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LeEco unleashes 'more products than you've ever seen'

The Chinese company's US debut features phones, TVs, a virtual-reality headset, smart cars and even an electric bicycle. But LeEco says it's not about the hardware.

On top of smartphones and smart TVs, LeEco unveiled an autonomous smart car at its US launch event in San Francisco.

Photo by James Martin/CNET

In China, LeEco thinks of itself as a one-stop shop for all things tech. Now it's bringing its hardware devices and "ecosystem" vision to the US.

The Chinese company made its official US debut on Wednesday at San Francisco's "Innovation Hangar" event space. To a crowd of roughly 1,700 employees, Silicon Valley insiders and media, LeEco showed off phones, smart TVs, smart cars, a smart bike and more.

"You're going to see more products and services launched at one time than you've ever seen," Danny Bowman, chief revenue officer for LeEco North America, told CNET before the launch.

Most Chinese tech companies have experienced a rough time breaking into the US market. Phones and TVs are typically bargain bin, and Chinese cars aren't sold here. Despite a large war chest, the company reportedly has a market capitalization of $14.6 billion, LeEco will face steep competition from tech giants like Apple, Google and Samsung as well as other Chinese companies with US ambitions like Xiaomi and Huawei.

LeEco's goal isn't to just pump out products, but rather to be the company that connects devices -- be it through movie and sports streaming, cloud services or online shopping. The idea for LeEco, which got its start as an online video portal, is to make money from memberships and subscription services so it can then sell its hardware at lower prices.

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LeEco's lower-cost Le S3 smartphone.

Photo by James Martin/CNET

"At LeEco, everything we do is unified by one common thing -- you." Richard Ren, president of LeEco North America, said at Wednesday's launch event.

Here's what LeEco launched on Wednesday:

TVs

  • UMax 85: LeEco's flagship 4K smart television measures 85 inches. It comes with 4GB in RAM and 64GB in storage and supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision. It will be available on November 2 and cost $4,999.
  • Super4 X Series: LeEco's lower-cost series offers televisions in three sizes, 43-inch, 55-inch and 65-inch. All TVs have HDR, 3GB RAM and 32GB in storage. This series will be available on November 2 and the 43-inch will cost $649, 55-inch $899 and 65-inch $1,399.

Phones

  • Le Pro3: LeEco's flagship 5.5-inch smartphone comes with a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of memory and 64 GB of on-board storage. The battery allows for 33 hours of talk time, 12 hours of video stream and 49 hours of music. Additionally, the phone has curved edges, dual speakers, a 16-megapixel camera and a fingerprint scanner. It comes in gold and gray and will cost $399.
  • Le S3: LeEco's less expensive 5.5-inch smartphone comes with a Snapdragon 652 processor, 32GB of onboard storage, a 16-megapixel camera and a fingerprint scanner. It comes in gold, gray and rose gold and will cost $249.
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One of LeEco's smart TVs on display at Wednesday's launch event.

Photo by James Martin/CNET


Virtual reality headset

  • Explore VR: LeEco's prototype VR headset will be powered by its smartphones and have full 3D and 360-degree virtual reality. It will also come with a gyroscope, Bluetooth headphones and USB Type-C.

Smart bicycle

  • LeEco Super bike: This is LeEco's concept bicycle, which can go up to 30 mph, has hydraulic brakes, side laser system, alarm, fingerprint scanner, connectivity, electric parking brake and a battery charged by the bike's hub.

Smart cars

  • LeSee Pro: LeEco's self-driving concept car will be fully autonomous, electric and will have a connected interior to let people stream movies, music and work documents. The vehicle's self-driving features include machine-learning of facial recognition and route recognition.
  • LeSee: LeEco's semi-autonomous concept vehicle (level 3) is internet-connected and has streaming content in rear seats. LeEco first unveiled this car in April.
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