The LeEco Le 2 is the successor to the Le 1s, the first smartphone that was launched by LeEco or LeTV as they were known back then. Look beyond the branding confusions and multiple possible pronunciations and you have a brand that is trying very hard to sell you an ecosystem and not just a smartphone. The ecosystem promises you multimedia content served just the right way, which is why you would see two major improvements on this device than the Le 1s which we have earlier reviewed. Gone is the 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of delivering audio via the USB Type-C and also there is a robust collection of movies, videos and live channels in the Live app on the phone, something that is curated by LeEco.
The phone is available only on a flash sale, so you will have to register yourself, either on Flipkart or Le’s site LeMall themselves in order to pick one. The Le 2 is priced at Rs 11,999 for the 32GB variant. At the launch of the phone, only the rose gold variant of the phone was made available, though there is a possibility that more colours will be added on in the future. Since we received our review unit well before the first sale, we have been given the rose gold version.
Before we jot down our initial impressions of the phone, let’s quickly check out what are the specifications of the device. The Le 2 comes with a 5.5 inch IPS Full HD panel, with a pixel density of 401. In the engine room driving the device is the Snapdragon 652 chipset, which is an Octa-core chip. There is 3GB of RAM on board while the internal storage is 32GB. There is a 16MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture size while the front-facing snapper is 8MP with f/2.2 aperture. The phone comes with the latest Android Marshmallow on board with EUI 5.6 on board. The battery is a non-removable 3000 mAh unit.
One look at the phone and you would be forgiving for thinking that it is the Le 1s. The front of the two phones are very similar, just the Le 2 is a little more broader. Turn the phone back and you will see the camera module has moved to the center and the curves are a little more subtle. The phone retains the metal unibody construction and has chamfered edges. In order to keep these edges safe LeEco ships the phone in a silicon case, despite coming in a packaged cardboard box. The build quality of the phone is solid and we did not feel any adhesive noise that some users have reported on the phone when applying pressure on the display.On the top of the phone, you get the IR blaster, while the volume rocker and the power button are on the left side. the left side houses the SIM tray which is a home to two Nano SIM cards. EUI overall, feels a little more refined than the last time we looked at it, though the translations to English are still off at a few places. Nothing that a quick OTA cannot fix for you.
There are minor annoyances like, you cannot control playback of music from the lockscreen, and you will have to unlock the phone using the fingerprint scanner, which mind you is super fast. Pull down the notification bar and there are no quick toggles there, you are to go into the multi tasking pane, by clicking on the left most capacitive button to get there. There is no app drawer here and the first home screen features the LeView, which curates the best videos across the internet for you to see. These videos play in YouTube, so think of it as a repository of trending YouTube videos. You can select the category of video you want to see, but there is no option to sign in to your YouTube account. Unless you change your launcher, there is no way to get rid of LeView from the home screen. The display is really crisp and we liked the colours as well as the response from the touchscreen. If you are not happy with the colours, you can always change it from the Color Mode that is available in the Display settings. We did feel that the proximity sensor was a bit too aggressive when it comes to dimming the brightness. The three capacitive buttons at the bottom have good sensitivity and target area. The USB Type- C headphones sound good, and worked well with our nexus 6P too, but if only LeEco had added some sort of isolating tips like silicon ones with it to prevent the excessive sound leaks.
The camera app is really simplified, and has not changed much from the Le 1s, which is a good thing, why fix something that is not broken. In the few shots we took, the phone was quick to focus and there was virtually no lag in the camera. However, we are yet to push the camera to its limits, which we will in the coming days for the full review. Overall, we like so far what we have seen and for just under Rs 12,000, you can see why the Le 2 will give the likes of Moto G4 Plus, Redmi Note 3 and the Zuk Z1 a very solid run for their money. Attached are the pictures that we have taken of the smartphone.