent on making a storm. Earlier this year, it introduced the world’s first Snapdragon 820-powered smartphone at CES and at an event in Beijing, China, the company has announced its new range of smartphones.
The Eco in LeEco stands for ecosystem and this is exactly what the company is trying to build, with the latest line of products designed to integrate into the Ecosystem UI. At its event in Beijing, the company unveiled a range of new smartphones – which we’ll cover below – but also announced a new TV, a new VR headset and an even an autonomous driving car.
All the devices are vertically integrated into the company’s UI and this means you’ll get access to all of LeEco’s services – like the cloud, sports, movies, or original content – across all the devices. Furthermore, the integration allows you to do unique things like have 9 simultaneous streams on a single device or call upon your car by speaking to your smartphone. As cool as these new products are, it’s worth noting that they are all designed for the Chinese market, so if/when LeEco decides to offer them in the US, there are likely to be a lot of changes made in order for everything to work.
Now to the smartphones and the Le 2 range looks to pick up where its predecessor left off. The three new devices are designed to satisfy multiple user criteria, with the Le 2 offering the base model specs, the Le 2Pro offering further upgraded internals – such as a higher resolution camera, faster processor and more RAM – and the Le Max 2 being the undoubted flagship among them all.
The Le 2 may be the base model of the three but it does offer a premium experience nonetheless, with a specs list that includes a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display, Mediatek Helio X20 processor and 3GB RAM. On the back is a 16MP rear camera, while the front features an 8MP snapper for selfies. A fingerprint sensor is also onboard and the whole package is powered by a 3,000mAh battery and packed inside a sleek and premium feeling metal body. If you’d rather something a little better, the Le2Pro has the same form factor and design but sports a higher resolution 21MP camera, slightly faster Helio X25 processor and 4GB RAM.
LeEco Le 2 hands on gallery:
To challenge the current flagships on the market – such as the HTC 10, LG G5 and Galaxy S7 – LeEco also unveiled the Le Max 2, which is undoubtedly LeEco’s flagship and is confirmed to be launching in the US (although exactly when is unknown). The Le Max 2 brings the very best that the company has to offer and sports a 5.7-inch Quad HD display, a 21MP rear camera, 8MP front sensor and a fingerprint sensor like the other devices in the range.
Under the hood, it’s powered by the latest Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB RAM but LeEco did reveal that a 64GB version will be available, which will offer a whopping 6GB of RAM. Do you need 6GB of RAM? Honestly, you don’t, but that doesn’t mean you should look a gift horse in the mouth. With rumors that the Galaxy Note 6 and other devices later this year could feature 6GB of RAM, it seems that LeEco has beaten them to the punch and the company certainly deserves plaudits for doing so.
All of LeEco’s new devices are powered by Android 6.0 Marshmallow but like mentioned above, the phones do run on LeEco’s ecosystem UI, which offers a very unique experience that many users won’t be akin to. The UI allows all the devices to full integrate with each other and is core to various services the company offers so it’ll be interesting to see how it does change when the Le Max 2 launches in the US.
One of the biggest things you may have noticed about all of these devices is that they don’t feature a 3.5mm headphone jack and LeEco has likely taken a step here that we’ll see many other manufacturers also take in the near future. The lack of headphone jack means you’re relying on the USB Type-C port for audio but if you do have a favourite pair of headphones that you just can’t give up, don’t fret as you can still get audio through the USB Type-C port if you use the adapter that comes with the phone itself.
Overall, there’s no denying that LeEco is out to make a statement and for the most part, the Le 2 range picks up where its predecessors left off, by offering good specs in a sleek body at a presumably affordable price. The Le Max 2 is undoubtedly the best of the bunch and it’ll be interesting to see how it competes against the other flagships on the market but the whole range is worth taking note of, even if just for the lack of headphone jack and the interesting services available in the UI.
LeEco Le 2 Max hands on gallery:
What do you think of LeEco’s new smartphones and would you buy any of them? Do we need 6GB of RAM in a smartphone and what do you think about the removal of the headphone jack? With rumors that many OEMs are likely to follow suit, do you think companies should keep the audio jack or is audio over USB Type-C the future? Let us know your views in the comments below!