Le Max 2- The First LeEco (LeTV) Phone with USB Power Delivery
With its latest flagship Le Max 2, LeEco has been leading the way in China on USB Power Delivery implementation in smartphones similar to what LG has done in Korea with the LG G5, and HTC has done in Taiwan with the HTC 10.
LeEco was one of the early phones that supported USB Type-C with phones like the LeEco Le 1s. While these first generation phones had USB Type-C, they didn't support USB Power Delivery (using Qualcomm Quick Charge instead) or DisplayPort Alternate Mode (using MHL instead).
The Le Max 2 represents the second generation of USB Type-C phones which this time supports USB Power Delivery in addition to Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging. Unlike the LG G5 and HTC 10, the Le Max 2 doesn't support DisplayPort. However, the Le Max 2 has gotten rid of the 3.5 mm audio jack in favor of USB audio headphones. LeEco has done this with its other second generation USB Type-C phones like the Le 2 Pro and Le 2, making it the first brand to get rid of this legacy audio jack altogether. Given some of my previous phones including the LeEco Le 1s got damaged because of the 3.5 mm audio jack, I hope the new USB Type-C connector will be more robust.
I purchased the Le Max 2 online from LeEco's online store in China which I received promptly.
If you open up the lid to the right of the phone, you will see the power charging adapter and audio earbuds.
Underneath the phone, you will find a USB Type-C to 3.5 mm audio plug adapter for those that want to use their 3.5 mm based headphones as well as a USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable. The Le Max 2 also comes with a SIM card removal pin.
Even though the Le Max 2 supports USB Power Delivery, for cost reasons it also comes with a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 rather USB Power Delivery based charger. This charger supports 10.8 watts (3.6 volts @ 3 amps) and 24 watts (8 volts @ 3 amps or 12 volts @ 2 amps) power profiles for fast charging.
The Le Max 2 looks and is built like a premium phone and is similar to the Huawei Google Nexus 6P in terms of size and weight. Those liking a big screen and more heft will enjoy this phone.
One interesting aspect of the Le Max 2 is the top of the phone has a black hole for the IR blaster- just don't mistake it for a 3.5 mm audio jack.
Starting up the Le Max 2, you will go through a series of EUI (LeEco's Android based operating system) setup screens which go by quickly compared to other startup screens I've seen on other phones.
You can choose when to update to the latest EUI software version.
Compared to stock Android, EUI doesn't offer as much flexibility in controlling your USB Type-C power direction or functionality.
EUI also doesn't have a power consumption/charging graph that is very useful on stock Android. Charging the Le Max 2 using it's own Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 charger takes less than an hour to charge from no charge to over 90%, and less than an hour and a half to charge fully.
LeEco of course is first and foremost an online streaming media content provider. One of the coolest apps located in the prime bottom center of the home screen is Le Live.
Turning on Le Live, you can see watch live streaming Chinese content even from the US.
There are some shows particularly sports contents which have regional restrictions meaning you can only watch within China.
Fast charging and streaming video content go hand in hand so its great that Le Max 2 supports both. Being able to output DisplayPort video over USB Type-C would have been an even bigger bonus but we'll have to wait until LeEco supports this in a future generation.