LeEco Pro 3 Review - Camera, performance, battery life and verdict Review

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LeEco Pro 3 – Battery

One of this phone’s headline features is the huge 4,070mAh battery pack, which is quite an achievement considering the handset is only 7.5mm thick. For comparison, the HTC 10 features a 3,000mAh battery and is comparatively girthy at 9mm, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh unit in a body that’s 7.9mm thick.
 
The night before taking a week’s holiday, I set up the LeEco Pro 3, charged it, played around a little bit and then forgot about it. I shoved it into the office drawer and didn’t touch it for 10 days. 
 
Much to my surprise, the handset still had around 20% of battery life on the clock when I came back to work. The company itself promises 318 hours of 4G standby time.

LeEco 15
 
In normal circumstances, I found that it comfortably managed a day and a half of solid usage – which included gaming, video, instant messaging, music streaming and web browsing. 
 
As an added bonus, the LeEco Pro 3 includes Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 technology. I found it offered around a 25% boost in battery life in 20 minutes. In the box is a USB A-C charging cable, which is still the most convenient solution for everyone, minus those with USB Type-C laptops.
 
All in all, the battery life feels like this phone’s headline feature. Although…

LeEco Pro 3 – Performance

If you’re hanging off the term “flagship” then speed’s what you need. Thankfully, the LeEco Pro 3 has it in abundance, thanks to the inclusion of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor – the fastest currently available – and the ample 4GB of RAM.
 
Honestly, this handset feels as nippy as any I’ve used when whipping through the interface. Independent AnTuTu benchmark tests have backed up the manufacturer’s claims that it outperforms the new Google Pixel and it’s noticeably faster than the Nexus 6P.
 
When gaming, the processor and RAM combo is comfortably able to manage even demanding games such as Asphalt 8.

LeEco 9
 
Gaming is an area where the Dolby Atmos stereo speakers come into their own. On non-stereo devices, the natural grip often dulls the sound, but engine revs were coming through loud and clear thanks to the earpiece-cum-speaker.
 
I’ve read complaints about the fingerprint sensor requiring more than one attempt to unlock the phone, but this isn’t something I’ve experienced. Ninety percent of the time, the phone unlocked on the first attempt and in double-quick time.
 
LeEco touts the phone as ‘cool running’ but we’re not so sure about that one. During regular usage, the phone runs warm. When gaming or charging, it’s enough to warm the hands on a cold winter’s day (not that we know anything about that in FL).

LeEco Pro 3 – Camera

As is the case elsewhere, this phone talks a good game when it comes to the specs, but it’s a pretty basic offering. There’s a 16-megapixel, f/2.0 optically stabilised camera on the rear of the device with manual ISO up to up to 3200. You can take 12-megapixel wide-angled photos and the snapper is also capable of shooting 4K video. 
 
Outdoors in good light the camera will give you decent, crisp, and quite vivid and colourful photos. Indoors and in low light, however, it’s a slightly different story. Autofocus seems slow and tapping to manual focus is hit and miss. There’s also no onscreen exposure setting, forcing you back into the menus where there’s a healthy array of options.

pox 5Colours are bright and vivid

pox 7Shots with better light are universally superior

pox 9There’s plenty of detail

pox 15Autofocus is slower indoors and in lower light
 
A quick swipe up on the capture tab reveals more options such as HDR, frame ratio and the silly beauty setting that makes an appearance on most Android phones these days. There’s also a number of pre-set scenes from which to choose. 
 
The 8-megapixel selfie snapper does the job in a perfectly passable fashion, even if the beauty feature made us look like an alien lifeform.

Should I buy the LeEco Pro 3?

There’s plenty to like about the LeEco Pro 3: the build quality, battery life and processing power are able to defy its $400 price tag. However, the savings aren’t without compromise. The software niggles, average camera, dull display and attempted force-feeding of LeEco’s half-baked streaming services prevent it becoming the fabled “flagship killer”.
 
While smartphone connoisseurs who rely on having the best of everything are unlikely to be tempted by the savings over true flagship prices, it certainly sits alongside the One Plus 3T and Moto Z at the very top of the mid-range. Smartphones are offering more value than ever; the AAA manufacturers would do well to be wary of that.

Verdict

With the fastest processor on the market and super battery life, the LeEco Pro 3 is well worth the $400 asking price. It’s just a shame the Chinese firm’s custom interface can’t get out of its own way.

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