Each manufacturer has its own imaginations about a flagship. If it’s a small company, the flagships it comes in with will have humble features. If we are talking about a top brand, it should release a device packed with all the latest innovations concerning the design, hardware, and software. In this sense, the Chinese smartphone makers are confused. On the one hand, they should pack their phones with more powerful hardware to attract customers. But on the other hand, the price tags of their phones should be affordable. In this sense, seems Xiaomi is the only brand launching great devices with respectable hardware at the lowest prices.
Although the Meizu N6 Note released recently was priced lower than the Mi 5Xthat’s the most acceptable rival of it. Well, there are more or less popular brands in the world. But what about those that are trying to find their place under the sun. Say, what about Leagoo? We have been following this brand for a while, and we know it has a smartphone for all occasions. It has released the T1 to fight against the Oppo F1, M5 as the first shockproof pure metal phone, M5 Plus as the best ultra-budget phablet, M8, T1 Plus, and many other devices for different markets. As for now, we are going to review another flagship carrying this brand. The Leagoo T5 has been released a few months back. And we have had too much time to test it and understand why it is considered as company’s flagship, what features it comes with and why you should buy it.
- OS: LEAGOO OS 3.0 (Android 7.0)
- CPU: MediaTek MTK6750T
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Display: 5.5-inch IPS (1,920 x 1,080)
- LTE Band: 1/3/5/7/8/20
- Wireless connectivity: 802.11 b / g / N, Bluetooth 4.0
- Camera: 13MP / 13MP + 5MP
- Battery: 3,000mAh
- Dimensions and weight: 153 × 76.1 × 7.9 mm / 161.5 g
First, let’s see what’s in the box. There are not many extras, but the box includes everything you need. You can find the phone itself, the user guide, the USB cable, the wall adapter, a free clear silicone case, and a free screen protector.
This is a metal unibody handset looking like a high-end smartphone. Generally, Chinese smartphones come with gorgeous appearance, and the Leagoo T5 is no exception. Though we are dealing with a budget device, its design has nothing common with the pricing. Not surprisingly, its body is made of aluminum alloy. It passes a sandblasting process, 120 steps and more than 180 hours of crafting.
The back panel consists of three parts, but as the build quality is at the highest level, the rear of the phone looks like as one. Moreover, the frame is made of metal as well, and it matches perfectly with the body due to advanced CNC crafting along with two antenna ribbons.
The Leagoo T5 features a 5.5-inch Full HD display supplied by Sharp. It’s a great screen using IPS technology and providing a viewing angle up to 178 degrees, 97% of NTSC color saturation, and 1500:1 of contrast ratio. Like the back side, the front panel uses 2.5D arc technology for better ergonomics. It’s very important for phablets (the Leagoo T5 belongs to this category) because if the edges and corners are not rounded, it’s very uncomfortable for single-hand operations. At last, the screen is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This is not the latest version of this technology, but it protects the phone from scratches. The digitizer works well, as we didn’t experience any bugs during the tests.
There is a 13MP front shooter located above the screen. Seems nothing interesting, but it comes our way from OmniVision. Thus it is capable of providing great selfies and purest video calls. This sensor uses f/2.0 aperture, 5P-lens, 1/3.06-inch of sensor size, 1.12um of pixel size, 77.9 degrees of wide angle, and thanks to the special softlight next to the speaker it takes breathtaking shots.
The Android capacitive buttons are placed on the screen area, while the physical home button is below the display. It works as a fingerprint sensor as well. It’s one of the best fingerprints sensors found on Chinese smartphones providing 0.1 seconds when unlocking the phone or taking photos. This sensor supports up to 4 fingerprints, 360 degrees of readability, and Smart Touch technology. The latter has a separate ISP put for storing and processing fingerprints only. It also learns your habits and provides a better experience over time. Unfortunately, there is no NFC, so this feature can’t be used for mobile payments.
As usual, the volume rocker and the power button are on the right-hand side.
The SIM card tray is on the left. There are two slots for SIM cards, and both of them support 4G FDD LTE. However, as an unlocked GSM phone, the Leagoo T5 will work in many regions around the world but not in the US. Anyway, thanks to LTE Cat.6 protocol the download speed can reach up to 300Mbps. It also supports VoLTE.
The bottom side carries a 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB port for charging and data transfer, a microphone hole for noise reduction, and the only speaker.
Though there is only one speaker, the Leagoo T5 really is great at a sound. Thanks to the Awinic audio chip, this handset provides an audio experience close to Hi-Fi. The sound quality reaches up to 97Db signal-to-noise ratio and 0.008% distortion. So the audio performance is acceptable and it’s the way better than the same feature on many stereo devices.
The back of the Leagoo T5 carries the company’s logo in the middle, and the dual-camera module in the top left corner next to the rear-facing LED flash.
Finally, the phone is very light-weight if taking into account its dimensions and body material, 161.5 grams. It is also very thin in comparison to other models from the same range, 7.9mm. The company offers two color options – obsidian black and champagne gold.
If you are a heavy user, this phone is not for you, because the Leagoo T5 sports a MediaTek MT6750T chip paired with a 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage (both are supplied by Samsung). However, the MediaTek MT6750T is an octa-core chip accompanied with a Mali T-860 GPU. In comparison to the previous MT SoCs, this one comes with an improved performance of 25% and increased power saving of 30%. This means the chip is capable of handling most tasks like browsing, emails, messages, streaming music and video, and even games without a hitch for the most part. So, if you avoid of opening many apps at the same time, the phone will provide a smooth and stable performance. But if you act in this way, some lags will appear during the operations.
Recently we were reviewing the Umidigi Crystal packed with the same chip and the same set of memory. But the Leagoo T5 seems to provide better performance. Of course, benchmarks are only a glimpse at what real-world performance is like. So the best way to understand how a certain phone/SoC behaves in the real life is by using it day in and day out for a few days/weeks. However, below is the AnTuTu result.
Leagoo is one of the Chinese companies that are working on their own UI. Though they have much work to be done, the software on this phone looks pretty nice. I would like to say it’s the Leagoo 3.0 OS, but the company promotes this phones as a Leagoo 2.1 OS –powered device. So, I am a confused a little. Anyway, we know it’s based on Android 7.0.
The phone provides smooth performance due to this software and the chip it comes with. There are some optimizations made especially for this phone. They are not unique and can be found on other phones from the same niche, but we like to see them there. We like the Pocket Mode, which allows the volume to increase when it is in the pocket. Users can also rearrange the navigation bar order, tap screen with three fingers to take screenshots, swipe down on the home screen to bring the device-wide search for apps and other things, swipe up to get the menu for changing the wallpaper/theme/transition effect and many more. This UI also allows changing the temperature color of the display to make the colors warmer or colder.
The battery on the Leagoo T5 is what made us disappointed too much. It is equipped with a 3000mAh battery, and though the manufacturer tries to show it’s enough for a daily use, we got other results. According to Leagoo this battery should provide about 10 days of standby time, 36 hours of normal use, 20 hours of continuous calling, and 8 hours of video playback. But we have tested it via PCMark, and the results were unsatisfactory. First, if you are a heavy user, the phone will require a charging after 5 hours. But if you do not on your phones constantly throughout the day the phone will stay alive 36 hours. Shortly, the average use of the Leagoo T5 will last 26 hours on a single charge.
As for charging, this device supports 5V2A quick charge technology, which means it will charge to 35% in 30 minutes.
There is a dual-camera on the back. One of the lenses comes at the same size as the front shooter, but it’s supplied by Sony. However, the all characteristics are the same – f/2.0 aperture, autofocus of 0.1s, 5P lens, and pixel size of 1.12um. the second sensor is at 5MP and it’s supplied by OmniVision.
As for camera app, there are plenty of modes you can choose from when shooting. Though there is no Pro mode, the rest of modes are what we need – HDR mode, SLR mode, panorama mode, modes for adding watermarks to your images, beauty mode, a child mode, a night mode, and a pose mode. There is a special button in the normal mode allowing users to switch between color shots and black & white.
Color reproduction of the pictures is good but not great. However, even in good lighting conditions, there is some noise in the images. So they look a bit grainy. As for night time photos, the camera is capable of taking some decent shots, though it could be better.
- Great build quality
- Good camera options
- Acceptable performance
- Slim and lightweight
- Good audio
- Battery life
- No NFC
The Bottom Line
In comparison to the top brands, this phone should be considered as an entry-level smartphone. A Snapdragon chip could save the day, but it lacks. There are too many features lacking we’d like to see. But the fact is that the Leagoo T5 provides smooth and stable performance, sports a good front shooter with a flash light, a dual-camera taking satisfactory photos, features a Full HD screen, supports 4G LTE, and many more. And all you have to pay is $200. It turns out you get your hands on a mid-class smartphone with many attractive features for a song.