LeEco, the Chinese Internet Ecosystem company, has finally launched its TV range in India. LeEco’s Super3 TV series arrives here, well ahead of Xiaomi’s Mi TV lineup. With Super3 TVs, LeEco is expanding beyond smartphones and accessories and sticks to its now famous partnership with Flipkart.
LeEco, which has been thriving in India on the back of disruptive pricing and breakthrough technology, however, didn’t quite manage to disrupt the television market. Television, also referred to as idiot box, is the most underrated gadget in any household. The technology has stayed almost same for decades, but still managed to stay relevant, highlighting the fact that not every technology needs to mature with time.
While most Indian households are still using old dumb TVs, LeEco wants to turn them into smart ones. LeEco, which managed to discomfort some of the well established smartphone brands in India with its Le Superphones, has somehow failed to get the strategy right with the television lineup
For starters, LeEco is bringing the Super3 series of televisions to India right after launching Super4 series in China. The company has launched three models with 4K UHD panels. The cheapest of the lot costs Rs 59,790, which is a pretty high price in the overall TV segment.
However, a quick survey of 55-inch televisions on Flipkart with 4K UHD display reveals that the cheapest model costs north of Rs 75,000, and LeEco is definitely bringing affordability to the sector, though not in a disruptive way.
The most common question with TV buyers is not the resolution, but screen size. A simple tool called TV sizes to distance reveals that a 55-inch TV can offer optimal viewing experience only when the user is seated at least 6.9 feet away from it. Considering the real estate prices, I certainly can’t afford to leverage that much space (read: I prefer a smaller screen).
LeEco TVs are not metal and glass coming together, rather it is an integrated ecosystem. LeEco is offering abundant access to content from YuppTV and Hungama, but you’ll need good bandwidth to access that content. With an average broadband speed of around 2Mbps, it would be difficult to experience these contents. During my review of LeEco Le 2, I noticed that the content ecosystem didn’t work on my home network (which is a 16Mbps Airtel Broadband), and on our office line (which is a leased line). While LeEco’s ecosystem is an ambitious plan, I’m not convinced it will be a great experience in all of India. Not just yet. Sure that might change going forward.
“The company plans to bring Super4 series televisions to India soon and plans to launch as many as 7 new televisions,” Atul Jain, COO, LeEco India told IndianExpress.com.
In my brief time with the LeEco Super3 TVs, I was definitely amazed by the colour reproduction, and yes having a display with maximum resolution does help. But what about content? My average television viewing experience mostly involves 720p video, and most streamed content top out at 1080p and having a display with almost four times the pixels seems an overkill to me.
While LeEco went after budget and mid-range flagships with its Le Superphones, the company is going after premium televisions with its Super3 TV series. LeEco basically sells a Full HD television in China and a Pro model gets UHD display. With India, the company has taken a totally different approach by jumping ship to 4K UHD display.
However, Jain says LeEco will bring a Full HD TV to India when it launches the Super4 series here. He further added the company is also exploring options to put the televisions in offline retails stores considering most people buy TVs from these brick and mortar stores.
LeEco is offering a preview sale of its Super3 TV on Flipkart between August 10 to 12, which makes it clear the company wants to see the response. It could probably change its strategy post that sale. For now, LeEco is entering into a territory which isn’t easy to win, but it can definitely disrupt the industry when it launches future range of televisions.