“The Le Max Pro is the world’s first smartphone to be powered by the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset”
To make a space in the competitive smartphone segment, brands require not just compelling, well-priced hardware, but also a proper marketing strategy. A recent debutant in the Indian market, LeEco seems to have figured out both as it manages to be in the headlines for some reason or the other. But the brand’s aspirations aren’t just limited to India. To put itself on the global map, the Chinese brand became the first manufacturer to offer a smartphone powered by Qualcomm’s top-level SoC, the Snapdragon 820, when it unveiled the Le Max Pro at CES this year.
We got a chance to check out the smartphone at the ongoing MWC, and without further ado, let’s see whether the Le Max Pro lives up to its name.
The LeEco Le Max Pro is a sibling of the Le Max Pro (first impressions) and features similar specs and design language. The smartphone pushes the boundaries of how big a smartphone can get with its gargantuan 6.3-inch screen. While it can be held in one hand with some difficulty, it requires the use of both hands for any kind of operation. The use of metal makes the device look alluring, but also makes it bulky.
The QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) resolution on the 6.3-inch IPS display looks absolutely stunning, and colour reproduction is also impressive. A protective layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 makes the display resilient against scratches and minor knocks.
The phone offers an almost bezel-less screen and the uniformity at the front is broken only by an earpiece, sensors and a front-facing snapper above and a the usual set of navigation keys below. The volume buttons are on the right, while the left houses the power key and the slot to insert a micro-SIM and either a nano-SIM or microSD card. The 3.5mm audio port is available on the top along with an IR blaster, while the base is home to the USB Type-C port, flanked by speakers.
The rear panel sports the primary camera which protrudes significantly, accompanied by a dual-tone LED flash. Unlike the Le Max’s fingerprint reader, the one on the Le Max Pro features a reflective mirror finish, just like the LeEco Le 1s (review). The fingerprint scanner is also more secure thanks to Sense ID tech from Qualcomm, which relies on ultrasonic waves rather than an optical reading of the finger. Towards the bottom, there’s company branding, though it’s odd to see Letv here, since the manufacturer has recently rebranded itself to LeEco. The gold finish lends classiness to the phablet, though the prominent antenna lines somewhat spoil the grace.
The Le Max Pro comes with Google’s latest operating system, Marshmallow 6.0, which is customised with LeEco’s skin called eui. The user interface gels well with the Android design ethos, and apart from custom icons and interface, doesn’t spoil it too much. Since the demo unit we used was a Chinese model, it also came with the brand’s local content ecosystem, which is set to arrive in India by the second half of 2016.
The halo feature of the LeEco Le Max Pro is its engine – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. The processor offers four Kryo cores tuned at 2.2GHz. The chipset not only promises to offer fluid performance, but better graphics thanks to Adreno 530 GPU, superb images with its Spectra image signal processor, and super-fast LTE speeds with the X12 modem, among other things. Ensuring that the phablet can handle multi-tasking without breaking a sweat is 4GB of RAM. Together the core hardware shouldn’t face any issues while handling any kind of tasks, and our brief usage suggested the same. For memory, the phone offers 64GB of flash storage.
In the imaging department, the LeEco Le Max Pro flaunts an optically-stabilised 21-megapixel camera at the back. For selfie lovers, the phone features a 4MP UltraPixel shooter, which features larger pixels to let in more light.
Powering the show on the LeEco Le Max Pro is a 3,400mAh battery, which should be enough to power it through the day. The device comes with Quick Charging 3.0 with the Snapdragon 820, which promises to charge it up to 80 percent in 35 minutes. For connectivity, it offers support for 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
As per a recent report, LeEco plans to bring its next set of devices to the Indian market soon, which also includes the Le Max Pro. We surely hope it lands in India soon, considering that Xiaomi plans to bring its loaded Mi 5 (first impressions) to India this year. More importantly, LeEco is expected to attach an attractive price tag to the Le Max Pro, which will allow consumers experience high-octane performance without needing to sell their kidney.
Photos by Ketaki Bhojnagarwala