LeEco Le 1s #ExpressReview: This one has some significant advantages over rivals

Is the LeEco Le 1s really giving you more bang for your buck? Here's our full review of the smartphone, which goes on sale on Flipkart today.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Updated: February 16, 2016 8:47 am
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LeEco has been able to create a lot of buzz in the Indian market over the past couple of weeks, not because of its flagship Le Max but the mid-range Le 1s. The general perception is that the phone has managed to hit a sweet spot with pricing and specs. So is the LeEco Le 1s really giving you more bang for your buck?

LeEco Le 1s

To start with, Le 1s does not look or feel like a phone that has caused only a Rs 10,999 dent in your bank account. It’s solid metallic body with a flattened edges, and a matte finish is both classy and functional. It also features a unique mirror-based fingerprint scanner, which shines and gives the phone a unique ID.

Specs:  5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display | MediaTek Helio X10 octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz | 3GB RAM, 32GB | 13 megapixel rear camera + 5 megapixel front camera| Android 5.0.2 with EUI|

Price: Rs 10,999

VIDEO REVIEW

 

What is good? 

The first thing you notice on any phone is its display, and Le 1s shines through on this aspect by offering a Full HD display, still rare at this price range. The bezel is super thin, and hence you can explore the screen better. It also works well in sunlight.

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LeEco, or LeTV as the brand was known before, call it’s phones ‘super phones’. With that kind of a branding it’s only natural that these phones are high on benchmarks, and can push the limits when needed. The Le 1s is no exception and handles all tasks quite well. The phone does heat up once in a while, but it did not seem to be as bad as some of the other phones we have tried recently. And thankfully the energy burnt here does not really affect the battery.

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The phone has a custom UI from Le, but one that is not radically different from stock Android. So you will not fumble on this phone or struggle to understand icons. The uncomplicated notifications system is something I liked. Also, LeEco wants to use this UI to power its big content ecosystem push. However, that might be a few months away, and now you get access to just the Le Cloud.

Le 1s has a good camera, which is fast and responsive. I thought the images were a bit too sharp like on the Le Max, but the results won’t disappoint you. It is also good with colour reproduction and reds and pinks don’t bleed. And it is the only phone in this range that offers 4K recording and that too without cutting any corners. It also manages to keep cool for up to 5 minutes of ultra-HD recording.

Fast charging on the phone is really good, and even a 5-minute charge can add more time.

What is not that good?

Le 1s does not have serious flaws. However, you will struggle with the USB Type-C charger if you forget to carry yours wherever you go. The best option is to invest in an additional one.

The battery can last a day, but you will need to be judicious how you use the screen brightness and 4K. Also, using other power adapters slows charging considerably.

The fingerprint scanner has a bit of a lag, and seems to be because the screen takes a second to switch back on. It asks for the PIN, if you don’t hold your finger dead straight, which can be a task if you are moving about.

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Also, the phones still have the Le TV branding if that is the sort of thing that will bother you.

Should you buy?

If you are looking for a mid-range phone then this is one of the best bets at the moment, with some significant advantages over the Moto G3. With LeEco promising a full ecosystem around its devices in the near future it might end up being more value for money than it is now.

Watch our first look video of Le 1s 

Specs battle: Lenovo K4 Note against the LeEco Le 1s and Moto G Turbo