China is at a crossroads at this point in time, and I do not mean the financial/property bubble that is about to burst according to numerous economists from different parts of the world, but rather, their industry do seem to be evolving as they move beyond reverse engineering and in the eyes of some, copying the ideas and designs of others, to that of actually being a frontliner, establishing the proverbial beach head in terms of technology – where mobile devices and in the larger scheme of things, consumer electronics, are concerned. LeEco’s event showed off a trio of smartphones, or ‘superphones’ as they are called – the the Le 2, Le 2 Pro and Le Max 2.
There will be two startling points about all three devices. One: they are priced at a level which cannot be ignored, and two, the 3.5mm headphone jack is no more, favoring instead the USB Type-C connection, which would certainly bring these new smartphones into an era that is just beginning, conforming to LeEco’s Continual Digital Lossless Audio standard (but of course).
All three models can be rather difficult to tell apart from one another, although as their ‘parent’, LeEco would be able to know just like how human parents can differentiate the difference between twins and triplets. The looks are close to identical, even down right to the fingerprint reader that is located at the back, and a near bezel-less display in front.
The Le 2 and Le 2 Pro will be two of the more affordable smartphones out there, where shared hardware specifications would be a generous 5.5” Full HD display, an 8MP camera for selfies, with the Le 2 sporting a 16MP shooter at the back while the Le 2 Pro boasts of a 21MP shooter behind. Expect the 3,000mAh battery to be able to last the distance, alongside 32GB of internal memory and 3GB of RAM on the Le 2 with the Le 2 Pro sporting an additional 1GB. As for the processing muscle underneath the hood, the Le 2 will have a MediaTek X20 chipset, while the Le 2 Pro will bump things up with the MediaTek X25 chipset. The Le 2 and Le 2 Pro have been dubbed as the “flagship killer” and “super flagship killer”, respectively, by LeEco.
As for their flagship device, the Le Max 2, you will certainly be pleased as punch to hear that it comes with the largest screen among the trio at 5.7” while sporting QHD resolution. LeEco ain’t fooling around when they are going all out with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that is said to be more sensitive and accurate, Quick Charge 3.0 support for speedy juicing up of your handset whenever you are in a rush, optical image stabilization for its 21MP shooter behind with an 8MP front-facing camera, and a 3,100mAh battery. You get 64GB of internal memory and the LeEco Max 2 is the first smartphone in the market to boast of 6GB of RAM, now how about that? Of course, there is a 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory model that will be available as well at a lower price point (2,099 yuan).
If there are a couple of gripes about these phones, it would be this – there does not seem to be any kind of NFC support on all three handsets, and neither is a microSD memory card slot ready and present within, despite them boasting of dual SIM slots. Hopefully the US variants, when they arrive, will be tweaked in these aspects for the simple fact that payment via NFC has already started to make its presence known in many places in the US, and having an option to expand the smartphone’s memory is always a welcome addition.
The Le 2 and Le Max 2 will retail for 1,099 yuan (approx. $170) and $2,499 (approx. $390), respectively, which is dirt cheap for such specifications thrown into the mix. As for the Le 2 Pro, the base model with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory will retail for 2,099 yuan (approx. $325). Pre-order for these devices have already kicked started in China, and other Chinese manufacturers might want to have a heads up.
Do expect a couple of these handsets to arrive Stateside as well, and it would be interesting to see if these will be disruptive to the market in the US with such specs and relatively low price points.
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