LeEco Le 2 gets the spec-sheet and the price right. Indeed, the Snapdragon 652 at the heart of the new affordable LeEco handset is jaw-droppingly good for the asking price of 12k! Equally enticing are other highlights like all-metal build, Android Marshmallow, Full HD Display, and ‘Digital Lossless Audio’. Overall, the Le 2 is a refinement act that improves upon and eliminates all shortcomings with its predecessor (except for one thing). Before we elaborate on the bigger picture in this review, let’s get the bits and pieces out of the way.
LeEco Le 2 Key Specifications and Features
|Model||LeEco Le 2|
|Display||5.5 Inch, Full HD, IPS Display|
|Processor||1.8GHz Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor ( 4 x Cortex A72 + 4 X Cortex A53), Adreno 510|
|Internal Storage||32GB, About 25GB is available for users|
|Software||Android Marshmallow based EUI 5.6|
|Primary Camera||16MP sensor, dual LED Flash, PDAF, F2.0 aperture lens|
|Secondary Camera||8MP Front-Facing Camera, F/2.2 aperture lens|
|Dimensions and Weight||151.1 x 74.2 x 7.5 mm and 153 g|
|Battery||3000 mAh, fast charging|
|Others||Dual SIM, 4G LTE and VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor, USB Type C, OTG, CDLA (Continual Digital lossless Audio)|
- Good display quality
- Powerful performance
- Intuitive software with LeEco Membership
- Looks good
- IR blaster
- No 3.5 mm audio jack
- Loudspeaker output could have been better
Design: Sticks To What Works
The Le 2 retains whatever worked in favor of the Le 1s. Those chamfered edges, narrow bezels around the jet black display, metal back that gently curves around the edges to facilitate a better grip, and the speaker grills (circular holes this time, conceals only one speaker) flanking the USB Type-C port at the bottom – these are all aspects that we have seen before, twice, on Le 1s and Le 1s Eco.
The centrally placed (or ‘symmetrical’) camera module, and the square-ish fingerprint reader below it help break design monotony. Also, the antenna bands are more prominent this time around. These thick and dark linings on top and bottom lead to plastic strips with a darker hue compared to Rose-Gold splashed everywhere.
Yes, the Le 2 looks good. But, the Gold and Rose Gold have already been done to death. We feel that a silver color option would have been better. The best part is that it’s noticeably lighter than its predecessor.
We have heard build quality concerns regarding flexes in the display, but in my opinion, the issue has been blown out of proportion. LeEco has also bundled a good quality case in the box to help you preserve its sheen (which unlike the phone has LeEco insignia imprinted on it).
Display Quality Has Been Improved
The display quality was our major gripe with the Le 1s. We are a bit picky about our smartphone displays and for good reason too. The Le 1s display felt dim and had unnatural blue tones in the default mode. Thankfully the display issues have been fixed with the Le 2.
The ‘Natural’ color mode under display settings is what suits us best. The display panel on Le 2 is one of the best available for under 12,000 INR.
Well Designed EUI Software And Le Membership
The EUI on LeEco devices is an intuitive software. And it’s even better with Android Marshmallow and LeEco Membership on board.
If you prefer Hindi or regional language content, the LeEco Le 2 has a gratifying library integrated within EUI. You get access to Live TV and 1-year Eros Now premium subscription absolutely free!
I, for one, am not particularly drawn by LeEco’s content subscription, but that’s because I don’t watch TV and am on a very selective multimedia diet. My better half, however, is more than enthusiastic about watching Eros Now flicks and TV soaps anytime, anyplace from a handheld device. The impending Hungama Music subscription is something that even I am looking forward to.
Getting down from the content high horse, there is still a lot to relish in EUI. We particularly love the comfort of sharing Wi-Fi and Contact details with any phone around by simply scanning QR codes. Well-designed system apps and the convenience of a clutter-free notification shade are other positives.
Accessing Quick Settings from the recent apps key takes some getting used to but makes sense.
If a plethora of customization options is your thing, you might find EUI incomplete. There are a few things missing. For instance, the default launcher doesn’t have an App Drawer, and there is no Search Bar either. Hunting for apps across home screens can be irritating.
Camera: Mixed Bag
This is the one aspect of Le 2 which hasn’t been improved in the same proportion. The camera still isn’t ground breaking. The problem is that nobody else is offering great camera experience in this price range either, so perhaps this can’t be counted as a deal-breaker. The camera performance is better than the Redmi Note 3. If you are willing to stretch your budget, phones like Moto G4 and Galaxy J7 (2016) can offer a better camera experience.
We managed to click good shots in daylight. In indoor lighting, the software aggressively curbs noise and grains at the expense of details and that results in awkward looking over-sharpened images at times. HDR Mode works well. The dynamic range isn’t anything to brag about.
Selfie camera performance too is about average. You can record 4K and slow-motion videos as well, but the quality isn’t much to write home about.
Gratifying Performance and Battery Backup
Performance on the Le 2 is top notch. The Snapdragon 652 heats a lot less than the Helio X10 on Le 1s and is much more power efficient. Day to day performance and gaming is very smooth. Here are some benchmark scores to back that up.
|Geekbench (Single core, Multiple core)||1533, 4883|
|Nenamarks 2||59.7 fps|
|Vellamo (Browser, Metal, Multicore)||5028, 2628, 3302|
EUI sails smoothly as well. We noticed a few bugs here and there, but nothing serious. Battery-wise, the Le 2 comfortably lasts more than a day with fairly heavy usage. Fast charging is supported, and you can replete it from 10 to 100 percent in a little more than an hour. Performance and battery backup shouldn’t be a problem in the new iteration.
Fingerprint Sensor, Call Quality and Audio
The fingerprint sensor on the rear is fast and accurate. It isn’t the fastest one that we have come across, but it serves its purpose well. Call quality on Le 2 is about average. The Audio output from mono speakers is good in quality, though the loudness left us wanting for more.
The CDLA audio with compatible headphones felt great. However, this improved audio experience comes at a price. The 3.5 mm audio jack convenience is gone. According to what LeEco is preaching, the audio jack is age old stuff which attenuates your phone’s audio quality by more than 40 percent. The alternate, i.e. CDLA lossless audio shifts audio decoding set-up to the headphones.
In our experience, CDLA holds some substance and music quality is good too, but with standard audio files, the difference is barely noticeable when we switch between CDLA compatible and standard headphones.
The idea of carrying proprietary accessories or adapters around feels like an inconvenience to me, but I am sure the gain in audio quality will be a worthy trade-off for audiophiles.
Should I Buy the Le 2?
Yes. All said and done, the Le 2 feels like a very compelling option for its price. The Camera performance is less than ideal, but the solid performance, good quality display, intuitive UI and an appealing design make the Le 2 a steal for anyone restricted by a budget of 12,000 INR.