True to tradition, LeEco announced jaw-dropping prices for its second batch of smartphones, starting with Le 2 at Yuan 1099, which translates to Rs 11,250, and is the same as what the Le 1s was selling for.
The company follows a naming convention similar to that of the iPhone — its inspiration and benchmark — and it looks like the Le 2 is the successor to the Le 1S, which was the upgraded model of the Le 1.
With this, it looks certain that India will get the Le 2 in place of the 1S, which was unveiled in October last year.
No specific dates have been announced, but the India head of LeEco said the phones will be launched here ‘soon’.
What is interesting about the price of the Le 2 is that it has come much cheaper than expected, despite flaunting a ten-core Helio X20 chipset.
The company was supposed to have also unveiled a Snapdragon 652 based model with the same configuration as the ‘2’. This model would have been a great fit for the company in India due to the presence of Ericsson here. Ericsson, which used to be a big brand in phones ten-fifteen years ago, has routinely sued any new brand that sells a large number of phones in India.
Examples of companies that have had trouble with Ericsson include Micromax and Xiaomi, both of which are battling court cases and stays due to royalty demands by the company. Xiaomi has even been prevented from launching its MediaTek-powered models in the country because of Ericsson’s law suits. Instead, it creates special versions with more expensive chips made by Qualcomm — a US company that owns a lot of patents used by Ericsson in its network equipment business.
As a result, it was expected that LeEco would unveil the Snapdragon 852-based model today as well, and proceed shortly to launch it in India.
The absence of the SD 852-based model suggests that either LeEco would take its chances and launch the Helio X20 model in India, or that we are looking at a delay of around 1.5 months during which time it will bring out the SD 652-based model for India.
Either way, Indian fans do not have much to worry about, except for the possible delay, as the SD-652 is quite a capable chipset compared to the Helio X20. Like the X20, the SD-652 also supports VoLTE or 4G voice and speeds of 300 Mbps down and 100 Mbps up via two-carrier aggregation.
The Helio X20 also supports native video calling using Video-over-LTE and seamless switching of calls from Wifi to VoLTE and vice versa.
In other words, whether or not the Snapdragon-version of the ‘2’ comes out or not, Indian fans can look forward to an updated device that will cost around Rs 14,000 or so, going by the China pricing.
ZERO MARGIN HARDWARE BUSINESS
In fact, LeEco founder Jia Yueting made it a point to tell his audience today that his company’s ultimate aim was to sell hardware in such a way that his company makes no money on these products, but instead, it makes money only on the ecosystem elements such as videos and apps consumed on these devices.
“Xiaomi and Huawei have profited too much from hardware itself and we want to change that,” Yueting while unveiling the Le 2 and 2 Pro in China today.
He said LeEco works by making bulk purchases from component manufacturers and passing on the bulk discounts to its consumers.
In case of the Le Max 2 phone that was unveiled today, he said, the company ordered so many Snapdragon 820 chipsets that it got the product for a lower price than many of its competitors.
Not surprisingly, Yueting announced that LeEco’s premium product, the Le Max 2, will cost just 2,099 Yuan (Rs 21,450) for the 4 GB version — making it by far the cheapest such product in the world given the configuration and specifications.
In comparison, the Le Max 1 was priced at 2,999 (equal to Rs 32,500, but final price in India was 36,999).
The 6 GB version of Le Max 2 will cost 2,499 Yuan (Rs 25,560), making it not only one of the rare models to come with so much application memory, but also the cheapest 6-GB model in the world.
Finally, Yueting also unveiled the successor of the Le 1 Pro called, not surprisingly, the Le 2 Pro. The Le 2 Pro offers 4 GB of RAM instead of 3 GB on Le 2, and has substantially better imaging capabilities compared to the Le 2.
The Le 1 Pro was not launched in India, and it remains to be seen if the Le 2Pro will be.
In fact, we had reported that LeEco will launch two models in India — the Le 2 (or 2S) and the Le 2 Pro. However, the high-end model being launched in India will come with Snapdragon 820 and a QHD display, while the 2Pro unveiled today comes with Helio X25 and a full-HD screen. This suggests that the second model that will be coming to India will be the 4 GB version of Le Max 2 (which has Snapdragon 820), and not Le 2 Pro.
The Le Max 2 will come with a 5.7-inch QHD display (with 4 million pixels instead of 2) and either 4 or 6 GB of RAM. The 4GB version has been priced at 2,099 Yuan in China, suggesting that the India price for the phone will be around Rs 24,999 — the same as Xiaomi’s 3G Mi5 model.
The Le Max 2 offers more RAM than the similarly priced Mi5 and has a display that is 23% larger and has got twice as many pixels on it.
The Antutu score of Le 2 is around 97,000 and that of the Le 2 Pro (which may not come to India) is 103,000.
OTHER SPECIFICATIONS OF THE MODELS ARE GIVEN BELOW.
SPECIFICATIONS OF LE 2
DISPLAY – 5.5 inch, FHD
RAM – 3GB
CAMERA – 16 MP + 8 MP
CHIPSET – HELIO X20 2.3 GHz
CHINA PRICE – Rs 11,500 appx
BATTERY – 3 Ah
STORAGE – 32 GB
Antutu score – 97,000
SPECIFICATIONS OF LE 2 PRO
RAM – 4 GB
CAMERA – 21 MP Sony IMX230
CHIPSET – HELIO X25
DISPLAY – 5.5 inch FHD
RAM – 4 GB
CAMERA – 21 + 8 MP
BATTERY – 3 Ah
STORAGE – 32 GB
Antutu score – 103,000
CHINA PRICE – Rs 16,000
SPECIFICATIONS OF LE MAX 2
CHIPSET – SD820
DISPLAY – 5.7 QHD (515 PPI)
CAMERA – 21 MP
RAM – 6 GB
STORAGE – 64 GB
BATTERY – 3.1 Ah
PRICE – Rs 22,500, 27,000 (6 GB)