Rock Jaw Clarito Review

HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Rock Jaw Clarito is available online for approximately Rs. 2,100
  • The sonic signature is bass-oriented, with a distinct V-shape
  • Gadgets 360 rates the headphones 3.5/5

Rock Jaw has come a long way since we reviewed the original Alfa Genus over a year ago. Although the company’s lineup has now grown a bit smaller and is headlined by the Alfa Genus V2, the company continues to ship good, affordable earphones all over the world.

The latest product in the range is also Rock Jaw’s most affordable pair of earphones yet, the Clarito. Despite its somewhat silly name, the Clarito promises to be a solid upgrade to the bundled in-ears that come with your smartphone. Priced at GBP24 (Approximately Rs. 2,100), these British-engineered earphones are on the review bench today. Find out how they perform in our review.

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Design, specifications, and comfort
While the company’s earlier products were made of wood, the current range has switched to a more modern-looking and durable metal construction. Like the Alfa Genus V2, the Clarito is also built almost entirely of metal, with plastic featuring only in the stalks that connect the cables to the ear casings. The small size of each earphone keeps the headset light, and the overall design is simple and sophisticated. The back of each casing features the new Rock Jaw logo.

The 1.2m cable of the headset is rubber coated, which makes it durable and resistant to strain, but also extremely tangle-prone. There’s no microphone, but a shirt clip and soft carry-pouch have been included in the sales package, along with a handful of silicone ear tips. The Clarito is easy to wear and comfortable over long periods.

The Rock Jaw Clarito is powered by 8mm dynamic drivers, has an impedance of 16Ohms, a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz, and a rather high sensitivity rating of 108dB. As a result, it’s incredibly loud at peak volume, which will appeal to a lot of users looking for a loud pair of earphones.

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Performance
We tested the Rock Jaw Clarito with our reference Fiio X1 high-resolution audio player, as well as theiBasso DX80, a OnePlus 3 (Review), and a Windows laptop. Focus tracks for the review were Martin Solveig’s Intoxicated and Alt-J’s Taro.

Starting with Intoxicated, we were immediately treated to an intense bass-oriented sonic signature, which could be felt and heard right from the beginning of the track. It’s occasionally a bit too powerful and attacking, overpowering the mid-range but not the highs, in much the same way that any product with a V-shaped signature operates. The sound might seem a bit too aggressive at times, but bass-lovers will enjoy it for what it is.

With Taro, the sensitivity spike in the low-range can be heard even more distinctly, although vocals aren’t as weak as with Intoxicated. The detail in the track can be heard fairly well for headphones in this price range, and the soundstaging and imaging are about as good as we’ve heard as well. It’s also worth noting that the Clarito can get very loud without much distortion or loss of detail, and it’s helped along by its comfortable fit and noise isolating design.

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Verdict
Where most budget in-ears fail is in boosting volume. That’s where the Rock Jaw Clarito succeeds in a big way. It’s loud, bass-happy and exciting. While that sound can occasionally become a bit too much to handle, it’s still enjoyable to a certain extent.

The added bass doesn’t get too much in the way of the rest of the sound, and detail and soundstaging remain excellent for the price. Along with comfort, good looks and decent build quality, this makes the Rock Jaw Clarito an option worth considering if you’re looking for a good pair of earphones.

Price: GBP 24 (Roughly Rs. 2,100, not including import duty and taxes), available via Rock Jaw

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Good looking and well-built
  • Extremely loud

Cons

  • The bass can occasionally be a bit too much
  • Tangle-prone cable

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4
  • Performance: 3.5
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 3.5

Source by gadgets.ndtv…

Brainwavz XFIT XF-200 Review: Excellent sound, in a feature-rich package, though difficult to wear

The oddly named company Brainwavz has come out with another pair of earphones designed especially for sports enthusiasts. Being not much of a fan of the design, I was keen to know how Brainwavz, in particular, handled it.

Build and Design: 7/10
The earphones are oddly shaped with an over-and-behind the ear design, aimed at sports enthusiasts who want their earphones to stay in place during vigorous activities. Due to the shape, these earphones are not for the casual user as these require more care during earphone insertion, more about this in “The curious case of missing Bass” in Performance section below.

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The two variants available, the see-through white is a little weird

The unique shape is such that it lends itself to perfectly stay on no matter what. It is meant for vigorous sports activities without the fear of falling off. However, it is not sweat resistant like the Sennheiser PMX 686G reviewed before. Though for the price of one PMX 686G, you can go through several pairs of Brainwavz XF-200’s.

One extended benefit of this kind of design is for motor-bikers who like wearing earphones with their helmet on. The earphones stick inside the ear well, unlike regular protruding pairs that can press uncomfortably against the ears with the helmet on. Please note that this is dangerous as earphones + the helmet creates quite a noise-isolating seal and the situation becomes worse if you have music on.

The remote is a simple 3-button operation that controls volume, skip tracks, pause/play, plus a microphone for taking phone calls. Brainwavz S3 earphones have a much better design with protruded markings, making it far easier to access the controls without looking.

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The remote works with Android, iOS and Windows phones flawlessly

The earphone cord doesn’t make any cord noise though it is prone to tangling. The cord also has a thoughtful adjustment to keep the unwieldy wires well together.

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During sports activities, the cord adjustment really comes handy

For the price, Brainwavz really gives a lot of quality accessories. I was pleasantly surprised to see a really nice striking sturdy case (the guys over at Evidson ought to learn from this) which is the same in their high-end line of earphones too.

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The hard case also comes with a shirt clip and two pockets inside

Also, the earphones come with several ear tips to please everyone and that too multiples of each. Even “Comply” ear tips are thrown in for good measure for those who like it. Brainwavz really spoils its consumers with a lot of quality goodies out of the box.

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Ear tips galore!

Performance: 8/10
We tested the Brainwavz XF-200 with our Android phone, Windows PC with FiiO Q1 DAC + amp attached, with all enhancements off.

Overall, the sound is really good, well-balanced and clear. You’ll get a nice open soundstage when listening to music. Though the earphones do not have the same refinement of sound that their very own higher-end S3 earphones have, but the S3’s also cost four times as much.

The highs are just right, not too flat and not sibilant even with noisier Heavy Metal tracks there was no fatigue while listening to music.

The mids are crisp, and sharp, tracks with a focus on voice sounded well, and none of the snares nor the tom-toms of the drums sounded lean or tinny. There is a full body to the sound.

Am happy to say the bass is just right, I personally quite enjoy a sound that balances well across the sound spectrum without giving too much emphasis on any one particular frequency. For bass heads, you’ll just need to up a few notches higher in the lower range and you’ll be just fine, if you desire more bass, then perhaps the Sennheiser CX 3.00 would suit you better.

The curious case of missing Bass
At first, the bass sounded quite lean, pumping it up in the EQ helped but not sufficiently without altering the sound. I was ready to write it off saying “lean bass”, but interestingly my cousin brother blurted, “Hey, it’s bassy” during testing…wait, What?? I checked my fitting and it certainly sounded lean, I re-inserted the earphones being careful to insert in the ear by stretching the ears and pushing the earphones further than I’m used to with regular pairs. Aligning flat with my ears, the bass, and the overall sound improved immensely.

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(Left) The earphones not completely inserted properly leading to a loss in seal and bass (Right) The earphones fully inserted correctly leading to better sound and noise isolation. And OMG, I didn’t know my ears were so hairy!

Coming back to my cousin, the reason why he found them bassy, is simply because his ears are smaller than mine and I tend to use large ear cups, the wrong size created too much seal, therefore, more bass.

Interestingly, a lot of users online have shared their experience on Amazon customer reviews indicating the same issue that the earphones don’t have much bass. This I can completely understand, my advice would be to check the fitting by using the right ear tips, stretch the ear when inserting the earphones for a better seal and if none of these work, last resort is to adjust the bass in the EQ.

This sort of design is certainly tricky to wear, you cannot casually insert the earphones like regular designs and get away with it. Similarly designed sports earphones from Evidson Audiosport W6 gave me quite the tiresome time during testing.

Call Quality: 9/10
The call quality was really good, after all, the earphones were inserted in both ears with the mic hanging close, just behind the ears, ensured that there was less interference in the sound. The earphones do have quite a good noise isolation capability as there was no drop in conversation nor any noise of any sort. The person on the other end of the call could hear me very clearly.

One thing to note of this over-and-behind the ear design is that it isn’t as easy to remove the earphones from the ear unlike regular straight designs. So you’ll see yourself struggling to casually pop the earphones out as it tends to stick to the ear by design.

Verdict and Price in India
These earphones are a definite recommend. They are an excellent pair, with a lot of added accessories not seen in this price and they cost just Rs 1299 street price. If you are into vigorous activities like sports, jogging and the like, these pairs are for you.

There is one thing you ought to be careful of is that the design and the fitting are a tricky thing to get right, a lot more deliberation needs to go into it when wearing. Those who don’t like earphones going that far deep inside should stay away from this kind of over-and-behind the ear sports designs.

Source By tech.firstpost…

LeEco Le 2 review: Great value, an awesome content bundle and an average camera

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Around six months have passed since LeEco (formerly LeTV) entered the Indian market, and it is already in its second generation of handsets. The Le 1s was the phone that really made LeEco a household name, apart from its all out advertising blitzkrieg of course. But unlike other smartphone players in the market, LeEco is a hardware company second, but a content company first. In China, LeEco has a content catalogue that has little competition and it is merely using products such as smartphones and TVs to give their users access to this content bank. With its second generation of handsets, LeEco has brought that content experience (although with local Indian content partners) to India. So let us see how good or bad it is as compared to the Le 1s.

Build and Design: 7.5/10
When placed side-by-side on their backs, you will not be able to tell the Le 2 and Le 1s apart. It is only when you start looking closely that the differences in the design language pop up. LeEco continues using a metal body for the Le 2, which gives it a slight heft with a 153 gram weight. The front face has the 5.5-inch full HD display. We got the rose gold variant of the phone.

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On the rear is where you will see differences. For starters, the first thing that stands out are the antenna cuts on the top and bottom. The 16MP camera unit protrudes slightly and occupies a position in the centre, beside which you have the dual-tone LED flash unit. Just below the camera module, you have the square shaped fingerprint scanner. On the button edge, you have the USB Type-C port which acts as a data transfer and charging port as well as a CDLA port for digital audio.

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The top portion has an IR blaster, the dual nano SIM card tray is on the left whereas the volume rocker and power button is on the right-hand side. There are antenna cuts on the bottom edge as well. The dropping of the 3.5mm audio jack is a bit too ambitious for a phone at this price range, but thankfully, LeEco bundles in a USB Type C earphone and a Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack converter, for those who prefer using their regular earphones.

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Overall, the build quality is quite good, although the edges around the display are a bit too sharp despite the bevelling. This is compensated well by the transparent silicon cover you get. It also compensates for the bulge in the camera module. The silicon cover gives a good grip, although we didn’t find the metal body to be that slippery.

Features: 8/10
LeEco Le 2 comes with a really good feature set, as has been the case with its first generation outing as well. The Le 2 houses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 chipset which has an octa-core processor with one quad-core Cortex A72 cluster clocked at 1.8GHz and one quad-core Cortex A53 cluster clocked at 1.8GHz. It is paired with an Adreno 510 GPU. It also comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (29.12GB available to the user) — you cannot add in a microSD card to expand the storage though.

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The 5.5-inch Full HD display comes comes with an LCD panel. On the camera front, you get a 16MP sensor on the rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture and phase-detect AF along with an 8MP front-facing camera with an f/2.2 aperture and 1.4 micrometer pixel size.

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It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow along with LeEco’s proprietary EUI 5.8 skin atop it. There is a nano dual-SIM tray which supports 4G LTE (FDD LTE Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20 and TDD LTE Bands 38/40/41). There’s also support for Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/AGPS with GLONASS and BDS positioning, a fingerprint sensor on the rear and more. All this is powered by a 3,000mAh battery which supports the QuickCharge standard.

Display: 7.5/10

LeEco Le 2
The 5.5-inch in-cell display on the LeEco Le 2 seems quite similar to what we had seen on the Le 1s. It offers the same 400 ppi pixel density on the Le 2s. The display is sharp and colours appear natural, although with a slight bias towards the blue spectrum. The phone is sufficiently bright, although the adaptive brightness feature isn’t the best. There were some concerns regarding some creaking sound that’s heard when you tap on the phone — we found that to be true only when you press hard on the display, as hard as you would on a 3D Touch panel on the iPhone. In normal use cases you will not press that hard on the display. Watching movies on the display is a pleasure. Although the contrast isn’t the best, we still found it to be quite good.

Software: 8/10
LeEco comes with the proprietary EUI skin atop Android 6.0 Marshmallow. In terms of the design language, it is not very different from the user interface seen on the first generation LeEco handsets. There is no app drawer, so all apps that you download are on multiple homescreens.

Swiping to the leftmost homescreen, you come across a video aggregation screen called LeView. You can select videos based on genres such as News & Politics, Sports, Science & Tech and so on and you will get the latest trending videos curated by LeEco’s content partners. The LeVidi app is a separate app which gives you access to the same content as was seen in LeView, but in a more organised manner. With the purchase of the Le 2 or Le Max handset, you get access to the video services free for the first year, which comes to around Rs 4,900 a year.

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The Live button in the bottom centre gives you access to TV channels across languages and genres which are powered by YuppTV. You can play 9 streams at the same time, provided you have a high-speed, stable internet connection — a rare find in India. Or you can just go right into the channel of your choice. The LeMusic and LeEco drive — which offers 5TB cloud storage space — are features that are yet to be activated.

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Swiping from the top down, will reveal the recent notifications. You can further make customisations to mark certain app notifications as important or even determine whether they should show on the lock screen or only in the notification shade. You can also use the fingerprint scanner to take selfies.

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The control centre is activated by tapping on the square soft key on the left hand side of the home button. It is divided into five main sections. Starting from the top, you have the shortcut switches followed by the music controller, brightness slider, shortcut switches for Wi-fi, bluetooth, profiles and so on and finally in the bottom half you have the most recently opened apps.

If you are moving from stock Android, it will take some time getting the hang of the EUI skin on the LeEco Le 2, post which it becomes easy to navigate. The skin isn’t that heavy and we did not notice any stutter or slowdown of animations or while switching apps and so on. Unlike the MIUI 7 skin, the EUI lets you access Google Now on Tap.

Performance: 7.5/10
Call quality on the Le 2 is quite good. Sound coming from the earpiece speaker is loud and clear. Even at higher volumes there was no distortion from the earpiece speaker. The same cannot be said of the speaker, which tends to distort at high volumes. You are much better off with the bundled USB Type-C earphones.

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The USB Type-C earphones is a huge bone of contention. There seems to be no logic to doing away with the 3.5mm audio jack on a budget device, other than to have the tag of being the first phone company to do so. We have seen non audio jack sporting phones in the past in the form of the Oppo R5, so Le 2 isn’t the first of its kind we are coming across. But with the Oppo R5, it just made sense for the company to do away with the audio jack because R5 measured just 4.85mm thick. The LeEco Le 2 is not slim by any means and moreover, the USP of the CDLA feature — high definition audio — makes little sense for the price point the phone is selling at. A lot of people prefer using their own earphones. The USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack adapter is not really the best implementation, making the adapter hang at a weird angle.

Having said that, the audio output was decent, nothing out of the ordinary. The ear buds are not the best at isolating your ears from ambient noise, and on many occasions we had to press them in to be able to listen clearly in noisy situations. The in-line microphone has a single button which needs to be pressed once to stop music play or to answer a call, two presses takes you to the previous song and three presses takes you to the next song.

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The LeEco Le 2 comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 chipset and 3GB of RAM. These specs are enough to ensure that the Le 2 runs smooth on most occasions. There were no issues with any of the apps we threw at the Le 2, including high-end games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne. Heat management was quite good and we noticed that temperatures never crossed 38 degree Celsius even after a good 30 minutes of heavy gaming. Benchmark scores are in line with the ones we had seen on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 — which houses the Snapdragon 650 chipset.

The fingerprint scanner is a bit of a hit and miss affair though. It is certainly not the fastest we have seen and many times it took us more than two or three tries to be able to log in. It can be used for clicking selfies though. We’d also like to point out that we had similar issues on the Le Max 2 and it does seem like this is a larger issue with LeEco’s current devices.

Camera: 6.5/10
LeEco Le 2 comes with a 16MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture and an 8MP front facing camera with f/2.4 aperture. The rear camera supports phase-detect AF. These are quite high specs on a budget handset. The camera interface is simple and there are four main tabs: Slo-mo, Video, Photo and Pano. The Photo screen has a slider which shows you options such as HDR, Night mode, Square frame, Beauty and Scene mode for quick selections. Settings menu gives further tweaking options. The video camera is capable of shooting 4K videos as well.

Image quality is usable for daylight images but not so great with low light samples. The focusing is quick during day time, and you can also lock focus and then select exposure from another area. The daylight images give a lot of details and even fine objects such as leaves in the distance are resolved relatively well, especially when compared to the phones in this price range. Having said that, the HDR mode certainly needs some work. There were instances where despite selecting HDR, images still turned out overexposed or in shadows. Low light photographs are quite waxy in appearance and noise is easily noticeable even with indoor shots. It is best to use the Le 2 camera in daylight situations only or well-lit interiors. Else just stick to using a flash indoors, which at least cuts down on the damage to some extent.

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Videos shot during the daytime are usable, although the shift between exposures is quite drastic when you move from shadow areas to highlights. Panning does introduce rolling shutter and you may not want to shoot videos while walking as the lack of image stabilisation gives a shaky output.

Battery: 7/10

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The LeEco Le 2 comes with a 3,000mAh battery which easily gives you enough juice to get through my average work day without feeling the need to charge the device. The Quick Charging feature is optional and when you activate it, you get a warning that the phone will heat up while charging. While charging is quick, we noticed on a couple of occasions that the discharging was equally quick. We stuck to regular charging, which tends to hold charge longer. PC Mark for Android predicted a battery life of 8 hours and 14 mins.

Verdict and Price in India
As a standalone smartphone, the LeEco Le 2 offers tremendous value for money at Rs 11,999. The powerful Snapdragon 652 chipset with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage are impressive features which ensure that the phone does not falter in the performance department. But LeEco goes even further by adding its Le Ecosystem benefits to the device. The first year of LeEco membership is free for anyone who buys the Le 2, after which you can take a call if you want to continue with it or not.

The LeVidi app is a good start, but we did not get all nine channels running simultaneously despite being in a good Wi-fi environment — we’re lucky enough to be blessed with a 100mbps connection.

The content library does not seem to have changed since we first saw the Le 2 at the launch event. Having the same featured movies for months is just sad and I hope LeEco rectifies this. The Live feature which streams satellite TV is great to catch up on news or your favourite TV shows provided you have stable internet connectivity.

The USB Type-C earphones bundled retail for Rs 1,999 and as a promotional offer, Le 2 buyers will get it for free. Since the headset supports the CDLA standard, you will have to go with LeEco’s Type-C headset. This can be an unwanted cost when buying the device, as unless you have lossless audio you will not really be able to enjoy this headset. The price is also very high for the quality on offer.

In the sub-Rs 15,000 price bracket, the Le 2 certainly emerges as the phone to go for. As compared to its closest competitor — the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 — the Le 2 offers slightly better performance and comes with the Le Supertainment bouquet which gives it an edge. In terms of camera performance and battery life though, we would still go with the Redmi Note 3. If content is what entices you and you are willing to invest an additional amount for the headset, then go for the LeEco Le 2.

Source By tech.firstpost…

LeEco Le 2 review: Challenging the status quo

Chinese entertainment conglomerate LeEco — formerly LetTV — is often called the Netflix of China, which means it’s already pretty good at offering content streaming services. The company only recently ventured into India with the Le 1S and Le Max phones. It’s been only six months, and it has already launched two new follow-up phones, the Le 2 and the Le Max 2.

But, unlike its first batch of phones — that were all about hardware bragging rights — its new phones focus on a fresh strategy. They are still about bragging rights, vis-a-vis hardware, but they make content services centre-stage. The Le 2 and Le Max 2, then revolve around them, bringing you the best of both worlds, well, almost.

With its new phones, LeEco is looking to bridge the gap — hardware plus content — by making the Le 2 and the Le Max 2 full-on multimedia devices. Multimedia consumption is paramount here, and the company has left no stone unturned. It has even chucked out the 3.5mm audio jack to — as it says — ensure best possible experience to users.

The Le 2 is the more affordable offering of the two. Priced at Rs 11,999, the Le 2 comes pre-bundled with one year of free content membership — worth Rs 4,900 — so, come to think of it, you’re actually getting the phone for just Rs 7,000. So, what’s the catch, you ask? There are a few, but the odd thing is, that at its price point, none of them are deal-breakers.

Design and build quality

The Le 2 is not very different from its predecessor, the Le 1S. And yet, it is miles apart. The core design may be alike, but the Le 2 is a different beast altogether. For one, it is a good 10 grams lighter than the Le 1S, making it all the more pocketable. In fact, the Le 2 is thinner and lighter than both the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and the Huawei Honor 5C. It’s still slippery though, but its chamfers do a far better job at stick to your palm than the Le 1S.

The Le 2 is an all-metal smartphone that comes with clear cut antenna lines — black lines atop a rose gold body. These lines would seem a little cheap on a regular day, but at its price, the Le 2 can be forgiven. The lines also act as barrier points to separate the top and bottom ends. These are the only non-metallic areas — with brushed metal finish — on the phone. LeEco has done a far better job at concealing these areas, as opposed to say the Honor 5C. The Redmi Note 3 and Meizu M3 Note look better, but the Le 2 isn’t far behind.

The one area where the Le 2 wins hands down is screen-to-body ratio. LeEco’s phone does a better job here. Also, it uses a chunkier black strip all along the display to hide its side-bezels. These work well, when the screen is off. But not so much when it is on.

The Le 2 has a prominent camera bulge on the rear and a weird fingerprint scanner below it. Both the camera module and fingerprint sensor on-board the Le 1S were circular and more uniform. These look wayward and disproportionate in the case of the Le 2. The fingerprint scanner retains the mirror-finish of the Le 1S, and needless to say, it retains its dirt accumulating habit as well. It also takes an odd second or two to spring into action. There are definitely more responsive phones at this price point now.

The bottom end is where all the action is happening in the Le 2. The Le 2 (and the Le Max 2) is the world’s first phone to come without a regular 3.5mm audio jack. Instead, it supports a USB Type-C audio connector so the same port that you use for charging and data syncing can be used to connect your headphones. The company has designed special USB Type-C headphones for the purpose — that cost Rs 1,999 — and is bundling them for free along with the phone, for now. You also get a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio adapter in the box so you don’t have to throw away your standard 3.5mm headphones yet.

Display

The Le 2 comes with a 5.5-inch FullHD IPS LCD display with a 1080×1920 pixels resolution. Colour reproduction is pretty spot on here, and the Le 2 shows some very accurate colours, without going overboard. Given the price, there isn’t too much to complain here. Moreover, it gives you as many as four different colour modes to tinker with, so just mix and match, and you’ll be set.

Sadly, the phone’s peak brightness leaves a lot to be desired. The screen of the Le 2 is ridiculously dim, even for its price. Combine that with its super-reflective nature, and it gets difficult to read something on it outdoors. This is not a phone that you would want to watch too many videos on or do a lot of texting on when you’re out and about. Stay inside, and you’ll do just fine.

Software

The Le 2 runs Android 6.0.1

Marshmallow-based EUI 5.6. Much like other Chinese counterparts, LeEco’s EUI leaves some heavy — literally and figuratively — imprints on top of Android. At the same time, it takes unabashed inspiration from Apple’s iOS where it can. The end result is a user interface, that although looks a lot like iOS, does not encourage bloat or unwanted apps. It’s a win-win situation if you ask me. Those into stock Android would be disappointed, a lot.

LeEco has used the interface to inculcate its content streaming down to the very core. The phone comes with as many as two apps — Live and Le Vidi — and an HTC BlinkFeed like home screen, called LeView, especially for the purpose. You can’t uninstall either of the apps, but you can disable the LeView, just like you can disable the BlinkFeed. While Live gives you access to YuppTV’s catalogue of live TV channels, Le Vidi gives you access to Bollywood content and regional movies, courtesy Eros Now. There’s a catalogue of as many as 2,000 movies on demand, and a provision to watch as many as 9 live streams — from over 100 channels — simultaneously, using the apps. Provided, you have the bandwidth to enjoy such a luxury.

The Le 2 is not very different from its predecessor, the Le 1S. And yet, it is miles apart

While it’s pretty obvious that the company wants you to buy its content subscription in the days to come — after a year, that is — it’s not an absolutely necessity. You can buy the phone, watch the content for free for one year, and then chose not to subscribe to its services at all in the second year.

Take the content part away, and it’s quite commendable how LeEco hasn’t fallen prey to over-boarding the phone with unwanted apps. There are a few, but apps like Remote Control, that make use of the phone’s IR blaster, Yahoo! Weather and a couple of odd balls like gallery and music wouldn’t necessarily bother you.

The drop-down notification menu in case of the EUI houses just the incoming notifications. For everything else, there is the app switcher or control panel. The layout is pretty similar to iOS, but LeEco’s version takes up the entire screen for the purpose. It’s a heavy UI, the EUI and it takes up at least 1.3GB of available RAM, with no apps opened. Club that with the phone’s video streaming apps, and you’d think the phone would be a slouch. But, it isn’t. Full marks to LeEco, for its heavily customised yet smooth as butter UI.

Performance and battery life

The Le 2 is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor coupled with Adreno 510 GPU and 3GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB of on-board memory. Expandable storage isn’t supported. The dualSIM phone supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity.

The Snapdragon 652 is fast, energy efficient and runs cooler than the outgoing Snapdragon 615. The Le 2 makes the most of it. The phone handles everything that you throw at it, with ease, despite the fact that LeEco’s user interface is fairly heavy. It can handle graphic intensive games, like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 5 and Implosion, at maxed out settings. And it runs cool, for the most part.

The Le 2 does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. So, where do you connect your headhones, you ask? Well, you connect them to the phones’ USB Type-C port. Wait, what? LeEco’s proprietary headphones are harbingers of the company’s home-brewed Continual Digital Lossless Audio or CDLA technology that allows it to churn out lossless audio. All your FLAC files for instance will play ‘untouched’ via LeEco’s compatible headphones, just the way they are meant to sound. Note that, your standard headphones will not be able to make use of LeEco’s CDLA technology, as it is integrated right into the proprietary headphones.

It’s not clear how chucking out a 3.5mm audio jack and offering USB Type-C proprietary headphones, which alone can make sense of CDLA for the time being, changes anything

You know how using an external DAC can help improve audio? It’s the same thing. The CDLA chip built into the LeEco headphones serve as external DAC, converting your audio from digital to analog. Having an external DAC comes at the cost of manual control, but leads to far superior audio output. Provided you have good-quality headphones. LeEco’s headphones are good, just that they aren’t good enough. They might be loud, but they are ridiculously flat as well. According to LeEco, there’s not enough innovation happening in smartphone audio. The way I see it, USB audio paired with budget headphones isn’t the way to go either.

Phone calls made with the Le 2 are of excellent quality and we did not encounter any odd call drop issues with our review unit.

The phone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery which is non-removable. Although, it has the same capacity as the Le 1S, the battery on-board the Le 2 performs better. Extreme usage scores were more or less on similar lines, which is 12 to 13 hours. But moderate to low usage got us close to one full day with ease. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 — with its 4,000mAh battery — definitely trumps the Le 2, in every sense of the word, in this regard. The Le 2, just like the Redmi Note 3 also supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0.

Camera

The Le 2 sports a 16-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus and dualLED (dual tone) flash. The rear cam is capable of shooting 4K and slow-motion videos. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture.

The Le 1S had a terrible rear camera, even for its low price. Sadly, the Le 2 follows it. More or less. It’s the Achilles Heel of LeEco’s phone. Even the Redmi Note 3 looks better in comparison.

The front camera does try to better things, a tad bit, and shoots some good selfies in outdoor good lighting. Tricky and low-level light selfies come out with lots of noise.

Should you buy it?

LeEco’s new phone cuts across price barriers, once again. Just like its first attempt, there’s a lot to love about its second budget phone as well. Ticks all the right boxes, this one. At the same time, it adds a thing or two that has never been seen before in a device of this price range: content services and USB Type-C. Then again, it dares to do something new by chucking out the regular 3.5mm audio jack. Though the benefits of that move aren’t all that clear cut. LeEco’s forward thinking is commendable but somehow, it doesn’t add up. Sure, the company is giving away free headphones that can make use of CDLA tech but the result doesn’t match the output you can get with a better pair of ‘regular’ headphones.

The Le 2 is a good smartphone. Sure, it has a rather average camera, and its display could have been brighter, but it’s still value for money, especially with its premium body, cool performance and the content services that seem to have been integrated fairly well.

Source By indiatoday…

Honor 5C review: A well-balanced device that lacks any defining quality

Huawei’s value driven smartphone range, Honor, has always provided respectable smartphones ever since it was introduced in India. Handsets like the Honor 6, Honor 7 and the Honor 5X have all been well received. Now we have the latest budget offering from the brand, the Honor 5C. The new smartphone comes as an upgrade to the Honor 4C and, like its predecessor, it’s a budget handset falling in the under-15K range.

This is probably the most populated and competitive segment as there are already a number of worthy smartphones, especially the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and the LeEco Le 2that dominate this range. So does the Honor 5C stand a chance, read on for the full review.

Build and Design: 7/10

The Honor 5C offers a very similar looking design as the Honor 5X but somehow feels a bit more refined. In terms of dimensions, the smartphone has a thickness of 8.3mm and weighs 156 grams. The back has a brushed metal finish and as an addition, has lightly textured streaks along the sides which add a nice touch to the overall design. Again, like the 5X, the camera bulges out slightly and the fingerprint scanner sits below.

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At the front you get a glossy plastic finish and the display, which measures in at 5.2-inches, makes the device a bit easier to handle compared to most 5.5-inch smartphones selling in this price range. The company hasn’t mentioned if the glass panel covering the display offers any kind of protection but frankly it isn’t of very good quality as it kept attracting smudges and fingerprints. We ended up wiping the display all day.

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Around the edges we have the power button and volume rocker buttons on the right, the audio jack on the top, a hybrid SIM tray on the left and the microUSB port and speaker grills at the bottom. The edges are rounded, making the handset fit better in your palm.

Overall, the design is appealing and put together very well even though it is similar to the Honor 5X. The handset fits well in the hand although it can get a bit slippery due to the polished metal finish.

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Features: 7/10

Honor 5C features a 5.2-inch full HD IPS display and is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 650 SoC, which is Huawei’s in-house octa-core chipset (2GHz quad-core and 1.7GHz quad-core) with a Mali-T880MP2 GPU. You get 2GB of RAM to handle multi-tasking. For storage, there is 16GB of which 10.52GB user accessible, which can be expanded further using a microSD card of up to 256GB. However you get hybrid SIM card slot for that, so you would be restricted to only one SIM card.

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The smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei’s Emotion UI 4.1 layer on top. There is a 13MP camera at the back with an f/2 aperture and an LED flash unit. On the front you get an 8MP unit to take selfies. In the connectivity department you get Wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS and FM Radio. At the back there is a fingerprint scanner which, apart from unlocking, offers features like scrolling through the gallery, taking pictures and sliding out the notification shade. To juice up the smartphone there is a 3,000 mAh battery, but there is no support for quick charging.

Display: 6.5/10

Huawei has used a 5.2-inch full-HD IPS LCD panel on the Honor 5C. It’s a fairly decent looking screen although we weren’t fully impressed with the brightness. Even the ambient sensor had issues as it struggled to automatically adjust the brightness levels when moving between bright and dark environments. Colours are a bit neutral and sharpness was adequate when reading text. Sunlight readability isn’t up to the mark, as it’s difficult at times to read, even when you pump up the brightness to full.

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The touchscreen itself is responsive, but as mentioned before, the whole experience is hampered by the low quality of glass protecting the display. Upon regular usage we noticed quite a few fingerprints and smudges gathering on the panel.

Software: 7/10

The Honor 5C runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the Emotion UI 4.1 layer running on top. It gives the OS a colourful look. It’s also better looking than the previous versions and feels snappy only till you maintain your storage. Once you start filling the handset with apps and multimedia, it starts feeling sluggish.

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The lock-screen comes with a feature called magazine lock, which frequently changes the wallpaper giving a new look whenever you activate the display to unlock it. There is a also a quick settings bar that you can slide up in the lock-screen which offers options to control your music, turn on the flashlight and open apps like the calculator, voice recorder or the camera.

The changes between the older version of Emotion UI and this one aren’t very obvious, with the interface retaining its signature look and feel, including the same single-layered user interface, notification shade, and quick settings menu. The phone manager app is particularly useful as well, controlling system optimisation functions, data usage, app locking, battery consumption and more.

As with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, you get the Doze feature for better battery optimisation as well as Google Now on Tap. There is also a phone management app that lets you check your data consumption, cleanup storage and RAM, lock apps and also block unwanted calls and SMS.

Performance: 7/10

Powering the smartphone is a Huawei made HiSilicon Kirin 650 chipset which is an octa-core processor. It has four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2GHz and the other four at 1.7GHz. You get 2GB of RAM and a Mali-T880MP2 GPU to take care of graphics intensive tasks. This combination provides enough power for daily tasks like writing emails, browsing the web, updating social media, taking the occasional picture and so on. The 2GB of RAM feels less occasionally and you end up closing apps.

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Benchmarks proved that it is as capable as the Snapdragon 615 or the 616 with scores comparable to the Moto G4 Plus. It’s still less powerful than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. High-end games don’t run very smooth and run on lower frame rates while less resource demanding games work flawlessly. The handset doesn’t heat excessively at all, there’s just minor warming up when used under the sun or during long periods of gaming.

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Call quality on the smartphone is good and even mobile data and Wi-fi connections work without any issues. The fingerprint scanner was a bit of an issue. While it didn’t have any major trouble recognising the fingerprint there were times when the phone wouldn’t wake up when you put your finger on it or even when you pressed the power button. The phone would freeze for a minute before returning to normal state.

Camera: 7/10

There is a 13MP rear camera with an LED flash and an 8MP front camera aperture. Both the cameras have an f/2 aperture. The camera app offers features like HDR, slow-motion video, time-lapse video, panorama, etc. You also get some modes like pro photo, pro video as well as light painting, food mode, object tracking, smile capture, self-timer, and so on.

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The camera performs well and can capture good looking pictures in bright conditions, although low light performance is just average with some loss in details. Colours look good and even sharpness is well maintained. The camera software tries its best to reduce noise and it does a decent job, although certain pictures do lose some fine details. In terms of video both the cameras can shoot 1080p videos with the rear offering more modes as mentioned above. All in all, the cameras are not that bad, although it isn’t better than any of the existing smartphones in the same range.

Battery: 7/10

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The handset features a 3,000mAh battery inside which lasts all day. It doesn’t offer fast charging though, so it takes its own sweet time to fully charge. The battery trickles down consistently and the doze feature definitely works as we saw a minor drop when the handset was not used overnight.

Verdict and Price in India

The Honor 5C offers a blend of good design, appealing UI and a capable hardware. It is definitely a good update over its predecessor, the Honor 4C, and feels as good as the Honor 5X. There are minor software issues but nothing that a quick update can’t fix.

Having said that, the smartphone doesn’t offer anything unique or a differentiating factor that would set it apart from the competition. It’s a plain Jane phone which will struggle to survive in the market. The only reason one might just go for the Honor 5C is for its smaller display, as there are some consumers who don’t want to go beyond the 5.0-5.2 inch screen size.

For a similar price of Rs 10,999, a better option would be the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3.

Panasonic Eluga Arc Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Panasonic Eluga Arc is priced at Rs. 12,490.
  • The phone looks good and is built well.
  • Gadgets 360 rates the phone 6/10.

Despite its position as one of the world’s top electronics giants, Panasonic was relatively late to the smartphone game and too focused on its home market of Japan. Recent years have seen the company get into the Android market with an eye on global expansion. Some of the company’s popular models in India are marketed under the Eluga name, which stands for ‘elegant user-oriented gateway’.

Earlier this year, Panasonic launched the Eluga Arc at Rs. 12,490. Although it packs in entry-level specifications, this phone does have a bit more on offer when it comes to security, thanks to its fingerprint sensor. There’s also the fact that it looks interesting. Find out everything there is to know about the Panasonic Eluga Arc in our review.

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Look and feel
The Eluga Arc’s biggest draw is its design, which we quite like. The front glass curves off at the edges, and the general aesthetic of the phone is based on rounded edges. This in itself gives it a sophisticated and stylish look, but there’s more to it. Although the phone does not have a metal build, it does boast of a plastic unibody that very nearly fooled us into thinking it’s metal because of its finish and feel. Simply put, this is a fantastic looking phone from every angle.

What also works for the phone is its size. The Eluga Arc has a 4.7-inch screen, which keeps the overall size of the phone down to something that is very easy to hold and grip. The power and volume buttons are also conveniently placed at the top right, making it particularly easy to use this phone. The bottom has the Micro-USB port, the SIM tray is on the left, and the IR emitter and 3.5mm socket are at the top.

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The back of the phone has the single speaker, camera, flash and fingerprint sensor. It’s always active while the phone is switched on, and you can directly unlock the phone from standby as a result. The sensor can read up to five stored fingerprints, and the slightly depressed placement of the sensor makes it fairly easy to find and use. It’s fairly accurate and nearly always worked properly, but it isn’t very quick. There’s a noticeable delay between placing your finger on the sensor and the phone actually unlocking.

The screen of the Panasonic Eluga Arc is a 720×1280-pixel IPS LCD affair, with a pixel density of 312ppi. It’s neither very bright nor very sharp, and the colour tone is a bit odd and a bit strange. It’s neither accurate nor vivid, and black levels are expectedly poor. If you’re looking at using your phone for a lot of games and videos, the Eluga Arc may not be the best option for you.

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Specifications and software
Although it sells for around Rs. 11,000, the Panasonic Eluga Arc has a specifications list that is more commonly seen on phones that cost much less. It’s powered by the 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC, which is now over two years old but is known for its low power consumption. There’s also 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 32GB using a microSD card), and an 1800mAh battery.

The dual-SIM phone is 4G capable on its primary SIM slot. It also comes with support for Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB OTG, and FM radio. The charger included in the box is a basic 5W unit, which is inadequate despite the low battery capacity.

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The phone runs Android 5.1 with a custom user interface on top. There are two launchers available to use, the standard Lollipop launcher and Fit Home, which is Panasonic’s own. We preferred the former because of its familiar layout, although Fit Home isn’t bad in any way. Whichever you go with, the interface is simplified. Settings are basic, allowing you only the most minimal level of control over your phone and nothing more. Beyond basic setup and use, there isn’t much you can do to customise the phone to your personal preferences.

The Panasonic Eluga Arc uses Swiftkey or the Android keyboard as its default input system, along with WPS Office for reading and editing documents. There is also a fair amount of bloatware pre-installed on the device, but fortunately a lot of these apps can be deleted. Only about 11GB of the internal storage is actually usable, so you will likely need a microSD card. Also of note is the fact that the phone uses a hybrid SIM slot, so expanding storage takes away your ability to use a second SIM.

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Cameras
The Panasonic Eluga Arc has an 8-megapixel primary camera and 5-megapixel secondary camera. Both are capable of recording video at up to 1080p resolution, and the rear camera also has a flash. It’s important to point out here that the phone does not have panorama or slow-motion video modes on its default app, and is limited to regular stills and video. There is a pro mode which gives you a bit more control over photos. We attempted to use third-party camera applications, but the phone either does not grant them permission to access the camera, or crashes and reboots.

panasonic_eluga_arc_camera1_ndtv.jpg(Tap to see full-size Panasonic Eluga Arc camera sample)

The camera itself takes pictures that are average in ordinary daylight conditions, with dull colours and not a lot of detail. Images are grainy and just about acceptable, without any serious pros to speak of. Indoors, even in good light, there’s no detail at all. Images appear out of focus, hazy and lacking in detail. The noise and grain are even more visible at this level.

panasonic_eluga_arc_camera2_ndtv.jpg(Tap to see full-size Panasonic Eluga Arc camera sample)

Low-light shots are among the worst we’ve seen on a phone at this price level, with massive oversaturation of whatever light there is, along with the grain and lack of detail that was common to photos taken in other conditions. Videos, although capable of being recorded at full-HD resolution, are nowhere near as good as on some of the other phones that cost around Rs. 10,000.

panasonic_eluga_arc_camera3_ndtv.jpg(Tap to see full-size Panasonic Eluga Arc camera sample)

Performance
Performance is where the Panasonic Eluga Arc is most disappointing. The phone crashed regularly during our time with it, often when faced with simple and uncomplicated tasks. Reasons that caused the phone to inexplicably reboot included playing 1080p video, attempting to run third-party camera apps installed from Google Play, and running regular browser-based benchmark tests. We cannot say for certain whether these problems are limited to our review unit.

Even when the phone isn’t crashing, it’s still sluggish and unpleasant to use. Unlocking the phone, navigating around the interface, running apps and browsing the Internet are all slow and frustrating, and indeed nothing actually works well. We ran the phone through our suite of benchmark tests, and got scores of 9.9fps in GFXBench, 5346 in 3DMark Ice Storm, 27,767 in AnTuTu and 13,229 in Quadrant. The phone is comprehensively outdone by practically every other phone at this price level today in terms of performance.

Call quality is acceptable. The rear speaker provides sound that is a bit weak, but expected from a phone of this size. The phone is 4G capable, and usually manages to hold on to 4G networks with ease. The Eluga Arc ran for 8 hours, 9 minutes in our video loop test and a little less than a day in normal use, which is a bit less than what we would have liked.

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Verdict
The Panasonic Eluga Arc looks good and is built well. Its convenient size may appeal to a lot of people looking for a smartphone that’s easy to handle, but that’s where our praise for the phone stops. The screen, performance, software, battery life and camera are all sub-par. As such we can’t recommend you buy this phone at this price, as there are far better options available.

The biggest issues we had are with reliability. The phone is challenged by the smallest of tasks and crashed regularly during our time with it. For a lower price, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Review) is a far better device, and we recommend you get that instead, unless size and looks are your top priority.

Source By gadgets.ndtv…

Yu Yunicorn Review: Promising design but needs software improvements

Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma launched Yu Televentures two years ago hoping to create smartphones and accessories that could actually compete with non-Indian OEMs. Sealing a deal with Cyanogen, Yu had a successful debut launch with the Yureka, a budget smartphone running Cyanogenmod based Android, something that still appeals to the developer community. This smartphone was a huge deal since the company had bagged the rights for Cyanogen in India, which became a huge problem for Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus. This was followed by a bunch of smartphones and some accessories that did not gain a lot of attention. Even their ambitious flagship (Yu Yutopia) couldn’t manage attract a lot of consumers, though it had a bit of potential.

Yu Yunicorn is their latest smartphone and entry into the populated and competitive sub-15k price segment dominated by a number of Chinese vendors like Xiaomi, Lenovo, LeEco and others. Can it stand against them, or will it be another overly hyped product from Yu?

Design and build: 7.5/10

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There is no doubt that the smartphone looks impressive, however it has the exact same design as the Meizu m3 Note. The curved 2.5D glass on the front, the fingerprint scanner and the metal casing at the back, all of them are identical to the m3 Note. The only difference would be the brushed finish on the metal casing which looks great.

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At the front there is a 5.5-inch display with the fingerprint scanner below it and the usual sensors, earpiece, notification LED, front camera all placed above. The power and volume rocker keys are placed on the right edge and the SIM card tray on the left edge. The top houses the 3.5mm audio jack with a microphone for video recording and the bottom edge has the speaker grill and the microUSB port. At the back there is a camera with the dual-LED flash below it.

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Overall the handset feels sturdy and solid in the hand. It has a thickness of 8.5mm and it feels a bit on the heavy side with a weight of 172g thanks to the metal back. For an affordable phablet, the Yunicorn is a well polished device.

Features: 7/10

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Apart from the design, the handset features very similar hardware as the Meizu m3 Note. The Yunicorn runs on a MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 octa-core processor which has four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz and the other A53 clocked at 1GHz. The SoC also includes a Mali-T860MP2 GPU and 4GB of RAM to take care of multitasking. Internal storage is 32GB with an option to expand it further as the smartphone has a hybrid SIM card tray to either house two SIM cards or one SIM card with a microSD card. The rear camera can has a 13MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture lens with phase detection autofocus, while the front camera has a 5MP sensor and an f/2.0 aperture. Other features include a fingerprint scanner, a 4,000mAh battery, Android 5.1 Lollipop and DTS Audio output technology. Connectivity options include microUSB 2.0 with OTG, 4G LTE, GPS, A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi.

Display: 6.5/10

The smartphone features a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display which is a very standard looking panel offering decent brightness as well as sunlight visibility. Sharpness and contrast is under control and the colour temperature feels quite balanced. The smartphone comes with MiraVision a feature where you can set a normal profile, a vivid or a custom one to fine tune the colours, contrast and sharpness on the display. The feature is nice to have but then even with the standard setting, we didn’t have any major complaints. Probably the only issue is when you turn on adaptive display which just kills the brightness.

Software: 5.5/10

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The Yunicorn runs on Android 5.1 with Yu’s new custom UI called Android on Steroids (AOS). The UI is all stock with a few bits taken from Cyanogen including custom icons and vertical app drawer with labels. The UI also comes with AroundYu, a single platform that is an amalgamation of a number of services like hotel and cab booking, restaurant suggestions, cricket scores, PNR search and more, placed as the default first homescreen. This feature was launched with the company’s flagship smartphone, Yutopia. It works fine and does come handy at times as you don’t have to open multiple apps. The UI somehow doesn’t feel that attractive even though it is stock. It tends to stutter when scrolling between homescreens although multitasking was managed quite well as we ended up using a number of apps without any of them crashing.

Performance: 5.5/10

The smartphone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor and a Mali-T860MP2 GPU. There is also 4GB of RAM making the first of its kind at its budget. While all of this sounds good, the performance is just about average. In fact we were disappointed considering how good the smartphone sounds on paper. The benchmark tests clearly show that the Yunicorn is an under-powered device and doesn’t stand a chance against handsets like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 or the LeEco Le 2. The only consolation is its multitasking capabilities all thanks to the 4-gigs of RAM.

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Gaming experience is just about okay and the device can run less resource hogging games without any major issues. Games like Asphalt 8, Injustice: Gods Among Us and Dead Trigger 2 saw frame drops and random freezing as well. The handset does heat when you are playing games on it for long durations and also when you are charging it. It went quite hot when we used it for navigation while taking pictures under the harsh sun.

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Call quality is perfectly fine and even the Wi-Fi radio works flawlessly. The fingerprint scanner is slow and most of the times didn’t recognise the fingerprint. Probably a quick software update can fix this issue.

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Camera: 6/10

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There is a 13MP camera at the back which features an Omnivision PureCel OV13853 image sensor, with an f/2.2 aperture lens, dual-LED flash and phase detection autofocus. In bright conditions the image quality looks fine with slightly subdued colours. Even in bright conditions, pictures lack details and are soft. In low light there is noise and further softening and loss of details. Images look quite flat and contrast levels are not upto the mark. Even the front camera is a bit of a disappointment as you end up getting soft selfie pictures. The camera app is also ancient reminding us of Android 4.4, although you get pretty standard features like HDR, fine tune controls, filters and more.

Battery: 7.5/10

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The company said that the Yunicorn will offer a battery backup of four days from its 4,000mAh battery unit, although that is a very high claim, it managed to offer a pretty good backup of a full day without any issues. If you are a light user you can probably squeeze out a day and a half. In our tests we charged it to a full 100% and used the device all day. Heavy usage resulted left us with 20% battery at the end of the day, which is not bad at all.

Final Verdict

The Yunicorn is great looking smartphone, and offers a good battery life as well, but that is not enough to make it a recommended device. The overall experience of the smartphone is mostly hampered by the software. It’s somehow not very well optimised, as if the company was in a hurry to push out the device. The camera also isn’t very impressive considering that Motorola in the same budget offers a much better camera with the Moto G4 Plus.

Yu launched the handset at Rs 12,999 for the first month but it is currently selling at Rs 13,499 and will be Rs 14,999 starting next month. This kind of pricing makes it a competitor to the Moto G4 Plus, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Lenovo Zuk Z1 and the LeEco Le 2 all of which are way better smartphones than the Yunicorn. For that matter, even the Meizu m3 Note is a better option to go for.

Source By tech.firstpost…

Xiaomi Mi Max review: A road warrior with no competition

The Mi Max is Xiaomi’s first attempt at building a phablet-sized smartphone and boy, did they end up with a monster of a phone! While the initial teasers claimed that the company somehow miraculously managed to build a phablet with 6.4-inch display and fit it into a jeans pocket. Well… it does fit, after a fashion.

Indeed, the Mi Max would be Android’s answer to Nokia’s Windows Phone-powered Lumia 1520, which was considered unwieldy and ‘Hulkish’ back in 2013. Still, with the smartphone launched in India at a price tag of Rs 14,999 for the Snapdragon 650 powered variant and Rs 19,999 for the Snapdragon 652 variant, there is little competition that gets in its way. This would include devices from Asus and Gionee, that fall in the same category of ‘Max’ smartphones. These would also be smartphones, that came with some compromises. So does Xiaomi’s offering beat them? Or does it fall in the same boat? Let’s find out.

Build and Design: 7/10

This is a section that will see the Xiaomi Mi Max gain and lose some points. We really liked the build quality on the Gionee Marathon M5 Plus, it felt solid despite its size and left a lasting impression in our minds. This was evident when we reviewed the affordable and half-baked Asus Zenfone Max.

Xiaomi Mi Max Review Tech2 (5)

Xiaomi smartphones are known for their build quality and this was evident from the very beginning when the company set foot in India and took the market by storm. Thankfully, the Mi Max is no different. The smartphone showcases no design defects and feels a bit lighter in the hand when compared to the Gionee Marathon M5 Plus, despite its large footprint. Being an over-sized smartphone with a thin waistline, we tried flexing it a bit as well, but there were no creaking, leading us to believe that the build quality is pretty solid. Notable, especially at this price.

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The fingerprint reader, which is oddly placed near the top, at the back of the phone was mostly out of reach.

It’s not an all-metal build (you have colour-matched) plastic caps for the antennas at the top and bottom ends on the back, but they don’t feel out of place or unfinished by any means.

The top end consists of the secondary mic, Infrared port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The top consists of the secondary mic, infrared port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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The bottom shows the two speaker grilles with the microUSB port in the center. The one on the right is functional.

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What we did not like was the sheer size of thing. The size was evident from the time we opened the box (shown above) to find a smartphone that took up the entire packaging, corner-to-corner, which is not common, especially with a box that already looks a bit too large.

To give you an estimation of its size, we compared it to the OnePlus 3 and the LG G5 and the images below clearly show off that difference.

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Bigger than bigger?

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Xiaomi Mi Max Review Tech2 (1)

L to R: Mi Max in a jeans pocket, Mi Max with headphones plugged in and a OnePlus 3 with headphones plugged in.

The smartphone is big enough to fit into your regular straight fit jeans pocket. But that’s pretty much it. Once it’s in there, you can forget about sitting comfortably or even bending over to tie your shoelaces or even sitting on low stool for that matter. It is just too big. Oh yes, and somewhere somehow we wished Xiaomi had bundled a pair of wireless headphones with this one as even with one corner jutting out, we could not muster the courage to plug in headphones as it feels like you’ll snap the plug with minimal effort.

Xiaomi Mi Max Review Tech2 (11)

The Xiaomi Mi Max will feel at home in your hand bag or in your hand but not in your pocket. Talking about hands, it is impossible to navigate, browse or type on the device using just one hand (unless you have really big ones).

Features: 8/10

The Xiaomi Mi Max packs in everything one would expect from a ‘Max’ smartphone and more. By more we mean its humongous size and that large 6.4-inch Full HD IPS LCD display. Inside, we get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 clocked at 1.4GHz coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The storage is expandable and can accept cards of up to 256GB in capacity; although you will have to sacrifice one SIM slot to take advantage of this.

Coming to the cameras, Xiaomi has included a 16MP f/2.0 aperture camera with PDAF and a dual tone LED flash. The front facing camera is a 5MP unit with an f/2.0 aperture.

As for connectivity, users will get 4G bands, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, an infrared port up top and a microUSB port at the bottom.

The handset was expected to run MIUI 8, but our review unit is powered by MIUI 7 with Android 6.0 Marshmallow on board. Powering it all is a 4850mAh battery that kind of completes the package for this road warrior.

Display: 7.5/10

While we were prepared to be disappointed with the Full HD display on the Mi Max, Xiaomi indeed had a surprise in store for us. Keeping in mind the screen-to-body ratio (which is pretty good) Xiaomi engineers managed to pack in a 6.4-inch display with Full HD resolution that manages to impress. Images and text look sharp no matter what text size you set, and the colours reproduced seemed pretty accurate. MIUI 7 helps out as well as offering a reading mode, along with adjustments for colours and contrast in the Display Settings. You can tweak the display to show warmer or cooler colours and even adjust the contrast to your liking.

Xiaomi Mi Max Review Tech2 (12)

Sunlight legibility is great and the display is pretty sensitive as well, which is important for a device of such proportions.

Watching videos, reading ebooks and browsing the web was a great experience on such a massive display and the big battery certainly helped sustain that experience.

Software: 7/10

Even though the Mi Max was announced alongside MIUI 8, the smartphone arrived with MIUI 7 onboard. MIUI 7 features Android 6.0 Marshmallow as its base and somehow that does not disappoint…until you use another smartphone with Android 6.0.

Xiaomi Mi Max Homescreen UI

We must confess that we liked the silky smooth transitions and animations on MIUI 7. The software seemed optimised to take advantage of the powerful hardware underneath and apps opened and closed without lag delivering a pleasing stutter-free experience. But MIUI 7 at its best still feels like a beta.

The album art in the built-in Music Player could not be displayed. Notifications from certain apps do not show up even though the LED notification light keeps hinting that they exist (and they are, when you open the app). Next up, some apps refused to download because of compatibility issues. Amazon, one of Xiaomi’s online resellers is one of them. Other apps like Telegram did not scale well and displayed large fonts. We did wish that the phablet had a special mode where we could use Play Store apps in tablet mode. This is more so because there was plenty of wasted real estate on the screen, which could have been used to display more lines of text.

Then comes the larger problem where Xiaomi has customised the MIUI 7 experience so much that they have forgotten to include the best bits of Android 6.0, like Google’s Now on Tap. Some may prefer the Google-less experience with MIUI, but at the end of the day this is Android without is best bits.

Performance: 8/10

Xiaomi Mi Max Benchmarks A

We were really impressed by the performance of the Xiaomi Mi Max. But this in a way was expected as the smartphone basically comes with the innards of a Redmi Note 3. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 chipset along with the well optimised software allowed apps to be opened and run lag free on this behemoth. There is no hint of stutter and in a way, we were glad that Xiaomi went in for a Full HD display. Because apart from saving battery life (fewer pixels to push), games also look a lot sharper and less pixelated as compared to that on a Quad HD display.

Xiaomi Mi Max Benchmarks B

Talking about games, every one of them ran without stuttering. From Real Racing to Dead Trigger 3 down to some casual games like Mekorama, the smartphone chomped through anything one could throw at it. More so, it accomplished the same without heating up too much, which is something that added to the high scores you see at the beginning of this section.

Call quality was spot on and audio quality while listening to music via the headphone was a good experience. The speaker (hidden under the right side grille) was loud enough but did sound a bit hollow when cranked up.

Camera: 7/10

Xiaomi Mi Max Review Tech2 (6)

As with every ‘Max’ smartphone we have seen so far, the cameras on board did not impress and managed to produce some below average quality images. This however was not the case of the Xiaomi Mi Max. The Mi Max’s 16MP rear camera produced some really shareworthy images. The images packed in the right level of saturation and even reproduced colours pretty accurately when compared to the competition in the same range.

While daylight shooting was a great experience, low light shooting was a bit of a mess. We missed OIS as the camera would blur images with the slightest shake. This blur was even present in images shot in dim lighting.  We also noticed some purple fringing in some of the HDR images.

The phase detection system for the autofocus did not perform as expected and would refuse to lock focus at times. But when the situations were right, the camera performed pretty well.

All-in-all we did manage to get some sharp and vibrant images even in the cloudy and overcast monsoon weather, which is impressive for a smartphone that’s focussed on battery life. Video recording quality was pretty good as well. The smartphone was capable of capturing smooth Full HD video with a steady framerate and even 4K video that looked sharp when viewed on a desktop display.

Battery life: 9/10

Xiaomi Mi Max Battery Life Benchmark

The Xiaomi Mi Max lasted quite a bit on a single charge. To make things sweeter Xiaomi added a Quick Charger in the package that charged up the large 4850 mAh battery pretty quickly. This is clearly not the fastest charging smartphone around, but it does happen to sport a rather large battery.

The smartphone easily survived more than a day of usage. This would include snapping about 20 photographs, shooting some 4K video, WhatsApp and Telegram buzzing through the day along with Slack and two email accounts syncing constantly. This also included streaming YouTube videos on the large display and listening to some music.

The Mi Max indeed proved itself as a great PMP and were a bit surprised as we did expect the battery to take a hit, considering that it was powering a massive 6.4-inch display unlike the other handsets we have reviewed so far.

Verdict and Price in India:

The Xiaomi Mi Max has few competitors in the ‘Max’ category. As we have mentioned in past reviews, it’s not just the battery life that matters but the overall package and Xiaomi seems to have built a solid smartphone with a solid battery life. We were not fans of the software but the camera won us over and the same goes for the overall package.

Xiaomi Mi Max Review Tech2 (13)

Priced at Rs 15,999 and Rs 19,999 for the Mi Max phablet (for the SD 650 and 652 variant) is more of a phablet than a smartphone. The device makes up for its large, cumbersome size by offering an all-round experience, something that its current crop of competitors simply cannot offer.

The Gionee Marathon M5 Plus at Rs 26,999 delivers a big battery but falls short in terms of the camera and an outdated version of Android. The recently launched Asus Zenfone Maxpacks in stellar battery performance, but the lack of a Quick Charger means that it will take several hours to charge up. Moreover, it offers nothing great in terms of software even though it has Android 6.0 running inside. What will attract buyers to the Zenfone Max is its price which is pegged at Rs 9,999 for the 2GB RAM and 32GB storage model.

Those looking out for a large-screen device with a bit of polish, performance, great battery life and don’t mind the bulk, the Xiaomi Mi Max makes for the best all-rounder in the “big smartphone, big battery” category.

Source By tech.firstpost…

Honor 5C review: Has some ups and downs

The budget segment of smartphones is getting increasingly crowded with new phones launching every week. But surely, this gives users a lot of options to choose from. Huawei’s spin-off brand Honor also launched its 5C smartphone in India last week, and the smartphone falls in the same budget segment.

Priced at Rs 10,999, the Honor 5C directly competes with the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and LeEco Le 1s. Previously, when we used phones by Huawei, we had mostly liked them for their looks as well as performance. The Huawei Honor 5X, which was launched just a few months ago, also left us pretty happy. Considering that, we already had high expectations from the Honor 5C.

Powered by Huawei’s home-brewed HiSilicon Kirin 650 chipset coupled with 2GB RAM, the Honor 5C comes with 16GB of internal storage. The smartphone features a 5.2-inch Full HD display, a finger-print sensor and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box.

Over that, the Honor 5C sports a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. It houses a 3,000mAh non-removable battery, too. On paper all of this does seem good, but does it end up being a good buy at this price point? We find out.

First, let’s talk about the design

We were pretty impressed by the look and feel of the rounded corners driven all-metal Honor 5C smartphone. Dressed in white and silver, the smartphone sports a fingerprint sensor on its back panel, which lies right below the rear camera. The rear panel also features the Honor branding.

The volume rocker keys, has the power button sandwiched in-between, are placed on the right side with a hybrid sim card slot on the left. The top edge sports a 3.5mm jack while the microUSB port and speaker grille are placed on the bottom edge.

On flipping the phone, you see a front dominated by the 5.2-inch display. The front of the phone also sports the selfie camera above the display. Like we previously said in the first impressions of Honor 5C, the look and feel of the phone did leave us bewildered.

So, what did we like the most?

The size of the phone is excellent. We loved the holding it and one hand operation is child’s play. It actually nestles in your hand, unlike most phones that we have used off late. Another very good aspect of the phone is the fingerprint sensor. Much like Huawei Honor 5X, Honor 5C can also save up to five finger prints. And during the time we used the phone, there wasn’t a single time that the phone didn’t unlock using the fingerprint sensor. It worked really well, and can easily be called the cherry on cake.

The next aspect of the Honor 5C smart phone, which got our attention, was the brilliant display quality. We found it to be quite nice. The phone comes with 5.2-inch Full HD display with 1,080×1,920 pixel resolution that produced vibrant colours and had good viewing angles. If you like watching videos or play games on the phone, then the display wouldn’t disappoint you at all.

Apart from that, the screen is not very prone to finger smudges and everything was clear and crisp to read. However, the readability goes down a bit when under direct sunlight. In spite of that, the display can still be counted as one of the best features of the mobile phone.

Another outstanding feature of the phone is its call quality as well as the ability to carry out general tasks like web browsing and switching between apps.

What could have been better

As far as the overall performance of the phone is concerned it did fairly well. However, there were few things which could have been improved. The 3,000mAh battery was a bit of a letdown. Even with moderate usage, it did not last a full day.

Similarly, the camera performance left us with a mixed opinion. While the images came out nicely in well lit conditions with the 13MP rear camera were good, the image quality dropped when we used the camera in dimly lit areas. And switching the flash on only made the image appear hazy. Even the selfies we took with the 8MP front snapper had not great shakes.

Also, the Honor 5C heats up when one plays games for long or uses the GPS system for maps.

What needs to be changed

The software of Honor 5C is a customized version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. While most things about the software were good, there was one thing that really hampered our user experience – the endless notification. These were were really bothersome and Honor should really do away with it.

This was one thing that we disliked even in Huawei Honor 5X. The SOS app might be useful for few, but Honor should really incorporate a way of switching off the notifications. Similarly, not all users would be interested in getting a notification on how much have they walked during the day.

Verdict

Honor 5C left us with a mixed bag of emotions. While we really liked the design of the phone along with the fingerprint sensor, the battery life and the excessive notifications were a letdown. Likewise, while the performance was mostly smooth, the heating issue we encountered while using maps and playing games was a disappointment.

All in all, at this price point there are a lot of options available in the Indian market with similar or better phone specs. The road to success does seem rocky for Honor 5C.

Source by timesofindia…

LeEco Le Max 2 review: A giant with a heart of (rose) gold

The smartphone space is packed to the gills with smartphones in every shape, size, colour and specification that you can think of. They range in price from Rs 251 for the yet-to-be-seen Freedom 251 to the ridiculous Rs 90,000 plus that some iPhones demand.

This variety is courtesy of the numerous Chinese smartphone makers who’ve made their way into India, and among the more well-known of them is LeEco.

Formerly LeTV, the company has made quite a name for itself here. Their earlier offerings, particularly the Le Max, were very well received. So how does its sequel fare? Let’s find out.

Build and design: 6.5/10

LeEco Le Max 2 front Tech2 720

At first glance, the LeEco Le Max 2 looked very pink. LeEco can call it Rose Gold if they like, but there’s more rose than gold in the shade they’re using.

In terms of build and design, the phone looks and feels like a slab of metal. The only real concessions to design and ergonomics are the chamfered edges. However, the front surface of the phone, while chamfered, still has sharp edges owing to the poor fit of the front glass panel in the well of the body.

OnePlus 3 vs Le Max 2 camera bump

OnePlus 3 vs Le Max 2

Personally, I’m not a big fan of the design and would go so far as to call it unpleasant. The rear camera bump is large and very ugly. Camera-module included, the device is much thicker than an iPhone 6 Plus or a Mi 5 and I would have expected the camera module to sit more flush with the body. If the Le Max 2 was as slim as the OnePlus 3 for example, the bump would have been forgivable. Also, if you take a close look at the image above, you’ll notice that the part above the antenna line is a little bit depressed, it’s not aligned with the back of the phone. The lower panel below the antenna line also suffers the same fate.

If you like large camera bumps however, you won’t mind the Le Max 2 in the least. The front is host to a 5.7 inch QHD display (2560×1440), camera unit, ear-piece speaker and light sensor. The notification LED and capacitive navigation buttons are very well hidden and you won’t notice them till they light up.

Le Max 2 bottom grill

The bottom offers up two speaker grills and the USB Type-C port and the top only features the small dot of the IR blaster. The left of the device features the dual-slot SIM card tray and the right features the volume controls and power button. On the rear you’ll find the significant bulge of the camera module, dual-LED flash and fingerprint reader. It’s a bog-standard design that you’d find on any average smartphone these days.

Features: 8/10

When it comes to features, the phone is packed to the gills. A Snapdragon 820 SoC, 6GB RAM (there’s a 4GB variant as well), 32GB or 64GB of storage, dual-SIM support, 21MP rear camera with OIS and PDAF, 8MP front camera, 5.7 inch QHD display, and the ability to record in 4K. And no, there’s no support for a microSD card.

These are features you’d find on any other flagship, but the Le Max 2’s claim to fame is that this is the first smartphone without a 3.5mm audio jack and with CDLA (Continuous Lossless Digital Audio) technology. It’s also got an ultrasonic fingerprint reader. We’ll talk about these later in the performance section; suffice to say that if this is the vision of things to come, we don’t want it.

The phone also comes with Dolby Atmos support, but since Atmos is nothing more than a gimmick, I’m not even going to bother talking about it further.

Display: 7/10

LeEco Le Max 2 display

As mentioned earlier, the 5.7 inch screen features a resolution of 2560×1440, which translates to a PPI of 515. Obviously, it’s very sharp and nigh impossible to spot a stray pixel. The panel itself uses LTPS IPS technology, where LTPS stands for Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon. LTPS technology is used in many phones these days and offers lower power consumption than traditional LCD technology, hence its popularity.

Despite being an IPS panel, viewing angles aren’t that great and you’ll notice a pink cast at certain angles. The angles are good enough for personal use so that’s not much of a complaint, however.

Brightness is fair. We haven’t really managed to try the display out in bright, direct sunlight since we’re in the middle of the monsoon, but I never had issues with the brightness and legibility.

Colour rendition is good, but you’ll notice the lack of punch and colour accuracy when placed next to a OnePlus 3 or iPhone 6.

Software: 9/10

Le Max 2 Lock screen

EUI 5.6, based on Android 6.0.1, runs this phone and it is by far the most pleasant and sensible custom Android skin that I’ve used. It’s not as feature-rich as OxygenOS and neither is it as gimmicky as Samsung’s TouchWiz. It’s also not as simplistic as Xiaomi’s MIUI (which is yet to embrace Android 6.0 features) and simply refines whatever stock Android has to offer.

You’ll notice the little things, like the fact that password entry happens on the left or the right of the screen, depending on whether you’re using your left hand or the right one. Notifications pop-up at the bottom of the lock-screen and are thus, easier to access on the 5.7 inch display.

Le Max 2 control

The drop-down menu offers clear controls for notification management, the UI is extremely fluid and buttery smooth and as with iOS, the number of alerts are indicated on the app icon itself. All the animations are subtle and smooth and there’s nothing unnecessary or superfluous.

The multi-tasking menu gets a little getting used to as it also doubles as the quick access panel. It’s useful and very responsive and makes full use of the massive real-estate available. After all, app cards do look nice, but they don’t need to take up so much space. There are also some minor issues with design. For example, can you spot the “Undo” text in the middle screenshot above? There are small issues like this all over the place, but nothing of significance.

Le Live

The OS does include Le View and Le Live app integration. The former is a video service like YouTube that also incorporates full movies from LeEco’s partners. Le Live is a kind of streaming TV app for your phone.

As someone who rarely watches TV, I found both services to be unnecessary, but I can see how they might be useful to someone who does watch TV. You get free access to both services for 5 months, but will have to pay a subscription fee of Rs 4,900 a year thereafter.

You access Le View by swiping to the left from your left-most home-screen and Le Live by tapping on the Live button on the persistent dock at the bottom of your UI. I think it would have been better if both apps were merged into one, since they both essentially serve the same purpose. They also take up important UI elements that would have been better served by Google Now or an app drawer.

Performance: 7.5/10

Le Max 2 Performance 1

Considering the hardware, we expected exceptional performance and that’s exactly what we got. The phone is buttery smooth, there’s no noticeable lag anywhere in the UI and all apps and games. What’s more, even under heavy loads, the device only got slightly warm.

Benchmark scores place the device somewhere between the OnePlus 3 and the S7 Edge, but they hardly paint the full picture. There’s a lot of power available and the device makes full use of it. You’ll never notice any lag or stuttering, that’s for sure.

That said, the one place you will notice some lag, and plenty of it, is with the fingerprint reader. LeEco claims to use a fast, ultrasonic fingerprint reader and only the latter is true. The sensor takes a full second or more to read our fingerprint and unlock the device. We tried resetting the device multiple times and different fingers to no effect. In fact, the sensor is even slower to respond than the slower sensor on my iPhone 6 Plus.

Le Max 2 Performance 2

The speaker is loud and legible and the earpiece speaker is also loud. We also never had call quality issues and the signal was strong and consistent throughout our testing, even on 3G and 4G networks.

Now that we’ve got the boring stuff out of the way, let’s talk CDLA. LeEco is very proud of the fact that theirs is the first smartphone that dumped the 3.5mm jack in favour of CDLA. Essentially, digital audio is routed through the phone’s USB Type-C port and a compatible DAC converts that signal to analogue.

Normally, a DAC would be installed within the phone itself, but the quality of that DAC would of course depend on the phone’s manufacturer. A company like Apple goes to great lengths to ensure that they’re using a high-quality DAC, which is why their audio quality is so good. It’s not just Apple that employs high quality DACs of course, but they’re the most consistent when it comes to audio quality.

The problem with a 3.5mm-only output for audio is that the audio signal is already processed and you can’t use a better DAC even if you wanted to. CDLA changes that.

The bundled headphones with the Le Max 2 have an in-built DAC and to be fair, the audio quality from the setup is leagues better than any stock headphones that we’ve tried. But here’s the kicker, an iPhone with EarPods (Apple’s stock earphones) still sounds as good. I’d also like to point out that LeEco’s CDLA headphones cost Rs 1,999 on their own.

You don’t need a DAC if your phone already has a good one built into it.

Using CDLA on the Le Max 2 was very frustrating. The audio quality was good, but the headphones weren’t exactly a snug fit for my ears and it was hard to appreciate dialogue or music in a noisy environment such as a train. On any other phone, I’d just plug-in my in-ears or a noise-cancelling set from any of a hundred different manufacturers and I’d be set. Not so with the Le Max 2. I have to either stick with the bundled earphones or carry an adapter while accepting a loss in audio quality. Worse still, not all phones or devices use USB Type-C so I can’t even use the bundled earphones on any other device.

I don’t see the point in dumping the 3.5mm jack and can’t figure out why LeEco, and others, see the benefit in it. This is change for the sake of change.

Camera: 7/10

 

The Le Max 2 comes with a 21MP f/2.0 rear camera with OIS, PDAF and dual-LED flash. The front camera is an 8MP f/2.2 unit. As you can see from the images, colour accuracy and metering is actually spot on. The relatively large sensor (1/2.4 inch) and aperture mean that depth-of-field is also quite good.

However, zoom in even slightly and it’s apparent that detail is absent. Many images, especially those in low-light, look like they’ve been painted on.

Focussing was fast in good light, but struggled in low light, especially with difficult subjects. Recorded video was also not bad and OIS helped to some extent.

Still, the camera isn’t bad at this price and the images look great on a smartphone screen anyway.

Battery Life: 8/10

Le Max 2 battery

The phone comes with a rather small 3,100mAh battery. We say small only because the phone is big and heavy and phones like the OnePlus 3 and Galaxy S7 Edge offer 3,000mAh and 3,600mAh respectively in a package that’s smaller, slimmer and lighter.

PCMark put the Le Max 2’s battery at 8 hours and 12 minutes. This pales in comparison the OnePlus 3’s 9 hours 34 minutes and the S7 Edge’s 10 hours 34 minutes. Synthetic benchmarks, again, don’t paint the full picture. In daily usage, I found the phone would just go on and on and on. My usage is fairly light relative to most users I’ve seen. I spend at least 3 hours a day browsing on 4G while listening to music, watch a smattering of YouTube videos (an hour at the most) and maybe reply to a dozen or so mails. Calls and chat (Telegram and WhatsApp) is a little infrequent. I rarely, if ever, play games on the phone despite having a 100 or so of them installed.

Given that usage, my iPhone 6 Plus would die by the time I got home and every other Android phone (though I haven’t used the OnePlus 3 or Samsung S7 Edge as my daily driver) would need a recharge by evening. The Le Max 2 would almost always have power enough power even if I forgot to charge it at night. Not having to worry about battery life is something I got to really experience for the first time with this phone.

Looking at the battery usage graphs it’s very clear that the phone has a very good standby mode. It simply doesn’t drain much when not in use and that makes all the difference in the world.

If you’re a heavy user though, you will be better off with something like the OnePlus 3.

Verdict and pricing

When I look at the Le Max 2, I can’t help but wonder why it’s so large. It’s a heavy and bulky phone that offers less battery life, fewer features, less power and a less-capable camera than its competitors. And all this at a higher price as well (for the 64GB ROM/6GB RAM option).

Why is the camera bump so ugly, why is the battery so small, why couldn’t the 3.5mm jack have been integrated into the phone, why didn’t LeEco work on a better finish and why is the fingerprint sensor so slow?

The OS is pleasant, the UI is slick and fast and there’s no noticeable lag anywhere. The bundled USB Type-C headphones are better than most stock headphones and standby time is exceptional. But it’s not enough.

I see absolutely no reason to recommend this phone over the OnePlus 3 or even the much older Xiaomi Mi 5. It’s not a bad phone, but it’s certainly not a very good one.

The one silver lining is that the 32GB ROM/4GB RAM version sells for Rs 22,999. At that price, this might just be the cheapest Snapdragon 820 toting phone on offer, and even then I’d recommend you save up the Rs 5,000 and take the OnePlus 3.

Source By tech.firstpost…