It’s not just a smartphone but a superphone.. This is what Chinese smartphone maker LeEco calls its first device – Le 1s – that has just been launched in India with an aim to “disrupt” the mid-range market with its cutting-edge specifications.
So to test the claims, I used the 4G-enabled Le 1s “superphone” and found that to an extent, the company’s assertions are right.
What works for the Rs 10,999 phone?
On the first look, the thin device with a bezel-less screen looks stunning in shiny rose-gold – not too large, not too small and which easily fits into the palm.
The all-metal (aluminium) body makes the phone a bit heavy but given the sober design, it is acceptable.
The phone has speaker grills and charger/USB points at the bottom, SIM card trays (GSM micro and GSM macro) on the left and power, volume up/down buttons on the right bumper.
It sports a camera with flash on the top left corner and a mirror-finish fingerprint scanner in the centre on the back that unlocks the phone in a blink.
The touch sensor of home, menu and back buttons look nice but interestingly, these are not visible until you touch them. Even when the screen is “awake,” the sensors do not light up. Moreover, the backlight gets switched off if the sensors are not touched for four seconds.
A long touch on the square button brings out themes, wallpapers and widgets while double-tapping the same button brings up the shortcuts menu which has options of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, auto-brightness, rotation, mobile data, flight mode and mute mode.
Le 1s has a 5.5-inch fHD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. I watched over three back-to-back episodes of a Hollywood series in high-definition with no strain in the eyes. The device also has a crisp sound.
Le 1s is powered by MediaTek’s MT6795 Helios X10 2.2 GHz Octa-core processor which is assisted by a 3GB RAM. Playing games of the phone was fun and multi-tasking was smooth.
The 32GB internal storage provides ample space for music, videos and other stuff, including documents and photos.
The phone has a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery with fast charging. The unit provided to me charged from zero to 100 percent in an hour and 20 minutes, although, as claimed by the company, I did not get a full hour of standby time in just five minutes of charging.
The “superphone” has a decent 13-megapixel primary camera, which actually took photos (with auto-focus) in less than a second. However, the phone took more than a second to take photo with a single-tone LED flash (no, I did not miss any shots though).
Similar to iPhones, LeEco has provided four modes – slow motion, video, photo and panorama – for its users. The phone allows users to edit the photos with its several built-in colour effects.
The front 5-megapixel camera is better than many phones in this price-segment.
As far as software and user interface are concerned, the Le 1s runs Android Lollipop 5.0.2 on the base with proprietary EUI 5.5 user interface on top.
What doesn’t work?
Although 32GB onboard memory is enough, but to compete in this segment, the phone should have had an expandable storage slot which, unfortunately, is not there.
The dropdown menu does not have shortcuts. That looks a bit dull. It also heats up after prolonged camera use and/or while playing games.
Verdict: The Le 1s with all its features and a price of Rs 10,999 is a good buy. Display quality, good user interface, fast charging, lag-free multi-tasking and handy design that lets user work with one hand are some of the features to look for in the phone. Phone loses points for incorporating a quite basic camera.
Full Specifications: 2.2 GHz Octa-core Mediatek MT6795 Helio X10 processor with PowerVR G6200 GPU | 3 GB DDR3 RAM | 5.5-inch display | 32 GB storage | 13-megapixel auto focus rear camera with ISOCELL technology and blue glass infrared filter | 5-megapixel front camera | dual 4G/LTE | Wi-Fi | Bluetooth | 3,000 mAH battery | mirror-finish fingerprint identification system.
Sourabh Kulesh / IANS