LeEco formerly known as LeTV (乐视网信息技术 co., ltd. est. 2004) is one of the fastest growing chinese tech companies with their main headquarter in Beijing (北京市朝阳区姚家园路105号院3号楼), but expanding to all over the world with four offices in the United States and two of them in India. The company started with a video streaming platform and manufacturer of smart TVs, but quickly evolved into a smartphone manufacturer and innovator since 2014. This also explains the namechange, because the core business now evolved into a variety of different tech niches.
LeEco was the first company to adapt USB-C with the LeTV Le 1 Series and also the first company to make a 6GB RAM smartphone – the LeEco Le Max 2 – available outside of China (the Vivo Xplay5 Elite has been the first smartphone, but officialy only sells in China).
Due to their long business experience LeEco definitely deserves a place in the Top 5 of chinese manufacturers. Especially because of the range of products offering smartphones with reasonable specs from $150 for basic usage and up to $500 for high end users.
What makes LeEco / LeTV stand out?
Even tho smartphones are not the core business for LeEco, they still get more and more attention here in China which makes them compete with the likes of Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and even Huawei. The chinese market and its high competition is a great advantage for buyers all over the world, because to compete properly LeEco has to maintain a high quality.
Throughout all their product lines they definitely are en par with xiaomi, if speaking about quality. The stock Android send out by LeEco is great, but unfortunately updates (if available at all) take a long time to arrive. Nevertheless there will be a huge custom-ROM scene for these devices, because they offer the perfect value for money.
All smartphones are available on chinese e-Commerce platforms like GearBest or Aliexpress, but they can also be found on Amazon with slightly bumped up prices. Even though LeEco failed their entry in the USA and have financial problems in the past, they are still a strong brand in mainland China.
When should I seriously consider a LeEco Smartphone?
There is dozens of decent smartphone brands out there, but most of them are not backed by such a huge corporation like LeEco. Not only do they provide the expertise, but they also compete on the competitive chinese market, that doesn’t allow much room for mistakes. Yet, LeEco sells a couple million smartphones yearly and their smart TVs are still very popular. The hardware you get for the price is often incredible and LeEcos main selling point.