Comparison: LeEco Le 2 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

By Prasid Banerjee | Published on Jun 10 2016
Comparison: LeEco Le 2 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
HIGHLIGHTS

Your definitive guide to choosing the best budget smartphone today.

Xiaomi’s phones are usually tough to dethrone from the top of the mountain. The company’s Xiaomi’s phones are usually tough to dethrone from the top of the mountain. The company’s Redmi Note 3 has been so far ahead of the competition till now, that we’ve almost never had the chance to not recommend it. The Moto G4 Plus did outperform the Note 3 in camera performance, but it didn’t stand a chance in terms of performance. Enter LeEco, a company Xiaomi is all too familiar with. Xiaomi and LeEco are cut from the same cloth. They both sell their smartphones at low costs, earning instead from an ecosystem model. While Xiaomi claims its phones are sold almost at cost, LeEco apparently charges you less than the bill of materials of its devices. The LeEco Le 2 costs as much as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, but performs better, making it the best phone to buy under the 15k price bracket. Here’s why. Performance The LeEco Le 2 is about 25% faster than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, and that wins it this comparison. The octa core Snapdragon 652 has four Cortex A72 cores and four Cortex A53 cores. This makes the Snapdragon 652 quite fast, and even though the Snapdragon 650 is fast enough, we’d have to choose the former. That said, it’s worth noting that both the phones are quite snappy, and in terms of regular usage, there’s little to choose between. App load times are more or less the same, but the Le 2 is marginally faster when loading heavy games. The amount of free RAM also dwells around 1.5GB on both the phones. Camera This is where the LeEco Le 2 gains a substantial lead on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. While both phones have a 16MP camera sensor, the Redmi Note 3 users Samsung’s ISOCELL sensor, while the Le 2 users Omnivision OV16880 sensor. In terms of focussing speed, shutter delay and processing time, the phones are basically the same. They both become slightly slower on low light, and are fast enough in all other light conditions. That said, image quality differs. The LeEco Le 2 has higher dynamic range, and produces better details and colours as well. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 slightly softens images, and the white balance is quite off in indoor and low light conditions. Under low light, the LeEco Le 2 brightens the frame better than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. In the galleries below, you’ll notice the darkness on the stairs nearer to the camera. In the indoor shot, with people sitting in front of PCs, the colours represented by the Le 2 are closer to the source than the Redmi Note 3. It is worth noting, however, that neither of these phones can outperform the Moto G4 Plus in the camera department. If you want the best camera under 15k, the Moto G4 Plus remains out top choice. Between the Redmi Note 3 and LeEco Le 2, though, the Le 2 takes the podium. Build and Design Whether you like a smartphone’s looks is really subjective. What I like, may not look good to you. That said, one can’t deny that the LeEco Le 2 is better built than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. The unibody metal design on the Le 2 feels much stronger, and more premium. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 does have a metallic finish to it, but it doesn’t stand a chance against the Le 1s. Display This is another area where your personal judgement will matter. Based on our tests, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 seems to be a tad better with the white colours, while both the phones are equally good with the blacks. It is worth noting, though, that out-of-the-box, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has a bluish tint on its display, which is what makes it slightly better on the white colour tests. You can remove this effect by turning on the Reading Mode and lowering its intensity, at which point, both the Le 2 and Redmi Note 3’s displays are equal, at least in terms of colour. Bottomline The LeEco Le 2 is the better performer, and it has a better camera than the Redmi Note 3 to boot. Considering the fact that it is a better built phone as well, the Le 2 is easily the best budget smartphone to buy right now. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is no slouch, but it can’t outperform this device. Moreover, when one considers the content offerings available with the LeEco Le 2, the value proposition is much higher. The LeEco Le 2 is the best budget smartphone in terms of overall performance, and it also gives you access to lots of online content, that you otherwise may not have had.Redmi Note 3 has been so far ahead of the competition till now, that we’ve almost never had the chance to not recommend it. The Moto G4 Plus did outperform the Note 3 in camera performance, but it didn’t stand a chance in terms of speed etc. Enter LeEco, a company Xiaomi is all too familiar with.

Xiaomi and LeEco are cut from the same cloth. They both sell their smartphones at low costs, earning instead from an ecosystem model. While Xiaomi claims that its phones are sold almost at cost, LeEco apparently charges you less than the bill of materials of its devices. The LeEco Le 2 costs as much as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, but performs better, making it the best phone to buy under the 15k price bracket. Here’s why.

Performance

The LeEco Le 2 faster than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, and that wins it this comparison. The octa core Snapdragon 652 has four Cortex A72 cores and four Cortex A53 cores. This makes the Snapdragon 652 quite fast, and even though the Snapdragon 650 is fast enough, we’d have to choose the former. On multi-core performance tests, the four extra cores give the Le 2 the edge, while single core performance is aided by the presence of extra Cortex A72 cores. 

 

That said, it’s worth noting that both the phones are quite snappy, and in terms of regular usage, there’s little to choose between. App load times are more or less the same, but the Le 2 is marginally faster when loading heavy games. The amount of free RAM also dwells around 1.5GB on both the phones.

Camera

This is where the LeEco Le 2 gains a substantial lead on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. While both phones have 16MP camera sensors, Xiaomi used Samsung’s ISOCELL sensor for the Redmi Note 3, while the Le 2 holds the Omnivision OV16880 sensor. In terms of focussing speed, shutter delay and processing time, the phones are basically the same. They both are slightly slow when shooting in low light, and are fast enough in all other light conditions. That said, image quality differs.

 
LeEco Le 2 (Left) vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Right) [See full size images in galleries below]

The LeEco Le 2 has higher dynamic range, and produces better details and colours as well. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 slightly softens images, and the white balance is quite off in indoor and low light conditions. Under low light, the LeEco Le 2 brightens the frame better than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. Under studio conditions, though, the LeEco Le 2 tends to make images warmer, which some may not like. The details and overall quality still remains better on the Le 2, though.

 
LeEco Le 2 (Left) vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 [See full size images in the galleries below]
 

In the galleries below, you’ll notice the darkness on the stairs nearer to the camera. In the indoor shot, with people sitting in front of PCs, the colours represented by the Le 2 are closer to the source than the Redmi Note 3.

 

LeEco Le 2 Test Samples

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Test Samples

 

It is worth noting, however, that neither of these phones can outperform the Moto G4 Plus in the camera department. If you want the best camera under 15k, the Moto G4 Plus remains out top choice. Between the Redmi Note 3 and LeEco Le 2, though, the Le 2 takes the podium.

Battery

The Redmi Note 3 easily outperforms the LeEco Le 2 in this department. On regular usage, you can expect about 20% better battery life from the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. To be clear, the Le 2's battery life is not bad, it's just not the best.

On a regular day, under regular usage, you can expect about 16 hours of battery life from the LeEco Le 2, while the Redmi Note 3 can easily cross a full day. With the screen brightness turned down, and utilising power saver modes when required, both phones can last a tad longer. If battery is of paramount importance, then the Redmi Note 3 is the phone to go for. In fact, the Redmi Note 3 has a 4000 mAh battery, which is 25% bigger than the 3000 mAh you get on the Le 2. A 20% boost in battery life is not always the case, but in this case, the specs do reflect the performance.

Build and Design

Whether you like a smartphone’s looks is really subjective. What I like, may not look good to you. That said, one can’t deny that the LeEco Le 2 is better built than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. The unibody metal design on the Le 2 feels much stronger, and more premium. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 does have a metallic finish to it, but it doesn’t stand a chance against the Le 1s.

Display

This is another area where your personal judgement will matter. Based on our tests, both the phones are equally good with the blacks. It is worth noting, though, that out-of-the-box, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has a bluish tint on its display, which is what makes it slightly biased towards the white colour tests. You can remove this effect by turning on the Reading Mode and lowering its intensity, at which point, both the Le 2 and Redmi Note 3’s displays are equal, at least in terms of colour. The Redmi Note 3's display seems slightly brighter, though.

Bottomline

The LeEco Le 2 is the better performer, and it has a better camera than the Redmi Note 3 to boot. Considering the fact that it is a better built phone as well, the Le 2 is easily the best budget smartphone to buy right now. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is no slouch, but it can’t outperform this device. To be clear, while the LeEco Le 2 does come out as the best overall performer, thanks to its performance and camera quality, the Redmi Note 3 is best suited to those who need long battery life. The Moto G4 Plus, on the other hand, is for those who want the best camera in this range.

LeEco's coup-de-grace comes in the form of the company's content offerings, available with the LeEco Le 2, which drives the value proposition much higher. The LeEco Le 2 is the best budget smartphone in terms of overall performance, and it also gives you access to lots of online content, that you otherwise may not have had. The LeEco Le 2 is the most value for money budget smartphone to buy.

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Prasid Banerjee

Trying to explain technology to my parents. Failing miserably.

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