The LeEco Le Max 2 is yet another phone from China that has flagship specifications at a mid-range budget price point. LeEco is currently pushing to enter the United States market and officially sell their products there. The Le Max 2 comes in various configurations in terms of RAM and ROM. On top of that, it has rose gold (pink), force gold (gold) and grey (grey) colours that you can choose from. I have spent a week and more with the phone as my daily driver. How does this flagship spec mid-range budget phone fair? Read on to find out.
|Model||Le Max 2 / X820|
|Dimensions||156.8 x 77.6 x 8mm|
|SIM||Dual SIM Standby (Nano + Nano)|
|2G Network||GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz|
|3G Network||WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz|
|4G Network||FDD-LTE B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/25/26|
|Resolution||1440 x 2560|
|Type||IPS w/ Gorilla Glass 3|
|OS||eUI (Based on Android 6.0)|
|GPS||Yes w/ A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|WLAN||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac @ 2.4/5.0GHz|
|USB||v2.0 Type-C 1.0|
Do note that the Le Max 2 model I am reviewing is the 32GB ROM and 4GB RAM version.
Packaging and Accessories
This time around I do not have any unboxing video for you. A picture still does say a thousand words right? I must say that the packaging wise is not that impressive but I guess from a first impression point of view you basically get what you paid for.
The box is extremely simplistic with the LeEco logo right dead center of the cover. Opening it up you will be greeted with the phone and manuals. To the side you are provided with the charger (Quick Charge 2.0), USB to Type-C cable and a Type-C to 3.5mm adapter (yes, the phone has no 3.5mm audio jack sadly). Accessories feel to be of decent quality and the charger works well.
All in all, the packaging and accessories for the Le Max 2 is decent, nothing too fanciful but it is not bad either.
Design and Build Quality
The Le Max 2 sports a full metal body with the volume rocker and power button to the right side and the fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone. At the back is the 21 MP camera that looks really premium with that whole thick black borders and housing that the lenses sit in. The front of the phone has 3 capacitive buttons and towards the bottom you get a Type-C connector that acts as both your data, charging and audio port. Yes, the phone does not have a 3.5mm audio jack anywhere.
Towards the bottom of the phone you have your speakers, a position that I definitely feel is good compared to having them at the back. Please note that there is a lack of storage expansion options and as such you definitely have to consider a larger capacity model. My music alone took out all but 2GB left for photos and whatnot. Your mileage will definitely vary.
In terms of build quality, the overall feel and touch of the phone is pretty decent. When considering the price, it is actually kind of amazing. That said, the volume rocker and power button is wobbly. Not sure if this is a quality control issue or simply by choice (there are many users out there reporting the same “issue”).
The Le Max 2 has a 5.7” IPS 1440p display that is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. Colours are vibrant, screen angles are pretty much what you get from an IPS display (wide viewing angles) and brightness levels are bright enough for direct sunlight usage as well as being dim enough to not hurt your eyes when using in dark places.
You have read the specifications. I have told you that this is a mid-range phone. Now the only question left is whether the Le Max 2 performs as well as what is written on paper.
In terms of daily usage such as phone calls, messaging, web browsing and whatnot, the phone does it flawlessly. Smooth animations and transitions between applications, web browsing is a breeze with pages working as expected, phone calls do not drop etc.
The fingerprint scanner works well enough (quick and accurate) but still lacking if you compare to the fingerprint scanner on flagship devices like the iPhone 7. Many mid-tier Chinese phones in the past (at least a year and a few months ago) have horrendous scanners, so bad to the point that it is impossible to use. The Le Max 2 certainly does not have that problem. I have been using my fingers to unlock my phone with pretty decent accuracy and timing.
The external speakers on the phone is loud. Quality wise is probably a little off your dedicated mini-speakers but if you need to share listening to say a video or podcast with a friend or two, the speakers are definitely loud enough. As for the decision to get rid of the 3.5mm audio jack, I must say that I am actually pleasantly surprised with the audio quality that comes with the USB-C to 3.5mm adapter. I really hope it is not due to a placebo effect of some sorts but I genuinely felt that audio quality through my earphones sounded surprisingly better than usual. With that said, no I do not support not having a 3.5mm audio jack.
GPS performance is decent, tracks well and once locked on works perfectly fine.
In terms of battery life, I managed roughly 4 hours of screen on time with slightly over a day of stand-by. If we are talking about heavy duty usage, it will probably last throughout the day. To add on, the phone does support quick charging and you can pretty much fully charge your phone within an hour and half (30 mins to get from 0% to 50%. Another hour to get fully charged).
As for the phone software (eUI), I do not have much complaints about it. Looks a lot like iOS especially the “mission control” style panel that you can trigger for multi-tasking and accessing to your shortcuts. Performance is smooth and functional. Unfortunately, I am unable to access their customization app (always crashes) to give any comments about that. The software does not provide any amazing additional features that is interesting enough for me to point out.
I have tried out Minecraft with maxed out draw distances and other highly graphically intensive games such as Modern Combat 5 and the Le Max 2 handles all of them with no problem at all. This is expected given the hardware that it houses. Refer to the video review for some gameplay footage.
You can watch the video sample that I have taken of my garden (4K and 1080P) and see some of the photos that I have capture. Please download the raw photos if you want to see how they look like right off the phone.
Overall the camera in terms of capturing photos performs well in lighted areas. In low-light conditions, it takes some time to focus and quality wise is not the best. As for video recording, slow-motion is less than impressive but otherwise it does capture good enough 1080P and 4K video and audio. There is just one problem though, there does not seem to have any auto-focusing of any sort. Not sure if I accidentally disabled it or the camera outright do not have auto-focusing for video capturing.
Overall, the camera on the Le Max 2 is probably one of the better Chinese phone cameras that I have used so far.
Official and Community Support
There are some English threads and activity going on XDA regarding the phone. There are also English forums that are hosted by LeEco themselves. Available are some custom ROMs here and there that you can flash. Overall I would say that both the official and community is good enough for the English speaking audience.
As to whether or not LeEco continues providing continuous updates to the phone, we will have to see. Their track record is not proven yet for providing after sales updates.
The LeEco Le Max 2 is definitely a phone for value-for-money phone hunters out there. As time progresses, we have seen the gap between phones get less and less. If you are not looking for anything extra ordinary (for example pen capabilities like the Samsung Note or curved screens etc.) the Le Max 2 is more than decent for the price point that it holds. Amazing paper specifications that has a real life performance that follow suits as well.
The Le Max 2 is readily available through several online retailers. I do believe they are also having an invite system (as the time this review is published) for the US market.