LeEco, a Chinese consumer tech firm determined to shake up the industry, has set its sights on the US market. To help it make a stateside splash, LeEco held a big launch event in San Francisco on Wednesday, unveiling a bevy of devices and services aimed at grabbing consumers' imaginations.
Did LeEco pull it off? Well, let's just say it certainly didn't show up empty handed, talking up and teasing goods in nearly every product category. Here's a look at everything the tech upstart announced.
New phones for the US
LeEco is releasing handsets to the US market for the first time ever. The Le Pro 3 will be its first phone here, and the Android device boasts curved edges, a brushed metal finish and polished look.
Its Snapdragon 821 processor matches the one inside the Google Pixel, plus the Le Pro 3 features a 5.5-inch display and 16MP rear camera. There's also 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage inside the slender phone. Interestingly enough, the Le Pro 3 lacks a headphone jack, just like the iPhone 7.
Powered by a huge 4070mAh battery, the Le Pro 3 is designed to last for hours of talk, streaming and music playback.
The best part of this solid-sounding phone, though, may be its $399 (about £325, AU$520) price. That's significantly cheaper than the $649 (£599, AU$1,079) tag attached to the Google Pixel, plus you can knock another $100 off as part of the LeRewards program. The Le Pro 3 launches in the US on November 2.
Next up is the mid-tier Le S3. Also home to a 5.5-inch screen, the phone comes with 32GB of storage, a Snapdragon 652 processor, 8MP front camera and 16MP rear camera, and a fingerprint scanner. The device, set to retail for $249 (about £205, AU$325) , also features a 3,000mAh juicer and can capture 4K UHD and slo-mo video. Not too shabby, right?
A virtual reality headset
Though details were light, LeEco intends to bring its ExploreVR headset to the US.
There's no word on key details like pricing or availability. Smart money would put it releasin on November 2, the same day as the company's flagship phone.
New TVs and a streaming service
LeEco is known as the "Netflix of China", so it's no surprise the company used its US debut to launch new TVs and a video streaming service.
Among the highlights is the uMax85, a monster 85-inch 4K TV that supports both types of HDR - Dolby Vision and HDR10 - and rocks speakers co-developed with Harman Kardon.
The firm also plans to bring three different versions of its Super4 TV series stateside – the X43 Pro, X55 and the X65, all of which will support 4K.
The uMax85 is expected to retail for $4,999 (about £4,000, AU$6,500). That's steep, to say the least, so LeEco is bringing down the price for its other screens. The X43 Pro comes in at $649 (about £530, AU$840) while the X55 and X65 will retail for $899 (about £730, AU$1,165) and $1,399 (about £1,140, AU$1,800), respectively.
Then there was LeEco Live, a new streaming service that will bring content from such heavy hitters as MGM, Lionsgate, Vice, Showtime, Sling and Magnolia Pictures. There will also be content from standard networks like the Food Network, the History Channel, Esquire and A&E.
No pricing for LeEco Live was announced, though there's a strong chance it will come with "disruptive pricing", i.e. cheaper than Netflix.
Yes, LeEco showed off some Super Bikes, and while they pretty much look like regular bikes, they also boast Android support. Unfortunately, the bikes aren't launching in the US, LeEco told us at the event.
The 30-speed shift bike has on-board lighting, a fingerprint scanner and location tracker, should you ever misplace it (been there).
Android comes into play on a 4-inch display located betwixt the handlebars. It's a shame the Super Bike won't make it stateside - we can easily imagine ourselves zipping around on one of these bad boys.
A self-driving electric concept car
Though it disappointingly didn't make it to the event in time to drive out on stage for a grand unveiling, LeEco did park its self-driving electric car, called the LeSEE Pro, elsewhere at the event.
The silver bullet design and suicide doors call to mind the Mercedes-Benz self-driving car. It's super smart and connected, but that's about all LeEco had to share on the vehicle (except a meandering story about why they couldn't bring it on stage).
There's no price, availability or production schedule to share for the LeSEE Pro, but it gives us a glimpse at what our all-electric self-driving future could look like. LeEco described a smog free world thanks to cars like this, which sounds quite nice, doesn't it?
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