By: Anil Satapathy, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Saturday, June 25, 2016 - 13:42
LeEco Le 2 at Rs 11,999 is powerful and offers more than what could you have imagined for.
Superb battery backup
No expandable storage
Doesn't have FM radio
Available through flash sale only
LeEco Le 2 is all set to hit the flash sale counters on June 28. Currently LeEco is allowing people to register for the flash sale on both Flipkart and LeMall. The phone is priced at Rs 11,999 for which it offers a 5.5-inch InCell Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display, 64 bit Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor, 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The smartphone has a 3000 mAh battery.
The Le 2 offers a 16-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, PDAF and f/2.0 aperture. In its front there is an 8-megapixel selfie camera. Further, the smartphone offers Dual-SIM slots, 4G LTE with VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/A-GPS, USB Type-C port and a fingerprint sensor on the back. Note that it has no 3.5 mm jack, instead the USB port can be used for audio output.
So is it that good as it appears on paper? Let's check out.
The LeEco Le 2 is light as a feather despite having a metal body. It has flat back and side panels and feels quite nice. If you have sweaty palms then you can use transparent back plastic covers which offer great grip without hampering its looks. The Le 2 has a screwless unibody that has laser cut edges that give a premium feeling.
The Le 2 is the first Android phone to come with a USB Type C audio port. This port is also meant for charging. And don't worry, if you buy it in the first flash sale, you will get the USB type C audio headset simply called as CDLA (Continual Digital Lossless Audio) headphone. This means that the phone has one less hole and thus less threat to its internals. (I will talk about the quality of CDLA headphone later in this review.)
A lone tray with two mini-SIM slots is on the left-hand side. The phone has no expandable storage slot. The power button is on the right-hand side just below the volume rocker and since both of them are made of metal they will last long unlike in phones where they are made of plastic and often they get damaged after some time. An infrared sensor is at the top while at the bottom lies the USB type C port alongside two speaker grills. In the back panel, a big and squarish camera unit lies just above the mirror finished fingerprint sensor. A dual tone LED flashlight is also there. A tiny microphone is also on the back panel.
LeEco has done a good thing here by covering the lens of the rear camera with an anti-glare CD film which means the lens will leave unscathed in the day to day usage.
In the front, the bezels on right and left-hand side of the display are quite slim and as they are painted black, the phone gives the impression of zero bezel. Three backlit buttons are located in the bezel below the display but they do not appear when the display is off. Above the display, the front camera is located alongside a speaker grill and the proximity sensor.
The Le 2's 5.5-inch display has full HD or 1920x1080 pixels resolution. But the display has much better colour output than what I have seen in many budget phones. There are various colour modes as well including Vivid, Natural, Soft and LeEco mode. The display has just enough brightness for outdoor activities. The Adaptive Brightness feature does its job quite well. I had no qualms with its touch response either.
OS and User Interface
With Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Le 2 instantly scores a point over many of its competitors those of which still have the older Android Lollipop. LeEco, which is well-known in China for its contents, has tweaked the UI just a bit to give it the freshness that many users look for in a new smartphone.
One of the three major elements of its UI is the way to access Quick Settings. In almost all Android smartphones, I have seen the top bar being dedicated to notifications and settings. In Le Eco's phones, the top bar is dedicated to notifications only. To access Quick Setting in Le 2, just touch the "Recentâ€ button located under the display. This brings up the recently closed apps as well as the Quick Setting bar, music player controller and icons of other widgets like Remote controller, flashlight etc.
When Le 1S was launched in India, LeEco was just starting to experiment with contents. And with Le 2, it has gone a step further. This time, the LeEco's phone (Le 2) has deeper integration of Eros Now's contents. When you go to the extreme left page , you will see a page called LeView which curates videos from Eros Now and presents it in a tile format.
In the display, you will also see a "LIVEâ€ widget which actually takes you to YUPP TV through which you can see live TV telecasts including news channels and entertainment channels.
The Le 2 has a 3000 mAh battery. Since it has Android Marshmallow operating system, the phone comes with Doze mode. Besides, it has several battery Saver feature. There is also smart battery feature that you can turn on specific apps. There is also provision for schedule power on and off feature.
All this battery features really help the phone which consistently offered me two days of backup. Note that during that I was using two SIMs and have WiFi connectivity for atleast nine hours. I had also constantly syncing Google and Facebook accounts and ofcourse my usage involves several calls and occasional gaming.
The Le 2 offers a 16-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, PDAF and f/2.0 aperture.You can capture 16-megapixel pictures in 4:3 aspect, 12 megapixel in 16:9 aspect or even 6-megapixel pictures in 16:9 aspect. The camera offers HDR, panorama, and various modes as well. The rear camera also allows capturing slow motion videos. You can capture 4K videos or full HD or HD videos using the rear camera. In its front there is an 8-megapixel selfie camera.
As far as the camera quality goes, both are quite decent. Especially I was impressed with the quickness of the cameras. They are quite quick and capture images in a jiffy. Both cameras also capture colours as they are. I have no doubt that the rear camera is as good as you could get one in this price bracket but the front camera needs a slight improvement â€“ especially it needs some time to focus. Also, I would urge LeEco to provide some more camera features like making GIFs.
You can check its camera samples here.
81798 â€“ This was the score of Le 2 on Antutu 3D benchmark test. That speaks volume about the phone's processing power. Also, I was surprised to see Le 2 at No 8 in the Antutu Benchmark list ahead of iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
Well, I certainly cannot say that the Le 2 can really beat the iPhone 6 or not in real world test but Le 2 is definitely quite fast. I had no issues while playing games or while multitasking, thanks to its 64 bit Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor, Adreno 510 GPU and 3 GB RAM.
In terms of storage, it is a mix bag, though. While the Le 2 offers superb 32 GB internal storage, there is no expandable memory option.
Connectivity and Other Features
With two SIM slots, 4G connectivity, dual-band WiFi (a/b/g/n/ac), WiFi Direct, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1 A2DP LE, Infrared port and USB Type-C port, the Le 2 offers all the connectivity features that you could have imagined in such a budget offering. The phone also offers HD quality voice calling and there is a microphone for noise cancellation.
For navigation, it has GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS and BDS. However, I felt that it takes a bit longer time to zero in on the location. The fingerprint sensor also does a great job â€“ its fast and quick to recognise the fingerprints.
However, like Le 1S, the Le 2 misses out on FM radio as well. But with the CDLA headset, you could enjoy your music much better. In my experience, the CDLA headset is a great quality earphone and offers superb sound output.
The LeEco Le 2 is yet another great offering at Rs 11,999. It has few minuses but it certainly is a phone worth every buck.