LeEco, formerly known as LeTV, is all set to reveal its second generation of devices in China tomorrow, and also expected are the details of their launch in India, which should happen in a matter of days.
UPDATE: There is no LeEco 2S. The 2S model is now called LeEco Le 2, and has been priced at the same level as Le 1s.
In turn, what was expected to be Le 2 is now called Le 2 Pro and what was expected to Le 2 Pro is now called Le Max 2. It has been priced at Rs 21,500 in China.
India is, therefore, likely to get Le 2 and Le Max 2.
For details, see our updated story.
WATCH THE LIVE TRANSMISSION OF THE EVENT BY CLICKING HERE
UPDATE – 3 Phones were launched today – 2, 2 Pro and Max 2. The entry-level, Snapdragon 652-based 2s has not been launched today.
The company said it will launch the devices in India ‘soon’, without giving any specific date. We expect a launch in May, probably in the second half.
The following are the specifications and prices of the launched models.
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
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)
Out of these three certain candidates, LeEco is likely to bring two to India — the 2s and 2 Pro, leaving out the MediaTek-powered flagship.
Interestingly, both the models slotted for India come with Snapdragon processors.
Many low-cost smartphone brands in India have got into trouble soon after achieving decent sales as Ericsson, a former cellphone maker, sued these companies seeking a percentage of their sale proceedings as royalty.
Among the companies hit by Ericsson’s lawsuits in India are Xiaomi and Micromax, and LeEco, which is also starting to achieve great scale, could have been the next in line. A move to launch only the 2s and 2 Pro in India could save it from the fate of its rivals.
INDIA-CHINA BHAI BHAI?
One of the things that LeEco is doing differently, compared to its main competitor Xiaomi, is putting both the Indian and Chinese markets at largely the same pedestal.
Xiaomi, like Lenovo and others, typically launches its products in China first, and brings them to India after a few weeks or even months.
In contrast, LeEco is likely to announce certain details of the India launch of its Le 2s and 2 Pro models tomorrow itself, when it unveils them in China. The actual launch in India would happen within days rather than months.
This would be a welcome change for fans who have been used to being treated as second in companies’ priority lists.
UPDATE: LeEco has an official page (in Chinese) for the launch. Click for details.
XIAOMI REDMI NOTE 3 TO FEEL PAIN?
There are, however, more practical reasons for LeTV to bring its 2s and 2Pro models to India quickly, and one of those is to give Xiaomi a taste of its own medicine in terms of gorilla marketing.
Xiaomi had successfully diverted attention from LeTV’s first model in India, the Le 1s, by ‘launching’ its Redmi Note 3 at practically the same price soon after 1s sales began.
With Redmi Note 3 being launched at more or less the same price, many people in India put off buying the 1s hoping to get their hands on the 32-GB version of Note 3. However, as they found out after trying repeatedly to buy the 32 GB Note 3, the launch was more in name than in deed. Even a month after launch, Xiaomi didn’t supply even 10% of the demand in India.
While this may have resulted in a lot of ire being directed at Xiaomi online, the company was successful in diverting buyers’ attention away from the Le 1s.
With the launch of Le 2s, LeEco has an excellent opportunity to give back in the same coin.
The Le 2s — despite being a mid-range phone — is clearly superior to the Redmi Note 3, and given a choice, the tech-savvy Indian online smartphone buyer is likely to go for the 2s instead of the Redmi Note 3, particularly after the bad reaction Xiaomi’s flash sale fiasco has brought on among fans.
LE 2S vs REDMI NOTE 3
One of the advantages that Redmi Note 3 possessed over the 1s was a more up-to-date processor with support for advanced LTE and powerful Cortex A72 core design. In comparison, the 1s had to make do with the slightly dated Helio X10 chipset that supported only LTE Category 4 with no support for LTE Voice.
The Le 2s will not only negate the advantage that Redmi Note 3 enjoyed, but will surpass the Note 3 in many ways.
While the Snapdragon 650 inside hexa-core the Redmi Note 3 does come with Cortex A72, it has only two of these.
In comparison, the Snapdragon 652 inside the Le 2s (or whatever LeEco decides to call the model) has four Cortex A72 processors.
This gives the 2s a serious bump up in power.
While the Snadragon 650 scores around 3,500 points on Geekbench 3, the 652 scores 5,200 points — a difference of around 50%.
In addition, the 2s comes with a 16 MP camera at the back and an 8 MP shooter on the front. While Redmi Note 3 also has a 16 MP unit at the back, the camera’s performance has been reported to be very disappointing by users. In addition, the device comes with only a 5 MP sensor on the front.
There could be other advantages too for the 2s, but we don’t know much because of the specifications have not been revealed yet. One of the possible ones that could make a real difference would be support for external memory cards, something that was missing in its predecessor.
LEECO 2 PRO
The second model slated for an India launch is the premium flagship Le 2 Pro (also written 2Pro).
LeTV seems to have learnt a lesson from the low-volume sales of its Max phone in India. At six inches and a price of Rs 36,999, the phone did not exactly set the counters ringing with its sales.
As a result, this time, the company is likely to go for the Rs 27,000-29,000 price range with its flagship offering, the Le 2Pro.
The 2 Pro is also smaller at 5.5 inches, but packs the same ultra-high QHD resolution that with twice as many pixels as a regular full HD screen.
In some ways, the device will take on the recently launched Xiaomi Mi5, priced Rs 25,000 in India.
Like the Mi5, the Le 2 Pro will also come with the latest Snapdragon 820 chipset, but unlike it, the LeTV model will have 4 GB of RAM. In fact, there is also supposed to be a 6 GB RAM variant as well.
And unlike the Mi5, which has a 16 MP camera, the 2 Pro has a 21 MP unit supplemented by an 8 MP front shooter. It also comes with 64 GB of internal memory, twice that of the Mi5. The device will also come with Dolby Audio and USB Type C support.
One of the slightly disappointing aspects of the 2 Pro is the rumored 3.1 Ah battery. However, one must keep in mind that the chipset and RAM used in the device is about twice as efficient as the ones that you find in last year’s flagships.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the phone will consume only half the power, as a significant part of the power requirements of a phone comes from the display.
Still, the 3.1 Ah battery should give as much juice as a 4 Ah battery with last year’s chipsets and RAM. Xiaomi too has gone with a 3 Ah battery for its Mi5 even though the Redmi Note 3 has a 4.05 Ah unit.
Before concluding, however, we must give one fair warning — those expecting the Le 2s to be priced at Rs 10,990 will be disappointed. Instead, according to our information, LeEco will price the model closer to the Rs 15,000 range as it is being brought to India early in its lifecycle, unlike the 1s which was brought in six months after it was launched in China.
Still, the launch of the devices in India will mark an epoch in the era of affordable smartphones in India.