After making mammoth iPhone-beating sales figures in their homeland, LeEco, a Chinese brand, introduced their capable products for India in the month of January 2016. The LeEco Le 1s and the Le Max was launched and retailed through the flash sale strategy on e-commerce website Flipkart for INR 10,999 and INR 32,999 respectively. The Le Max couldn’t make good of the opportunity but its younger sibling – the Le 1s made some record shattering business for the brand. The feat achieved by the Le 1s is reminiscent of what Xiaomi phones did in the past. LeEco strategically used the time just before the highly anticipated Redmi Note 3 launch in March 2016 and the idea worked.

LeEco Le1s (5)

QUICK FACT:  Also known as the ‘NetFlix of China’- LeEco  was previously called LeTv. It was re-branded as LeEco after the organization initiated the ‘Le Ecosystem’, an online platform with content, devices and applications. The company still sells their cellphone units with the LeTv badge on it.

Redmi Note 3 (5)

Well Xiaomi also had their move to make and floored two versions of their Redmi Note 3 – one with 2GB RAM + 16 GB memory and the other with 3GB RAM + 32GB memory for INR 9,999 and INR 11,999 respectively. While the customers were changing course from the LeEco Le 1s to the affordable version of the Redmi Note 3, the former striked again. The folks at LeEco economized the Le 1s by introducing another cheaper variant of it, and thus the LeEco Le1s Eco was launched.

Keeping the actual hardware almost the same, both the companies revised the RAM, ROM and CPU combination to fit the bills Here we are actually comparing not just two but four (two variants of each) smartphones from the Chinese phone-makers. So grab some noodles and sit tight!


Round One:

Design and Display

LeEco Le1s (3)

Both the phones feature a well-finished metal uni-body design. The Le 1s / Le 1s Eco get sharp edges while the frame of the Note 3 is rounded off, offering better grip and feel than the Le1s. Having said that, the Le 1s is almost 1mm thinner than the Note 3 giving it a sleeker look than the curvy Note 3. The Note 3 gets the upper edge due to the 3-choose-2 hybrid SIM tray that supports memory expansion while you have to be happy with the 3 2GB onboard of the Le1s forever.

Redmi Note 3 (8)

Dimensions

Phone Length x Width x Thickness  Weight
LeEco Le1s / Le1s Eco 151.1 x 74.2 x 7.6 mm 169g
Redmi Note 3 16GB/32GB 150 x 76 x 8.7 mm 164g

Talking about the display, both the phones have a 5.5 inch IPS LCD capacitive touch screen that produces 16M colours. The Full HD screen on the Le 1s features a pixel density of 403 PPI that is 2 more than the Note 3’s 401PPI. When the screen is off, the Le 1s wins the beauty pageant crown with what seems like a bezel-less phone design, but the crown is returned to the Note 3 as soon as the screens comes to life. Due to a thick black band which runs on the inner perimeter of the screen of the Le 1s, the bezel-less look gets screwed up, tossing the winning point on the other side. The displays on both the phones are rich with many adjustment features that make the reading and video experience comfortable in both bright and dim lit environments. The Le 1s boasts Corning Gorilla Glass protection whereas the Note 3s get a scratch resistant glass sans Gorilla branding.


Round Two:

Chipset, CPU, GPU and OS

LeEco Le1s (2)

Round one was owned by the fighter from Xiaomi, but let’s see if things change here. As for the numbers, this is what they are-

Fighter Chipset CPU GPU OS
Le1s/ Le1s Eco Mediatek MT6795  Helio X10 processor ·         Octa-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53

·         Octa-core 1.85 GHz Cortex-A53

PowerVR G6200 Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
Note 3 16BG/32GB Qualcomm MSM8956 Snapdragon 650 Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & Dual-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A72 Adreno 510 Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop)

Redmi Note 3 (2)

The specs on the Le 1s are definitely better than the Note 3 with the former sporting an Octa-core config and the latter getting a Hexa-core. Both, Le 1s and Le 1s Eco are packed with 3GB RAM inside while the Note 3 gets a 3GB as well as a 2GB variant. The Le 1s gets the Octa-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU while the Eco variant gets the same hardware clocked to a lower 1.85 Ghz. This variation is the first and the only difference between the two LeEcos. So comparing the performance of the Le 1s with 3GB RAM variant of the Note 3, the former has the hardware that wins hands down due to the no. of cores and and high Ghz, but surprisingly enough, when compared through benchmark apps, the Note 3 shows better results. Having said that, the GPU of the Le 1s is more powerful than the one on the Note 3 thus providing a decent gaming and multi-tasking experience. Similarly with the 1.85 Ghz variant of the Le 1s, the performance is a bit better than the Redmi Note 3 (2GB variant). It is not a clear win for the Redmi here as the Le 1s is able to keep up with the former, even with relatively lower-spec hardware.

OS and UI

LeEco Le1s (5)

Both the phones roll out with different versions of Android Lollipop which is quite a letdown, as many new phones are getting the Marshmallow straight out of the box. The Le1s Eco was supposed to get Android M out of the box but the unit that made to our lab was managing with the Lollipop. The latest versions are promised for both the phones but no OTA updates of the same are out.

Le 1s gets the EUI and the Note 3 gets the famous MiUI. The settings, notifications panels of the EUI are heavily inspired from the iOS and a lot of the design bits are similar or we can say ‘the same’. The EUI on the 1s doesn’t have the vast (though sometimes gimmicky) feature set of the MIUI in favour of a simple, intuitive user experience. The MIUI has far too many options as compared to the EUI, and the overall experience is also relatively more user-friendly. The folks at LeEco promise to roll out improvements and updates that will level up the EUI game in future, but for now, its the MiUI interface on the Redmi that takes the cake here.


Round Three:

Camera

The Le 1s is equipped with a 13 MP rear shooter using Samsung’s ISOCELL tech, 5 Element lens, and Blue filter glass. The front camera is a 5 MP with a CMOS sensor and both front and rear cameras have f/2.0 aperture. The camera hardware on the Redmi Note3 is a 16 MP, 5-element lens with f/2.0 and 78° wide-angle at the rear. A 5 MP camera with the same aperture does the job up front.

Redmi Note3 (15)

Both front and rear cameras on both the devices do a good job of capturing your moments surprisingly fast. In terms of colour reproduction Redmi performs better, as expected from Mi devices which are known for their astounding camera performance. The difference between the results produced by the two cameras isn’t too wide though. The colours are deeper on the photos produced by the Note 3 while on the Le 1s the user might need to add some touches to get the final richly-coloured click.


Round Four:

Battery and Finger print sensor

LeEco Le1s (6)

The Le 1s gets a non-removable 3000 mAh battery whereas the Redmi Note 3 comes packed with a 4050 mAh; need we say more?

The fingerprint sensor of both the phones are placed on their backs on the upper side. These sensors perform very well, but the one on Le 1s performs slightly better. Due to its mirror finish and 6H hardness, the sensor on the Le1s is quicker and durable than the one on the behind of the Note 3.


Round Five:

Miscellaneous

Redmi Note 3 (7)

The Note 3 is fitted with a standard microUSB port that supports fast charging and the Le 1s gets the latest USB Type-C which supports quick charging as well.

Verdict:

Well these were the five main rounds where we put the two devices against each other for a fight. For a lot of aspects we have seen that Redmi Note 3 takes the cake but the Le 1s too is a fighter that has it own unique moves. As for the question to decide on which one is good at what, here’s our take –

The Redmi Note 3 is a clear winner in all aspects with a richer display, a responsive user interface, performance and a huge battery of 4000 mAh to support all of it. The LeEco does not go down without a fight but punches till the last breathe. The Le 1s Eco is a good package at its price as it offers more RAM, a premium USB Type-C port and a CPU unit that performs a tad better than the Redmi Note 3 2GB variant that comes at the same pricetag. For a buyer who has been a Mi fan and wants to experiment with choice for a different user-end experience at a decent price, then the Le 1s Eco will not be a disappointment.

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