The first Indian launches by Chinese phone brand LeEco, seem to cock a snook at all comers.
New Delhi, January 25 2016: Listening to the constant refrain of comparison during the India launch event in Gurgaon, last week, of its first phones by the Chinese brand LeEco, I was reminded of that punchline in the song from that old American musical , ‘Annie Get Your Gun’: “Anything you can do, I can do better!” With the iPhone as its primary target, LeEco pitched its features against all competition and seemed to say, we’ll match you, spec for spec.
Their flagship is audaciously called LeMax -- and the name says it all: a jumbo 6.33 inch screen with a very high resolution Wide Quad High Definition or WQHD display of 1440 by 2560, which makes it twice as sharp as a HD display; an ultra thin bezel and a rugged all metal body; a massive 21 megapixel primary camera, capable of shooting 4K video, a fairly standard 4 MP selfie camera, 4G of the latest DDR4 RAM all driven by Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 8-core 2 GHz processor – one of the fastest available today. The dual SIM slots can take a combo of a micro and a nano SIM
Another piece of future-roofing is the new Type C USB connector -- the first phone to sport this symmetrical design. It means the cable can be inserted any which way you please. For the time being you may need to buy an adapter since most of your other gadgets will have the conventional USB termination. Interfaces include new technologies like WiFi Direct (ie without a hotspot) and MHL for displaying and transferring HD and 4K video. A finger print sensor placed on the back of the phone completes the contemporary basket of specs. The phone felt very strong in my hand inspite of the ultra-thin bezel. Correction: two hands. This is a phone on steroids and all this muscle shows in the weight just over 200 grams. This is definitely not for one handed operation. The main camera comes with a lot of fancy software for panorama shots and face beautification and a dual -tone flash with two different light sources. I saw some amazing outdoor shots taken with LeMax, though I couldn’t try it out myself in the maara-mari of the launch event.
I thought in customizing the Android 5.0 user interface, LeEco has tried to cram in too many things, making the home screen look crowded. If I owned this phone, I would trash half the icons and create my own simpler screen. At an asking price of Rs 32,999, LeMax is aimed at the upper half of the smart phone market and it will be deemed a good deal for its top-of-the-line specs. However I do think it is somewhat bizarre to sell you a phone in this day and age where you can’t expand the internal storage of 64 GB. Is it because the maker ( as the previous name LeTV reveals) is also into the business of providing paid content on demand? And in India, LeEco has signed up with Eros Films and Yupp TV for on demand movies and live TV channel access? These are streaming services, requiring no storage If so, all I can say is :Sneaky!
Taking on iPhone 6s|
The second phone available in india from LeEco, come February, is the Le 1S which is smaller at 5.5 inches, much lighter at 169 grams and offers a full HD screen. The cameras are 13 MP and 5 mp, with 3 GB RAM and non expandable 32 GB of storage . The screw-less metal bodied phone is a thing of beauty, to have and to hold -- and the finger print scanner is one of the fastest in the industry. Other features like USB Type C port and twin 4G SIMs match the Le Max. At an aggressive Rs 10,999 price, the Le 1S is an audacious challenge to the considerably higher priced iPhone 6S Plus. It remains to be seen if customers perceive it like that. Both phones currently sold only on FlipKart.