LeEco's three new smartphones ditch the headphone jack

USB Type-C headphones is the way to go, apparently.

We've been hearing rumors about Apple killing the 3.5mm headphone jack on its next major iPhone release, but looks like one Chinese company was keen to beat its American rival in this "race." LeEco, famed for bringing the world's first USB Type-C phones and recently investing in Aston Martin's electric car development, has just announced three new smartphones -- the Le 2, Le 2 Pro and Le Max 2 -- that have ditched the conventional headphone jack in favor of the upcoming USB Type-C digital headphones. Unit now, HTC and JBL's Reflect Aware C was the only one in this new headphone category, so it's fitting that LeEco is also adding two of its own USB-C earpieces -- a pair of in-ears and a pair of noise-cancelling over-ears. These are also the first to be certified by LeEco's very own Continual Digital Lossless Audio standard.

LeEco's three new metallic smartphones share almost identical looks, especially with their squircle fingerprint reader and their HTC-like injection moulded antenna bands on the back, as well as their edge-to-edge glass panel on the front to mimic a borderless screen when switched off. There aren't exactly the most exciting designs we've seen of late, but they aren't bad, either.

As you can tell by the name, the Le 2 and Le 2 Pro are the two more affordable choices out of the three, both sporting a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a generous 3,000mAh fixed battery and a 10-core tri-cluster MediaTek chipset on the inside -- the X20 on the Le 2 and the faster X25 on the Le 2 Pro. Both have an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, but on the back, the Le 2 has a 16-megapixel main camera whereas the Le 2 Pro has a 21-megapixel counterpart powered by a Sony IMX230 sensor -- the same chip inside the Moto X Pure Edition. As for memory, both models come with 32GB of internal storage, 3GB of RAM on the Le 2 and 4GB of RAM on the Le 2 Pro.

The more premium Le Max 2 has a larger and sharper 5.7-inch QHD screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, a more advanced ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, a slightly larger 3,100mAh battery and Quick Charge 3.0 support. It has the same pair of cameras as the Le 2 Pro, except its main camera has the added benefit of optical image stabilization. Memory-wise it maxes out at 64GB of onboard storage with a whopping 6GB of RAM. Thanks to the Qualcomm chipset, this model supports tri-band carrier aggregation, thus allowing download speeds of up to 375 Mbps on supported networks.

le 2, le 2 pro, le max 2

LeEco has yet to reveal any price or date for these three new phones, but it does have plans to bring at least one of these to the US later this year, so stay tuned for an update.

Update: OK, CEO Jia Yueting later announced the prices: 1,099 yuan ($170) for the Le 2, 1,499 yuan ($230) for the Le 2 Pro, 2,099 yuan ($325) for the base-spec (4GB RAM and 32GB storage) Le Max 2 and just 2,499 yuan ($390) for the top-spec (6GB RAM and 64GB storage) version. Pre-order starts today in China. Well, watch out, Xiaomi!