The new LeEco Le Pro3 phone defies the competition with features and styling beyond what you'd expect. If we had a 110% rating for Value, this phone would receive it.
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I’ve been an iPhone user since the iPhone 4. That didn’t change when I switched to T-Mobile sometime back in early 2015. What did change, however, was the ability to quickly switch phones by simply swapping out the SIM card. That also lends itself to easier testing of various cell phones. When the LeEco Le Pro3 phone came in, it was a great chance to test out this beautiful new product as my primary phone.
Unlike the typical review, I didn’t have to mock up any tests. Using the LeEco Le Pro3 for nearly a month allowed me to test the phone’s camera, speakerphone, the ability to handle visual voicemail, and more. I utilized Bluetooth, tethered my 2016 MacBook Pro, and streamed both audio and video through the phone via WiFi and LTE.
This new Android phone sells for just $349—retail. Unlike the astronomical $769 iPhone 7 Plus and the similarly-priced Samsung S7, the Le Eco Le Pro3 seems almost disposable. Once you get one, however, “disposable” is the last word you’ll likely use to describe it.
Beauty and Brawn
The LeEco Le Pro3 comes in gold or silver. The case is made from brushed aluminum, which also serves to help as a heat sync. The touchscreen uses next-gen Corning Gorilla Glass which prevents scratches and has some decent durability for certain types of impacts. Under that glass, the 5.5-inch FHD display features a very dense 403ppi resolution. That corresponds to the 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. Front-mounted light sensors adjust the screen brightness automatically for optimal contrast without sacrificing battery life.
It is truly a beautiful looking phone that’s both familiar and unique. It measures just over 7.5mm in thickness, making the Le Pro3 one of the thinnest 5.5-inch Android smartphones on the market. For reference, the iPhone 7 Plus is 7.3mm thick.
The LeEco Le Pro3 has a 4070mAh battery which provides up to 13+ hours of HD video streaming. It uses Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology which charges the phone rapidly via the included USB-C cable and power supply. Basically, if you run low, a 5 minute charge will net you around 5 hours of additional talk time.
LeEco Le Pro3 Phone Power Features
Camera quality is extremely important, and the high-resolution 16MP rear camera takes very nice photos both indoors and out. The LeEco Le Pro3 phone has a dual-LED flash that takes care of multiple color exposure needs for indoor photography. The results were pretty impressive. An 8MP front camera lets you capture pretty high-resolution selfies and videos when needed.
For video, you can set the system to capture up to 4K resolution. What I like about the LeEco Le Pro3 is that you can set this on-the-fly right on the video capture screen. Compare that to the iPhone which requires you to configure the video resolution in the separate Settings screen. Slo-Mo (120 fps) and Panoramics are also possible with the Le Pro3 Android phone.
Multitasking is great on the Le Pro3 Ecophone, thanks to the Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821 CPU. It backs that up with 4GB RAM and the latest Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. You can stream a movie, use navigation, and check your mail—all at the same time.
In terms of storage, the LeEco Le Pro3 phone comes with 64GB—plenty of room for photos and even 4K video. Of course, connecting the phone to a Google or Dropbox account will help keep you from filling it up too quickly.
- Technology: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE
- SIM: Single nanoSIM (US model)
- Display: 5.5 in. IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels (403 ppi)
- OS: Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
- Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821
- CPU: Quad-core (2×2.35 GHz Kryo & 2×2.0 GHz Kryo)
- GPU: Adreno 530
- Memory: 64 GB storage (internal) + 4 GB RAM
- Main camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
- Main camera video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps
- Front camera: 8 MP, f/2.2, 1080p
- Audio: Stereo speakers w/Dolby Atmos audio enhancement
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
- Bluetooth: v4.2, A2DP, LE
- Infrared port
- USB: Type-C 1.0
- Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
- Charging: QualComm Quick Charge 3.0
- Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 4070 mAh
- Colors: Gold, silver
- Dimensions: 5.96 x 2.91 x 0.30 in (151.4 x 73.9 x 7.5 mm)
- Weight: 6.17 oz (175 g)
I mentioned it earlier, but it bears some repeating. This is a very beautiful phone. While it’s 0.2mm thicker than the iPhone 7 Plus, it is over 1/4-inch shorter in length and shaves over 1/8-inch from the width. It does this while maintaining the same size 5.5-inch screen real estate.
The brushed aluminum enclosure is both durable and attractive. I hadn’t thought I’d appreciate the gold look of a phone, but it’s certainly distinctive. It’s a tough call as to whether the silver or gold would be my preference—both have their appeal. The gold model has certainly grown on me.
LeEco also provides a clear protective case right in the box. This surprised me as I’m used to being nickel-and-dimed by Apple. The clear case allows the beauty of the Le Pro3 Ecophone to come through while protecting the device against scrapes and small drops.
Using the LeEco Le Pro3 Ecophone
I used this phone as my primary device for several weeks. Tethering was speedy to set up and snappy in its execution. The phone didn’t seem to tie up any of the bits with unnecessary processing delays. Streaming via Netflix, YouTube, and Vudu was flawless. Audio output was fantastic via Bluetooth, and pairing to several different headphones was quick and painless. Call quality was on par with my iPhone 6S, though there seemed to be more volume available on the LeEco Le Pro3 with respect to speakerphone use.
Charging was downright speedy via the included 2A charger, but it traditional USB sources will also get the job done. It just isn’t as fast. I tended to use the provided USB-C cable as I only have a couple of those since I upgraded to a 2016 MacBook Pro with touch bar.
Picture quality was excellent. Inside photos didn’t exhibit a lot of grain and showed decent shadows and a reasonable amount of color depth.
Outdoor photos were nicely vibrant and had plenty of detail. I couldn’t help but take a photo of my buddy who was “guarding” a leather chair we were moving from one home to another.
When we looked at the LeEco Super4 X55 TV we knew a new player was in town. LeEco is taking the electronics industry by storm—and upping the ante on what you can expect in terms of value. The LeEco Le Pro3 phone is about half the price of comparable models. It takes great photos, operates quickly, and has plenty of storage. On top of that, it’s beautiful, slim, and features Gorilla Glass. LeEco has thrown down the gauntlet, and it will be interesting to see how the industry responds to the challenge.