China’s LeEco sets out to shake up tech market

MOST consumers haven’t heard of LeEco, but the Chinese technology company is setting out to become a household name with smartphones and flat-screen TVs that undercut the prices of Apple, Google, Samsung and other industry stalwarts.

FLAT-SCREEN. A LeEco uMax 85 television is displayed at an event in San Francisco. (AP PHOTO)
FLAT-SCREEN. A LeEco uMax 85 television is displayed at an event in San Francisco. (AP PHOTO)

LeEco heralded its entrance into the US market during a recent showcase in San Francisco, where the company unveiled a sleek smartphone called the LePro 3 that will sell for $400 and an internet-connected TV with a seven-foot screen priced at $5,000. The LePro 3 was released last October in China and online stores in the Philippines with prices ranging from P13,000 to P24,450.

With an all-metal or aluminum build and curved glass design, the dual SIM LePro 3 has a 5.5-inch FHD screen, a Snapdragon 821 chipset, 4G LTE connectivity and fast-charge 4070mAh battery. It has a 16 megapixel f2.0 main camera and an 8 megapixel f2.2 front camera.

LEPRO 3. LeEco’s LePro 3 has a 5.5-inch FHD screen and Snapdragon 821 chipset. (AP PHOTO)
LEPRO 3. LeEco’s LePro 3 has a 5.5-inch FHD screen and Snapdragon 821 chipset. (AP PHOTO)

LeEco positions the LePro 3 as an alternative to Apple’s latest iPhone and Google’s Pixel phone, whose prices both start at $650. LeEco is also promising its giant TV, called the UMax 85, will be as good or better than other high-end home entertainment systems that cost $8,000.

In the US, both the phone and TV will go on sale Nov. 2 in LeEco’s online store, LeMall.com. The company also is selling a smaller smartphone and smaller TVs with screens ranging from 43 inches to 65 inches.

Besides the phones and TVs, LeEco also is coming to the US with a virtual-reality headset, a high-tech bicycle and an electric car in a challenge to Tesla Motors.

LeEco, which stands for “Happy Ecosystem,” is branching out to challenge technology leaders who have been able to demand a premium for their products. (With AP)

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