Letv Le 1s Review – Le Superphone or Not?

by Linus 17

Letv is a new player to the smartphone game but it has already proven that it can make some great phones. This time around we have the Le 1s. Find out more in our full review.

Thanks to Giztop for sending Letv Le 1s for a review.

Letv Le 1s Review: VIDEO REVIEW

Letv Le 1s CAMERA Review (in-depth):

Letv Le 1s Review: UNBOXING

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Gone are the days of premium looking packaging that came with previous Letv devices and this time we have a more simple and cheaper looking box. The contents include the instruction manuals, power plug, which has some fast charging capabilities, USB Type -C cable and the SIM ejector pin.

Letv Le 1s Review: SPECS

5.5″ 1080p (Full-HD)
Mediatek MT6795T Helio X10, 64-bit, octa-core (up to 2.2GHz)
5MP Front/13MP Back, PDAF
Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, dual-SIM.
3.000 mAh (non-removable)
151.1 x 74.2 x 7.5 mm / 169g
eUI 5.5 (based on Android 5.0.2)
32GB (non-expandable)

Letv Le 1s Review: DESIGN

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When it comes to the design, Letv used some premium materials in its budget phone. The Le 1s is made almost entirely of metal (except for the top and bottom parts on the back for antennas) and it definitely feels premium in the hand.
On the front we have a borderless (not bezel less) 5.5” display, which by itself makes the device huge.
The top side is where you can find a 5MP selfie shooter, notification LED light and other usual stuff. On the bottom there are 3 nicely backlit capacitive keys we’ve already seen on previous Letv phones.
As far as optics, we have a 13MP camera, with the support of 4K video recording and single LED flash.
Just below the shooter there is fingerprint scanner. I have to say that it is very easy to setup, fast and accurate to use.
We have the usual control buttons on the right, which are also made of metal and are very clicky.
On the left, there is a dual SIM card slot.
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The top side is where you can find a headset jack and the IR blaster and on the bottom you can find a mic, USB type-C port and the speaker grill.
Overall, the phone definitely looks and feels great. All-metal build adds a lot of premium properties but if we compare it with higher-end Le 1 Pro, it is not that precisely made.
I know that I’m being picky again but if you look at the bottom plastic part, it is not perfectly aligned. It is absolutely not a deal breaker and I still say that the Le 1s is is well built and high quality device.

Letv Le 1s Review: DISPLAY

The 5.5” display is brilliant to look at. It is a bit brighter than the one found on the Le 1 and has a slightly better sunlight visibility. Also, the panel has natural looking colours and deep blacks for and LCD display.

Letv Le 1s Review: UI

When it comes to the user interface, we have the LeUI 5, which is built on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop.
My review unit shipped with the unofficial international ROM, which has Google Play and multi-languages pre-installed, the Chinese apps removed but there are quite a few annoying apps that you can’t delete.
It is very easy to flash the original Chinese ROM back and if you want to see how it looks like, please check out the Letv Le 1 Pro review, where the phone runs on the official Chinese ROM:
LeUI is a highly customised version of Android and it usually runs smoothly without any hiccups or lags.
There are plenty of customisation options as it has become a standard on the Chinese phones.
Also, there are quite a few similarities with iOS, e.g. if you swipe from the top, you will open only the notification shade.
Pressing a left capacitive key triggers a window where you can access your recent apps or close them, quick settings menu, music player, shortcuts to some apps and so on.
All in all, LeUI is very fast and clean looking user interface with some great features and customisation options.
However, I’ve tried both official Chinese ROM (the only official version currently available) and this unofficial ROM.  I have to say that you should stick with the official one.
The unofficial ROM is slower, it does not support OTA updates but most importantly it has some really annoying apps that you can’t simply delete like battery boosters, cleaners and so on, which simply slow your phone down.

Letv Le 1s Review: BENCHMARKS


Letv Le 1s has a really good specs sheet for the price. It has a Mediatek Helio X10 chip, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of non-expandable storage.
3D games work absolutely fine, there are no hiccups and the phone doesn’t heat up to uncomfortable levels.

Letv Le 1s Review: MULTIMEDIA

As far multimedia consumption, the Letv Le 1s is just a fantastic budget device. Besides having a gorgeous display, the phone has a decent loudspeaker and the sound via earphones is definitely one of the better ones in this price range.

Letv Le 1s Review: CAMERA

When it comes to the camera app, we have the same app we’ve already seen on other Letv phones. It is fast and responsive and it is very easy to use.

Letv Le 1s Review: IMAGE QUALITY

Letv Le 1s CAMERA Review (in-depth):

The 13MP camera is capable of producing some pretty good images in good lighting conditions. They look similar like the ones produced by the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 but I will tell my final opinion only after head-to-head comparison, which is coming soon.
The pictures have a good amount of details and colours look natural most of the times. However, you may get some images with softer details and softer focus on the corners. Also, colour reproduction may be off in some of the shots.
As usual, the level of details decreases with less lighting but the camera can still produce some nice looking pictures with a decent amount of details but with more noise and less sharpness overall.
The night shots are not the worst we’ve seen in this price category of phones but they do not impress. The level of details is quite low and there is a lot of noise.
As far as front facing camera, it is pretty good and you can produce some nice looking selfies and the beauty mode is here to help to get that perfect shot.
When it comes to 1080p video, the quality is mediocre in general but it is pretty good for a budget phone. See the video review for the video sample.
As far as 4K video, I could not play it back on my MacBook despite trying out 5 different players, video converters and so on but it may only my laptops issue, so I will leave download links for 4k video samples down below.
Overall, the Le 1s has one of the better cameras for the price although it is neither the best nor better than its predecessor – Le 1.

Letv Le 1s Review: CONNECTIVITY

As far as connectivity, everything is working fine as I had no issues with the Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth, call quality or signal reception.

Letv Le 1s Review: BATTERY LIFE

The 3000mAh battery could perform better. I could get only around 3 hours of screen-on time (SOT) in real life conditions while using the phone mainly for daily tasks. The SOT time is a bit better in the Geekbench 3 battery test, where the phone was able to achieve over 5 hours of SOT with max. auto-brightness and dim screen features off.
A good thing is that the phone supports fast charging feature and will love using it.

Letv Le 1s Review: CONCLUSIONS

So, there you have, the Letv Le 1s. I had really high expectations from this phone and it delivers in a lot of aspects.
The Le 1s has a great design and build quality, awesome display, great and constantly improving software (if you use the official Chinese ROM and install Google Play services manually), fast and accurate fingerprint scanner and good audio quality.
However, while the camera is one of the best in this price category of phones, it feels that there is a slight downgrade in terms of the overall image quality over its predecessor – the Le 1.
While the battery life it is not necessarily bad, the Le 1s will most likely last you a full day on a single charge but not more. Hopefully, this is what the Letv has in the priority list of software updates to improve that.
Finally, the Letv Le 1s is a great phone as it has a lot to offer for the price. However, the battery life could be better given the current state of software and it can’t be overlooked before making a buying decision. Well, unless you don’t mind  charging your phone more often.