Chinese manufacturer LeEco made a splash with its US debut, even if it wasn't a particularly promising one. Today it has its sights set squarely on the mid-range market with $100 discounts on both of the debut American phones: the Le S3 and Le Pro3. (And yes, after penning down an initial writeup for the latter, I am LeTired of this LeNaming scheme.) That brings the pricing down to just $149 and $299, respectively, assuming you can snag one of the phones once the sale starts at 10 AM Pacific time.
The two phones are similar, but the Le S3 is the better deal: you'd be hard-pressed to find another handset for less than $200 with a 5.5" 1080p screen, a Snapdragon 652 SoC, and 3GB of RAM. A 16MP rear camera (8MP on the front), aluminum body, and USB Type-C port don't hurt, either. The phone arrives GSM unlocked, but you'll have to settle for 32GB of storage with no MicroSD card slot - not ideal, but still not bad at this price point. The only real bummer is the lack of a headphone jack, but the package includes both USB-C headphones and an adapter for your existing set. The fingerprint reader is below the rear camera, Nexus-style, and the phone is being offered in gold, silver, and pink trim. You also get a free TPU case. Software is Android 6.0 with access to the Play Store, but it's heavily skinned by LeEco and the company's media partnerships, constantly pushing the EcoPass service.
The Le ProS3 has the same body and software as the cheaper phone, but upgrading to a $399 device ($299 after the rebate) brings the processor up to the latest Snapdragon 821, RAM is boosted to 4GB, and storage goes up to 64GB. Perhaps more important is the battery: while the Le S3 hides a respectable 3000mAh pack inside its 7.5mm body, the Le Pro3 has a jaw-dropping 4070mAh battery crammed into the same case. For that price bump one might expect a different screen, but compared with other offerings like the OnePlus 3, it's still fairly competitive. The Le Pro3 comes in gold or silver (the latter may not actually be available today), and it gets the same goodies as the Le S3: USB-C headphones, adapter, and TPU case.
Once again, we'd like to stress that LeEco hasn't said how many phones it will make available at the initial discounted price, except that "supplies will be incredibly limited." It might be ten thousand, more than enough for every penny-pinching American who wants one, or just a few hundred that sell out immediately. The same goes for the company's competitively-priced televisions that are on sale at the same time. Temper your excitement, people... and maybe read that less-than-stellar hands-on post one more time before the top of the hour.
- LeEco LeMall