It looks like LeEco likes the thunderous welcome it received for its first model in India, the LeTV Le 1s, and is gearing up to launch its successor, the 2s in the country in April.
The price of the Le 2s would be largely in the same ballpark as the 1s, but it could be slightly higher than the launch price of 1s (Rs 10,990) as 2s is being brought to India when it is still a new model. In comparison, the Le 1s was introduced in India about six months after it was launched in China.
The 2s will be a more powerful model compared to the Redmi Note 3, which is expected to start selling in substantial numbers in India only next month.
Le 2s has not yet been unveiled anywhere in the world, including China, and therefore its pricing will be higher than was the case for 1s.
Another phone that will be introduced in India along with the 2s is the Le 2Pro, which also comes with the Snapdragon 820 chipset.
While the Le 2 Pro will have high-end specifications — a 5.7-inch Quad-HD display, 21 MP camera and 4 GB of DDR4 RAM, the Le 2s will take care of the mid-range.
It is likely that the Le 1s will continue to be sold in the country, possibly with a slight discount over its current price, at Rs 9,999 or so.
With such a configuration, the company will have three models (excluding Max) in the country spread over three price bands. This will make even more sense if the price of the 2s is around Rs 15,000, as is likely.
The main difference between the 1s and the 2s is in build and internals. While the 1s sports an all-metal build, the 2s is reported to be a metal plus glass build like the Xiaomi Mi5.
The newer model comes with a more powerful processor — the Snapdragon 652 — which is about 40% more powerful than the Snapdragon 650 found inside the Redmi Note 3.
The 652 — also found inside Samsung Galaxy A9 — scores about 5,200 points in Geekbench 3, while Redmi Note 3 scores only about 3,500 points.
The reason for the performance difference is that the SD 650 inside Redmi Note 3 has only two Cortex A72 cores, while the SD 652 comes with four such powerful cores. Both designs also have four low-power Cortex A53 cores.
Like the Redmi Note 3, the Le 2s will also support advanced LTE, including multi-band carrier aggregation (simultaneous multiple connections) and quick charge technology.
However, unlike the 14 nm Snapdragon 820 chipset, both 650 and 652 are made on the less-efficient 28 nm technology, which means that their clockspeeds have to be kept at a lower 1.8 GHz. In comparison, the 820 scales all the way up to 2.2 GHz.
Other specifications of the 2s include a 16 MP camera on the back — same as Redmi Note 3, but higher than 1s — and an 8 MP unit on the front, which is higher than the 5 MP shooters found on both the 1s and Redmi Note 3.
RAM remains at 3 GB, but could possible see an upgrade to DDR4 from the slower DDR3.
There is also one more model — the Le 2 — which is very very similar in specifications to the 2s, and for that reason, may not be introduced in India. The Le 1 was not brought to India either.
Another possible reason is that Le 2 is likely to flaunt a MediaTek processor, and Ericsson has already taken to court companies like Micromax and Xiaomi for selling phones in India without paying it royalty. Models that use Qualcomm processors don’t have to worry about this threat as Ericsson depends on some of Qualcomm’s technology for its products and the two have licensing agreements in place.
Another area of concern is availability. While in case of its first model, stocks were not a problem due to the fact that it was already a six-month-old product, in case of the upcoming phones, this will be an issue as it has to meet demand in both its home market of China as well as its ‘second home’ of India at the same time.
In conclusion, it can be said that the upcoming two phones from LeTV will help the company continue to dominate the smartphone market in India unless it delays the launch beyond April.