Gadget Review: LeEco's Le 1S - Here comes the budget fixer

Chinese smartphone maker LeEco is all set to redefine the budget segment as its feature-rich Le 1S goes on sale on Tuesday

Just when we thought that madness of flash sales was over, it seems to have returned with the Le 1S, brought to India by LeTV, now known as LeEco. The Chinese company claims to have received more than 5 lakh registrations for its first flash sale happening today at 12 noon. And, why not? For Rs 10,999, the specs of the Le1S look too good to be missed. But does it match up with performance?

Build and design (9/10): The Le 1S is a looker. Its stylish full metal body and slim (7.5mm) form is incomparable in this price range. Available in gold (more light pinkish), the body is bezel-less, and polished along the curvature, adding to the charm. Controls in the front are hidden and emerge only when unlocked. The back gets a shiny fingerprint sensor, with the Letv logo (it may be replaced by LeEco) imprinted underneath. At the bottom are the single, dotted grills for the speaker on both sides with a Type C USB port placed in between. It is sleek and strong, but feels heavy weighing around 165g. A word of caution, thanks to its full metal body, the Le 1S is also slippery, and a plastic/silicon case for extra grip is recommended.

Display (8/10):  The Le 1S gets a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920x1080) display with a pixel density of 403ppi. The display, though prone to smudges, is sharp and offers decent clarity even under sunlight. When used with the provided wallpapers, it almost dissolves into its black front body. We, however, feel the brightness could have been higher. The touch is great too. As for protection, we didn't find any details in the official documents but it is scratch-resistant as it survived our scratch-a-pin test.

Camera (6/10): The Le 1S gets a 13MP rear shooter with LED flash. The focus is quick, and  can record 4K or 1080p videos. But image quality is below average in normal situations and very poor in low light. Also, the auto brightness is a pain, and sometimes doesn’t work properly. It gets a 5MP front camera that can cover up to 85-degrees view and gives decent results with selfies. Both cameras, however, can be controlled using the finger print sensor at the back.

OS and User Interface (8/10):  The Le 1S runs a customised EUI user interface built on top of Android Lollipop 5.0.2. Its sleek and clutter-free design offers much-needed break from the same old icons on Android. The quick settings menu that offers a list of quick controls as well as the recent apps can be accessed by pressing the options button at the bottom of the device. The OS ran smoothly without any crashes; however, some may find the font size tiny for normal viewing. The device also has few factory apps, which is refreshing.

Connectivity (9/10): The Le 1S is a dual SIM smartphone with support for 4G on both SIM cards. It also gets dual band Wi-Fi (a/b/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi Direct, MHL (no 4K display, though),  A-GPS, and 2G and 3G networks as well. It also gets an infrared sensor that allows it to double up as a universal remote controller for home appliances like TV using the remote control app provided with the phone, a feature hardly seen at this price range.

Battery (8/10): The Le 1S gets a 3,000mAh non-removable lithium-polymer battery, which manages to survive a full day, but we advise carrying a powerbank at all times. It supports fast charging through the USB Type C port. If you are heavy user, Redmi Note 3 may be worth a wait as it packs a 4,000mAh battery.

Hardware and Performance (8/10): LeEco has managed to pack a lot of features in this price range (10,999) including the Mediatek Helio X10 SoC which has quadcores of 64-bit A53 processors, clocked at 2.2GHz. The device gets 3GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage. It manages to pull through most of the tasks, and can easily take head on all other phones in the same price bracket. Users, however, may experience slight heating up, during games, but it’s a common occurrence. There’s no support for external SD card, and that is the second major drawback. Audio quality is good, during music playback and while on a call. The built-in speakers are also loud. The device also gets a finger-print scanner at the back, which can record data about up to five fingers, and is quick to respond.

Note: LeEco India doesn’t have an official website as yet, but information about its products is available on

Overall rating
The guide verdict:
The Le 1S is not a terminator of flagship phones, as LeEco likes to call it. It comes with its set of flaws, including a poor rear camera and heavy body, and lacks support for external SD card. But it has redefined the budget segment with premium features like Type C port, infrared sensor and a full metal body. And for R10,999, it gives you more bang for your buck.

Display: 5.5-inch 1920x1080, 403ppi
Processor: 2.2 GHz octa Core processor Helio X10
Mdmory: 3GB RAM, 32GB internal
Camera: 5MP (front), 13MP with flash (rear)
Connectivity: A-GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, 4G, infrared sensor
Price: Rs 10,999

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