LeEco, the Chinese Internet conglomerate better known by its former name Letv, has finally launched its first products for the Indian market, on 20 January at an event in New Delhi. The Le Max and Le 1s have been unveiled and will be available in India using the infamous flash sale model, in which interested buyers need to sign up in advance for a chance to buy one of a limited number of units that will be available.

The company recently garnered a lot of interest with its CES announcement of the Le Max Pro, first smartphone to sport the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. Letv recently rebranded itself to LeEco (short for Le Ecosystem) ahead of the Indian launch, and offers live-streaming, e-commerce and cloud services and sells smartphones, TV set-top boxes and smart TVs, among many other things, in its home market China. At the launch event in New Delhi, LeEco had members of its Super Fans community in attendance. We have seen many other brands including Asus, Meizu, and Xiaomi following the same strategy at their respective launches.LetV

The Le Max and Le 1s smartphones both feature all-metal unibody designs, fingerprint scanners, nearly bezel-less displays, and USB Type-C ports – more than enough to keep feature-obsessed consumers happy. But will these features be enough for a new smartphone brand to establish itself and make a grand entry into the Indian market – only time can tell. We spent some time with both devices at the launch event and here are our first impressions.

While the LeEco Le Max will start selling on 16 February, with the registrations for it being on till 2 February, the more affordable LeEco Le 1s will have its first flash sale on 2 February at 12PM. The pre-registrations for the Le 1s have already started on Flipkart. According to Flipkart, there have already been 1 lakh pre-registrations within the first 24 hours already.

LeEco Le 1s registration comes with extra 10% cash back with Axis Bank Debit and Credit cards. Users who register for the Le 1s also stand a chance to win Rs 500 worth of Flipkart e-gift voucher. This offer will end on 21 January midnight.

In terms of specifications, the LeTV Le 1s features a 5.5 Inch FHD touch screen display with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and 403ppi. It is powered by a 2.2 GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio X 10 processors paired with 3GB RAM.


It includes an internal storage of 32GB and does not include a microSD card. The smartphone comes equipped with a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP front-facing camera. A 3000 mAh battery completes the package.

The Le 1s on the other hand comes with 32GB of storage and has been priced at Rs. 10,999. At this price point, the Le 1s will be going up against the recently unveiled Lenovo Vibe K4 Note, priced at Rs. 12,499. Some of the other possible competitors to the Le 1s are the Xiaomi Mi 4i, Meizu metal, and Xiaomi Redmi Note 2.

Talking about the consumer response to Le 1s, Atul Jain, India COO, smart electronics business LeEco India, said, “We view the Le 1s as a great opportunity for customers to purchase an outstanding phone. LeEco has a history of breaking records of selling a million superphones within a very brief period of their launch.”

LeEco has made sure to tick all the right boxes, and as it did in China last year, has even revealed the BOM (bill of materials) for both of its smartphones – which seemed a little gimmicky. BOM cost is a listing of the prices all the raw materials, sub-assemblies and components needed to manufacture a product, and doesn’t account for research and development costs, staff, utilities, marketing, shipping, etc. LeEco claimed at the launch that it will be making the narrowest profit margins in the industry on both of its smartphones, in order to sell them at the lowest possible prices.

The company also revealed plans for after-sales service of the new Le phones. Atul Jain, COO of Smart Electronics Business, LeEco India, told us on the sidelines of the event that LeEco will be focusing on this and will have multi-lingual 24-hour call centers for customer enquiries. The company plans to set up 555 service centers across India at the beginning, and will also offer a pick-and-drop service for devices.

LeEco also announced plans to offer content from its partners YuppTV and Eros International. The company, after all, is a content company back home and has been selling phones there with features such as Live TV.

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