Wednesday marks the official launch of LeEco in the U.S., and considering that the company acquired Vizio earlier this year, the announcement of LeEco-branded TVs for the U.S. is somewhat of a surprise. At least, it would have been if the company hadn’t accidentally leaked this news earlier this month. As expected, LeEco unveiled four new Android-powered TVs on Wedesday, October 19, as part of its #LeNext presentation, all of which offer 4K Ultra HD resolution.
The star of the show, at least as far as TVs are concerned, is the company’s latest flagship, the 85-inch uMax85. As expected in such a sizable TV these days, the uMax85 supports 4K resolution, but it doesn’t stop there. The TV also features support for both HDR standards: HDR10 and Dolby Vision. So far, the only other companies offering TVs that support both are LG and — surprise, surprise — Vizio.
Like Vizio TVs, this model uses a vast array of local dimming zones to make for darker blacks and thus better contrast, as well as more uniform brightness. In the case of the uMax85, there are a total of 448 separate partitions. The TV boasts an 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and 3,000:1 static contrast ratio. The TV features a total of four HDMI inputs, as well as an optical audio output.
The TV also features Fluid Motion for sports fans, and claims to provide one of the best TV experiences for gamers, with a 6.5 millisecond response time. LeEco says its new TVs offer best-in-class processors and storage, with the uMax85 featuring a quad-core processor, along with 4GB RAM and 64 GB of internal storage.
The uMax85 also aims to decrease the need for external speakers (although most home theater enthusiasts will almost certainly still want them) by partnering with Harman/Kardon to provide the sound for the TV. Support is included for both Dolby and DTS audio, and both Bluetooth 4.1 and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi are included for connectivity.
The suggested retail price for the uMax85 will be $5,000, but a rebate program promises that amount will drop to $4,000 at checkout. This appears to be one of the least expensive TVs of its size and capabilities on the market.
The company also announced its Super4 X UHD TVs would be coming to the U.S., though details were all but entirely absent. The TVs will be available in 65-inch, 55-inch, and 43-inch screen sizes, priced at $1400, $900, and $650 MSRP respectively. Rebates on these TVs will also be offered and, like the uMax85, LeEco promises best-in-class performance.
Unlike the uMax85, while these models feature HDR, they only support HDR10 — Dolby Vision support isn’t included here. Each of these models is also slightly less powerful overall than the flagship, offering similar processing power, but only 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal SSD storage, except in the case of the Super4 X43 Pro, which only features 16GB of storage. Response times are also slightly slower at 8ms.
The two larger TVs also feature Harman/Kardon sound, while the smaller Super4 X43 Pro does not.
Each of the new TVs is preloaded with familiar apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Sling TV, and others, but LeEco wants to draw customers into its own ecosystem. The company announced several launch partners today, some of whom, like Lionsgate and Vice, had presenters at the show. Other partners include Sling TV, SeeSo, and Showtime.
These companies will provide video content via a number of built-in apps, like Live, which LeEco says provides nine streaming channels at any given time, offering a channel surfing analog. Le, on the other hand, is an on-demand service loaded with content from LeEco’s partners. Another app, Le View, attempts to learn your tastes as you watch content.
Finally, the company unveiled EcoPass, a service somewhat similar to Amazon Prime, which buyers of a LeEco uMax 85 TV get free for one year, along with a three-year warranty. The service offers unlimited photo and video storage, as well 5TB of online storage for whatever users want. There are also discounts on the company’s LeMall store and unlimited monthly viewing of Fandor — an online independent film streaming service.
These LeEco TVs are expected to be available in the U.S. on November 2.
Updated on 10-19-2016 by Kris Wouk: Added more specs and information on the Super4 TV models.
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