LeTV Le Max Pro, the First Snapdragon 820 Phone
CES 2016 – Qualcomm just announced its next-generation Snapdragon 820 processor, along with the news that the LeTV Le Max Pro is the first phone to use it. It’s unclear if the chip will restore faith in Qualcomm after its Snapdragon 810 debacle, but one thing is certain: The Le Max Pro is the fastest phone we’ve seen yet. I got some hands-on time here at CES.
LeTV Le Max Pro
As you can see in the photos, the Le Max Pro is BIG. It has a massive 6.3-inch, 2,560-by-1,440-pixel screen, which almost makes it feel more like a small tablet in your hand than a big smartphone. There are plenty of people out there that like phablets, but be warned: This one is definitely a two-hander.
Having never handled a LeTV phone before, I was pleasantly surprised by the Le Max Pro’s build quality; it’s somewhat reminiscent of Huawei’s higher-end devices, like the Mate S. Made from sturdy metal, the phone feels a bit cool to the touch, and very solid in the hand.
The Le Max Pro is mostly gold, with some white detailing on the back that makes it look fairly similar to an iPhone 6s Plus. The back of the phone is home to an increasingly common fingerprint sensor, as well as a 21-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash.
As far as software, the phone is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, with a fairly heavy custom skin from LeTV. Once again it reminds me of recent Huawei devices, which tend to mimic the feel of iOS by doing away with the standard Android app drawer. Android purists will not be pleased.
But what you really want to know about is how well the phone performs. It’s powered by that 2.2GHz Snapdragon 820 processor, along with a new Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of RAM. And it positively screams on benchmarks. Put it this way: I’ve run the AnTuTu benchmark countless times testing phones over the years, but I’ve never seen one that ranks at the very top spot of the performance comparison chart. Just check out those performance numbers below. This is easily the fastest phone we’ve encountered, and a good reason to get excited for Snapdragon 820-powered handsets to start hitting the market.
I didn’t get a chance to play any games, but everything else about using the phone feels buttery smooth. Screen transitions are effortless, and apps open in an almost instantaneous manner. Of course, with such a limited amount of hands on time, there was no way to determine how the new Snapdragon chipset handles over extended periods of heavy use, and if there are any heating issues. We’ll take a close look at that once devices start hitting the market and we get them into the lab for a full range of testing.
LeTV isn’t a widely known brand stateside, which makes sense since the company primarily sells phones in China. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on a U.S. release for the Le Max Pro, nor is there any pricing information. That makes me somewhat doubtful we’ll ever see the phone released here, but as a demo for Qualcomm’s latest technology, it certainly gets the job done well.