A brand which is growing rapidly in the Indian market is LeEco earlier known as LeTV has launched their latest smartphone in the mid-range segment, the Le 2 which was launched alongside the Le Max 2. The device enters the market shortly after the Le 1s and Le 1s Eco. With the successor device, i.e. the LeEco Le 2 entering the market, the expectations are no less.
Le 1s Eco was launched recently giving an idea about how the company is planning to concentrate on content in the Indian market. With improved design and specifications, let us look at LeEco Le 2 in this detailed review after a couple of weeks of usage as my primary device.
Specifications of LeEco Le 2:
- Display: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS in-cell display with resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Processor: Octa-Core Snapdragon 652 processor with Adreno 510 GPU
- RAM and Storage: 3GB LPDDR3 RAM along with a 32GB (eMMC5.1) internal storage
- Camera: 16MP rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF and an 8MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture, 1.4μm pixel size, 76.5-degree wide-angle lens
- OS: Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with EUI 5.8
- Connectivity: 4G LTE with VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n (2.4/5 GHz),Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, USB Type C
- Battery: 3,000mAh with fast charging
Design and Display
The LeEco Le 2 carries the same design concept as its predecessor the Le 1s, with the bezel-less like appearance when the screen is turned off thanks to the black borders on either side of the display. Below and above the display is the Rose Gold border with the bottom housing the backlit capacitive buttons and the top has the front-facing camera, sensors, and the earpiece. The sides and the back of the device sport a buffed metal finish giving a matte look except for some bands which are shiny.
The Fingerprint sensor is now square in shape compared to the round shape in its predecessor with the Camera module positioned in the middle of the device similar to the Le Max, the module protrudes slightly above the surface making it prone to scratches. The antenna lines are present on the top and bottom of the device with the power button and the volume rockers on the right side of the device and the bottom of the device houses the USB Type-C slot with the speaker grills on the either sides.
The main change is on the top of the device, which is sporting just the IR blaster and does not have a 3.5mm audio port. This is one of the first devices to be ditching the port, and you get CDLA support and LeEco is giving away the supporting headphones for free in the initial sale and later on they will will cost Rs. 1,990.
So be prepared to either get yourself Bluetooth enabled headphones or to sacrifice listening to music while charging or sacrifice charging your device while listening. The device comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS in-cell display with the resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels giving out good color, contrast, and saturation output. You even get various color modes to choose from like Vivid, Natural, Soft, and LeEco mode.
Outdoor visibility is quite good even under direct sunlight thanks to the 500 nits back lighting with adaptive brightness taking care of the brightness quite well and fast. Viewing angles are good but not as good as AMOLED display.
Software and UI
The LeEco or LeTV Le 2 runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 based EUI 5.6.012S. The UI is not your ideal Android Stock UI as there is a lot of customization, the major thing which will catch your eye is the LIVE button which is positioned in the center of the shortcuts tray (which cannot be moved or removed). You overall need to get used to the UI as it is something different from the basic UI we are used to. You get a one-year free subscription for the content available similar to that of the Le 1s Eco.
The LeEco Le 2 is powered by a 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage which is not expandable further. One of the main things which many people have asked is – “Does the Le 2 heat up as much as its predecessor?” and the answer is no it does not. Have been using it for some time now as my primary device with some heavy usage like watching videos, constant browsing, using Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter all through the day along with occasional Snapchat to name a few. The device did not lag much while multi-tasking and was smooth most of the times with an occasional lag here and there.
I even tried some heavy games to test out how much it can take, and I was surprised to see that games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Real Racing 3, etc. were smooth and there was not much heating as well, it was warm but nothing which was too hot to handle. From the performance aspect, the device is decent regarding performance and stands up to the competition in this price range.
The LeEco Le 2 sports a 16MP rear camera with F/2.0 aperture and sports PDAF or Phase Detection Autofocus along with LED Flash. The camera app in the LeEco Le 2 is well laid out with multiple settings available easily and appears to be influenced from iOS Camera App in some sense. The rear camera is quite impressive with the photos taken giving good white balance and showing colors in good profile, but this was not consistent in all photos which I have taken, sometimes there seems to be a dullness in reproducing the colors in Auto mode.
Lighting conditions do play a major role, under good to average lighting conditions the camera captures some great photos but under low lighting conditions, the camera struggled a bit, and if the objects are moving, the camera struggles a lot, and you get lots of noise and a hazy image. There is a bit of noise in these images under low light. The focusing is pretty accurate and quick thanks to PDAF, and this is one of the strong points of the camera.
Check: LeEco Le 2 Camera Samples – Link
You can record 4K videos with the rear camera, and they came out quite good under good indoor to outdoor lighting conditions, the audio was a bit off and not that problematic. The front camera is an 8MP shooter with the F/2.2 aperture having 1.4um pixel size and a 76.5-degree wide-angle lens; it captures good selfies.
It comes with a 3000mAh non-removable battery and supports fast charging. It is not the best in terms of battery life when compared to the comparison, and it lasts up to a day on a full charge and with heavy usage, it did not last me a whole day. The screen on time was around 3 hours mostly. But the good thing is that it supports fast charging, and you do not need to wait for a long time to charge it.
CDLA and USB Type-C
Let’s talk CDLA. This is as big a deal as any other feature of the device, and that’s the reason this special note has been placed. CDLA is the technology introduced by LeEco, and it takes advantage of the USB Type-C port of the device for the audio output. One advantage – much better audio than what you see through the headset jack. One disadvantage – You can use the USB Type-C port for either music output, or for charging the device.
But if we are to talk about how good the technology is – it indeed is. The music output is much better on this, and we did compare the output using the CDLA headphones provided by the company, and using the converter and the standard headphones. The difference was quite clear, and it is more about the choice whether you are okay with this single port having two functions and offering only one at a time.
The LeEco Le 2 is a great choice in the mid range with some heavy competition. It has its advantages and some disadvantages with the lack of 3.5mm jack some users can be offended. Two things which do not make the device best in its range are the camera and the battery life. It is a great device with its little flaws but an improvement from its predecessor.