LeEco Le Pro 3 was the top high-end smartphone of the previous year that beat its competitors with a price of only 300$. Now the phone is not being produced anymore. Its successor is called LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite (X722) and has the same hardware except for two differences. First, it “only” houses a Snapdragon 820 processor instead of a Snapdragon 821. Second, it doesn’t offer NFC. Everything else stayed the same: a strong 4000mAh battery in a 7.5mm metal casing and a fast UFS storage. To compensate the slight downgrade in terms of hardware LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite is sold for only 140$ what makes it most probably the most powerful phone in terms of price and performance for less than 200$. This is why we decided to take the Le Pro 3 Elite to the test.
Design and build quality
With LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite the manufacturer impressively shows that they are able to create a smartphone with all recent technical standards. The phone can compete easily with any 500$ device – you can hardly believe that it costs less than 200$. With only 7.5mm it is very slim and filigree. Especially due to the powerful 4070mAh battery the delicate design is a true technical masterstroke. This is the best ratio of battery size and depth we ever had in a smartphone, so far!
LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite completely consists of metal except for two thin plastic antenna lines to guarantee good reception. The metal edges were polished and the rear is curved a little and the camera juts out half a millimeter. With a weight of 170g, the phone feels good holding it in the hand. Above the 5.5-inch display, there is a notification LED. The volume keys on the right side have nice feedback and consist of metal.
Le Pro 3 was one of the first smartphones to have no headphone jack. This is why Le Pro 3 Elite also goes without headphone jack and you have to use Bluetooth or the USB type-C port in order to listen to music with full quality. As a USB type-C cable, we recommend either CDLA-Headphones by LeEco (about 12$) or Xiaomi Noise-Cancelling headphones (about 40$). Both offer a great price/performance ratio. Also, you can use the included headphone adapter for type-C or you can use Bluetooth headphones.
The fingerprint scanner and LeEco Logo are placed on the rear. On top of the phone, there are a noise cancelling speaker and an infrared sensor. The SIM tray (2x Nano-SIM) is on the phone’s left side. The rear cannot be removed and storage expansion is not possible.
Just like its predecessor LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite is only available in gold. This makes the phone look like a gold bar but due to the stunning build quality, we didn’t mind the color.
LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite looks exactly like its predecessor. Considering the low price the excellent build quality is extraordinary. You still have to go without a headphone jack.
Le Pro 3 Elite offers a 5.5-inch display with a full-HD resolution of 1920*1080 pixels. The phone reaches a pixel density of 400ppi. You cannot detect any single pixels with the bare eye and you can enjoy a razor-sharp image. Compared to Le Max 2 that houses a 2K display, Le Pro 3 still convinces despite its lower pixel density. This is why we appreciate the lower resolution that results in a more power efficient performance. Only with VR glasses, you should prefer the 2K resolution.
Image quality is just amazing. Le Pro 3 displays colors vividly and even brightness is high with 500cd/m². You can comfortably use your phone outside and even in bright sunlight you can read all contents. Contrast is average; black is depicted pleasantly dark, but still, there are phones that do better.
The display’s glass is slightly rounded off at the sides (2.5D glass) and very scratch resistant. Below the display, there are the three common Android soft-touch buttons that are illuminated by an LED. When being turned off the display seems bezel-less, but turning it on you will see the 2mm bezel. The touchscreen reacts fast and precisely and can register up to 10 points of contact simultaneously.
Now we’re getting to the good part: LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite houses a Snapdragon 820 processor which was the top CPU by Qualcomm two years ago. Compared to the recent Snapdragon 835 the old Snapdragon 820 offers 20% less performance. Still, Le Pro 3 is such a powerful device for less than 200$ that even Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X cannot compete with it. The Snapdragon 820 has 4 cores with Kryo architecture. The power saving cluster has 2 cores with at most 1.6GHz and the performance cluster has two cores with at most 2.15GHz. In terms of performance, Le Pro 3 Elite is not a top phone, however, you won’t notice that in daily use. Exceptionally is the extremely powerful performance of the phone compared to other smartphones in this price segment. Not only the processor but also the fast UFS storage make the Pro3 Elite stand out. With a reading speed of 450MB/s and a writing speed of 178MB/s the storage is almost twice as fast as a common eMMc storage, what you will especially notice while installing and opening apps. The 4BG RAM is also good and even fast with 15GB/s. Without the system, you still have about 2.2GB for apps.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
The benchmark results show that Le Pro 3 Elite is a high-end phone in terms of performance which outperforms all other competitors in this price range. Those looking for a powerful performance for little money will be happy with the LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite.
Even in terms of gaming performance, you will be well off with the Adreno 530 GPU. LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite can run graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8 fluently and therefore outperforms all competitors in its price segment as well.
Now to the worst disadvantage of LeEco e Pro 3 Elite: the system. Just like LeEco Le Pro 3, Le Pro 3 Elite runs on an Android 6 basis with the EUI user interface. Unfortunately, there won’t be an update to Android 7, since the manufacturer seems to have quitted the smartphone production and is close to bankruptcy. Users who are well-versed in smartphone matters can equip their phone with Android 7 via a custom ROM (more about this in the next section).
The online shops Lightinthebox and Gearbest deliver LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite with a multi-language ROM and Google Play Store. The pre-installed Chinese apps have already been removed.
The EUI-software runs fast and fluently and has an attractive design that is pretty close to Apple’s IOS. In the settings, you find some additions to the pure Android system. In this way, you can set which app is able to show which notifications. In addition, there are a lot of themes and wallpapers to choose from.
All in all, LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite offers a well working system that runs stable and offers some useful features. Still, it is not as sophisticated as the MIUI system of Xiaomi, Oneplus’ OxygenOS or Huawei’s EMUI.
LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite with custom ROM
Just like most Snapdragon smartphones, there is a fanbase of XDA developers that modify the smartphone’s software. Therefore, there is a big selection of good custom ROMs for LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite that can be used as an alternative to the LeEco EUI system. Due to the outstanding feedback from the users, we decided to go with the Paranoid Android 7.1.2 ROM.
In daily use, the Paranoid ROM convinced us. It looks just like a pure Android system with some useful additions. The phone’s speed increased and benchmarks stayed pretty much the same. Battery life increased slightly.
The internal storage offers 32GB with 4GB of RAM for the standard version, but there is also a version with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Le Pro 3 Elite has a 16MP camera with an IMX298 sensor by Sony. This is the same camera sensor as in Xiaomi Mi5 and Oneplus 3 as well as in the predecessor Le Pro 3. It has an f/2.0 aperture. Le Pro 3 Elite takes good pictures in good lighting conditions. The integrated camera app offers numerous filters and settings. Sharpness is convincing and colors are displayed correctly. As soon as there is less light, image noise occurs. All an all, the images’ quality is pretty good for a phone for less than 200$.
Videos can be recorded with 4K resolution and 30fps. The video quality is good, unfortunately, Le Pro 3 Elite doesn’t have optical image stabilization (like Le Max 2) and also video settings are rudimentary. Filming in motion, videos don’t come out clearly due to camera shake. Additionally, you can also record slow-motion videos with 120fps.
The front camera has 8 megapixels and produces average images.
Google Pixel Auto-HDR camera app
Thanks to the Ukrainian Android developer, we just got the possibility to install Google Pixel 2’s camera app on Snapdragon 820/821 and 835 devices. The app offers a better image quality in daylight due to the Auto-HDR mode. We tested it on LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite and were surprised by the outcome: the images’ quality was way better:
In order to install the Google HDR camera app, you only have to download this APK file and to install it on your phone.
GSM 850 MHz, GSM 900 MHz, GSM 1800 MHz, GSM 1900 MHz, W-CDMA 850 MHz, W-CDMA 900 MHz, W-CDMA 1700 MHz, W-CDMA 1900 MHz, W-CDMA 2100 MHz, LTE 800 MHz, LTE 850 MHz, LTE 900 MHz, LTE 1700/2100 MHz, LTE 1800 MHz, LTE 1900 MHz, LTE 2100 MHz, LTE 2600 MHz, LTE-TDD 1900 MHz (B39), LTE-TDD 2300 MHz (B40), LTE-TDD 2500 MHz (B41), LTE-TDD 2600 MHz (B38)
Reception is good, we never had any trouble with it even in dense buildings. Calling quality is great. Even talking hands-free offers good quality. The internal speaker stands out with a clear sound and balanced bass and treble. Speaker quality is clearly high-end. LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite totally offers the best speaker in the middle-class.
Also the dual-band WiFi module (b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth 4.2 convinced us. LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite hat good reception all the time and keeps the connection up even when being far away from the router. The GPS sensor connects within a couple of seconds to many satellites and is great for car navigation. Even pedestrian navigation is possible with the integrated e-compass. Additionally, LeEcp Le Pro 3 Elite offers an acceleration, gyroscope, proximity, brightness and infrared sensor. However, we missed NFC that was supported by the predecessor.
The fingerprint scanner on the rear does an excellent job. After placing your finger on it, the phone unlocks within less than a second with a high precision. Turning the display on is not necessary to unlock the phone. Apart from unlocking the smartphone, you can also lock single apps with your fingerprint.
BatteryBattery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Despite its slim design, LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite houses a powerful 4070mAh battery. Therefore the capacity hasn’t changed. Unfortunately, the Snapdragon 820 is not as energy efficient as its successor SD821. This results in an average battery life for Le Pro 3 Elite with about 20% less than its predecessor’s. The phone made it through 7 hours in the PC-Mark battery test, which confirms further values. One hour of YouTube with full-HD resolution takes about 12% of the battery, one hour of gaming takes 18%. With an on-screen time of up to 5 hours, you can make it through the day, which shall suffice even to hardcore-users. Still, you only get two days of battery life if you barely use your phone.
You can charge Le Pro 3 Elite with Qualcomm Quick-Charge 3 standard. To fully charge the phone you need 2:20h.