Monsters from Asia: the all-aluminum, $400 LeTV 1 Pro with its QHD display, 4GB of RAM, and 13MP OIS camera

When you think about super high-end smartphones from Asia, and specifically China, brand names such as Xiaomi, Oppo, vivo, and Meizu come to mind. But if you thought that the market there has matured enough for hefty enough barriers of entry to be raised, you're wrong, and smartphone entrant LeTV is the living proof.

Now, LeTV, if you've ever heard of it, is a company a bit alike both Netflix and YouTube, as it hosts tons and tons of video content online, but also has a hardware arm that churns out smart gadgets and even internet-enabled TVs. Smartphones, it turns out, was the frontier it wanted to cross next. On April 14th, it did just that, by introducing a trio of LeTV phones that cater to both budget and premium buyers. Best of all? LeTV swears that it's bringing them all to the US.

Today, we'll be taking a look at the LeTV 1 Pro – a seriously impressive flagship that costs half what most established brands ask for competing devices. Perhaps the most appropriate place to start is the construction of the phone – you're looking at a single piece of aluminum that reminds a whole lot of popular devices such as the iPhone 6 (it even has a physical mute switch), the HTC One M8, and even the Huawei Mate 7. Where the 1 Pro pulls ahead is the efficiency of its build – the phone has relatively small bezels, and manages to fit a large, 5.5-inch display within what is a relatively compact body (a screen-to-body ratio of about 76.71%, which is impressive). And by the way, no reason to worry – LeTV has jumped on the QHD bandwagon, meaning the 1 Pro's Sharp-made display packs 1440 x 2560 pixels, for a pixel pitch of 534 ppi. The display's color profile can be tweaked on the software side (Android 5.0 Lollipop with EUI skin there), and it's equipped with dynamic contrast-adjusting tech, identical to the one seen here, so it looks great even under sunlight.

As for what's powering this phablet, it should come as no surprise that LeTV has chosen Qualcomm's beast-of-a-chipset – the 64-bit, octa-core Snapdragon 810 with Adreno 430 graphics, along with generous 4 gigs of LPDDR4 RAM. This combo should prove more than capable enough to drive as many pixels even under heavy load. The are also 32GB or 64GB of eMMC 5.0 storage available (depending on model), and the company has done quite some work on the audio side of things. We're looking at a smorgasbord of audiophile-friendly gear, including a DAC, two power supplies, and two high-end stereo speakers on the bottom frame. The LeTV 1 Pro is also the first device to push for USB Type-C connectors on phones, and it packs a sizable, 3,000 mAh battery.

LeTV hasn't glossed over the imaging department, either. The 1 Pro sports a sapphire crystal-protected, 13-megapixel Sony main camera with f/2.0 lens and optical image stabilization (OIS). The snapper is capable of 4K UHD capture at 30 FPS, and can even do 720p video at 120 FPS. The selfie shooter at the front is promising, too – a 4-megapixel UltraPixel snapper with 2µm pixels and wide-angled, f/2.0 lens.

For all of this, LeTV is asking for just 元2499/元2699, or the equivalent of about $400/$435 for the 32GB/64GB version respectively. That, at least, is how much Chinese customers will have to produce for a unit. It's unclear (and unlikely) that the LeTV 1 Pro will land in the US (whenever that happens) costing the same price, but it's not entirely impossible. If it does, then it'd be hard justifying a purchase of much anything else, at least so long as the device holds up to scrutiny. 

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Monsters from Asia (49 updates)



1. Sauce5 unregistered

Congrats Mrs HTC and Mr iPhone, it's a boy.

4. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

The Chinese are working very hard to dominate the whole mobile industry...

27. sattamatkai

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 13, 2016

14. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

front is huawei mate 7 and back is HTC one

2. Ceffmhico

Posts: 33; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Wow! I want this!

3. NopeNein

Posts: 147; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

4GB LPDDR4? U focking wot m9? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

5. MohsinMobileExpert

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Wow, extremely beautiful and eye catching phone, its put on shame HTC ONE M9 any Galaxy S6 design... LeTv lunching their phone later this year in India.

7. maherk

Posts: 6960; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

What are you talking about?? Its design is shamelessly ripped off from the HTC m8/m9!!

16. Dvoraak

Posts: 21; Member since: May 14, 2014

So, because it's got the antenna lines that any metal phone needs.... it's a shameless ripoff?

21. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Really, what and what did they shamelessly rip off? People like to spew crap. If the One M9 is as good as these design-wise, wth, even spec-wise, there would be no grunts. I'm just glad that they didn't copy that mistake of boomsound, like people doesn't do more audio consumption with earphones/headsets.

6. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Nice phone, but I wouldn't trust company like this with OS updates.

8. greenelektron

Posts: 537; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

Yup, don't expect them to update the software AT ALL.

9. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

No info on battery capacity?

11. Simion_Florin

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 19, 2015

3000 mAh...

10. monoke

Posts: 1172; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Beast from the east indeed! Best bezeless sides looking design so far. Please do come to the US so it'll make my next buying decision that much easier!

12. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

UI looks good.

20. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

UI looks terrible compared to stock Android. This phone is made for china anyways.

13. JohnK

Posts: 117; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

More infos like dimensions, frequencies supported (it seems dual sim), availability and a review are welcomed. But for that price, that's a sweet deal (especially compared to overpriced Huawei P8). i'm not sure about the Sharp's QHD screen though, it may be the same one used in G3 (and maybe draining the battery by being not ecofriendly ?) About updates, who cares if the phone works well without any bug. I still have a Moto X 2013 sitting to wait for an update since july 2014. And we are in times where, we buy new phones because we like new ones, not because older are not working anymore at all...

15. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I must say, that's a beautiful phone and has amazing specs. And it's half the price of Samsung and Apple flagships (and unfortunately also LG flagships according to the G4 pricing rumor). My next phone might very well be a Chinese phone (it really only depends now on whether it supports the T-Mobile LTE bands).

17. mike2959

Posts: 696; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Not released and won't be readily available for 6 month's.

18. A.Adel

Posts: 45; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

guys plz stop saying its a copy from .... we know that`s and the company already mention that`s the design is Inspired from iphone so say something useful or ignore it

19. WallStreet

Posts: 256; Member since: Sep 21, 2014

Usually the cheaper Chineese phones had some drawbacks, quality, no snapdragon, design etc. But this one is a full-worthy competitor of the best flagships. This phone has got everything and looks great. My only worry would be the battery optimisation, but I guess it will be on par with the S6.

22. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

copy and paste i swear.

23. Chuck007

Posts: 1411; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Embarrassing.. lucky they only sell in China.

24. fonelover

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Real Apple of China.

25. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

right now only S6/edge can beat that spec :D but isnt snapdragon 810 still suffer from overheat? did it get underclocked? why not use MediaTek MT6795? o.O

26. Virage

Posts: 88; Member since: May 25, 2015


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