LeEco is not necessarily a name that many residents in the US might have been so familiar with in the past. However, that did change when LeEco held their first US press event back in October of 2016. During that event, LeEco made it clear that they were bringing a number of their branded products to the US, including a range of TV sets that are powered by Android TV. Three of those TV models make up the Super4 X range and of that range, the Super4 X65 is the biggest and also the highest-priced at $1,399 - although it can currently be picked up $200 cheaper thanks to a LeRewards Instant Rebate that LeEco currently offers. As such, you can more often than not, find the LeEco Super4 X65 available for $1,199.
With this being a 65-inch model, the screen size on offer does measure 65.5-inches. Of course, this is the diagonal measurement and for those looking for more precise measurements, the LeEco Super4 X65 measures 57.3-inches in width, 33.2-inches in height (36-inches including stand) and 1.8-inches in depth. While the bezel width is 0.39-inches. This is a 4K Ultra-HD TV and that is defined as a 3,840 x 2160 resolution. Inside, this is a smart TV which comes loaded with 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage and is powered by an Mstar 6A938 quad-core (2 x Cortex A72 and 2 x A53) processor, along with a Mali T820 GPU. In terms of additional features, the LeEco Super4 X65 boasts support for HDR10, Dolby Audio, Bluetooth 4.1 and dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. While in terms of connections, the LeEco Super4 X65 comes equipped with three USB ports overall (2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x USB 2.0), as well as three HDMI 2.0 ports, among others.
In the box
You shouldn't be expecting too much in the box when you purchase the LeEco Super4 X65 except what you need, and that is exactly what you get. Besides the main TV unit, you will receive two legs which act as the stand, two sets of locking latches for the legs, the remote control, batteries for the remote, and your usual paperwork.
Design & Hardware
TV design is a matter of taste and from the lay perspective, all modern and leading TVs do now come with a ‘super thin’ and minimal bezel design. The LeEco Super4 X65 is no different and does adopt all the modern traits that you might expect to find on a TV at this level. In fact, while it is not the thinnest TV available, it really is a thin TV and one which (at the 65-inch level at least) is almost too thin, resulting in a rather delicate disposition. If this is a TV you are attaching to the wall, you will not be concerned about how far it protrudes and if you are placing it in a free-standing position, you will also find its thinness very accommodating.
Setup is easy and there are some clear design cues that LeEco has adopted to make the whole process much simpler. The actual TV set comes in three pieces, the main display and the two legs and unlike a number of other TV options, there are no screwdrivers or additional tools needed to attach the legs. While they do have to be secured, they come with locking bolts that allow you to turn them by hand without the need of any hardware and very little force. Which does mean that attaching (or dismantling) the legs is a very quick and painless procedure.
In terms of the physical connections, this is a TV which largely provides all you will need to connect the rest of your living room setup. The LeEco Super4 X65 comes packing three USB ports and three HDMI ports. Although, what is somewhat interestingly is the placement of those ports. For instance, while the bulk of the ports (all HDMI ports and two of the USB ports) are positioned on a dedicated connection panel, one of the USB ports is conveniently positioned on the top of the TV. Which is handy for those looking to quickly attach and detach a USB stick, without having to move the TV.
On the back, you will find the main power socket along with a physical rocker on/off switch. While at the opposite end you will find the additional ports, including a LAN port, PC audio and VGA ports, an optical port, an Audio Out port and an Antenna port.
Overall, the design of the LeEco Super4 X65 is one which will suit most people's taste. This is a fairly slim TV and one which does present a modern and well-finished design. The additional aspects like the top-facing USB port will add an extra level of usability to the set and the easiness of setting up the TV will be ideal for those looking for a TV that can be up and ready to use in no time.
For the sake of disclosure, our focus on the display is not going to be to the level that is able to effectively offer an expert opinion. However, from a consumer point of view there are some clear observations that can be made. This is of course, a 4K TV, so straight off the bat the resolution on offer is great. There is little arguing with the quality of the LeEco Super4 X65’s display which does provide a sharp, detailed and vibrant display and when watching 4K content, you are going to know that you are watching 4K content. So from that perspective, the display is good and works well. However, whether it is to the level you will find on more expensive 4K TVs is quite another story and even from the lay perspective, probably not. This is not the best 4K TV that you can buy and there are some obvious issues. For instance, the native refresh rate is only 60Hz with the LeEco Super4 X65 making use of Fluid Motion 120 to simulate a 120Hz refresh rate. While this is good enough to minimize motion blur, again, compared to other high-end 4K options (which the LeEco Super4 X-range is looking to compete with), there is better.
The same can be said for the black level. Again, there is nothing overtly wrong with the black level and generally speaking, the LeEco Super4 X65 deals with this very well and ensures that darker blacks are created. However, it is again not the best and is certainly weaker than other competing TVs at this level. So while you are paying less for the LeEco Super4 X65, it is worth keeping in mind that in some respects, you are getting less. And with the display, two aspects that are comparably 'less than' other (more expensive) TVs include the refresh rate and the black level.
Overall though, it is hard to ignore the price tag attached to the LeEco Super4 X65 and that alone does add to the value of this 4K display. While some aspects have been criticized, the truth is that many consumers will find this to be an excellent option and one which offers a more than adequate viewing experience. If you want better though, and are willing to pay more, then you will be able to find better, fairly easily.
Since the arrival of Android TV in any capacity, the remote control has proven to be an interesting point of reference. On box-type Android TV devices, remote controls typically leave a lot to be desired. They are small and very basic and especially compared to TV remote controls. Which in contrast, are typically bigger than needed, contain far too many buttons/features and are sometimes, over-complicated. When it comes to the LeEco Super4 X65, the remote control carefully and delicately walks the line between a TV remote and an Android TV box remote.
This is most notable in the size, as the LeEco Super4 X65 remote is significantly smaller than most major brand TV remotes, while also being significantly larger than most Android TV box remote controls. From the Android TV box perspective, this means you are gaining far more controls on the remote control, while from the TV perspective, you are gaining all of the controls that you primarily need without the added complexity of the usual additional buttons. It really is almost a perfectly-sized remote control. As Android TV is the primary operating system on this TV set, using a larger sized remote control (like you will find on the SHARP and Sony options) does prove to be problematic. In contrast, the LeEco Super4 X65 remote offers everything you need to control both the TV and Android TV without feeling either underwhelmed or over-complicated.
In total you will find only fifteen buttons on the remote control and these are broken down nicely into categories. So the first row is your power and mute button. This is followed by a second row consisting of a source button, settings button and a number button. Up next is the a row which includes volume up and down and channel up/down. While the bottom row is largely dedicated to Android TV with a return key, menu key and other settings key. Then there are the ‘additional buttons’ which complete the fifteen button configuration. These include the dedicated Netflix button (which you will find on most Android TV-powered TV remote controls now), the Google voice activation button and a special LeEco button. As you might expect, LeEco has given its button a fair bit of prominence and certainly a more premium look and feel, compared to the rest.
Completing the remote control is the center wheel which is primarily used for on-screen navigation and something you will find on most TV (and Android TV) remotes nowadays. One last point worth noting that this remote is a battery operated remote control, so it does require two AAA batteries to work and LeEco does include two in the box.
Android TV & Software
Android TV is still an interface that you will not find on a very large number of devices. While new devices are continually coming to market, they often do at the expense of others and this does mean that at any given time, there is a lack of devices which you can make direct comparisons with. However, TVs that are powered by Android TV are starting to show their strength as more customized versions of Android TV - with TV manufacturers keen to include more of their own branded services and features within the Android TV ecosystem. LeEco is certainly no different and this is probably one of the most ‘skinned’ versions of Android TV that you will find included with a TV set.
First off, we are talking about Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) here and the actual interface is as you would largely expect. Although the LeEco skinning is very quickly evident by the additional LeEco row that is included front and center on the leanback launcher. Here you will find a significant number of LeEco Android TV apps installed and is the first sign of how LeEco hopes you will spend your time with this TV.
In terms of those apps, you are presented with a 'Live' app (which is largely a Le version of Live Channels), a 'Le' app (which is the main on-demand TV interface), 'LeZone' (which is a Google Play-related app and similar to the NVIDIA version you will find on the NVIDIA SHIELD) and the 'My LeEco' app - which is mainly the settings app (although the settings can also be accessed through the Le app as well). In truth, most, if not all of these apps, will not be of much use to consumers based in the US or in Europe for that matter. The content on offer is highly curated to the Chinese market and the Western content that is available, is underwhelming and dated, at best. So while LeEco is pushing its Android TV options as a gateway to its LeEco ecosystem, at present, this is not an ecosystem that will be worth picking up a Super4 X-series TV for. In addition, you do need an account to properly make use of the LeEco apps. While it is free to create an account, for access to the additional on-demand content, you will have to sign-up to a monthly fee which according to LeEco, will normally set you back $7.99 per month. Although, it does seem to be currently available for $3.99 per month.
Moving past the LeEco apps and the rest of the Android TV interface largely remains the same as what you will find on other Android TV devices, although there are a few notable differences. Firstly, and one of the most alarming is the absence of the standard update menu within the Android TV settings. It is just not there. You can click through and check out the software version and so on, but the standard ‘check for updates’ setting has been completely removed. Instead, it does seem clear that LeEco plans to provide updates through their own LeEco software update tool which you will find as part of the LeEco suite of apps on the leanback launcher home screen. So to be clear, you cannot in any way update Android TV as Android TV. Updates will have to come part and parcel with the general LeEco software update. Which does raise an immediate red flag for many reasons. Firstly, there is presumably no way to sideload an update to the LeEco Super4 X65 manually. Secondly, updates will be at the whim of LeEco and this leads us onto the next Android TV-specific concern.
As mentioned, the version of Android that comes running on the LeEco Super4 X65 is Android Marshmallow. Along with Marshmallow, the LeEco Super4 X65 came loaded with a July 2016 security level patch. Which is understandable, as it is fresh out of the box. However, since then, the TV has yet to receive an update directly and certainly not any that has improved the security level on offer. So as it stands, this is a TV set that is running a six-month old security level. Not to mention, that as the updates are presumably coming through the LeEco update tool (and not the Android TV update tool), it is somewhat unclear as to how these security updates will be applied, if at all. For instance, whether small updates (which largely include monthly security improvements) will be available or whether the TV will just be updated with the most recent version, whenever the TV main software is updated - which could be quite infrequent.
Looking past the security and update concerns though, and if just focusing on the actual Android TV experience, LeEco is on to a good thing with the LeEco Super4 X-range. The reason being is that Android TV forms the sole basis of the operating system for this TV. While the software has been highly tweaked to LeEco's liking, it is the main interface - meaning there is no dedicated LeEco software present beyond Android TV. This is not what you will find on a number of other similar Android TV products. To give you an example, SHARP’s take on Android TV sees Android TV as an additional feature. So for instance, you turn on a SHARP Android TV-powered TV and you are first presented with SHARP’s native OS interface and you then need to switch over to Android TV. With the LeEco Super4 X-range there is no switching, there is only Android TV and the direct benefit of this is that every aspect of the TV has been tuned to Android TV. It is all there and integrated into the Android operating system.
Of course, the downside with this singular OS approach is that if the Android TV chip inside does ever fail, you have no native operating system to fall back on. Your smart TV instantly becomes a dumb TV. Nevertheless, and from the Android TV perspective, this is a positive aspect of the LeEco Super4 X-range as it means Android TV is given pride of place and everything is much more intuitive. It all just works and works well. Most of it, that is. As one interesting observation is that automatic detection of physical elements like the HDMI ports is not always that reliable. As most will know, plugging a HDMI lead into a TV normally (and automatically) starts an active connection - so you immediately see the HDMI-connected device on the screen. That is not always the case with the LeEco Super4 X65 and if you connect a HDMI device, at times, you will have to navigate the menu and manually switch to the connected device.
All the issues noted here are minor points though and probably more intended for those who are specifically interested in the difference between this Android TV solution and others. At the average consumer level or for those who have never used an Android TV device before, the issues noted are not to the degree that you will find on other TVs powered by Android TV. In fact, as far as Android TV-powered TVs go, the LeEco Super4 X65 is proving to be one of the best adaptations of the Android TV platform. What it does well, it does really well and that is the main point to take from the software. This is not as capable, as open, or as user-friendly as some of the Android TV boxes, but it is certainly more capable and more user-friendly than competing TV sets that are powered by Android TV.
To cut straight to the chase and forgetting the 4K display, the performance of the LeEco Super4 X65 is likely one of the TV’s best features. It is quite impressive actually how stable Android TV runs on this device and how the TV performs in general. There are no major lagging issues noted and the TV just works very well in all respects. Of course, it should be made clear that this is a fresh TV with limited apps installed and therefore, given enough time and when housing a significant number of Android TV apps and games, it is unclear how well it will run then. Speaking of which, while this TV does come with USB support, the onboard storage is listed as 32GB although you do only end up with 22GB usable storage, out of the box. So you will likely (given enough time) will need to make use of additional external storage solutions (via adoptable storage) to house your apps and games. In terms of what you are getting when you hand your money over though, the LeEco Super4 X65 performs flawlessly.
Overall, it is difficult to say anything too negative about the LeEco Super4 X65 TV. After all, you are getting a very good interpretation of Android TV, included on a very large TV, which comes with 4K support, HDR10 support and more, and for less than $1200/$1400. In reality, you would be hard-pressed to find a TV of this quality, with these features, in this size range, at a competitive price. So there is no arguing here with the value that is on offer and put simply, you will be picking up an excellent TV for the money. However, whether you are getting the same quality, product, aftercare and experience that you would get from one of the higher-priced options is another question altogether. So while this is worth the money, at present, it is largely not comparable to other products.
What should be much more of a concern though is how LeEco is planning to approach updates with this range of TVs. As mentioned already, this particular unit came running with a July 2016 security update out of the box and that is where it has remained so far. With that in mind, it is difficult to say that this is going to be a TV that is updated regularly, let alone one which will come with the frequency of security updates that you will get from Android TV boxes like the NVIDIA SHIELD or the Nexus Player. It is just not going to happen. Which might be something that Android TV-focused customers will want to take into account before making a purchase.
Should you buy the LeEco Super4 X65?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, maybe. If you are looking for a new TV which offers a number of good features, a 4K display, Android TV functionality, and not looking to spend top money, then there is no better option currently available. However, if you are looking for a more Android TV-centric experience and especially one which comes with faster and more recent updates, then there are better options available - although you are probably then looking for an Android TV set-top box and not a TV powered by Android TV.