In the ocean full of smartphones and Phablets, it’s not at all easy for a new brand to come in and take the market by storm while disrupting major competition. Even if it does, the defeat can not be a major one however as it seems the LetV codenamed as LeEco here in India is all set to accomplish all of that. It all started with a mega event that was hosted in NCR in India. The kind of media attention that this device managed to gather spoke volumes about how big of a deal this was and once I had the device in hand, I could personally second that!
The internet conglomerate has recently launched a couple of devices specifically designed and developed for the Indian mindset and market, of which one of the devices is Le1S. With 3GB RAM powered by 2.2 GHz of processorand complimented by a 13MP rear and 5MP front camera.
It’s the first time that I have spent just a few days with the device (which is usually a week’s time) and I wanted to come up with an article. Said that, it does not mean that the review is going to be an incomplete one, as I almost spent an entire 14 hour journey on the flight with this beautiful device that was enough for me to judge the device. Let’s test the smartphone on each parameter and see how it performed upto my expectations and in cases more than that.
Anything and everything about this device is great but this part scores the maximum. I was holding the device next to an iPhone 6S and believe me the device managed to capture the attention first because of its amazing display (which can be attributed to it’s In-Cell technology display), surrounded by a bezel-less boundary on the two sides and chamfered edges. This beautiful casing of the display seems to be imitated from the HTC M Series however the device still manages to look different. The full metal body design uses 6 series aerospace aluminium without a single screw in it.
The device has a perfect symmetry in the front, with speaker in the centre the (just above the display) accompanied by the front camera on the right and a sensor on the left of it. The three buttons, home, back and the multi-tasking are touch enabled and lit up only when tapped, this makes the front of the device look so classy and subtle unlike most of the devices in the segment. The front of the device has un-proportionate upper and lower section, the upper portion of the display being smaller than he lower.
On the top of the device is a 3.5mm headphone jack while there are the two speakers and a type C charging port at below of the device which again follows symmetry. The back of the device is equally attractive as front, on top left is the 13MP camera and flash next to it. The upper third section of the back has a finger print sensor that can be accessed easily and just below it is the ‘LetV’ logo.
At the lower back section of the device is the industrial standards and ‘Made in China’ descriptions. On the right of the device are the volume rockers accompanied with the power button while the left side has the dual SIM slot that can be accessed using a SIM ejector tool (with a Nano SIM and a Macro SIM). There is a service LED on the front top left of the phone that lights up in green.
The overall design is very attractive and clean unlike most of the devices in this segment. The mirror looking finger print sensor at the back and the bezel-less front display offers stylish look to the device making it a good choice for the fashion enthusiast.
DISPLAY AND CAMERA
The Le1S uses In-cell technology that was introduced in later 2012 to have lower form factors. Reports suggest that such displays provide better resolution compared to the LCD displays and my God they do. The idea is to embed the digitiser, use the touch input and integrate a LCD screen into a single layer which results in almost 30 percent of reduction in screen width. The colours are amazing and not at all over saturated. Since none of the home, return and the multi-tasking keys lit up unless and until tapped, the display gets an undivided attention.
The device has a Samsung’s back illuminated 13MP camera which uses ISOCELL technology. It uses technologies like the Close Look, Ball type motor and PDAF to achieve a fast focus at 0.09 seconds. The camera is no less than that of a high end segment smartphones that performs great under sunlight and also under low light conditions. It allows you take pictures in three aspect ratios 4:3 (5M), 16:9 (4M) and 4:3 (5M). There are other options in the default camera app that allow you to enable/disable ‘Stable Capture’, ‘Shutter Sound’,’ Store Location’ for both the front and the rear camera options. It also offers timers for those perfect selfies and groupfies.
The camera app is really simple, clean and displays the options in the best possible way it could. There is a simple settings icon at the left top from where you can access the camera options. For the rear camera the options listed out allow you to change the ISO, Exposure, White Balance, Contrast, Saturation. For the front camera the options are limited and does not allow you to adjust the ISO, Exposure, Contrast and Saturation. I find this really cool that it does not have a separate manual mode option which makes it so easy to use, like if you don’t want to use the manual mode you can just keep those settings in auto mode.
Apart from the basic video and photo mode, the camera app also offers Slow motion videos and time lapse. Equipped with advanced ISO CELL deep trench isolation technique, each beam of light is absorbed as much as possible to ensure a clear image and to improve traditional technologies string between pixels light problem. The camera is equipped with a F2.0 aperture and high CRI Philips flash. The camera app allows you to enjoy Panoramic photography, long exposure shots and 4K video recording as well.
The another cool thing about this device is that the finger print scanner at the back acts as a shutter button when you don’t want to use the shutter button on the screen. You can check out some camera shots taken with this phone under different light conditions.
HARDWARE AND BATTERY PERFORMANCE
The device hosts a MediaTek Helio X10 Turbo true 8-core processor which uses a 64 bit architecture, the clocking speed of 2.2 GHz frequency allows an increased performance by 10 percent. With 3Gb RAM and 32Gb storage the computing is really powerful and it is pretty evident when you use the device with that seamless multi-tasking. The device boasts a VR G6200 700MHz GPU for graphics, like always I played a couple of games including Asphalt 8 and Sniper Fury, there was no lag at all and believe me guys, I might be saying this over and again but this phone actually does not look like a 10k phone. Its kudos to the brand for bringing out such a performance out from the device.
On the ANTuTu benchmark it manages to get a score of 55844 with the following details. (Below is a screenshot for the same.)
Score – 55844
3D- 13162 >
UX- 18453 >
CPU- 18426 >
The phone’s performance is complimented with the battery performance, with Type C USB charging the phone can be charged for 3.5 hours of talk time in just 5 minutes and you can charge up the complete battery in 50 minutes, the technology behind this is known as the Le Flash Red. The full charged device lasts upto 14-16 hours varied by the usage. I generally watch videos followed by Instagram and web browsing, added to it 3 hours of music, with such a usage it managed to last for about 15 hours. But then since the charging does not take that long, it doesn’t bother me even if the battery drains out much earlier.
The device’s entire circuit and accessories have been transformed and the phone uses high density fast charging batteries 3000 mAh battery and cell phone charging head with 24W external configuration of the data line of 3A.
After almost 28 trial versions, 200 test versions and 6 stable versions and with almost 28,000 improvements as the company mentions, the brand came up with this EUI OS for their smartphones to create a whole new eco system. As they say, to have a great phone you need to have an OS that understands your requirements and compliments the hardware and this phone truly does that. All the basic applications like the Call, messaging and the Email have been optimised and enhanced from the default apps to create a better experience for the user.
In Android you generally access the options of Bluetooth, Torch, Air plane mode etc by swiping down from the top which sometimes becomes difficult if the size of the screen is big however in this EUI to access these buttons just press the left most button on the bottom and there you go. This same button opens up all the recently opened apps, hence just one button solves both your purpose. Like this there are a plenty of other ways in which this OS has been optimised the ease to use the device with such changes is pretty evident.
Brands usually take advantage of the bloatware to make money of their low priced devices however this is not evident in the Le1s, I could not see a lot of bloatware on the device which gives you a good feeling about the device as soon as you turn it on.
FINGER PRINT SENSOR
Te be frank, when I first heard that the cheaper mobile phone to be launched by Letv is going to have a finger print sensor, the first thought that came to my mind was that it is surely not going to be really precise however the time I was setting it up to start using the device I got an idea how precise it is. Moreover the position of the finger print sensor seemed to be not so comfortable and easy to access but with time I got used to it. The mirror scanner compliments the design as well and to make this timeless beauty the company has used next level technology and innovation. The steel with 0.175mm of thickness offers a hardness level of 6H which is capable of protecting the sensor from the scratches caused due to coins and keys.
The design is inspired by the ancient Chines and modern technology and traditional aesthetic integrations. The scanner provides the finger print scanning at a really fast 0.15 seconds and offers upto 5 finger recognition with 99.3 percent accuracy. Not just going by the facts, I have set up both my thumbs and both index fingers and it did not fail even once while scanning to unlock the device, did pretty well even when my fingers were wet.
I would keep this part really simple. With just 11k on the price tag the features offered by this premium looking device that too of great precision and accuracy definitely makes it worth a buy. So if you are planning to buy a device within this range then hands down this should be your pick. So our Tech bot gives it a score of 9 out of 10.