As we speak, LeTV, the Chinese content provider that recently entered the smartphone market, is holding an introduction event in New Delhi — hours after Lenovo disappoint at least some fans with its K4 Note.
The company did not unveil any smartphones, but only gave a glimpse into its non-smartphone products. It will reveal its smartphones on Jan 20.
The Lenovo Note comes with a mid-range processor, while rivals like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and LeTV Le 1S have already moved on to premium processors such as the Snapdragon 808 and MediaTek Helio X10.
Not surprisingly, the crucial question on everybody’s mind is whether, and at what price, the latest Chinese entrant will launch its mid-range phone in India.
The 1s has more or less the same specifications as the K4, except for the processor, which is about 50% more powerful.
The Lenovo model has 3 GB of RAM like the Le 1s, but it remains to be seen how much of a difference it will make when paired with a weaker CPU.
The “(MT)6753 is still good, but when they’ve upgraded every small thing, why not processor too? Helio X10 for slightly higher price? Call me greedy,” pointed out blogger Raju PP on Twitter, echoing a widespread sentiment.
Many other fans were ready to pay the extra Rs 2,000 that the change in processor would have entailed.
And now everyone is waiting to see if the Le 1s is that phone — with a full HD display, fingerprint sensor, 3 GB of RAM, a powerful processor AND most importantly of all, an affordable price.
The LeTV model is currently available in India via online Chinese retailers at a cost of around Rs 16,500 including shipping charges and import duties.
However, when phones are launched by a brand in India, the prices are lower by about 10-15% compared to buying directly and paying the import duties. As such, many expect (or hope) that the phone will carry a tag of no more than Rs 15,000 in India. A pricing of Rs 14,000 would easily help the company beat the big boy of the mid-range market, Lenovo, at its own game.
While it is still not certain that the mid-range phone will hit India soon, what is more or less confirmed is the launch of arguably the biggest phone in India, the Max.
The phone is expected to be priced at Rs 33,000 or thereabouts, and will be one of the most value-for-money propositions in the high end.
The LeTV Max comes with a 6.3-inch display with Quad-HD (4 MP) resolution and the 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 810 chipset. It also has a 20 MP Sony Exmor IMX230 camera sensor, 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage.
The only notable competitors to the phone are the Gionee Elife E8 (Rs 35000) and the new Moto X Force (expected to be launched for Rs 36,000 next week).
Le 3D Helmet
The company also introduced its Le 3D Helmet — the visual equivalent of the Walkman of the 1980s. Lenovo too unveiled a similar contraption at a price of Rs 500 today.
However, unlike the Lenovo device, in which the phone works as a display, the LeTV device is a standalone one.
“Welcome to your virtual living room. Le 3D Helmet is the perfect new technology for movie buffs and YouTubers alike. It supports all SuperPhone models and 3D movies, and is completely integrated with Letv’s full content library,” it said.
“Le 3D Helmet is equipped with a 5.5 inch Sharp, 2K LCD Display, with a horizontal 70 inch field of vision offering a stunning visual experience. It feels like you’re 15 meters away, sitting in the 8th row of a cinema,” it added.