LeEco Le Pro 3 tries to aim for the skies

LeEco, formerly LeTV and a Lenovo-backed Chinese firm, has just made official a much hyped flagship smartphone, at least as far as Chinese brands are concerned. And, as expected from a Chinese flagship, the new LeEco Le Pro 3 boasts of some mighty impressive specs with a ridiculously low price. Although chances of the smartphone becoming available in markets like the US are somewhat slim, the Le Pro 3 and its ilk could very well soon pose a threat mainstream brands whose prices could never really go as low as these.

The Le Pro 3 tries to cross off all the items in a laundry list of hardware specs, even trying to outdo brands like Samsung and LG at their own game. For example, it is the second commercially available smartphone using the very new Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (the first was ASUS' ZenFone 3 Deluxe). It also has an option between 4 or 64 GB of RAM, and 32, 64, or 128 GB of storage. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, though dressed in LeEco's EUI 5.8 custom UX.

The smartphone is hardly perfect, and most will probably take issue with the 5.5-inch Full HD, not QHD, screen. That said, it seems to be a trend among Chinese manufacturers, even Xiaomi and OnePlus, to cap the screen resolution at that size. Despite a very new Qualcomm processor, the smartphone only utilizes Quick Charge 2.0, not the newer 3.0. And the lack of a 3.5 mm headphone jack in favor of a single USB-C port is sure to raise some eyebrows.

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, EUI 5.8• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821• RAM: 4 or 6 GB• Storage: 32, 64, or 128 GB• Display: 5.5-inch 1920x1080• Main Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, 0.1 sec PDAF• Secondary Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2• Battery: 4,070 mAh, Quick Charge 2.0

Except for the screen resolution, those are pretty much high-end specs for this year, and maybe even next year. Of course, things get a wee bit crazy when the price tag is involved. The lowest configuration available has 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage and that already sells for only 1,799 RMB, roughly $270 and nearly a third of the usual flagship prices. At the highest, you can get a 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage combo for only 2,999 RMB, around $450, a good $200 lower than the starting prices for a Galaxy S7 or an iPhone 7.