LeEco Phones and TVs Arrive at Best Buy, Amazon

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Cheap but powerful smartphones and TVs from Chinese tech giant LeEco will go on sale Thursday at national retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.

It's a big step for LeEco, which only entered the US market last month and initially announced plans to sell its products exclusively through its own website, www.lemall.com. Moving to third-party retailers at the beginning of the busy holiday shopping season is the latest sign the company is gearing up for a major US expansion.

With a $399 retail price, the flagship LePro 3 smartphone is a fraction of the cost of the new Google Pixel XL. At least on paper, though, it matches the Google handset's power. Specs include a quad-core Snapdragon 821, Qualcomm's latest and greatest mobile processor. There are 4GB of memory, 64GB of onboard storage, a 5.5-inch Full HD display, and a battery that offers nearly 14 hours of streaming video on a full charge.

At $4,999, LeEco's flagship uMax85 isn't exactly an impulse holiday gift, but it does include 12 free months of DirecTV's new streaming TV service, as well as one free year of LeEco's own streaming content platform, EcoPass. The 85-inch uMax85 supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and even includes a GPU and quad-core CPU to help it render 4K streaming video.

The uMax85 also has several smaller cousins, the cheapest of which is the $649 Super4 X43, also a 4K HDR-enabled display.

In addition to online sales, LeEco phones will be available at brick-and-mortar wireless dealers, and its TVs will be on display in Best Buy stores. That presence, as well as the decision to extend LeMall rebates—as high as $1,000 for TVs—to customers who buy from third parties is likely to result in significantly higher channel sales costs for LeEco. At least for now, it looks like the company is prepared to absorb them.

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