We’re always skeptical about Chinese products re-branded and brought to India, and Yureka, the first smartphone from Micromax’s subsidiary brand, Yu, was a rebranded Coolpad F2. It received a great response for what it offered for the price, but the criticism it faced wasn’t less, for doing nothing new or special, for except for the deal with Cyanogen for its ROM.
Yuphoria, the newly launched smartphone from Yu, is not an upgrade from Yureka, but a variant that is priced lesser, and has no matching specs. There’s a different set of competitors it stands against, and the assembling of the device in India makes it a favorite for many already, even before the sales have actually begun. Talking of specs, it has a 5-inch 720p display, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor along with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. On the camera aspect, this comes with an 8MP rear and a 5MP front-facing shooter, but the biggest focus here is on the design part.
Design, Form Factor
First off, for the screen size of 5-inch, this isn’t a compact device. Just to compare, the Mi 4i from Xiaomi feels better with the size. But, Yureka had a very bad build quality with improperly placed buttons. Everything is different, refreshing and positive in Yuphoria. The metal side frame of the device hosts chrome buttons, with an arrangement of power button between the volume rocker buttons, which might initially confuse the users, but the raised volume buttons will be easy to recognise with regular use.
While we might feel that the metal with sharpish edges would’ve given the phone a much better feel, having such a build quality and feel for this price is commendable. The speaker grill is located towards the bottom on the back of the phone.
There’s an inspiration for the design? Certainly, drawn from the Lumia 830 from Nokia. But that is limited to the back area, as the Saturn Ring (that’s what Yu calls it) on the back around the camera, makes it as big a module entirely as the camera module on the Lumia 830 was. Though, the Moto X 2nd gen had its Dual LED flash units on a similar ring around the camera, and we see the single LED light similarly placed in the Yuphoria.
The back cover is removable, and the plastic back exposes the replaceable battery, as well as the Dual SIM card slots, and a MicroSD card slot for storage expansion. Interestingly what Yu has concentrated on, is with the symmetrical design – the MicroUSB port in the bottom centre, headset jack on the top centre, and both of them having a plastic area with differentiating color. Else, the entire side frame of the Yuphoria is a metallic one.
The bezels around the display aren’t thin, and although there is a space below the display for navigation buttons, Cyanogen OS 12 doesn’t seem to provide the option to switch between on-screen and hardware buttons. All in all, although this might be an inspired design, taking a lot from Lumia devices, we won’t compare, and Yu has actually done some good job with the design of Yuphoria.
A 720p resolution display again, but the good thing is, it is a 5-inch screen here. The pixel density gets better, at 294 PPI, making it just a bit sharper but not any better in terms of viewing angles, color saturation and touch response. Except that the blue domination that was noticed in Yureka, is apparently not seen here.
Viewing angles are just decent, and the readability under sunlight is good. Though, the adaptive brightness feature might have to be turned on for a better view. The display is little reflective, but won’t make the reading experience any different. In fact, when Yureka had a good display, no big changes were needed and thus, Yuphoria has a decent display.
Cyanogen OS 12 is what one can call a strong reason for people to choose this smartphone, over a few others in this price range. To be clear, this isn’t as swift the CyanogenMod on Yureka was, before the Cyanogen OS 12 came in, with some bugs that are known to the users now, but aren’t totally fixed. You have to live with them, and the interface doesn’t match up to what it was on CyanogenMod 11s, though we feel this is temporary.
But, hasn’t Cyanogen’s ROM been one of the favorites for who used it on any device? you’ll feel at home with Yuphoria in this case, as the customization options are well there for the better experience, and there are no unnecessary apps pre-installed in this. As mentioned above, there’s no way you can choose between on-screen and off-screen navigation buttons, and it is only on the screen. Though, for the on-screen buttons, there are ways to choose what buttons to add to the current ones, and change the position of them. Another Cyanogen-exclusive feature is option to change power menu.
The Android Lollipop based Cyanogen OS has almost the same notification and quick settings area, and the latter has options for connectivity, Flashlight, Battery setting (Balanced, Performance and Power save), AudioFX, Compass and a few more. Even when there are no notifications, reaching the quick settings need double drag-down.
There are quite a lot more settings, reason why we are still calling Cyanogen ROM as one of the best for Android, as whatever is being given, doesn’t affect the performance as they don’t contain any heavy animations, but aid in making the experience better.
Quite a performer this, the Yuphoria powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, Adreno 306 GPU and the 2GB of RAM. 64-bit optimized, it doesn’t tend to slow down or show lags while gaming, the issues aren’t a blame at the processor, but at the operating system.
We threw most of the top-end games at it, and the performance was all good with rarely a lag noticed, or a frame drop. For a comparison, it was quite similar on the Lenovo A6000 and Xiaomi Redmi 2, when we talk of gaming performance. But, it is Redmi 2, Yuphoria, and Lenovo A6000 in decreasing order when temperatures are taken into account after about 45 minutes of gaming. Yuphoria doesn’t heat up as much as Redmi 2 did, but the screen area gets much hotter than the back of the phone.
The MIUI on Redmi 2 has some animations in the UI that tend to show it slower than what it should have been, but the Cyanogen OS, if not those bugs, is usually pacy and good.
One of the major advantages of the Yuphoria over its competition in this price (except the A6000 Plus), is the 2GB of RAM, of which, over 1GB is usually available when no apps are running. It does help in keeping the apps running in the background, without the need for always killing them to free some RAM.
Camera, Capture Samples
There’s an 8-megapixel camera on the back of the device, with the LED flash located on the Saturn ring around the lens. While the capture quality is good and as expected for an 8MP shooter, it isn’t able to beat the capture quality of the Redmi 2’s camera. This is much comparable to the cameras of Lenovo A6000 on bright light but on low light conditions, we struggled a lot to focus on the objects.
Natural light captures
Low light conditions
The problem with Cyanogen’s camera app its speed. The focusing is noticeably slow and at times, focus doesn’t get set at all. Similar to all the Cyanogen based phones earlier, swiping up/down in the camera app switches between the various effects.
2330 mAh battery, not very much different from the competition, with both, capacity as well as the performance. It struggles to get you through the day, if the screen-on time exceeds 3 hours 30 minutes, else for a standby, this is very good a device for regular use.
The device was getting heated up on video calling using Skype, and the battery drain was too quick during that time. For a normal user who is more into calling, needs a neat interface and does occasional browsing, Yuphoria can easily last for over a day.
On the connectivity side, the Yuphoria supports 4G LTE connectivity, and the 4G LTE worked quite well, comparable to what we see on Samsung Galaxy A5. The signal reception is good, and the video calling on Wi-Fi worked well, and it is quite dependent on the network availability for 4G.
Supporting 4G LTE on both the SIM cards is an added advantage, for those looking at it. Though, the 4G network we used this on, doesn’t support calls on that network, thus on 3G the calling was without a problem or unnecessary drops.
This is one such competitive range, Rs. 6000 to Rs. 9000, and Yuphoria sits right at top, alongside a couple others. Lenovo A7000, A6000 Plus, and Xiaomi’s Redmi 2 have a tough contender in Yu Yuphoria, as this is a perfectly built device with good internal specs, though the camera and battery department don’t hold an edge here.
Yu has made sure there are no woes about the RAM and storage availability, and the symmetrical design with a good display makes this much better than the rest.