Little known outside of the Chinese and Asian region, LeEco is on a determined quest to change all that, and fast too. It’s smartphones invariably come cheap, but cram in specs found only in devices that cost twice as much. It additionally has another good thing going for it in a rather excellent design team that produce top quality phones from top quality materials that look good enough to pay a dowry on or with.
Launching worldwide and with the Moto G4 as its main price and specs rival is the LeEco Le S3. If you care to know how it measures up, kindly read our detailed LeEco Le S3 review to discover if it’s all it really is cracked up to be. Or if it’s just another Chinese junk not deserving of even a brief glance.
Design and Build Quality
Sure the LeEco Le S3 is cheap, but it definitely works very hard to hide that. It’s made of an aluminum unibody design that could have come from the stables of any of the top 3 smartphone makers. That in case you didn’t get the point means it’s extremely good looking, with a sexy body to die for.
At the top and bottom are the usual thick bezels, which though are almost eliminated at the sides for better viewing and usability. The device certainly feels good in the hand, weight is balanced and barely there, while it’s still small enough for one-handed use; only if you have big paws like I do of course!
At the glossy back sits the 16 Megapixel main camera with its dual LED flash. Below that you get the fingerprint scanner. Turn it over, and you get the selfie camera and mono speaker at the top and the USB Type-C at the bottom for device charging and data transfer. The dual nano SIM card slots are on the left. No headphone traditional jack or external SD card storage is supported however.
Overall weight is an eminently manageable 153 grams, while dimensions are: 5.95 x 2.92 x .30-inches. Available colors are varied and range from rose gold to gray to simply gold.
This is a 5.5-incher that come fully armored in Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for improved reliability and durability. Just don’t take it as a license to abuse the device. Screen resolution is 1080 x 1920, which rounds up to about 401ppi.
With such an HD screen coupled with non-existent side bezels, the phone is absolutely gorgeous to use. Video watching, picture-looking, or general everyday use was excellent. Pictures are sharp, colorfully vivid and realistically rendered. And the screen at max brightness proved illuminated enough and good enough to be used and used well in direct sunlight, even with the sun glaring overhead like a baleful witch.
Overall, the screen and the gorgeous display are one of the most prominent and easily lovable part of the device and good enough to compete with some top-end products from top-end brands.
The main camera is an impressively sized 16 Megapixel shooter sporting dual LED flash and rather excellent low light performance. Its frontal companion is an 8MP front sensor for selfies and other narcissist tasks that really delights in execution and usage. Whether videos or photos, both cameras proved extremely competent in doing them great justice. As well, the camera app is a breeze to launch, and the camera requires at the most a second to focus and start doing the do.
Additionally, both cameras are capable of shooting 4K video, as well as slow-mo, Matrix-like video effects, which will undoubtedly be irresistible for the Matrix fans.
Performance and Connectivity
Power certainly is not lacking on the LeEco Le S3. It ships with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 chipset that does the waltz at a highly respectable 1.8GHZ. This is coupled with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory. With such hard-hitting specs, the device brooks no delay and takes all that you dare to throw at it. Multitasking is easy as pie, while even graphics-hogging games play smoother than melted butter.
With its rather cheap price point, we were expecting the LeEco Le S3 to ship with an obscure and puny MediaTek abortion. And were pleasantly surprised with the inclusion of the capable Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. This further illustrates the present strategy of little-known and littler appreciated device manufacturers to build high-quality and high-capacity devices that get priced at a fraction of brand-name rivals. All in a bid to win brutally competitive market share, make a big splash in the rather congested smartphone and consumer electronics market and finally worm their way into our collective hearts, pockets, and wallets. And oh, the likes of Samsung and Apple have good reason to worry because the products of these upstarts keep getting ever better and more competitive. But enough of my long-winded speech.
OS on the LeEco Le S3 is the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but with LeEco-derived and grandly named Ecosystem User Interface, which it brazenly uses to promote its products and services-primarily video content. This while offering a fresh take on the usual Android experience occasionally feels choking and oppressive. This is worsened by its inexcusably poor interface and overall lack of polish.
The fingerprint does scanner comes in useful, but occasionally has unexplainable difficulty correctly reading my finger and unlocking the device. With a miserly 32 GB of internal storage and no possibility of increasing it via SD card, my device speedily got filled up with the games, apps, and other accessories I mercilessly loaded it up with. In this day and age, it is totally incomprehensible having such a limited storage options on a highly-speced smartphone. What were you thinking dear LeEco?
Connectivity options are somewhat lacking, but do include: Bluetooth 4.1, 4G, 3G, and VoLTE. No NFC, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Infrared or the usual culprits are present. Speaker audio is loud and somewhat clear, while call quality during calls was equally good.
The power to run everything and keep you smiling at such a sleek machine is derived from a 3,000 mAh sealed battery that delivers all-day usage on medium workload before you need to start looking frantically for a recharging point. Additionally, with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 being supported, charging up the device is painless, easy and fast.
With an original price of $250 and getting cheaper, the device is a steal. And with LeEco reportedly offering a $100 rebate in some regions, buying it feels like robbing a blind old woman! While possessing some inherent limitations, overall the LeEco Le S3 is a solidly performing device and definitely recommended if you wish to acquire a top-end phone at rock-bottom prices.