YU Televentures, new brainchild of Rahul Sharma, the Co-founder of Micromax, has done some of the amazing tasks that no mobile startup has done so far. Within the span of six months of its existence in India, company has revealed four smartphones. The latest in the market is Yu Yunique, which was launched last week and has already gone on its first sale yesterday. We haven’t been able to review it before sale because we wanted to take time by using it for at least a week as our daily driver, so that we could do justice to the device. It has been more than a week now, and we are ready to take you on the ride for YU Yunique detailed look.
The new Yunique smartphone carry forward the design aesthetics of its bigger sibling, Yuphoria. You’ll be confused if it’s a mini variant of Yuphoria that you’re looking at or entirely a different phone. Sporting the same design, when you minus the metallic side from Yuphoria, you’ll get Yunique.
Coming to the talk of ports placement, the power button placement is similar as well, you get power buttons between the volume rocker buttons. It would be quite confusing at first, but after a couple of attempts you’ll get familiar and would like the placements. The device is quite small in size, though, which makes it pretty easy to reach to the buttons while holding on one hand.
While holding the device one has to be careful with their fingers as they might land on rear camera lens, leaving smudges. The back cover has a smooth surface and, of course, it is plastic. Expect smudges on the back panel of device. The rear camera module has the same Saturn Ring design that was seen on the Yuphoria, as well as the same speaker grill placement with YU branding on bottom. Note that the battery is non-removable on the Yunique smartphone. The SIM 1 and SIM 2 slots are given on the back cover as well as microSD card slot too. Overall, the design is quite excellent for a 5K priced smartphone, as well as it is pretty sturdy for a cheap phone. It feels quite light when compared with other smartphones in the same range.
The company claims their Yunique device is world’s most affordable HD (720p) display smartphone. We know that complaining about the display on a budget smartphone is not exactly the right thing. But fortunately on this device, the 4.7-inch screen with 1280 x 720 resolutions is quite brilliant. Unlike other Yu devices, it doesn’t have that excessive blue shade reflecting from display, which is a good thing. More importantly, the display is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, which is rare amongst the budget range of smartphones. I felt the display was more smudgy than the back panel.
The good resolution on a small display means you get sharp image output as well as good color accuracy. The brightness level on the display is quite good under artificial light. Though, i cannot say that for when it was brought under sunlight. As not much was clearly visible on it. Overall, the viewing angles are quite satisfiable though.
Talking about the media consumption on the device, it is not an ideal device to view movies, but the casual YouTube videos would look quite good on them. It would take a couple of seconds to load 720p videos, but once started you’ll like what’s playing on the display. Overall, the display is good, and it is as best as it gets for a 5K pricing.
The device runs on Android Lollipop 5.1.1 which is out of the box version. You won’t find the Cyanogen OS here as default operating system, and we thought it was a good decision by the company. Even though, the company had an exclusive partnership with Cyanogen OS; the YU could have gone with custom OS.
The almost-unmodified version of Android Lollipop is quite snappy in performance, all thanks to the combination of 64-bit chipset and 64-bit Architecture support of OS. We prefer stock Android experience over any custom OS and if you too, then you’re in for a treat. Otherwise, if you like to customize the features a lot, then you still can install the Cyanogen OS on the Yunique. As company offers FOTA for CM 12.1, which is based on latest version of Android Lollipop.
Coming back to the talk of OS on Yunique, there are no bloatware present on the device except for the default apps for email, video, file manager, etc. There are not much customization features on the UI in terms of gestures, buttons, display, etc. But you can do a lot of changes in terms of appearance with a YUniverse app that lets you change themes, and many other things.
Talking about the internal storage out of the box, the device comes with around 5GB of storage space out of 8GB internal storage. Though, you won’t have storage woes, as it supports microSD card slot and USB OTG. We have even tested the OTG drive whether it was actually working or not. And it was working quite well.
Hardware & Performance
Yunique packs decent hardware internals such as 1GB of RAM, Snapdragon 410 chipset, which is accompanied by Adreno 306 GPU. These combinations of hardware are sufficient for day-to-day usage and thus making it quite the fast phone. We didn’t notice any animation lags, as well as haven’t experienced any app crashes on the system. It was all well and good when the performance comes into play.
Now that we have moved to the performance let’s talk about my gaming experience on this device. Overall, it was pretty good, the graphic heavy games such as Riptide GP 2 and Dead Trigger played nice and smooth. The SD 410 is an intense graphic processor that can handle heavy fps (frame per seconds).
Though, when it comes to multitasking between the games and apps, the device takes the break, as it has only 1GB RAM support, out of that only 380MB RAM was available as free. Do the maths, there would hardly any RAM left if one tries to launch more than ten apps including games. The system will automatically close some apps whenever you try to initiate any new app.
The benchmark scores of the Yunique are 18763 in Antutu, 1514 for browser test, 580 for Metal, and 1020 for Multicore operation test on Vellamo app. We also tested the browsing capabilities of the device on Google Chrome. The results were pretty good, as the pinch to Zoom-in and zoom-out worked perfectly.
The heating issue is not present on the device for normal usage, but if you’re a heavy user, then you’ll definitely notice some degrees increasing on the screen. The display got heated up a lot when I was using the camera app and played couple minutes of YouTube videos. As I said it is not a device for heavy media consumption when I talked about display, now it has been proved by the performance of the device. Overall, it offers one of the best configurations among the affordable smartphones.
The Yunique comes with an 8-megapixel shooter on the rear while 2-megapixel snapper on the front. It is the similar configuration like Yuphoria. Both the modules are capable of getting impressive shots, but rear cam particularly is a good. There are not many devices even in the affordable range that can offer such beautiful images.
The HDR mode allows you to capture more details while in auto mode we thought there was an issue of over saturation as the images seemed white washed, therefore, less detail captured in Auto mode. If you’re getting this device, I’ll recommend that you go for HDR mode as much as possible to get clearer shots. There are various other modes available in camera app such as portrait, landscape, sports, flower, candlelight, etc.
The camera app is quite easy to control and move around. There is a shutter button, video/photo/Panorama button, and gallery view option on right side of the screen when the phone is held in landscape mode. While the modes and other settings of camera app can be accessed from the set of options, present on the left side of the screen. Though, the big let down is the focusing issue, which was also present on the Yuphoria. The camera tend to struggle with focusing when ever you tap on screen to get focus at required object. It’s a bit irritating while capturing a photo.
The rear camera is capable of recording Full HD (1080p) video content. I was impressed with the quality of its video recording; it wasn’t showing complete details, but there was sufficient enough matter recorded. You can proudly share that video content on Facebook and Twitter, even on Periscope if you’re a user there. But I wouldn’t recommend that you upload videos to YouTube using the camera of this phone. Because it’s not that crisp content.
Talking about the front facing camera, it is as best as you can get on any affordable budget smartphone. You can surely click selfie during daylight, but don’t expect much when you’re out with family for dinner. It isn’t a good snapper for a family selfie at the dinner table.
Most of the smartphones that pack SD 410 processor have good battery life. Although, we thought it was not that good on its bigger sibling, the Yuphoria, which struggled to last the day. Whereas it’s quite opposite here, the Yunique lasted for quite a time during my recent day usage as a daily driver. With small in size, the company could only manage 2000mAh non-removable battery capacity on the device.
There is no Quick Charging on the device, although, the Snapdragon processor on the device does support Quick Charge up to 2.0. It takes device more than two and half hours to charge from zero to hundred percent. That’s quite slow.
The best screen-on-time of the device that we were able to achieve was not more than five hours. That’s when the battery percentage was below 5%. It was over the period of more than 24 hours. The most interesting thing was that there was only 1% drop in battery life when the device was in an idle state during the night, which was around 6-7 hours. I did more than average usage over the above interval, played games for at least 45 minutes. While other time spent went on surfing the apps. The battery on Yunique showed us some interesting stats.
I would have said that it comes with necessary functions in term of connectivity, and that would have been true because these days 4G LTE support is as necessary as any other feature on a smartphone. The generation is trendy and needs fast internet connectivity. The YU Yunique proudly claims itself as the world’s most affordable 4G HD phone. Talking about the signal strength and quality, it was quite good as well. The same goes with Wi-Fi connectivity. Other connectivity features include a 3.5mm audio jack and microUSB port.
All things said and done; the YU Yunique is a device for the first time Android smartphone user. The company has ensured that it would not give room to other competitors in the market to hold any advantage over them.
Current competition to Yunique includes Xiaomi Redmi 2, Lenovo A2010, ZTE Blade Qlux 4G, and PhiComm Energy 653. These devices are available in the similar price point, but all of them lack HD display, as well good battery life. Except Redmi 2, no other device can give head to head competition to YU’s most affordable device.
The final choice is yours, whether you’ll go with a new brand or would rather like to purchase a device from established brands. But let me remind you that YU does have the strength of more than 825 centers to offer after-sales services all over the country.