Chinese firm Letv has announced its first smartphone, called the Le Superphone, and it has plans to release the phone in the U.S. later this year. Additionally, the company will also release its own Smart TV, plus a Netflix-style video streaming service specifically for Chinese-speaking Americans. While Letv isn’t well known in America, the company has been operating since 2004, employs 5,000 people, and is valued at more than $12 billion on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
What do we know about the phone? The Le Superphone is made from metal and has a bezel-less screen, and Letv claims it’ll be the first to come with the new reversible USB Type-C connector to make charging more convenient, and a wireless HDMI connection. A 21-megapixel camera with a Sony sensor will be fitted, and a big 3,000mAh battery will power the phone, which in turn uses a Snapdragon 810 processor.
The phone uses a modified version of Android, and it’s likely to be heavily focused on accessing Letv’s streaming video and media content, which is the way the company makes money. For example, a Live TV option will be included, along with listings of TV shows and movies available to instantly stream. The Superphone’s screen is supposed to provide a higher dynamic range than any other on the market — it’s produced by Sharp, according to the press release — along with adjustable color profiles, and there’s a high quality audio system onboard, all designed to give the best viewing experience possible.
In China, Letv’s subscribers can watch 100,000 TV show episodes and 5,000 movies, and it has plans to bring the same service to the U.S., using both an ad-supported and a subscription-based model. The company is setting up several offices in the U.S., including one in California and in Los Angeles.
Returning to the Le Superphone, Letv actually announced three versions — apparently called the Superphone 1, Superphone 1 Pro, and the Superphone 1 Max — at a press conference in Beijing, but only one will be eventually sold in the U.S. For now, the screen sizes and resolutions are a mystery, but Forbes is reporting two of three sizes available will be 5.5-inches and a massive 6.3-inches, which we take to be the 1 Pro and the 1 Max. The MediaTek Helix X10 processor was also mentioned in the press conference, and will presumably power one of the devices.
The release date for the Le Superphone isn’t confirmed yet, but it’ll be later in 2015.