Prices are crashing, and Leagoo has entered the arena with the ultra-budget Leagoo M5. For an incredibly low $69.99 we get a 720P display, 2GB RAM, and 16GB storage, from a brand with a long history in consumer electronics.
But, can we really spend a mere $70 and have a phone worth using? Let’s delve in and see where the Leagoo M5 hits.
UPDATE: For the next 17 hours (From 13:30GMT / 09:30EST) the Leagoo M5 has crashed to an incredible $59.49 shipped.
Euro / UK NOTE: You may need to visit the sales link from a desktop browser to see Euro / UK warehouse options
In some areas Leagoo M5 surpasses phones costing far more money.
Leagoo M5 review OS stability
We had some issues with the first ROM on the phone, but after trying both older ROMs and the latest 20160909 ROM, the phone has had no stability issues.
Leagoo M5 review OS fluidity and notes
If we look 2 years back at what was on the table, you’d see the MTK6582. This SoC, along with MTK6592 really helped bring China phones to the mainstream.
MediaTek MTK has given the MTK6582 new life in MTK6580. MTK6580 carries the same ARM cores and same GPU as MT6582, but with chip architecture improvements and a new kernel to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
When the phone is running very CPU intensive tasks, such as compiling code when downloading or updating apps, there are some slow downs, but otherwise the MT6580 runs the Leagoo M5 without any issues.
- System animations and transitions are generally very fluid
- Recent app switcher scrolls super quick and fluid
- Switching between apps in memory is quick
- Flipping about phone settings, home screens is super quick and fluid
- Quick typing in Google Keyboard is fluid and without stutters or pause
- Google Play Store working without issue
- Latest ROM carries September 5th security patch from Google
- Deep sleeping without issue (see full day battery test below)
System fluidity wise, the Leagoo M5, when it’s not bogged down with CPU intensive tasks, is generally as quick as phones costing much more.
Leagoo M5 style and build
The Leagoo M5 carries 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4, which looks great on the gold version of the M5. Other than the back piece, the M5 mostly looks premium, with nice lines along the sides and classy minimalist capacitive buttons.
Leagoo M5 RAM and ROM
RAM on the Leagoo M5 is a healthy 2GB. This is plenty for general multi-tasking and running the system smoothly. Storage is 16GB, with 10GB left for user use. Users can add a TF SD to expand storage.
Leagoo M5 Antutu
- Total: 23824
- 3D: 889
- UX: 9312
- CPU: 9480
- RAM: 4143
While the Leagoo M5 Antutu benchmark doesn’t blow us away, as mentioned above it’s easily enough to run Android smoothly. Overall it’s a significantly quicker and smoother experience than Snapdragon 615 which is in the previously reviewed Redmi 3 and Innos D6000.
Leagoo M5 Asphalt 8
We didn’t expect a lot in terms of 3D performance, but the Leagoo M5 handled Asphalt 8 no problem. Great in fact, at a smooth 30fps (default settings), and with a low CPU load.
Yes, GPU, not CPU, will mainly be pushing the graphics, but it’s nice to know the vast majority of CPU is left to take care of background tasks while playing.
Leagoo M5 review display
One of the highlights is the Leagoo M5 display. It’s incredibly bright at 406lux at 100%. At it’s dimmest M5 goes down to 19lux. With adaptive brightness engaged, dimness hits an excellently dim 9lux.
- Colors are nicely saturated and have great pop
- Shimmer is kept very low
- Extreme angle viewing is great
- There is no pixel light bleed from the corners
- Even brightness across the frame
This display is a couple of steps up from the more expensive Ulefone Metal, and probably a step up from the Redmi 3 as well.
not only is the speaker loud, it also carries depth and clarity
Leagoo M5 battery charging
Charging on the M5 from dead to 90% takes about 2 hours, with charging slowing considerably once hitting 90%.
Leagoo M5 SOT screen on time battery life
we achieved an excellent 6 hours 11 minutes SOT over a period of 25 hours
Running the Leagoo M5 through our standard 720p/WiFi/YouTube/140lux battery screen on time SOT battery life test, the Leagoo M5 lasted an even 4 hours.
Interestingly, using the mobile as we typically would, which includes chat, Facebook, web browsing, a few app installs, and flipping about the phone, at lowish brightness, we achieved an excellent 6 hours 11 minutes SOT over a period of 25 hours. This is a great result, and well beyond our expectations, especially after seeing the 4 hour HD video RUN mentioned above.
Assuming similar use, it means the average user should easily get a full 24 hour day or more out of the Leagoo M5.
Leagoo M5 WiFi
WiFi on the Leagoo M5 is mediocre, reaching about 70ft / 21m from a standard $20 WiFi home router, with a cinder block wall between the two, before becoming unstable.
This is about half as far as what we consider excellent and should be sufficient for almost all users in home / business / cafe situations.
Leagoo M5 root
Rooting the Leagoo M5 is a simple process if you know how to flash phones. We’ve made a newbie MediaTek root guide with the TWRP download here (opens in new tab).
Though we haven’t tested it yet, there’s also a CM13 CyanogenMod custom ROM available for Leagoo M5.
Leagoo M5 GPS
GPS on the Leagoo M5 is good. It locks within seconds and maintains at least several satellites in the high 20’s to mid 30’s at all times.
Leagoo M5 camera picture samples
The camera on the Leagoo M5 is mediocre, but capable of decent images. Sharpness at distances suffers and low light shots are to be avoided. But, color is quite good, generally images in good light of objects up close look good, and typical scenery shots in good light look good at social sharing sizes.
The photos are unedited other than resize. The last photo of the cat is a big crop, and resize. Image #4 is HDR.
Leagoo M5 fingerprint sensor
The fingerprint sensor on the Leagoo M5 is working without issue, allowing for easy scan-ins. In addition, we can scan in from screen off / deep sleep. Note that using the fingerprint sensor can sometimes cause battery drain.
Leagoo M5 Frequency support
- 2G GMS: 850/900/1800/1900
- 3G WCDMA: 850/1900/2100
This makes the Leagoo M5 a great budget choice for the Americas (850/1900) and Asia (850/2100), with 3G working in the majority of Europe and UK (2100). 2G is worldwide.
Leagoo M5 review external speaker
The M5 speaker is a true gem. Powered by the Awinic A7 sound chip, not only is the speaker loud, it also carries depth and clarity, sounding as good and better than many phones far more expensive.
Leagoo M5 review conclusion summary
Mediocre WiFi distance strength, mediocre camera, no OTG or compass, and no LTE are things to consider.
However, the Leagoo M5 brilliantly makes up for these negatives with a great display, shockingly good speaker, good GPS strength, slick looks, and 2.5D front glass. We were also very impressed with 6 hours onscreen time over a full 24 hour period. In some areas Leagoo surpasses phones costing far more money.
To top it off, Leagoo M5 comes with a very healthy 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, is dual-SIM + TF SD expandable, and has an easily removable/replaceable battery.
While there are a couple of concessions, overall Leagoo did an outstanding job putting the M5 together to create a $69.99 mobile. The Leagoo M5 is an easy phone to recommend. If you missed the $59 sale, it’s still an excellent bargain mobile at $69 and should be snatched up if you’re in the market.