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LeEco's phones and TVs are coming to Amazon and Best Buy

It's enticing buyers with free DirecTV now trials.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
November 29, 2016
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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

LeEco is perhaps best known away from China for its electric cars (and the cash crunch they caused), but it's now making a big US push with its bread-and-butter electronics products. After launching its LeMall.com site earlier this month, it'll let US consumers buy its phones and TVs at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and Target, starting on December 1st. To entice buyers, it's offering free trials for AT&T's DirecTV Now streaming service, launching tomorrow.

If you buy the Le S3 or Le Pro3 smartphones or 43-inch X43 Pro 4K TV, you'll get three months of DirecTV Now. The more upmarket Super4 X55 or Super4 X65 4K sets will land you a six-month trial, or 12-months with the purchase of a $5,000 85-inch uMax85 TV.

DirecTV just launched yesterday as a competitor to Sling TV and Playstation Vue at the promotional price of $35 a month, expected to rise to $60. The service won't count against the company's data caps, which is great for AT&T internet subscribers, but sucks for its competitors and net neutrality in general.

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LeEco is a successful e-commerce company in China, and its founder, Jia Yueting, is the country's 30th richest individual. However, LeEco recently spent enormous sums launching its own LeSee electric car and backing two other companies (Faraday Future and Lucid Motors), and Jia recently admitted that the company is running out of cash.

As for the products themselves, we found that the company's Le Pro3 smartphone had nice hardware but was hobbled by its heavily skinned UI. There aren't a lot of reviews out there for the 4K TV models, though the company also owns Vizio, a Chinese TV manufacturer well-known in the US. You'll be able to buy LeEco-branded TVs and smartphones at "over 100 retailers" starting December 1st or via LeMall.com, which just extended its sales times to 24/7.

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