Review LE 1S ECO – Fast AND Fluid

LeEco has launched the new LE 1S model named as “LE 1S ECO” on 12th May 2016. The major difference Vs the older LE 1S model lies in the processor clock speed, which was reduced from 2.2 GHz to 1.85 GHz in the latest model. The new LE 1S ECO comes with free digital content and LE View integration.

LeEco has launched the new ECO variant at a reduced price of Rs. 9,999 (earlier price 10,899) and you can also get a discount of Rs. 1000 with an HDFC credit and debit card.

Effectively the LE 1S ECO costs Rs. 9,000.

In this review, we will go through an in-depth analysis of performance, camera and user interface of LE 1S Eco. Let’s begin with the unboxing.

Review LE 1S ECO - Fast AND Fluid

In The Box – Un-boxing LE 1S ECO
  • LE 1S ECO Smartphone
  • Fast Charging Adapter
  • USB Type C Cable
  • Manual and Sim Ejector Tool

LE 1S ECO does not come with earphones or back cover or any screen guard. The packaging was bit strange as it came with a blank White Box which has nothing written on the top of it. Check the Video Below to See What is Inside the Box.

Unboxing LE 1S ECO – What’s Inside the Box  

I received a free back cover from Flipkart for the LE 1S and it was not shipped with the smartphone.  If you have not received it, you can check with Flipkart for it.

Design And Build :

I was delighted to see the smartphone and the build quality is very pleasing. The golden color is not very shiny like some of the Samsung phones but it gives a premium look to the device. The smartphone has a metal build and does not feel very heavy. The LE 1S ECO weighs 169 grams and has a thickness of 7.6 mm.

The edges are more curved and the bottom speaker grill adds to the killer looks. Definitely, it is one of the best looking budget smartphones.

The smartphone has a design which has some similarities to the iPhone 5s but has a larger body. The camera at the back is placed on the right side and there is very little camera bump.

There is a very shiny fingerprint scanner at the back of the device which is fast and accurate.

Review LE 1S ECO - Fast AND Fluid Review LE 1S ECO - Fast AND Fluid

Display

The display has good brightness and vibrant colors, in fact, I liked the display and it is a pleasure to watch videos and read text on the 5.5-inch display with Full HD resolution and 401 PPI. The display is IPS LCD and supports 10 finger touch.

The brightness levels are also appropriate and it is visible outdoor as well.

Egregiously, the display has a wide black bezel line around it as I have shown in the above video. It is not a deal breaker but then we want smartphones with lesser bezel width.

User Experience

The EUI 5.5 running on top of the Android Lollipop 5.0 offers smooth experience and the atrocious Mediatek Helio X10 pushes the smartphone with turbulent cores to offer fluid experience.  Switching between Apps and opening new apps is smooth, the RAM management could have been better as most of the time the smartphone has 1.5 GB to 1.8 GB Ram in use.

Though the device doesn’t look like it is struggling for any resources when doing day to day tasks. I was satisfied with the user experience although the icons and UI is customized with a mix of Android and iOS appearance.

Le 1S Eco (3)

I tried to use a different launcher in place of the stock Leeco launcher but there was some issue as I was not able to change the launcher to Google launcher or the Nova Launcher.  After using the device for some time it would switch back to the Leeco launcher again.

The notification bar and the pull-down menu is unlike stock android which I realized after pulling it down many times out of habit and not finding the quick settings there. To access quick settings you need to press the capacitive touch button. It shows a menu much like the iOS 9 with music and brightness bars in the middle and option to close the recently opened Apps and quick launch options.

Levidi App and LE View – This is the hub of content and entertainment. The Le View is a nifty option which comes to preview when you swipe from the left similar to the Google Now cards on the stock android marshmallow.

Sound Quality and Watching Videos

The Le 1s ECO scores good on the sound quality and offers crisp and loud volume from the 2 Dual speakers which are placed below the smartphone. The sound for watching videos and movies is very high and can easily fill a small room.

Watching YouTube Videos is a decent experience using the bottom speakers.  There are not stock earphones supplied with the smartphone.

Check the Video Below :

LE 1S ECO Performance

This is probably why you plan to buy the Le 1S ECO.  Powered by the Helio X10 Octa-Core processor the smartphone is a real power horse in it’s price range. Though in the LE 1S ECO variant the processor is clocked at 1.85 GHz vs the 2.2 GHz on the earlier LE 1S variant.

Le 1S Eco (6)

There is Power VR G6200 GPU to handle the graphics and games you may like to throw at it. The user experience is very smooth , and opening/closing apps is blazing fast.

You can easily open many tabs on chrome or along with other Apps and the 3 GB RAM will ensure that there is no slowdown. Overall the performance is really good for the price tag.

Gaming And Benchmarks LE 1S ECO

Here I had good results specially for the Geek and Antutu benchmark which uses both the GPU as well as CPU. The CPU clock as we understand has been reduced and rightly so to probably curb the heating issues.

Antutu-Benchmark

In the Antutu benchmark the smartphone scored splendid 48,854 while the LE 1S earlier model had a score of 51000,  this seems to be a  very little drop in performance as far as Antutu is concerned.

On the Geekbench the score was in line with the earlier LE 1S version and it had a very impressive score for both the single Core as well as Multi core.

In the Single Core Score the smartphone scored

We played the Modern Combat 5 and the game play was smooth and we played it without any glitches. We even tried some of the basic games like the temple run 3 and the LE 1S Eco breezed through them without any issues.

LE 1S ECO  Camera Quality

Outdoor camera quality is okay in the natural sunlight condition.  Though using the camera indoor increases the amount of noise in the images significantly.  The Autofocus system also don’t perform well in the indoor conditions when there is low light.

Indoor Rear Camera Shots

Camera Samples LE 1s ECO (7)
Over Exposed shot the pattern on diary is lost
Camera Samples LE 1s ECO (5)
lack of details in the images shot indoors
Camera Samples LE 1s ECO (2)
Some Noise in indoor shots

Camera Samples LE 1s ECO (6) Camera Samples LE 1s ECO (4) Camera Samples LE 1s ECO (3) Camera Samples LE 1s ECO (1)

The rear 13 Mega pixel camera sometimes absorbs more light and sometimes fail to absorb light completely and resulted output is either an over exposed or an under exposed image.

I took some pictures outdoors, the camera performs okay in the broad day light but some of the images just get over exposed with too much of light. The images taken using the front camera shows more natural colors compared to the images taken by the rear camera in very bright daylight conditions.

While indoor performance of the camera was more erratic, on the outdoors some of the shots came good while others suffered from over exposure. The close shots taken by the rear camera in the natural lighting produced good bokeh effects.

Outdoor Rear camera Shots

Macro-shot-le-1s
Close Shot
Good-rear-camera-shot-LE-1S-ECO
Good Close Shot

Rear-Camera-shots

REar-cxamera-shot-le-1s-eco
Taken with the Rear 13 MP camera

There is also a 5 Megapixel front camera which takes pictures again better in the daylight conditions with plenty of light and tend to struggle and produce noisy and blur images in the artificial light or indoors.

Front Camera Shots

Check the same picture above, the One taken with the front 5 MP camera has much better color reproduction and looks much better.

Front-camera-shot-le-1s
Taken With Front Camera

Font-camera-shot

The camera I think is erratic sometimes click okay shots and mostly ruins them.

LE 1S ECO Recording Videos

Recording videos on the LE 1S is a good experience and compared to the Still Shots captured by the smartphone the Videos come out with much better quality.  The colors are also close to the natural colors and there is lesser noise in the videos shot even in the indoor artificial light conditions.

The LE 1S also gives an option to record slow-motion videos.

Watch the Video For a Full Camera Review of LE 1S ECO  

Battery Life And USB Type C

Battery life is good for LE 1S ECO, the 3000 mAH capacity battery lasts long. In my limited usage, it worked from morning to late evening with a lot of usages and we can expect a screen on time of 5 hours from the smartphone with mixed usage.

The USB Type C cable on a budget smartphone like LE 1S ECO is a pleasant surprise, the reversible cable makes life easy as you can plug the cable to the smartphone in any orientation.

The charging is also quite fast and I was able to charge the smartphone from 0 to 100% in 2 hours and 30 minutes. The 2 Ampere charger is a bit bulky but does the job well. A lot of people have complained about excessive heating with the older LE 1S during charging, in case of this unit it was nothing abnormal or high.

Connectivity & Storage

The LE 1S comes with Dual Sim support and has a hybrid Sim tray. You can either use a micro-sd card or a sim card instead. One of the Sim slots is a nano sim and another slot is a micro sim slot. The call clarity is good using both the sim cards and on 2G/3G/4G LTE networks.

Using the bottom speaker during the call is also a positive experience with clear, loud and crisp audio from the bottom speakers.

The smartphone comes with 32 GB of internal storage out of which you can use around 25 GB. There is no support for adding an external memory card on the LE 1S ECO.

There is active noise cancellation and there is a mic at the back for reducing the ambient noise which works well in the crowded places.

Concluding Thoughts

Let me first tell about some of the Pros and Cons for the smartphone.

Major Pros

  • Good smooth UI and performance.
  • Gaming performance is decent.
  • Fast Charging USB Type C.
  • Good Build Quality
  • Full HD Display has vibrant colors and clarity.

Major Cons

  • Not very impressive Rear and Front Camera.
  • Outdoor camera performance is still acceptable.
  • Large Bezel around the display.
  • Lacks the Proximity sensor

Everything has its shortcomings and so does the LE 1S ECO.  As I have listed above there are areas where the LE 1S tends to do well like smooth UI, Gameplay, Fast Charging, 32 GB of space while there are some especially the camera quality which it struggles and can be improved.

Probably a software update may bring in some improvements. If we compare it to the Zenfone Max or a Motorola Moto G3 camera is not good but then those devices are not as powerful as the Leeco LE 1S ECO.

Overall the LE 1S ECO packs tons of features and for a rock bottom price of just Rs. 9,000 it has a lot going for it.

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