When you think of feature rich smartphones, you probably think of an iPhone or an offering from Samsung, Motorola, Sony or another big name brand, but now there is a new face in the smartphone market and their products are sure to please. Leagoo, a premiere brand of the OTEDA Group, is a new maker of smartphones. Unlike many new companies starting out, Leagoo's first smartphone, the Lead 1, was released with top of the line features that will put many products from those name brand companies to shame. Leagoo definitely put their best foot forward with the Lead 1 but they quickly followed with the Lead 2, 3, and 4 each of which offers a different size and high end features for discriminating buyers. I am honored to have the pleasure of introducing you to the Leagoo Lead 1 Smartphone.
In the Box
- Leagoo Lead 1 Smartphone
- Flat noodle type USB charging cable
- Single port USB charging cube power adapter
- A white headset with ear buds and a microphone plus a button to answer and hang up a call
- Quick Start instruction sheet with directions for inserting the battery and the Sim card.
- Warranty Card and Maintenance Record sheets to keep track of any service needed.
- A 2200 mAh Leagoo Battery
A new smartphone has been a dream for the last couple of years but the options of a long term contract with high monthly data charges or an exorbitantly expensive unlocked phone dampened my enthusiasm to move forward. Just in case I win the lottery or the Publisher's Clearing House Prize Patrol should find its way to my door allowing me to afford a new phone, I continued to browse new Phablet sized smartphones for the best fit for my needs. On one such search, I stumbled across a listing for the unlocked Leagoo Lead 1. My first thought was that there must be a mistake with the price which was listed under $140. Then I noticed that, unlike the dual core models I was drooling over from the big name brand companies, the Lead 1 had a Quad Core processor.
The Lead 1 also has the flexibility to use Sim cards from Verizon and Sprint Networks (CDMA) as well as AT&T and T-Mobile Networks (GSM). In fact, the Lead 1 can hold 2 Sim cards instead of the typical single card. It uses the Dual Sim Card dual standard single pass design which means that 2 Sim cards can be in the phone but only one can be in use at a time. There is a Sim Management App in the Settings to control the Sim cards and their settings. This is huge especially if you travel and require a Sim card from another country while you're there or want to switch carriers from a GSM network to a CDMA carrier without buying a new phone.
Leagoo Lead 1 Features
- OS: Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
- Display: 5.5" Screen IPS LCD, OGS Technology, 720x1280 HD
- Processor: MTK6582 CPU 1.3GHz, Cortex A7 processor with a 30% processing speed increase
- 13.0 MP rear camera
- 5.0 MP front camera
- Internal Memory: 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM
- GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0
- Supports a MicroSD card up to 64GB
- Battery Capacity: 2200 mAh
- Dual Sim Capability: WCDMA / GSM Dual SIM dual standby
- Frequency: 3G WCDMA 850/1900/2100 & GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- Dimensions: approx. 6.2" x 3.1" x .2"
Slim European Design
With its .2" (5 mm) thin metal frame and new European design with real corners, the Lead 1 truly stands out from the crowd of other phones still trying to look like an iPhone with rounded corners and looking the same as the one before. The Lead 1 is a classic design with that lovely 5.5" screen that is bright, clear and easy to read. I am told that when the phones left the factory, the screen brightness was set too high which causes the battery life to suffer a bit. Just go in the Display settings and either adjust the brightness manually or set it to Auto. For my own use, I've found the battery life to be good. Even on a day with lots of time on the Internet and games played, the battery has not dipped below 42% by the time I head to bed. My tablet does worse than that in a day and it doesn't include a phone. If you are a chatterbox and the battery is an issue for you, Leagoo replacement batteries are available from Deal Extreme online for about $7 with free shipping to the US so you can keep a charged spare handy. Another solution is a slim power bank like those from ADATA, Anker, and Aukey. I keep an Aukey Mini Lock power bank or an Anker AstroMini external battery (review coming soon) in the case with the Lead 1 'just in case.'
The Lead 1 includes the option of activating a variety of Hand Gestures to accomplish some simple everyday tasks. You can activate all or just the ones you find most useful to you. Using the tip of your finger on the screen draw a C to activate the Camera or an S to open the Settings as well as some other shortcuts you will find in the Gestures menu.. One of the things I particularly dislike about Smartphones, is the screen time-out and having to push the power button to wake the phone up. You can activate the Wake-up gesture on the Lead 1 which will let you wake-up the phone with a double tap of the screen. It's so simple and will actually save wear and tear on the power button.
If you take a look at the back of the Lead 1, you will see the 13.0 MP camera which takes very clear, bright pictures using the included Camera App. The camera will also shoot videos in 720P HD 60 Frame/sec. If you look even closer at the space right below the camera, you will see a strange little square opening in the top of that silver strip. That is a built-in Flashlight which is activated by a handy little app that is pre-installed on the Lead 1. I love it.
The software that comes installed on the Lead 1 will mostly be familiar if you've used Android before. There are a few new Apps such as Cell Broadcast, Go Keyboard, Notebook, Sim Toolkit, Voice Search, WhatsApp, and the Call Log. Some you will use and others will be ignored but I applaud Leagoo in their restraint in adding apps to the phone that will likely just take up space and never be used. There are only 3 apps that I know I will never use. That's a fraction of what comes pre-installed on the typical phone or tablet these days. Google Play is installed on the Lead 1 so you will have no problem downloading games and apps that suit your own taste.
The Leagoo Lead 1 comes in a neatly packed green box suitable for giving as a gift. This smartphone is available in 4 elegant colors, Black, White, Rose Red, and Blue. Each comes with a white headset and charging cable in the box. Recognizing that the color you want may not be available where you purchase your phone, Leagoo has made replacement back covers available in each of the 4 colors. If you like to accessorize, then buy all the colors and change them to match your outfits. The case backs can be found at McBub and Pandawill online for about $5 each with free shipping to the US.
Keeping your phone clean and protected requires a well designed case that protects without hindering access to the phone. Leagoo has designed just such a case with a Holzer Switch and Touch Window which neatly flips open like a little book. The front cover has a large clear window so you can see the time, date, and any alerts, messages or incoming calls. The flip case is made of black, rain-silking leather which has a soft but durable finish that looks a bit like fine linen but is apparently a form of polyurethane. The back of the flip case replaces the back cover of the Lead 1 and snaps seamlessly onto the back of the phone. Then came the surprise. I expected this to just be an attractive case but it works very much like my old Motorola flip phone. Open the flip cover and the phone wakes to the lock-screen. Close the cover and it reverts to the screen with the time a date for about 10 seconds and then goes into standby to conserve your battery. I didn't get a clear answer on how the case actually works except that it's automatic as soon as it's placed on the phone. Works for me! You can find this case at Everbuying online for only $6.34 with free shipping and at DealsMachine for only $5.61 with free shipping.
Although the Lead 1 is not natively Qi compatible, it will charge quickly and efficiently with an add-on Qi receiver plugged into the MicroUSB port. Qi charging technology is an area that Leagoo plans to pursue in the future with chargers, receivers and Qi enabled case backs under consideration.
For those who long for the day that you can use a keyboard with your cell phone, that day has arrived. I was able to easily pair the Anker Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard for Android, Mac, and Windows (review coming soon) with the Lead 1 and immediately type a message in the Notebook App.
Android KitKat version 4.4.2 comes installed on the Lead 1 but system updates can be accomplished in a couple of ways. In the Settings area, select About Phone at the bottom of the list. Then select Wireless Update. The next screen will list the current firmware version and allow you to check for updates over your wireless network connection. There is also a Firmware Update tool available on the Leagoo website which will allow you to update to the latest firmware. A quick Start Guide for Android KitKat is available online for those who may be new to the Android OS.
Leagoo has designed a smartphone that can stand toe-to-toe with those big name smartphones. They want you to be happy with your Lead 1 phone and comfortable in the knowledge that Leagoo will be there if you need support or service along the way. You may contact Customer Service by email at email@example.com, or use the links on the website to leave an online message or contact them via Skype. They have made the commitment to reply within 12 hours with support personnel online every day to keep your emails as a priority.
The Leagoo Support page has come a long way in a very short time and is constantly improving to make it easier for customers to navigate quickly. This is where you will find Pre and Post Sale Services, links to online retailers where you can purchase Leagoo phones and accessories, Software Downloads, Firmware Updates and more. Leagoo is so committed to providing the best possible products and service that Katherine, the Sales Engineer for Leagoo, requested that I include her contact information for your convenience. You may contact Katherine by email at Katherine@leagoo.cc or via Skype at leagoo014 with any questions you may have about Leagoo products.
It is Leagoo's goal to provide the best After-Sale Service possible with:
- 7 Day Return Exchange
- Global Local after-sales service
- 15 day return policy guarantee
- 30 day exchange promise
- 12 months free maintenance
Leagoo very kindly provided me with a Lead 1 in black for my review. It is everything I could have wanted in a new smartphone and more, except perhaps a bright cherry red color, but I will have a bright red phone someday. The Rose Red color was very tempting but when I realized that the flip case replaced the back cover, I preferred the elegant protective case to the beautiful Rose Red color. It was the right choice for me but I really like the idea of color options without buying a new phone.
The Lead 1 recognized my Sim card within a few seconds and all my contacts were available on the new phone. If you have a pre-paid plan, check with your carrier for compatibility and terms of service. My first call was to my sister who lives about 400 miles away. She was amazed at the voice quality of the call which she said sounded as if I was standing right beside her. She never said that about any of my previous cell phones.
Setting the Lead 1 to download updates and connect to the Internet using your home WiFi instead of your carrier's data service, can save you money. That's the perfect solution for those wanting to step up to a smartphone but not high data charges every month.
The Leagoo Lead 1 is available from a growing number of online retailers including:
DealExtreme and their sister-site DXSoul list the Lead 1 for $125.99 with free shipping. DealExtreme has teamed up with ShareASale to offer a simple and free affiliate signup process, so that you can begin earning commission payments from your website as soon as possible.
Amazon Marketplace sellers list the Lead 1 at prices ranging from $136 to $209 with most offering free shipping.
Everbuying lists the Lead 1 for $126.62 with free shipping to the US. They also have the Leagoo Holzer Switch and Touch Window Case for $6.34 with free shipping.
Pandawill carries the Lead 1 for $128.99 plus an assortment of the accessories mentioned above at competitive prices.
DealsMachine lists the Lead 1 at prices ranging from $112 to $120.99 depending on the color you select. They also have the Leagoo Holzer Switch and Touch Window Case for only $5.61 with free shipping.
If you've been putting off buying a new phone because of the high cost of extended contracts or the shocking price of an unlocked smartphone, your wait is over. Leagoo has packed a lot of high end features into the Lead 1 and made it available at an affordable price. It's clear that we can expect more great things to come from Leagoo in the future including yet another new smartphone with a higher capacity battery. I can hardly wait!