So the LeEco Le 2 goes on sale today and there is a question running on most of our minds – is this the one to get? Is this better than the Redmi Note 3 which is one of the top all round performers out there in the mid rangers? How does the Le 2 compare with the Redmi Note 3 across various aspects? And a dozen more questions is what one may have. While we are in the process of presenting our full review of the Le 2, at the moment we bring you a quick comparison of the two phones across some key features and answers to some popular questions we are being asked, all to help you decide the phone that is “right for you”. Read on…

le-2-vs-redmi-note-3

FeatureXiaomi Redmi note 3LeEco Le 2Advantage
DisplayA 5.5” full HD display packing 401 ppi with some kinda un-named scratch resistant / protection that has worked well.

Comes with the sunlight display that is such a delight when you bring the phone under the sun, helps counter the reflective surface
A 5.5” full HD display packing 401 ppi with Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

It has display options like in Samsung - Color Mode - Vivid - Natural and Soft.

Very good viewing angles but the highly reflective surface makes it very hard to read the contents off the screen. And color gamut isn't as good as on the Redmi Note 3.
Redmi Note 3
BuildA metal unibody build that weighs close to 160 gms with a shiny metal mono-rail that goes all around the edges.

Very slippery back but the curved edges on the back make it a little easier to hold the phone

Weight kept at check though the phone carries a massive 4100 mAh battery
A metal unibody with chamfered edges and a rock solid feel overall. Weighs around 153 gms making it a lighter phone. There are reports of screen creaking on pressing, but we don't see that on our phone.Le 2
GamingHardly any issues, no matter what heavy game you throw at it. Handles it all smooth.

No heating issues observed even during elongated periods of gaming. Device does get warm but never shoots into abnormal zones
Runs all the heavy games very smooth but there are isolated incidents where the games may crash during elongated periods of gaming some high end ones.

No heating issues observed, though the device gets a little warm which is normal considering the metal body
Le2 has a slight edge here as the loud speaker is loud and allows for more immersive gaming experience. Else it would’ve been a tie almost.
Battery Life
Depending on the usage patterns, one can get anywhere between 5.5 hours to 9 hours of screen on time and consistently at that.
Depending on the usage patterns, one can get anywhere between 4.5 hours to close to 6 hours of screen on timeRedmi Note 3
Charging TimeThere is QC support but this is rather an older version. The phone takes anywhere between 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 35 minutes to go from 0% to 100% Supports Quick Charge 3.0 in addition to LeEco’s own fast charging. Phone goes 0% - 100% in around 75-85 minutes Would give this to Le 2 just because of QC3.0 support, but Redmi Note 3 has 4100 mAh battery as against 3100mAh on the Le2.
Audio OutputSpeaker grille is at the back and though there is a tiny notch that keeps the phone raised off the flat surface, the sound output is mediocre at the best.

MIUI has good options in the settings to toggle across earphone types and best output comes with Mi earphones
Speaker is positioned at the bottom of the phone and more prone to get blocked when the phone is used in landscape mode, and very bad position if you game a lot.

Otherwise it is pretty loud and holds onto its own even at 80% volume levels.
Phone also comes with CDLA audio support and there is a good difference when you plug in a CDLA earphone
Le 2
Operating System and UI MIUI 7 has tons and tons of features and so useful at that. Probably the richest theme store out there.

The RAM management could’ve been better as the OS is marred by the issue of delay in painting up the home page when you hit the home button. Occasional lags can been seen with extended usage of the phone.

MIUI 8 is coming soon and hopefully should bring improvements to performance.
EUI 5.6 is also heavily customized but the feature implementation in some cases is rather very unconventional. One needs to hit the multi-tasking capacitive buttons to get into the toggle menu and might take a while to get used to.

Overall performance is good but not as feature rich as the MIUI.

EUI however comes with rich online media options that provides access to movies, live TV, music and much more and this would be a boon to many.
We would call it a tie here and the one you’d choose purely depends on your preference.

If you don’t care about online media content consumption and care more about the number of features a phone has to offer, then it’s the MIUI. But if a rich ecosystem is what excites you, then EUI is the way to go.
Signal reception and call quality.This area has always been a tad weak when it comes to Xiaomi phones. Though there is no glaring issue, where other phones still manage to get one signal bar, the Redmi Note 3 goes completely blank. But when the phone manages to grab signals, there are no issues with the call quality.Compared to the Redmi Note 3, Le2 has better signal reception and call quality is loud and crispLe 2
CameraFrom the time the phone was launched till now, the camera performance has improved a lot. Having said that, the pictures are a tad saturated and slightly on the yellowish side.

Low light performance is below average with lots of noise/grains.

Video performance too is mediocre at best.
Pictures are close to real life but the Le2 struggles when it comes to handling exposures and lit backdrops.

As long as there are no lights in the frame pictures come good but if there is sun in the background or indoor lights, pictures tend to get blown off a bit.

The overall performance is rather consistent though there are minor issues

Video performance is decent.
Le 2
Fingerprint ScannerHighly accurate and fast as well.

Also comes with cool features like tap to take selfie, locking apps and such.
Highly accurate but a tad slow when compared to the one on the Redmi Note 3. Redmi Note 3
4G LTEBoth sim card in the dual sim tray support 4G LTE and all Indian bandsBoth sim card in the dual sim tray support 4G LTE and all Indian bands.Tie.

Redmi Note 3 has a hybrid tray and Le2 doesn’t. Either ways, you’re stuck with fixed internal memory.

LeEco Le 2: Frequently Asked Questions

What color options does Le2 have?

Rose Gold and Grey. We are not sure if LeEco will bring both of them to India.

Le 2 has a camera bump, does this cause any issues?

It does wobble very little when placed on a flat surface, but LeEco packs in a transparent silicone case that flattens this out if used.

How are the capacitive buttons?

Le 2 has backlit capacitive buttons that turn on when you place a finger on it. It takes a while to get used to it as it’s literally impossible to tell where the buttons are when the lights are off.

How good is the online media content from LeEco?

Very good. Has lots of localized content that one can choose from and LeEco ensures there are lots of latest content too. Hungama music isn’t yet available and will be added by end of Q3 2016.

How advantageous is the USB Type C for Audio transmission?

Although the sound output via the CDLA supported earphones is better than the normal ones, the biggest disadvantage is that one cannot charge the phone when the earphones are plugged in. Thankfully Le 2 is good on the battery life but still no match for what Redmi Note 3 provides in that front! And also, if you were to use USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter, the quality goes for a toss.

How is the post-sales support from LeEco?

Though LeEco has promised to open hundreds of service centers, the long term reliability is yet to be seen / proved. LeEco has signed up with HCL to provide after sales support across the country, but that’s shared facility which many other companies use as well. Availability of spares and quick turnaround time is something most Chinese companies lack in India.

We hear a lot of issues around screen creaking and such. Are they true?

We are aware of some folks talking about the quality control issues, but in the unit we are testing, there are no such issues. Having said that, these are some reliable and highly regarded friends in the industry who are asking questions. But we will speak for ourselves here.

leeco-le-2-review-2

Which color of Le2 is good?

It depends on one’s personal preference but we feel the Gray variant looks much better than the Rose Gold.

Does the Le 2 has LED notification and USB OTG support?

Yes, it supports both.

What sensors does the Le2 supports?

Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, Light, compass, IR

How is the touch sensitivity?

Touch sensitivity is sublime and no issues whatsoever.

Does the Le 2 support VoLTE?

The specs sheet says it does, but that was the case with Redmi Note 3 as well, which we later figured out that the Indian ROM of MIUI doesn’t support VoLTE still. We will update once we manage to test the Reliance Jio SIM on Le 2.

How much free RAM is there when the device boots?

You get around 1.4GB to 1.6GB of free RAM out of 3GB available on the Le 2. That’s very similar on Redmi Note 3 as well.

redmi-note-3-review-2

Which is better? Redmi Note 3 or the Le2 and why?

The table above should have helped. If you are still confused, pick the Redmi Note 3 if you want:

  • Longer battery life
  • Decent camera performance and ok with slightly saturated images
  • Tons of features in the UI
  • Hell bent for separate ports for charging and audio jack
  • If you’re looking for a phone with lesser budget of 9,999 INR and ok with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory

Pick the Le 2 if you want:

  • Rich online media content
  • USB Type C with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support
  • Stronger build and arguably better looking design
  • Louder speakers
  • Better signal reception
  • Better camera performance that looks closer to actual

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Video Reviewer

GK aka CosmicPaladin is based out of Bangalore and is a gadget freak right from the day he owned the Nokia 3310 right on the day it was released! He has been using tons of handhelds from then on – witnessing the evolution of phones to smartphones and now wearables. He holds an engineering degree along with MBA and has over a decade of experience in building mobile and web enterprise apps.