“The LeEco Le 2 is yet another affordable yet powerful smartphone. We pit it against its closest rivals”
Chinese manufacturer LeEco held a grand event in New Delhi earlier this week at which it unveiled its latest smartphone offerings in India in the form of the LeEco Le 2 and the Le Max 2. And while the Le Max 2 is loaded when it comes to specifications, it’s the Le 2 that has us more excited. The Indian smartphone marketplace is already abuzz with a plethora of stunningly built and powerful VFM smartphones, and the introduction of the Le 2 just spices up the competition even further. On one hand, we have the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 which has slowly and steadily made its presence felt in the Indian market since its launch in the country in March earlier this year. On the other hand, there is the m3 note from MEIZU, which ticks most boxes when it comes to features and hardware under the hood. Such a wide variety of choice can often lead to confusion. So, to set things straight, we’ve compared the LeEco Le 2 with the Redmi Note 3 and also with the MEIZU m3 note to see which smartphone deserves a place in your pocket.
A while ago, we could count the number of metal unibody smartphones on our fingers. Fast forward it to the present, and almost every other smartphone sports a metal chassis to complement its hardware. The three phones we are talking about are no different, as each of them flaunts a metal exterior that speaks of sheer quality and premiumness. We cannot help but notice how much the m3 note resembles the iPhone 6s. The Redmi Note 3 and the Le 2 look similar, with chamfered edges going all around the aluminium bodies. The Le 2 is also the lightest and slimmest of the three smartphones, tipping the scales at just 153g and being just 7.5mm thick. And as is customary nowadays, each of the three smartphones feature a fingerprint scanner for added security. That said, the placement is not quite the same, with the m3 note sporting one in the front as compared to the other two which have it on the rear. Overall, if we had to pick one out of the three based on design aesthetics, the Le 2 will get our vote owing to its beautifully crafted body, and premium-looking colour options.
It cannot get closer than this. All three smartphones feature a 5.5-inch canvas with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels leading to a pixel density of 401ppi. However, with a screen-to-body ratio of 74.21 percent, the Le 2 offers the same display in a slightly smaller form factor. But if you’re a person who spends more time outside than inside, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3’s display is tailor made for you. Its Sunlight Display technology gives it an edge over its rivals when it comes to outdoor legibility. This feature alone makes the display on the Redmi Note 3 the best out of the three smartphones.
Interestingly, LeEco will be selling the Le 2 in India with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. The Le 2 that was launched in China sported a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 chipset. This gives it an upper hand over the Redmi Note 3 which comes with the hexa-core Snapdragon 650 processor with 2GB / 3GB RAM variants. MEIZU’s m3 note seems to be on a back foot when it comes to power, as it is powered by a MediaTek Helio P10 SoC aided by 3GB of RAM. If you’re a heavy gamer or multitasker, we’d recommend the Redmi Note 3 and the Le 2 to you.
Smartphone cameras have come a long way since their inception a long time ago. With higher megapixel counts, faster focussing, and improved stabilisation, there is an exponential improvement when it comes to smartphone photography. The primary shooters on the Redmi Note 3 and the Le 2 are 16MP sensors, assisted by phase detection autofocus and dual LED flash. On the other hand, the rear camera on the m3 note is a 13MP sensor, assisted by dual LED flash to light up dimly-lit surroundings in a natural tone. The camera on the m3 note seems a few paces behind its counterparts. And although the snapper on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 isn’t the best in the market as well, it is certainly the best out of this lot.
However, for selfie enthusiasts, the Le 2 seems to be a better choice owing to its 8MP sensor in the front of the device. For comparison, the MEIZU m3 note and the Redmi Note 3 sport a standard 5MP front camera.
Storage and Battery
On the storage front, the 2GB RAM variant of the Redmi Note 3 comes with 16GB of internal storage, while the 3GB RAM variant is equipped with 32GB of on-board storage. The MEIZU m3 note and the LeEco Le 2 come with 32GB internal storage as well. However, there’s a stark contrast, as the Le 2 is the only phone out of the three to miss out on expandable storage.
None of the phones come with a removable battery. And although the 3,000mAh battery of the Le 2 is decent enough, it is still way less than the 4,050mah and 4,100mAh batteries which power the Redmi Note 3 and the MEIZU m3 note respectively. All three phones support quick charging as well.
Software and Connectivity
As is the case with many Chinese manufacturers, the Le 2, Redmi Note 3 and the MEIZU m3 note come with heavily skinned versions of Android OS. The Redmi Note 3 runs MIUI 7 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. The next iteration of the interface, MIUI 8, is already in beta and should hit the device in the near future. MEIZU’s m3 note runs Flyme OS, while the Le 2 runs eUI. However, the Le 2’s UI is based on Android 6.0 and the m3 note’s UI is based on Android 5.1. All three platforms lack app drawers but more than make up for the loss with tons of features, themes and a whole lot of customisation.
On the connectivity front, all phones feature dual-SIM support, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot, Bluetooth, and A-GPS. It’s worth noting that all three smartphone come with support for VoLTE.
Among other things
When it comes to audio quality, the Le 2 takes a lead with its proprietary CDLA (Continual Digital Lossless Audio) standard. The smartphone uses its USB Type-C port to send digital audio signals, resulting in high quality sound as compared to a standard 3.5mm headphone jack as seen on the Redmi Note 3 and the MEIZU m3 note. On the downside, this means that all of your current earphones would be incompatible with the Le 2. Thankfully, the company is including a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter inside the box to cater to the issue. You still won’t be able to listen to your favorite music while charging your phone. Hmm… but then again, you shouldn’t use your phone while charging, right?
Pricing and Availability
The 2GB/16GB variant of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is priced at Rs 9,999, while the 3GB/32GB variant has been priced at Rs 11,999. Both variants are sold across various e-commerce websites. On the other hand, the MEIZU m3 note has been priced at Rs 9,999 and is available exclusively via Flipkart. Lastly, LeEco has launched the Le 2 at a price of Rs 11,999. The device would be available at LeMall.com along with other e-commerce websites from June 20th. Interestingly, the package also includes one-year subscription to the company’s content membership worth Rs 4,900.
All three smartphones have some nice tricks up their respective sleeve. And it’s up to you, which trick excites you the most. Is it the excellent display and camera of the Redmi Note 3? Or is it the content membership and power that the Le 2 offers? Or does the huge battery life of the MEIZU m3 note wins your heart? Do let us know in the comments below.