While the Le Max is the flag bearer, Le 1S (Full Review) should be LeEco’s shot at instant fame, recognition and approval in India. The handset has been priced just right and is embellished by all the bells and whistles you would expect an eager Chinese entrant to put forth in its debut. While the launch presentation was full of dubious comparisons, there is no denying that there is a lot to look forward to in Le 1S for a price of 10,999 INR. Read on for our first impression.IMG_7913

Also Read: Le 1s Full Review – Beauty, Brains and Brawn

Key Specifications and Features:

Model Le 1S
Display 5.5-inch full HD (1920x1080p) IPS TFT LCD display with 401ppi
Processor 64-bit class 2.2 GHz Mediatek Helio X10 Octa-Core CPU, Power VR G6200 GPU (700 MHz)
RAM 3GB
Internal Storage 32GB, No MicroSD card support
Software Android Lollipop based EUI
Primary Camera 13 MP Isocell sensor, LED Flash, PDAF, F2.0 aperture lens
Secondary Camera 5MP Front-Facing Camera, F2.0 aperture lens
Dimensions and weight 151.1×74.2×7.5 mm and 169 g
Battery 3000 mAh
Others Dual SIM, 4G LTE, Fingerprint sensor
Price Rs. 10,999

Full Metal Unibody Design

The highlight Le 1S has to be its precision build metal uni-body design. Neat chamfered edges run around the sides and make room for stereo speaker grill, USB Type C port at the bottom and Infrared LED, audio jack, antenna bands on top.

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The handset is reasonably compact and slim to facilitate one handed usage (software plays its part too, but more on that later). The rear side is however, very different from Le Max. Aesthetically mirror-like (6D Glass on top) fingerprint sensor is what stands out. It is a 360 degree sensor (which means you don’t have to worry about orientation of your finger) that proved to be fast and accurate. You can also use it as camera shutter key.

Personally, I have an aversion to devices with thick, distinct top and bottom bands running on the rear, (that is something subjective) but Le 1S implements the design rather gracefully.

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On the front, the display predominates. Bezels are already quite narrow on the sides, but the black band around the display further ads to the illusion of even narrower side bezels. Display quality seemed good. It’s a full HD display, so yeah, pixels and associated sharpness isn’t a problem. Color temperature and calibration looked fine as well (colors are punchy, a bit over saturated). The underlying strip of capacitive keys glow ever so slightly and becomes visible only when you tap and hunt for them.

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All said and done, the Le 1S is a well-designed phone with a premium appeal, not so common in this price band.

EUI Software Is Intuitive

The software running on Le 1s is quite intriguing. The recent apps key takes you to a split window, where quick setting toggles are on the top and other recent app pages are on the bottom. This is a more intuitive way to reach quick settings in our opinion. The Settings menu is well organized and there is a separate tab if you wish to dive into settings for system apps. We came across several features which we liked, for instance, the way unlock keypad shifts to whatever side you are holding the phone for easy one handed usage.

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Even when UI is intuitive and feature rich, the UI design exudes that inherent resemblance with Chinese ROMs that we regularly come across. There is no app drawer by default. The good thing is that the bloatware is minimal. For now, the software is based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, and you can expect Marshmallow update by April 2016. From what we hear, EUI is good with updates and bug-fixes keep rolling.

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In China, LeEco is renowned as a content provider. As of now, there is not much the company has to offer on that front in India, but that is something LeEco will keep working on. For now, the company has partnered with Eros and YupTV, but we are not sure about the exact details or subscription model it will follow.

Captivating Hardware

The Helio X10 is the best in MediaTek’s arsenal when it comes to budget and mid-range phones. That coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, ensures that Le 1S hits all the right chords with specification Junkies. This might also lend Le 1S an advantage over arch rival Lenovo K4 Note (if not Redmi Note 3)

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For what it’s worth, the Antutu score on the hands on prototype was 53K. UI transitions felt smooth and we will test if that shall hold in the long run during our full review. The 13MP camera seemed pretty good at the event venue, but the lighting hardly qualified for ideal test environment.

Also Read: Le 1S VS Lenovo K4 Note VS Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

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The hardware of Le 1S is an interesting read, but let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.

Expectations

The competition in 10k – 15K range has gone fierce. Lenovo K4 Note, Le 1S and upcoming Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 will battle for the crown and are all worthy contenders. The Le 1S does most things rights and casts a solid first impression. If LeEco wishes to establish its ‘Ecosystem’ in India, then increasing market share is of utmost importance. Le 1S has been designed to pave the initial path and to gain favorable nod from the consumers as the India journey begins.

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