Updated on 11-03-15 by Kyle Wiggers: Added a report of record pre-orders in China for the Le 1s.
Chinese mega-brand LeTv has promised to launch one of its smartphones internationally in the future. That day has yet to come, but the company has launched a fourth phone in its brand new mobile venture in China, giving us a closer look at how it’s building the range. The phone is the Le 1s, which appears to be a spin-off of the original Le 1, announced back in April.
The first thing to note is the price. It’s 1,100 yuan in China, which equates to just $173, and that puts it in direct competition with strong mid-range models from Xiaomi, Meizu, ZTE, and Huawei. LeTv isn’t messing around when it comes to the specs though. The body is made from metal, and the large 5.5-inch, 1080p screen is almost bezel-less, giving the Le 1s a very modern and high class style, that goes against what we expect from a device with a low price.
A MediaTek Helio X10 Turbo processor running at 2.2GHz, and with 3GB of RAM, is also a step beyond what we expect from low-cost phones. A USB Type-C connector with fast-charge technology, 32GB of RAM, and dual 4G SIM support, and a big 3000mAh battery are also among the specs. LeTv has added a fingerprint sensor to the rear of the phone, which also acts as a shutter release for the camera, which has 13 megapixels and a fast 0.09 second autofocus speed.
Although the Le 1s has Android installed, it’s heavily disguised by LeTv’s own EUI 5.5 skin, which adds access to many of the company’s own media and content stores.
The phone’s potent combination of great specs and low price led to a record number of pre-orders — LeTv says customers reserved more than 11 million phones, or $1.91 billion worth, ahead of launch. The Le 1s will be sold through several online retailers in China from November 3.
There’s still no word on any international release, unfortunately. LeTv continues to say it’s focused on the U.S., and has opened an online store — much like Xiaomi — that sells accessories only for now. However, in a response to a comment on LeTv’s official USA Facebook page, we’re told more details will be coming soon.