Chinese company LeEco has always insisted that it is a provider of entertainment content first, and a manufacturer of hardware second, with the hardware essentially serving as a means to accessing the content. Although the company has a large collection of content services in its home market, there is a smaller and more curated list available in India. The Le 1S Eco was the first device by the company to come bundled with the full content package available in India.
The company recently also brought its Super3 TV range to the country. The Super3 range is available in three sizes, and starts at Rs. 59,790 for the 55-inch variant, with all three TVs being Smart TVs with 4K-resolution screens. With a combination of eye-catching looks, smart connectivity, top-level specifications, and the full suite of online content coming bundled with the TV, the Super3 range is an interesting new option for buyers looking at big-screen TVs today. We're taking a close look at the Rs. 99,790 65-inch LeEco Super3 X65 4K Smart TV today - find out how it fared in our review.
LeEco Super3 X65 4K Smart TV design
The LeEco Super3 X65 is, without a doubt, a fantastic looking television set. The sheer size of the screen is what makes it so impactful, and the beautifully crafted stand adds to the image. It's fairly slim near the top, and only gains a bit of girth towards the bottom, which adds to its imposing characteristics. Even if you wall-mount the TV, the size of the screen and the slimness itself makes a huge impact.
The right side of the TV has the ports and inputs, while the left has the physical button row. The old 'Letv' logo of LeEco is on the left corner of the TV, glowing faintly when in standby and a bit brighter when turned on. We found the design to be neat, elegant and sophisticated, and the Super3 X65 will certainly add some aesthetic value to whatever room you place it in.
The stand is very different from the ones offered on most of the other TVs we've seen and reviewed, coming in its own box because of large size. It attaches to the TV at two points, with one near the logo and the other just off centre. This balances the TV and holds it in place, but also makes the footprint of the stand too large, which means that buyers will need a large enough table to place the TV on. A lot of buyers will be forced to wall-mount the TV, which is, in our opinion, a waste of the excellent stand.
The X65 has three HDMI ports, two USB ports, inputs for component and YPbPr, VGA, antenna and optical. There are also 3.5mm sockets for audio in and out, the latter in case you want to connect external speakers or headphones. Some of the ports are on the side, while others face downwards. Sensibly, both USB ports and two of the HDMI ports are side-facing, which will allow for easy connectivity. The speakers of the TV fire downwards and are along the bottom of the TV.
The LeEco Super3 X65 comes with an interesting metal-and-plastic remote, which has a simple layout but effectively controls everything on the TV. Switching the TV on fires an IR blast, but the remote switches to Bluetooth connectivity for all functions once the TV is on. This means that you don't need to point the remote at the TV, and this worked well for us. It has an ordinary directional pad for navigation, and is fairly responsive on the whole. There's also a microphone to give the TV voice commands, but this barely works in actual use.
LeEco Super3 X65 4K Smart TV specifications and features
The most impressive specifications that the LeEco Super3 X65 boasts of are its size and 4K resolution. There's no HDR here, which is a bit of a disappointment, but the TV is capable nonetheless. There's also the signature smart connectivity that comes with the TV. The Super3 X65 that we reviewed does not have 3D, but the Rs. 1,49,790 Super3 Max65 does, in case you want it. Internet connectivity is either through Wi-Fi or Ethernet, with a LAN port at the back of the TV.
Apart from what we've already mentioned, the TV comes with LeEco's content package, which offers certain streaming services free of charge for two years after purchase of the TV. There's also free shipping and installation, a two-year warranty on the entire TV, and a four-year warranty on the LED panel itself.
LeEco Super3 X65 4K Smart TV software
After a rather long start-up sequence, the LeEco Super3 X65 TV boots into EUI 5.5, based on Android 5.0. The interface looks a bit childish to us, thanks to its bright colours and boxy design, but it does get the job done. Additionally, there are some comical language errors, but nothing that will really get in your way. There are three basic layers to the interface. Input activates HDMI, VGA, or component, for external devices such as set-top boxes, Blu Ray players, and game consoles, Live TV streams a select list of regular TV channels through YuppTV's service, and App, which loads up the regular smart interface.
Live TV has a fairly decent set of channels, thanks to the tie up with YuppTV. It streams quickly and without any buffering issues provided you're on a decent Internet connection, and switching between channels, while not as quick as ordinary DTH TV, is still fairly quick and hassle-free. It's a proper live stream with the current programming, and it's great to have since it gives access to ordinary channel-based programming in its traditional sense, entirely functioning over your Internet connection. The channel list is basic, but has something for everyone, with news, lifestyle, regular English and Hindi channels, as well as regional channels. There's also a specific channel called MTunes, which streams Indian music videos ad-free and in HD.
The App layer gives you access to various apps, the browser, as well as the LeVidi service. This is a tie-up with Eros Now to provide various Indian movies for free-screening. This list is frequently updated with new movies, and the list at the time of the review included some recent releases. Streaming is quick and problem-free, and you can also quickly skip to any part of the movie, which loads up and starts streaming from that point almost immediately.
The curated app store for the LeEco TV is limited to a few dozen apps, with a focus on content apps. However, a lot of these apps are niche, and are thus likely to find only a few takers for each. There are also some unnecessary apps such as SpeedTest.net, which you're unlikely to need on a TV. Good apps such as Netflix and Hotstar are missing from this app list, and you will need a dongle such as the Chromecast if you plan to use these apps. This is likely because LeEco would rather promote its own content services over other paid services, but from a buyer's point of view, this is a weakness that would likely drive buyers to opt for different smart platforms such as Android TV or Smart Hub.
(Also see: Yes, You Should Buy a Smart TV)
Fortunately, there is a YouTube app, which means that you have quick and easy access to a huge list of free video content straight away. Interestingly, the YouTube app installed on the TV is the one designed for the Android TV operating system, even though the LeEco Super3 X65 TV doesn't run on Android TV. As a result, it does work well on the TV, and is designed for easy use with a directional pad.
The settings menu gives you access to a surprisingly small list of tweaks, and the TV is as such meant to be a simple device that you plug in and start using without much effort. Picture and sound settings can't be heavily customised, and while this is good in some ways, others may not like the lack of control over the way it works. It's also possible to play video files off a USB device of course, and this works as expected with most video formats working properly on the TV.
LeEco Super3 X65 4K Smart TV performance
We used a variety of content to test the LeEco Super3 X65 4K Smart TV, including demo clips in various resolutions, a full-HD print of Interstellar, streamed content from Netflix, YouTube, and LeEco's streaming service, and more. Some of the connectivity features, including screen mirroring and dongle-based streaming, were tested using our OnePlus 3 (Review) and first-generation Google Chromecast.
Starting with 4K content, we were impressed with the quality of the picture. It's sharp, clean with motion and has a generally excellent picture. Colours are up to the mark and vibrant, and despite no HDR compatibility, there's decent interplay between light and dark. Details are visible in the darkest sections of the picture, but not quite at the levels of good HDR TVs.
Moving on to full-HD content, what is worth commending about the X65 is the excellent upscaling. Getting full-HD content to fill up all of those pixels seems like a piece of cake for the LeEco, and picture quality is maintained without too much visible trouble. Motion remains smooth and judder-free, while picture retains its sharpness, although the obvious differences between 4K and full-HD content remain and are clearly distinguishable. Some minor artefacts are visible on screen, but it's usually not bothersome.
Standard definition content is among the best we've seen from a large TV, and it's clear that the LeEco has been geared to showcase low-resolution content capably, keeping in mind viewing behaviour and the company's own content services. The TV plays back standard definition content with the same smoothness and lack of grain as full-HD video, and although the large screen does reveal some flaws, it's well within acceptable levels. Colours do suffer a bit in this case, and some of the online content (the YuppTV feed in particular) doesn't look as good as on a smaller TV. However, this is as good as it gets with a 65-inch TV.
Coming to sound quality, the LeEco Super3 X65 4K TV is loud, and the audio is easy to hear even if you're sitting at a considerable distance away from the screen. However, the sound lacks proper definition and very high volumes, sounding tinny on occasions. It's still better than most TVs we've used and is something that you could get used to without needing to resort to a sound bar or external speakers. However, if you're looking to improve the overall quality, we would recommend getting a good sound bar to use with the TV.
The LeEco Super3 X65 4K TV is a surprisingly good option to consider if you're looking at a large screen but don't want to spend too much. It's got an excellent combination of good picture, great looks and meaningful smart connectivity that you're likely to use. The picture quality is fantastic for the price, and good upscaling means that you won't have too much trouble even if you're watching 720p or standard definition content. However, it is best used with full-HD and above, so make sure you have the HD plan with your DTH connection or a Blu-Ray player to best enjoy the TV with.
The smart functionality is great, thanks to the bundled content package that comes with the TV. You get access to a decent set of TV channels through the premium content service, as well as an Indian movie list that is frequently updated. Additionally, there is a good app for YouTube, and a few other content apps that you may find interesting. While some genuinely useful content apps such as Netflix and Hotstar are missing, this can easily be fixed using a Chromecast or any other HDMI dongle.
In conclusion, the LeEco Super3 X65 is great for the price, and worth buying for both the quality of the hardware as well as for the bundled content package that comes with it. This is a TV for modern users who are shifting their viewing habits to online content, but there's enough in it to keep users who prefer traditional viewing satisfied as well. And if you find the nearly Rs. 1,00,000 price tag a bit daunting, there's also the much more sensibly priced 55-inch variant, which we expect to be as good as the X65 in most ways.
Price (MRP): Rs. 99,790
Ratings (Out of 5)