The Leagoo T5 is a solid budget phone with only a few drawbacks. it's definitely worth $130, but if you can spend a little more, there are better options.
Most high-end flagship smartphones now ship with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, but Leagoo has taken those specs and squished them down into a $130 package with the Leagoo T5.
This budget Android phone is surprisingly good in many ways, despite its negatives. Let’s take a closer look.
- Color: Champagne Gold or Black
- Price: $130 from Banggood at time of writing
- Dimensions: 153.3mm x 76.1mm x 7.9mm (6.04in x 3.00in x 0.31in)
- Weight: 161.5g (5.7oz)
- Processor: 1.5GHz Octa-Core MediaTek MTK6750T
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Screen: 5.5″ 1080p IPS display
- Cameras: 13MP and 5MP rear-facing cameras, and a 13MP front-facing camera
- Speakers: Single speaker on the bottom
- Battery: 3,000mAh battery, charged using microUSB
- Operating System: Leagoo OS 2.1, based on Android 7.0 Nougat
- Extras: Fingerprint scanner, headphone jack
The Leagoo T5 has a solid build. It has a metal unibody design with soft rounded edges that feel great in the hand. It’s an average size and weight for a 5.5″ phone, but the display is much better than other phones at this price range.
The 1080p IPS panel is bright and beautiful from every angle, and it even gets relatively bright for viewing in direct sunlight. If you’ve had a budget Android phone before and suffered from a 720p panel with awful viewing angles, rest assured that this is nothing like that.
Along the bottom, you’ll find the headphone jack, a single speaker, and the microUSB port. That’s right: microUSB. There’s no USB Type-C on this phone. That might be a positive or negative depending on who you are.
If you’re looking to hold onto your old microUSB cables for as long as possible, the Leagoo T5 could work for you — but if you love hopping on the newest standards, many other phones have long since upgraded to Type-C.
That lone speaker, by the way, isn’t the best. It’s sounds tinny and hollow and quiet. You shouldn’t expect much from a smartphone speaker, but you should probably expect at least a little better than this.
On its right side, you’ll find the power button and volume rocker. The left side is completely bare aside from the microSD card and Nano SIM card slot. It can actually be a dual-SIM phone, but then you can’t use a microSD card. The second slot functions as either a microSD card reader or a Nano SIM reader.
There’s a fingerprint sensor along the bottom, but it’s not the quickest. There’s a noticeable delay between pressing your thumb to it and having the screen actually turn on. Plus, there’s no way to customize what it does, like you can with the OnePlus 5 (for example, long-pressing it to turn off the screen).
Overall, the hardware here is very good for a $130 phone; it definitely doesn’t feel like you’re using a cheap device.
The Leagoo T5 has some surprisingly high specs for its cameras. The rear has both a 13MP shooter and a 5MP one — though the 5MP is just for capturing clearer photos and better low-light photos. The f/2.0 aperture isn’t the best on a smartphone, but for this price range, it’s alright.
Perhaps most surprising is the 13MP front-facing camera, which takes much better photos than any other sub-$200 phone. That being said, it does take a while to focus and seems to have trouble adapting quickly when lighting changes around you. Still, it has a front-facing flash, which could really come in handy.
It has several different modes for taking photos, including a weird one called “pose” – where it just superimposes the outline of someone posing over whatever you’re taking a photo of — presumably so that you can instruct the person you’re taking a photo of to mimic the outlined pose?
Regardless, the rest of the modes are pretty lackluster. “Child” allows you to play goofy sounds before taking a photo. “SLR” is not a professional shooting mode; rather, it just blurs out a perfect circle around whatever your subject is, which looks very odd if your subject is not a perfect circle.
And while most other cameras use HDR by default when the sense the lighting requires it, the T5 has its own HDR mode. So maybe stay away from the extra modes and just appreciate that relatively crisp 13MP camera in Normal mode.
The Leagoo T5 runs the aptly-named Leagoo OS 2.1, which is a customized version of Android 7.0 Nougat. Essentially what that means is that it runs a custom launcher, it has a tweaked notification shade, and it has some extra features in the Settings menu.
As you can see, the homescreen/launcher looks a lot more like iOS than Android with the large colorful buttons (except for the internet Explorer logo for the Browser app).
Weirdly, though, the apps are still just stock Android apps. While other manufacturers make their own custom Phone app, Messaging app, Calculator app, etc., Leagoo has decided just to stick with the classic Android apps.
The effect is that the phone doesn’t feel fully Android or iOS, and you end up feeling kinda squished in between them. But, it does mean that you can at least substitute in a custom launcher and use it like a nearly-stock Android phone.
However, Leagoo has kept around some of the older stock apps that don’t exist in newer version of stock Android. Gallery, Browser, and Email are all still here — even though they’ve long since been replaced by Google Photos, Chrome, and Gmail on most other versions of Android.
If you like these older apps, this is great news for you! But if you were happy to see them die, you’ll be disappointed to know that you can’t uninstall or disable them in the Settings. You’ll just have to ignore them. That’s inconvenient, but not the end of the world.
In another nod to iOS, you can swipe down on the homescreen to search for things on your device — similar to Spotlight on the iPhone. It’s not nearly as fluid or quick as it is on iOS, though.
If you head into the Settings app, you’ll notice that the icons along the left are a bit more colorful than they normally are in stock Android. There aren’t a whole lot of other customizations here aside from Leagoo’s “Intelligence Assistant”.
In this menu, you can toggle on or off a few little tricks. Pocket Mode automatically turns up your volume when your device is in your pocket. You can rearrange the Back and Recents keys on your navigation bar. And you can toggle the ability to hide the Nav Bar (which is a feature I haven’t seen in other versions of Android).
You can also use double-tap-to-wake, though there’s no double-tap-to-sleep — or you can enable some gestures, like launching the phone app by drawing a “c” on the screen while the phone is off. These gestures work, but they’re slow, and if your phone is locked, you’ll need to unlock it anyway.
The only other major thing that Leagoo has added is, well, their own app store. It’s just called “App Store”, and it’s a painfully identical copy of the Google Play Store. You could use it, but the Play Store is really the best app store there is, and there are other alternatives that still beat Leagoo’s offering.
Aside from all of that, this is Android as you know and love it. You can multitask by tapping the Recents key, use split screen mode by holding the Recents key, use Google Assistant, etc.
Powered by a MediaTek processor, the Leagoo T5 is by no means the fastest phone on the market — but it’s certainly fast enough. It’s generally snappy and responsive, with only limited amounts of lag here and there. That 4GB of RAM certainly helps with the multitasking, and 64GB of storage means you won’t be struggling to save photos anytime soon (and you could always add more with a microSD card).
Still, the MediaTek processor can’t compare to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in the OnePlus 5 or other high-end phones. But for $130, nobody is expecting that kind of performance.
One important thing to note, however, is that the Leagoo T5 can’t reach 4G LTE speeds in the US. In most other parts of the world, it would work great, but Americans are out of luck thanks to its particular set of LTE bands (which are bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 20).
With a 3,000mAh battery, the Leagoo T5 is pretty average in terms of battery life. It will probably get you through a day, but definitely not two. I managed to squeeze 4-5 hours of screen-on-time out of it on most days.
Charging isn’t super fast — a full charge can take around 2 hours. Plus, as mentioned earlier, it uses micro-USB instead of USB Type-C, so you’ll have the endure the struggle of not having a reversible charging cable.
Should You Buy The Leagoo T5?
If you’re looking for a super cheap smartphone, the Leagoo T5 is certainly worth your consideration. Just be aware of its drawbacks. It’s not water resistant, it still uses microUSB, it has a weird iOS-like version of Android, it has weak audio, and it has average battery life.
However, it does have a gorgeous screen, the build quality is fantastic, and the cameras are surprisingly good. Depending on your needs, the Leagoo T5 could either be a mediocre phone, or a fantastic phone.