VR, Self-Driving Cars May Also Be In LeEco's Future

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Beyond TVs, LeEco gave a glimpse into its ambitious future with the debut of a carbon-fiber, Android- based, connected SuperBike with lane-warning features that rival new cars. It also previewed a phone-based ExploreVR headset and theLeSEE Pro self-driving, all-electric car.

LeEco will also take on the iPhone 7 and other high-end models. The new smartphones are based on the UEI to access LeLive and LeView content. At the high end, Le Pro3 has a FullHD, 5.5-inch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass and “2.5D curved edges.” There was not mention of any carrier deals or independent retail availability, but with unlocked GDM, LTE UMTS, HPSA and WCDMA compatibility, the phones should work with virtually any phone system or carrier.

The Le Pro3 features a 16GB 4K main camera, an 8-megapixel front camera, 64GB of internal storage, a 4,070 mAh battery delivering 33 hours of talk time, a USB-C fast-charger, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth connectivity. On the audio side, there is Dolby Atmos feeding the dual speakers.

The Le Pro3 mirrors the new iPhone in an interesting way as the 3.5mm headphone jack is replaced with a USB-C port for use with Continual Digital Lossless Audio (CDLA) headphones. Emulating Apple, a Type-C-to-3.5mm audio adapter is included.

A pricing model similar to the TV sets puts the retail at $399, with the LeReward price lowered to $299 including unlimited Cloud storage and three months of EcoPass.

A second phone, the Le S3, adds Rose Gold to the gray and gold finish on the Le Pro3 and keeps the 5.5-inch, 403 dpi screen, high-resolution cameras, Dolby Atmos and CDLA via USB-C audio. To meet a $249 retail price with $100 back from LeRewards, the battery is only 3,000 mAh; the memory also drops back to 32GB and deletes WCDMA, although it is a dual-SIM model vs. the single SIM in the Le Pro3.

While some of the deeper technical details were not announced, and some clarity will be forthcoming on the LeRewards program and pricing for the EcoPass beyond the initial free/trial periods with purchase, the combination a content ecosystem, hardware and software is similar to what both Apple and Google are doing. However, the broad range of products that includes TV as well as phones and VR and the promise of what was billed as a “truly disruptive content partnership that will break all boundaries in this country” make LeEco a major player that may well influence market dynamics even if the products are not sold through traditional outlets.

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