LeEco Enters US Market With Disruptive Pricing On Smartphones, VR Headset, HDTV, And More

Yesterday Chinese company LeEco assembled the global media to announce a barrage of new products destined for the US market, and signaled its intention to take on Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon, Tesla, Netflix, and Disney all at once. The company is largely unknown here in the US, so it wanted everyone to know what it’s all about, what kind of products it makes, its philosophy, and so forth.

At the event the company’s spokespeople announced a slew or products including Android smartphones designed to compete with the Google Pixel as well as a range of smart TVs, a high-tech bicycle, a VR headset, and even a self-driving car.

LeEco Car
The LeSee self-driving car was on display.

The company’s core business prior to this was being the “Netflix of China,” and it also bought TV manufacturer Vizio earlier this year, so it’s already making inroads into the US market. Its sales hook is that it already has a ton of premium content it can deliver to phones and TVs, and at the press event it also announced partnerships with a wide array of media companies including Lionsgate, Showtime, MGM, and more, for movies and other types of streaming content. It announced several other “disruptive” features it will be offering too, including a thing called EcoPass which seems to be a cloud storage and content subscription service. It will offer a whopping 5TB of storage along with unlimited video and photo storage in addition to extended warranties for products associated with it. With the introductions out of the way, here are brief synopses of what LeEco talked about at the event:

Le Pro 3: This is the company’s flagship Android device, which has similar specs to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, but there’s a catch; it’ll be offered for just $399. The company said the price could drop even further too, as it’s offering a rewards program that will allow you to take another $100 off the price, bringing it to an unbelievable $299. Details on the “LeRewards” program are unclear, however, so we’re not sure if this instant rebate is a limited time offer or not or how to even get it.

Le%20Pro3 Gold Camera Fingerprint
The LeEco Pro 3, available in gold and silver.

As far as specs go, the Pro 3 has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor as the Google Pixel, is packing 4GB of RAM, has 64GB of internal storage, and sports a 16MP rear camera along with an 8MP front camera. Its display is 5.5”, it has a huge 4070mAh battery (the Pixel XL’s is 3450mAh), and is just 7.5mm thick. LeEco claims its quick-charge capabilities allow it to be fully charged in just 20 minutes. It’ll be offered in either gold or silver. It will also include three months of EcoPass.

Le S3: This phone looks exactly the same as the Pro 3 but has slightly lower specs, a smaller screen, and a more affordable price tag at just $249. It has a 5.5” display and has a Snapdragon processor, but it’s a lower-end 652 chip, and the phone will only be offered with 32GB of storage. It also features a 16MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera, but with a smaller 3000mAh battery. It features 3GB of RAM, and will be offered in gold, rose gold, and grey, and will also come with three months of EcoPass service as well.

LeEco Rose Gold

Explore VR Headset: There weren’t too many details about this headset or what it offers, but it looks “futuristic” for sure. All we could tell from looking at it was that LeEco's smartphones fit into the front of it, and an electrical connection is made through a port on the headset, similar to how Samsung's GearVR works with its Galaxy devices. No announcements were made in regards to content that would be offered for the Explore VR.

LeEco%20ExploreVR Left

Super Bike: Next up LeEco had something a bit different, that you wouldn't normally see at a tech event. It’s a “connected” bicycle LeEco called its Super Bike, that sports a built in alarm system, tracking device, a central display with GPS and built-in lights for both front and back and side-lighting. The company said there’s even voice communication between bikes, so you can talk to other riders in your group. It certainly looks cool, though pricing and availability dates weren't given.

LeEco%20Super%20Bike gold

LeSee Self-Driving Car: There wasn’t a whole lot of information on this slick-looking car at the event, as the CEO humbly explained they had planned to have one on-stage but couldn’t get it to the event in time. As proof that the car exists and is functional, they played a video of Michael Bay on the set of Transformers 5 with the car saying he was just borrowing it for the time being. There was no information about when it would be in-use in the US, though the company’s CEO mentioned it would have an official unveiling at CES in January.

LeEco Electric Car

EcoTVs: The company unveiled a monster 85” television to kick off the portion of its presentation dedicated to TVs, and announced that instead of a shocking $8,000 sticker price its uMax85 would cost just $5000, and with its LeRewards program the price would drop an additional $1,000 too. It simply showed slides for its TV selection though, noting they would be available in 43”, 55” and 65” models. All of them are 4K panels with Android software.

LeEco LeRewards

LeEco explained that all of this new hardware (except for the car and bike) would be launching on November 2. It also promised a “disruptive” flash sale on that date, so if any of these products tickled your fancy be sure to visit LeMall.com in November. Hopefully, we’ll get some of the products in for review soon as well. It would be quite interesting to see how LeEco's product compare with competing products in a side-by-side comparison, especially considering their relatively low price points.