The LeEco’s Le 1s is trending, thanks to its tempting specs to price ratio. The handset has been priced just right to facilitate the kind of bumper start mandatory if you wish to make a dent in the crowded and ultra-competitive Indian smartphone market space. Le 1s isn’t the only one shifting gears though. Lenovo, Honor and Xiaomi are already set with worthy rivals. Besides they have been around for a while and have better brand outreach. Has Le 1s got what it takes to overshadow existing players? Let’s find out in our full review.
Note: If you are looking for precise details like free storage, USB OTG support, benchmark scores etc. you can also read our LeEco Le1s FAQ
- Powerful performance
- Premium metallic unibody design
- Fingerprint sensor
- Intuitive UI
- Display could have been better
Key Specifications and Features:
|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)|
|Internal Storage||32GB, No MicroSD card support (25.53GB Free)|
|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, Fast charging|
|Others||Dual SIM (Nano + Micro), 4G LTE, Fingerprint sensor, USB OTG|
|Price||Rs. 10,999 (Buy)|
Design is Cool, Display not so much
Over the last year, metal has become synonymous with ‘premium’ feel and Le1s plays to the gallery with a metal unibody design. The delectable chamfered side frame with neat drilled speaker holes, symmetrical placement of front camera and proximity sensor around the ear-piece, inconspicuous navigation keys, the illusion of narrow bezels (black boarder around display) – all add up rather nicely to make Le1s a head turner.
On the rear side, the fingerprint sensor has a mirror like finish and my fingerprint actually gets imprinted on it when used (and that looks cool). For the first couple of days, I didn’t realize that the two strips on top and bottom are actually plastic and not metal. In terms of looks and design, Le1s looks better than K4 Note and Honor 5X in our opinion.
The screen is very sharp and crisp, and color tones are vivid too, but the display is dim and plagued with cold blue tint. Color mode option in the display settings came to our rescue. The soft mode is what we liked best. Problem solved. (It will appear unnaturally yellow at first, but let it remain for some time and the eye-raping blue tint in other modes will be more discernible and feel hideous to you).
With brightness slider positioned at extreme right and with auto brightness on, sunlight legibility wasn’t a problem for us, but watching videos indoors wasn’t very satisfying. The day scenes in the video content I played appeared darker than they should have. LeEco says it is working on a software update to fix this.
The touch glass used is of very good quality. It is quite deft at resisting smudges and scratches.
Le 1s Photo Gallery
Performance is the best you can expect at this price
Besides beauty, it has got brains too. The octa-core Helio X10 ticking at 2.2 GHz works like a charm for all day to day activities and for high end gaming as well. The performance is surprisingly good. With 3GB RAM on board, we expect this to hold true in the long run. We had no issues with Ram management and multi-tasking either. It gets warm with prolonged gaming sessions but there are no ‘heating issues’ that you should be wary of.
Call quality and in-call volume has been very good in our area. The 3000 mAh battery will get you through one day even with fairly heavy usage. We are getting screen on time of 3.5 to 4 hours (our usage is heavy).
What makes things better is fast charging support. If you have access to a charging point through your day, you can swiftly replete the battery. On days you don’t have luxury of mid-day charging, make use of handy battery saver modes present on EUI.
Fingerprint sensors is fast. In the first few days we felt that it failed to recognize our impression more often than not, but after setting it up again and with few days of usage, the fingerprint sensor consistency has improved. It’s fast and accurate.
The IR remote in Le 1s works great. Using Universal Remote feature is quite simple and we could configure all our devices to use with them.
Camera is good, but not groundbreaking
Le1s has 13MP rear camera and 5MP selfie camera with wide angle lens on top. You will get the same configuration on most handsets today, but by now we all know camera performance isn’t about megapixels or the lack of them.
The 13MP camera is in fact very decent. You can click good shots in natural lighting. In indoor lighting, the camera appears to compensate on details to avoid noise, but the end result is often very useable.
The camera app allows you to lock focus and then shift metering box, something we find ourself using a lot. There is HDR mode and 4K recording options as well, but both leave you wanting for more. The selfie camera is one of the better ones in this budget. The camera on Le 1s is good enough for all basic needs and social media purposes, but won’t give it an edge over existing competition.
EUI is very impressive
The reason we have been infectiously optimistic about Le 1s is its software interface. Besides being feature rich, UI is consistent and doesn’t drag the performance down. All your needs are well taken care of here. There is no app drawer by default though.
Quick settings can be accessed form recent apps keys. This is something we like, though it takes some getting used to. You can decide precisely what apps get to exploit data, re-arrange quick settings panel, manage notifications and app permissions, make better use of uncluttered notification shade, and a lot more. System apps like gallery app, message app, etc are well designed too. You can also check settings for system apps in a separate tab in primary settings menu.
Only thing we have missed so far is the option for double tap to wake. The fast fingerprint sensor compensates for the same, but there are time when you just wish to check notifications on lock-screen without lifting the phone off the table.
Also we couldn’t install Google Cardboard app from playstore (You can sideload and install it, but it won’t work). There are very few pre-installed apps on our review unit which is a good thing. Besides timely rolling out bug fixes, LeEco is also working on Android Marshmallow update for Le 1s.
The Le 1s turns out to be a very impressive phone for its price. There is no area where it particularly disappoints, but its biggest strengths are beautiful design (beauty), powerful performance (brawn) and intuitive software (brain). With a new brand after sales support is always questionable. The company’s claim of 550 service centers is assuring, but only time will tell how well LeEco performs on that front. If you are willing to take that leap of faith, we have no qualms about recommending Le 1s if you are restricted by a budget of around 10K.