Update, 7 March 2017: In order to figure out whether this was an isolated case or not, I requested a second review unit. I took delivery of the second unit last month, using it sparingly over a period of two to three weeks (I left the phone at home for a week in February when I travelled overseas).
However, Friday 3 March saw a dodgy notification popping up once again, after several days of using the handset. Holding down on the notification showed that the file manager was to blame again. Check out the screenshots below.
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Update, 1 February 2017: Takealot has told Gearburn that it will be delisting the phone while supplier Pinnacle sorts out the issue.
“As with all our products, we specifically state that the device must be fit for purpose before it goes on sale, which it seems is not the case with this device — as a result we’ve chosen to de-list the phone from our cellular department until the supplier can confirm that these errors have been rectified and we can be sure that we’re offering a quality, reliable product to Takealot customers,” the company wrote in an emailed response.
For what it’s worth, we since ran a scan with Kaspersky and didn’t find anything. We then uninstalled Kaspersky and reinstalled AVG, and it didn’t turn up any threats either. Strange.
Original: LeEco is considered by many to be the Netflix of China but, since 2015, the brand has been releasing smartphones as well. So we were rather excited to see Takealot stocking the mid-range LeEco Le 2 handset.
We quickly moved to get our hands on a review unit, and our first impressions are that this might be the best value for money phone since the Redmi Note 3 (review). There’s a powerful Snapdragon 652 chip, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a relatively good 16-megapixel main camera.
But there is one concerning issue we’ve spotted (aside from the obvious lack of a headphone jack), and that’s the presence of some dodgy ads.
We noticed adult-related adverts/potential adware in the notification area — although I can’t quite pinpoint exactly when this started.
Could it be from an app we installed? Well, we have indeed installed a few apps, but this was limited to well-known apps from the Play Store. These were namely Antutu Benchmark, Antutu 3D Benchmark, Antutu Officer, BlackPlayer, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, MX Player, Oceanhorn, Sky Dancer and Twitter.
Of course, we can simply press and hold on the ad in question, revealing that it (seemingly) stems from the… file manager?
Tapping the ad doesn’t seem to actually do anything (we wouldn’t advise it anyway) and visiting the file manager doesn’t turn up any advertisements.
In any event, we then installed AVG from the Google Play Store, which found that the file manager and the UC Browser app were dodgy. Strange.
In an emailed response to Gearburn, local distributor Pinnacle said it was the first time they’ve heard of this issue and that they’ve received no complaints from clients.
“We would need to test the unit to understand how it happened, and how to fix it,” a representative added.