In a tech world largely dominated by a few big brands, LeEco’s entrance into the U.S. market ushers in a fresh sense of budget-friendly innovation, something Apple has failed to provide recently. The Chinese company, which began as a video streaming service in China, has expanded its product offering to include TVs, phones and even bikes. To put this into perspective, imagine if Netflix made hardware such as TVs, phones and bikes, and began to sell these offerings in China.
Each of LeEco’s product offerings, with the exception of the Super Bike, seems to largely focus more on the service rather than the hardware products themselves. LeEco phones come preloaded with the company’s streaming software as do LeEco TVs. Like Amazon Prime, LeEco is pushing EcoPass, a subscription-based service that allows for the streaming of certain content, five GB of cloud storage and priority access to sales (similar to Prime Early Access) on the LeEco Mall website. If you think that Amazon might be getting some competition, you’re probably right.
LeEco has recently made news due to its announcement of two smartphones, the Le Pro3 and LeS3, both of which run on Android and compete in the budget smartphone market. With 64GB of storage, the Le Pro3 is $399 with a $100 rebate, dropping the effective price to $299. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 costs $849 while including the same 64GB of storage. The iPhone 7 has only half the storage space and costs $649. As LeEco’s flagship phone, it includes the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor that comes in higher-end Android devices and includes 4GB of RAM, twice as much as the iPhone. It comes with a 1080p Full-HD 5.5-inch display, a massive 4070 mAh battery and a 16 MP back camera accompanied with an 8MP front facing camera.
LeEco’s 4K TVs bring similar affordable innovation and come in 43”, 55” and 65” models, with the 65” TV costing $1399 before the $200 rebate. In comparison, a Samsung 4K 65” TV costs $1699.99. At almost half the price, the LeEco Super4 X65 Ecotv makes minimal compromises and is truly a great value at its price point. Plus, since LeEco purchased Vizio for $2 billion earlier this year, LeEco has acquired one of the big names within the TV industry and is making use of it.
Further expanding the world of personal electronics, LeEco is also working on a smart bike variant for the United States. The LeEco bike is something truly unique, featuring laser lane markers that depict lines on either side of the bike as well as a futuristic design, a built-in computer that runs Android and tracks workouts, GPS location and much more, making LeEco to bikes what Tesla is to cars.
As a newcomer in the U.S. market, LeEco’s low prices reflect the difficulty of breaking into a new market with already-established market leaders such as Apple, Samsung, Google, LG, etc. In the end, more competition ultimately benefits the consumer as it gives consumers a wider variety of options and forces companies to innovate in order to earn their market share. So watch out tech companies — as LeEco is releasing the current generation of “Apple” products, Apple’s product offerings seems to fall further and further behind.