Here’s how LeTV plans to beat Xiaomi in the race to the West


letv le max x900 review

Brands from China, including those that had been operating for a while, have taken inspiration from Xiaomi. Xiaomi is only a young company, but is already a near-household name (it is way beyond that in China) in every market it operates in.

In recent years, we’ve seen many more micro-brands come up, those that have looked to leverage online commerce and learn from Xiaomi’s experiences. The scale, and the sheer method that Xiaomi employ can sometimes be daunting for newcomer phone makers.

LeTV is a company that launched its first phones only a handful months back, but is already showing a lot of intent. The three phones the company launched back in the first half of 2015 are still fairly sought-after, with frequent discounts and price-cuts playing for LeTV.

letv s1

What’s next for companies like Xiaomi and LeTV is their march to developed markets in the West. Xiaomi very clearly has the US and other countries on its roadmap, and has even set up an online store (which sells only accessories, no phones) for them.

LeTV, on the other hand, already has presence in the US, but as you would’ve guessed it, doesn’t sell phones there.

Brian Hui of Lemall International told Tech in Asia, “We’re a global company that doesn’t distinguish between our US and Chinese consumers, and are committed to delivering a high-quality, seamless experiences across all of our devices and platforms, regardless of location”.

While it does sound extremely cool to have a one-product-for-all approach, LeTV will (and they probably already do) realise how different the Chinese market is from other markets, let alone the US.

LeTV however seems to have created a recipe for the secret sauce it needs to make it big in the US. “Over the past year, we’ve done a lot of work to grow an elite and agile team in the US, to carry out what we call our tri-city strategy: implementation and application in Beijing, technology and innovation in Silicon Valley, and media and entertainment in Los Angeles. In the process, we’ve been adapting and fine-tuning our US efforts to address the needs of our audiences,” Hui adds.

With the smartphone market in America finally making a move to unlocked and non-contract devices, LeTV will thank its stars.

READ NEXT: LeTV Le Max Review

If you’re in the US, be sure to keep checking Lemall.com, i.e., the online store where you’ll be able to purchase LeTV products.

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30 Comments

  1. Marius Cirsta
    October 6, 2015

    Well I’m not sure what their strategy is but for now the difference between them and Xiaomi outside of China seems huge to me.
    You just need to go and search on aliexpress for LeTV Le1 and compare the sales with those of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 ( sort by orders ) … The price probably contributed a lot to Xiaomi’s success with the Redmi Note 2 and while I’m sure the Le1 is not a bad phone it was $100 more than the same SOC Xiaomi at launch.

    • Bogdan Botezatu
      October 6, 2015

      Now you can find Letv One for less than $200 in reputable stores.

      • RoS
        October 6, 2015

        199.99:-)

        • Adam Irvine
          October 6, 2015

          $189.98 over at Merimobiles for the 16GB version…

          • October 6, 2015

            If you ask me, that’s a CRAZY good price.

            • Bogdan Botezatu
              October 6, 2015

              $186.99 with free shipping over at vickmall. Thay is crazy.

            • October 6, 2015

              Never heard of Vickmall. Cool if they’re legit though.

            • Bogdan Botezatu
              October 6, 2015

              They are a small store but they are really serious and have good prices. I haven’t had any issue with them so far.

            • Roger
              October 7, 2015

              They seem to be. I purchased a Meizu M2 from them two weeks ago, which I should receive in the next few days. They have online chat with Skype, and were quick to answer my questions. They were one of the cheapest sellers for the M2, except for a two of three seller on Aliexpress and you can pay with PayPal.

      • Marius Cirsta
        October 6, 2015

        Now you probably can but it took the Redmi Note 2 launch to get it there :). And now I already bought the Xiaomi and I’m happy with it.

        Still the fact is that right now amongst the people buying from Aliexpress the Xiaomi seems to be much more popular.

        • Adam Irvine
          October 6, 2015

          I think the LeTv Le 1 is probably the better phone judging by Andi’s review and thoughts about it and reading through his review on the Note 2 the other day, it didn’t come out as good as I would have hoped. HOWEVER…

          For me, even though the LeTv Le 1 can be found nice and cheap now, it’s usually for the 16gb model and this is where the Redmi Note 2 kicks the cr@p out of it because the Note 2 has a memory card slot 😉

          And to my knowledge, LeTv still haven’t released the 64GB model of the Le 1?

          • Marius Cirsta
            October 6, 2015

            Ah yes, now I remember, this too was a major concern for me, 16GB and no card slot. It would probably be fine but why do I need to live in fear of running out of space.

            It was really a bad deal when I got my Redmi Note 2, $100 more and no card slot, no removable battery, it was a deal breaker back then … and still doesn’t sound so good even at the same price.

            For some reason ( I might be wrong ) I do trust Xiaomi more to provide ROMs and updates than LeTV. Also I’m not even sure LeTV publishes the kernel source while I know Xiaomi eventually does these days.

            • careeste
              October 12, 2015

              Mi am convins un amic sa isi ia letv x600 la 200$. L am informat despre soft si despre lipsa slotului de card .Sper sa i placa -daca nu o sa ma injure…

  2. Owsley_66
    October 6, 2015

    Are they going to beat Xiaomi and Meizu to the U.S. market? Wow!

  3. Maciek Buczkowski
    October 6, 2015

    First, they need to improve their software and get rid of the Chinese bloatware. It’s impossible to change the launcher and to modify it. In order to use the phone normally root is required. They have a lot of work to do with their software to localize it in the first place.

    • Max
      October 6, 2015

      sadly they won’t need to. have you owned a samsung or htc in the last few years? they’re filled with uninstallable bloatware. only difference is they aren’t in chinese… XD

      • Maciek Buczkowski
        October 7, 2015

        I owned many devices. The bloatware is always there, but localized. I didn’t have Chinese bloatware on Samsung purchased in Europe if you get my point.

        • Sansa
          October 7, 2015

          The first thing i do when buying a new laptop is to install another version of windows. It is really annoying the crap they put on it. Phones have the same problem. But most users don’t care about it. Just we geeks 🙂

          • Maciek Buczkowski
            October 7, 2015

            True. But with Xiaomi, I don’t need to uninstall anything as they have global version of MIUI without Chinese apps that don’t work outside China. But surely LeTv will get there and they will get there very soon seeing how good devices they released.

        • Max
          October 9, 2015

          that is correct. well, i don’t think they’ll make the extra effort to change their whole software distribution just for that. sadly.

    • Sansa
      October 6, 2015

      Hummm, where did you get that idea from? Of course you can install another launcher and no, you don’t need root any more than other normal phone to use it “normally” (read: non geek stuff). You can uninstall the crap with Titanium or other app that uninstall system apps. There are ROMs without the crap with other launchers than the default.

      The only thing you are right, is about the localization, but then, some ROMs are multi-language.

      Come on, what kind of trolling was that?

      • Maciek Buczkowski
        October 7, 2015

        I did freeze most of the Chinese apps, but the launcher itself needs some more hassle than installing Nova or Google Now for example. You also need to freeze LeTV default launcher. Bu then still Nova settings are crashing all the time. My point was – if LeTV wants to sell those devices worldwide, they need to tweak bits and pieces in order the software to be more global friendly. It’s not trolling I am using LeTV x600 and that is bothering me. Besides the battery life on my version (25E) is quite disappointing. Any recommendations on the ROM?

        • Sansa
          October 7, 2015

          I said you wouldn’t need root if you weren”t going to do geek stuff. Uninstalling system apps is definitely geeky.

          If you don’t want to uninstall them, just pick a launcher that hide the app icon. I uninstalled almost everything chinese, yet the laucher is still here, i didn’t freeze it, i have no problems with it (because deleting the original launcher IMO is bad idea). I use KK launcher, no problems and is very similar to Nova. I used Nova, but settings weren’t working as you said. Other than that, no problems.

          And yes, i agree with you that LeTV needs to improve the international support and that might be just around the corner with their arrival on USA. Just having a forum in english would help us a lot, as long they don’t shoot auto monkey replies like they do now… We need to remember, that LeTV is hopping to make money from their service subscriptions and that means having their “crapware” on the phone.

          If we think objectively, LeTV is doing good for their first group of phones. Many chinese brands don’t have and probably will never have that quality.

          • Maciek Buczkowski
            October 7, 2015

            Overall I like the device. It’s really well built and looks good. The software is similar to meizu but needs to be polished. Forum in english would be a milestone.

        • Cruise Deshevy
          October 8, 2015

          I have been using the device with the battery saver enabled which show up as Chinese characters in Settings > Battery

          Once enabled I get around 6 and a half hours of screen on time.

          What this actually does is disable the “big” troublesome cores and leaves the device running on the A53’s which are super energy efficient and I have not noticed any lag during gaming while using them.

          The reason why no lag is received during the use of these cores is due to the awesome Adreno 430 Gpu which has more than enough power to make up for the CPU drop.

          It also dims the screen a little bit but that is all.

          • Maciek Buczkowski
            October 9, 2015

            I do not have this option. What software version are you using? I am on 25E and what I can see is Battery assistant and it does something different. The maximum I got regarding SOT was 4 hours.

      • Maciek Buczkowski
        October 7, 2015

        And by the way. First you say root is not needed. But in order to uninstall Chinese software you recommend Titanium 🙂 Don’t get me wrong. I like the phone, really. But Xiaomi is on the market for 5 years and they came from software in the first place. They did a lot of work worldwide to localize the roms having a lot of dev team all over the world. The likes of Xiaomi have the advantage. LeTV needs to improve on that part. Yes again, I know it’s their first device on the market and I am really impressed and cross my fingers for them to be successful.

  4. Adam Irvine
    October 6, 2015

    I want them in Europe! The day I can buy a phone directly from LeTv or Xiaomi in Europe (for the right price of course…) is the day I can say “job done” 🙂

    I’ve never been able to understand how OnePlus can sell directly to consumers around the world and not get taken to court etc… But Xiaomi, Meizu, LeTv, Vivo etc can’t?

    • Mateus Marta
      October 7, 2015

      Yeah, that would be awsome.
      But I think they will always cost more in europe, like one OnePlus’ phones.

  5. MaxPower
    October 6, 2015

    hopefully they won’t forget to add the antenna for the right 4G bands…

    ..also i hope they won’t forget to translate the whole software…