After successfully planting key elements of its ‘Eco-System’ in India, LeEco now focuses on round 2, where it puts its best foot forward by introducing Le 2 and Le Max2 at surprisingly aggressive prices.
LeEco’s ideology here is to play to the galleries by providing top-notch specs at lowest possible price, heed to consumer feedback and eliminate shortcomings of last generation models, and to not fix what ain’t broke. So, does this three-pronged approach finally yield “perfect smartphones” in an otherwise imperfect world? Let’s discuss.
LeEco Le 2 And Le Max2 Key Specifications And Features
|Model||LeEco Le Max 2||LeEco Le 2|
|Display||5.7-Inch,IPS QHD Display, 515ppi||5.5 Inch, Full HD, IPS Display|
|Processor||2.15 GHz Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, Adreno 530||1.8GHz Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor ( 4 x Cortex A72 + 4 X Cortex A53), Adreno 510|
|Software||Android Marshmallow based EUI 5.6||Android Marshmallow based EUI 5.6|
|Primary Camera||21MP sensor, dual tone LED Flash, PDAF, F/2.0 aperture lens||16MP sensor, dual LED Flash, PDAF, F2.0 aperture lens|
|Secondary Camera||8MP Front-Facing Camera, F/2.2 aperture lens||8MP Front-Facing Camera, F/2.2 aperture lens|
|Battery||3100 mAh, Fast charging||3000 mAh, fast charging|
|Others||Dual SIM, 4G LTE and VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor, USB OTG, USB Type-C||Dual SIM, 4G LTE and VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor, USB Type C, OTG, CDLA|
|Price||22,999 INR / 29,999 INR||11,999 INR|
Le 2 and Le Max2 sport almost identical design
In terms of design, Le 2 and Le Max 2 aren’t very different. In fact, we couldn’t tell one from another when we first examined them.
On closer inspection, you will find that the camera bump on Le 2 is a bit recessed compared to Le Max2. Unlike Max 2, the power key and volume rocker on Le 2 are fitted in a groove. And a portion of side-edge chamfers on Le Max2 running parallel to the display is painted black (which I initially confused for extended touch glass) – But none of that makes for a significant difference.
On the front, both Le 2 and Le Max2 look identical to Le 1s. As HTC’s One M series evolution demonstrated, sticking to design victories in tech world is not necessarily a wise thing. Le 2 and Le Max 2, however, didn’t feel stale to us.
On the rear, symmetrically placed new camera module (Bigger, square-ish), fingerprint sensor (Bigger, square-ish) and LeTV insignia makes for a refreshing change. The top and bottom plastic strips also look more elegant and blend well with the metal engulfing them.
The back still gently curves on the edges for a comfortable grip, and the side edges are still chamfered. Loudspeaker grill is present on the bottom and there is no 3.5 mm Audio Jack (more on that in a bit). Both Le Max2 and Le 2 have a decent heft, are comfortable to hold and feel solid in hand.
We do, however, hope that LeEco would soon bring more color options to Indian market, which is frankly overdosing on gold (and rose gold).
Le 2 rectifies display quality
Our major gripe with Le 1s was its display. Thankfully, the display issues have been addressed in the new iteration. Le 2’s sharp Full HD display panel loses the unnaturally cold blue whites and is brighter. The color modes in the UI let you further tweak color settings to your liking. The quad HD display on Le Max2 feels delicious too.
What is CDLA audio?
CDLA lossless audio is what LeEco repeatedly highlighted at today’s event. It’s a proprietary LeEco technology that eliminates noise resulting from ‘age old’ 3.5 mm audio jack (which, according to LeEco, could be as high as 40 percent), by replacing it with audio through the USB Type-C port.
You will need CDLA headphones to experience the difference (and yes, there is a significant difference). The audio decoder will be present in the headphone itself and that allows for noise reduction without an extra power source or battery being involved. We will test how much of a difference CDLA makes with normal audio files in our full review. It certainly works like a charm with music adhering to lossless audio standards as LeEco demonstrated to us.
The Le 2 augments the megapixel count from 13 to 16, but our initial experience tells us that there might not be a corresponding improvement in camera quality. Of course, we will need more testing before we reach a final verdict, but this is something to watch out for in the full review.
The Le Max 2, on the other hand, feels significantly better than Max in terms of low light captures. We will have more to share shortly once we are done with our camera review.
Performance expectations and software
The Le Max 2 is powered by Qualcomm’s best (Snapdragon 820) and naturally we expect it to handle demanding tasks without breaking a sweat.
The Le 2, on the other hand, offers Qualcomm’s second best (Snapdragon 652 octa core) for an astonishingly low price. The performance was never an issue on Le 1s either. Everything seemed to fly by and same is expected of Le 2.
We have been testing the Snapdragon 652 on Vivo V3 Max for a while now, and are quite impressed with the performance and power efficiency. That doesn’t necessarily promise same results on Le 2, but still, we are willing to bet our money on better battery backup and fewer ‘heating-issue’ complaints this time around.
Software on both Le 2 and Le Max 2 is latest Android Marshmallow based EUI 5.6. We have always placed it among the better custom ROMs around, and presence of Marshmallow only helps its case.
The new Le superphones have been priced super-aggressively. Specification junkies will definitely pick them over and above all other available options in a jiffy, but even those who appreciate finer nuances and hunt for a targeted, worthy usage experience will find them irresistible.
The bigger picture here is the content ecosystem and this tempting price on Le Phones will help LeEco make some noise and increase market share, which is imperative to LeEco sustaining its business model in the long run. One year Le membership is being offered for free with both of these new le phones.
Le 2 and Le Max2 cast a largely positive first impression, and we are excited to explore them further in our full review.