LeEco made their entry into Indian smartphone market just few months back under the name “Letv” with launch of two devices i.e Letv Le 1s (Read Review) and Letv Le Max. Le 1s was targeted at mid range smartphone consumers and did made a mark. Now they are back with Le 2 priced at Rs. 11,999 and here is our review of LeEco Le 2.
Our review of LeEco Le 2 is based on more than two weeks experience with the smartphone as our primary device with dual Sim cards (one wit always ON 4G data and other for Voice calls). Check out if Le 2 is worth your money and should you buy it or not?
LeEco Le 2 Specifications
- Display: 5.5 inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) Full HD IPS
- Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EUI 5.6 (OTA arrived for EUI 5.8 already)
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 652
- GPU: Adreno 510
- Memory: 3 GB LPDDR3 RAM
- Storage: 32 GB internal
- Main Camera: 16 MP rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, Closed Loop, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture
- Selfie Camera: 8 MP front camera, 1.4um pixel size
- Audio: CDLA loss-less audio
- Sensors: Fingerprint scanner
- Connectivity: 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n (2.4/5 GHz),Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, USB Type C
- Battery: 3,000 mAh, fast charging
- Weight: 153 gm
- Misc : OTG Support, IR blaster
Design and Build Quality
Le 2 looks almost same as the earlier model i.e. Le 1s, which gives a feel of an expensive premium smartphone and not a mid range smartphone. It comes with all around metal build but with clear-cut antenna lines at the back with black lines on the rose gold back.
There is no 3.5 mm audio jack & you need to use the USB type C port for listening to music. LeEco has provided a small USB C to 3.5 mm audio jack adapter which can be used for your listening experience with existing earphones with the conventional audio jack. An IR blaster is placed at the top side which can be used to convert your phone to Remote for devices like TV. The speaker grill is at the bottom along with USB C port. Even though speakers are only at one side, the grills are provided at both sides for symmetry.
The front black screen is almost panning till the end of sides with a great screen-to-body ratio screen-to-body ratio. The bezels at the sides look almost hidden thanks to the black lines at sides. Proximity sensor & the 8 MP front camera are placed symmetrically with the speaker in the middle of the two. A LED indicator is placed at left side which is visible only when you get notifications or charge the phone.
The back panel places the 16 MP camera with LED flash at top left corner along with noise cancelling mike at center. The fingerprint sensor is placed in the middle just above the Letv logo. The camera is protruded from the back and is not uniformly integrated with the back panel. Camera in Le 1S was more uniform and we at Androidpure prefer a smartphone camera integrated uniformly at the back instead of a protruded one. The fingerprint sensor comes with shiny silver finish just like a mirror.
The SIM card tray (Nano + Nano Sim) is at one side which can be ejected using the sim card ejector, whereas the Volume rockers & the power button on the other side just like most smartphones.
Check out the camera shots of the device below to understand it better.
It weighs 153 gms which is at least 15 gms lighter than the earlier Le 1s and hence feels lighter while handling it.
It comes with capacitive menu button at the bottom, which are back-lit and lit up the moment you touch them. The battery at the back is embedded and cannot be removed.
Being 5.5 inch in size, one-hand usage is not easy but it does offer some workarounds like offering you one-sided number pad automatically on the unlock screen based on how you are holding the phone.
Display, Performance and Benchmarks
It sports a 5.5-inch full HD IPS Display which appears great even under bright sunlight with good color reproduction and brightness.The viewing angle is great letting you view the screen even at steep angles. We have reached out to LeEco to confirm whether it comes with Gorilla glass protection or not. We will update the article when we get a reply.
Update: We got the confirmation from LeEco that it indeed comes with Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
LeEco Le 2 is powered by a 1.8 GHz Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor along with Adreno 510 GPU with 3 GB of RAM. It comes with 32 GB of internal storage which is a great offering as most mid range smartphones offer a 16 GB variant in the mid range price segment. One small downside for many though is, there is no support for expandable storage via Microsd card though it does support USB OTG.
IN terms of performance, it impressed us. It ran smoothly irrespective of what we threw at it. There were no lags or hang or random crashes during our entire review period of more than two weeks. We played some heavy graphics intensive games such as Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5 etc on it simultaneously with many apps / games open and yet didn’t encounter any lag or stuttering.
Gaming performance was great with good color reproduction and no frame drops or lag under maximum graphics settings. Even in terms of heating, the heating was negligible even after playing games continuously for 20-25 minutes. It appears that the metal body is able to dissipate the heat generated quite effectively. Check out our YouTube Gaming Review below for more details.
The call quality during voice calls was good. The dialer app (while OS was at EUI 5.6) also gave an option to record calls without installing any additional app or rooting the device. Unfortunately, the Call recording feature was removed after the EUI 5.8 update few days back. We still hope that LeEco will bring back Call recording feature using an OTA update, yet we can’t be sure. Usually in most devices, you need to root your device first and then install an additional paid app to record calls. One issue that we faced is the audio loudness is too low if you try to use the speakerphones during the calls.
The AnTuTu benchmark score for Letv Le 1s comes out to be about 80,00+ which is pretty awesome for a mid-range smartphone priced at Rs. 11,999 and it reflects in performance of the smartphone under various conditions.
The phone comes with 16 MP main rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, Closed Loop, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture and 8 MP front shooter with 1.4um pixel size. We took shots with the camera under different lighting conditions and surroundings.
The camera produced great images under normal lighting conditions producing some nice shots with good color reproduction. You can check out the full resolution images hosted on Flickr that we shot using Le 2( Embedded in the post below). But yes, the moment we shot in dark surroundings or low lighting, noise started to creep in. Still We are not disappointed even with most of these low light shots. They were better than what we saw with Le 1s. Honestly, we are a bit surprised by the camera performance which is better than our expectations from a mid range smartphone camera.
The front 8 MP front shooter with 1.4um pixel size produced some good selfies under normal lighting condition. The beauty mode on selfies did worked great and managed to transform those selfies into better one.
The camera app comes with some great options and modes such as night mode, HDR mode, Square Mode, Beauty mode and Scene Mode. LeEco has done some great work with camera app and it has improved a lot. It also comes with some real-time filters similar to Instagram. It can take Slow Motion Videos and even record 4K videos. $k Video recording support is rare in mid range smartphones as most offer only Full HD 1080p recording.
Even though there is no manual mode, yet you can adjust settings like exposure, saturation, white balance, ISo etc.
Checkout the images below taken under different light conditions and different modes. Click on the images for large images. For full resolution images, check Flickr.
Fingerprint is one of the selling points of this smartphone. The fingerprint sensor at the back comes with silver mirror finish and here is what we feel about it:
- It was accurate and fast for almost 80% of the time irrespective of how you are using the finger.
- You can use the fingerprint to unlock the device or use it to capture pictures by tapping, provided your camera app is already open. EUI 5.8 update also added the “App Lock” feature to fingerprint sensor letting you lock your Apps using your fingerprint.
- Even though you can add five fingers, yet you cannot customize them to do different jobs. Customization should be possible so that each finger can be used for different functions such as opening an App or dialing a contact or any other custom function. Coolpad Note 3 lite fingerprint sensor beats Le 1s fingerprint sensor in customization.
Audio Quality with CDLA earphones
At the moment, LeEco is offering the CDLA earphones for USB C type port, bundled with the smartphone. We are not sure if they will keep offering this in future. As mentioned above, you can use existing 3.5 audio jack earphones using the supplied adapter.
Now coming to the Audio Quality of earphones or the sound that comes through it, we would say that it is great and we haven’t heard anything similar on any mid range smartphones we ever tested. In terms of quality, it produces some great audio compared to 3.5 mm audio jack, yet we would have preferred earphones with cushion earbuds which seperates the outside world from the audio more effectively. If we leave that, these earphones are the best that you can get with any mid range smartphones.
The battery performance of Le 2 is better than we expected from a mid range smartphone with 3000 mAh Battery. During our tests, we always have 4G data connection ON. Yet, even with heavy use of the device we were able to keep it away from charger for almost full day easily. During our normal usage, it lasted for more than one and half days. We were able to get a SOT (Screen on time) of 3.5 to 5 hours on an average.
Just to give a perspective, we also tested Le 2 with only 3G data network instead of 4G and we were able to achieve a Screen On Time (SOT) of more than 7 hours which is phenomenal for a 3000 mAh battery.
Another good thing, Le 2 supports fast charging too which means that you can charge it very fast using the fast charger, as and when you need it.
Operating System and UI
Le 2 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow based eUI 5.8. As we keep saying it, we prefer a stock Android OS and hence an app drawer too. Thanks to the eUI, you won’t feel much difference compared to Le 1s. The user interface appears quite clean without any bugs, as we didn’t encounter crashes or lag when we used the device for almost two weeks. If we forget the app drawer, it seems to have better integration with Android’s UI and doesn’t feel like a different or new user interface.
Also, it is clean and simple compared to those from other OEMs. It offers some decent options and a better designed multitasking interface which combines different toggles, the multitask and access to some handy features. Just tap on the multitasking button and you will see what we mean. All the toggles can be customized easily.
The smartphone doesn’t come with bloatware which is usually the case with most of the budget or mid range smartphones. It does come with few apps related to its LeEco membership subscription which lets yu watch some TV channels and Videos, movies etc. The content library at the moment is very small and LeEco needs to work on that if it wants to use the content as one of its main drivers for phone sales.
LeEco Le 2 performs great in every department including Design & build quality, performance, battery life and gaming performance. To be honest, we kept looking for some cons in the smartphone, but found almost none except 1-2 small issues. For a price of Rs. 11,999 Le 2 is almost a perfect mid range smartphone and worth every penny.