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The Yu Yureka is a big step by Micromax in creating a new brand image for itself. It is a very good device for the price tag that it comes with. The compromises that you make are worth it and the company should only go up from here with future devices.
Trying to change one’s brand image isn’t an easy task, but homegrown smartphone maker Micromax has been trying to do just that for a while now. The new brand, Yu, owned by Micromax is an effort at just that. The Yu Yureka being the first phone from this stable had a lot riding on it, especially after all the controversy around OnePlus and Cyanogen. Micromax pushed the right buttons though, with a low price tag and attractive specs, but that has more or less become a regular practice in the smartphone market now. So, does the Yu Yureka match up to its competition? Let’s find out.
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Build and Design
As phablets go, the 5.5 inch display makes this as big a device as the Xiaomi Redmi Note, which is also its chief competitor in the market. The Yureka though feels much more premium than the Redmi Note. The Moonstone back on the smartphone is essentially an inexpensive replica of the Sandstone that you find on the OnePlus One, but it’s still better than the glossy plastic on the Redmi Note.
That said, the Yureka also has a plastic body, but the company has done well to not make it feel like a cheap build. It’s sturdily built and while I can’t say that it is a good looking device, I won’t call it ugly either. The Yu Yureka fits its price tag in the build and design department. The fact that it has a removable battery gives it a few extra points, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary that you may have expected.
Comparisons with the OnePlus One wouldn’t exactly be fair, considering that the Yureka’s pricing makes the One seem like a high end smartphone. The Yu Yureka is a pretty well built smartphone with satisfactory looks. It’s not a looker like the Asus Zenfone 5, but it does well to do away with the cheap plastic feel of the Redmi Note. Also, the Yureka is very light for its size, which is a point in its favour.
Also read: Xiaomi Redmi Note review
We’ve come to realise that 720p displays don’t look very good when used with phablets. The Yu suffers from the same deficiency as the Note. The display lacks sharpness and the resolution is just not good enough for this size. The viewing angles are not bad though, with little to no colour shift even from very wide angles.
To the more important things now, the Yureka is one of the few devices to be running on Qualcomm’s new generation 64-bit SoCs right now. The octa-core Snapdragon 615 in this is clocked at 1.5 GHz and takes care of your routine activities well. High ends games like Asphalt 8 and Injustice: Gods Among Us, don’t give the processor much trouble.
That said, the device is plagued by some of the same issues that the OnePlus One was. The CM 11 ROM isn’t the stablest available and there were some random app crashes on the device. The good thing though is that it has 2 GB of RAM, which is more than enough for anything that you might want to use your smartphone for.
The phone also gives you stellar numbers on benchmarks and the real world performance isn’t far away from it. There were some lags, after extended periods of gaming, but in regular usage, it got by pretty smooth.
Throughout this review I kept asking myself how the CM 11 ROM on this phone was any different from CyanogenMod 11S on the OnePlus One. I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t. There’s no significant difference between the two operating systems, except in the themes that have been used. We are still working on the two devices side by side, but there’s nothing that pops out as significantly different. I guess exclusivity didn’t mean new in this case.
While everything about the Yureka has been satisfactory till now, the 13 MP camera is one thing I really liked. Last month, I had said the Redmi Note’s camera is definitely the best in the below sub-10k segment, but I may have to eat my words now. The rear camera on this device has good white balance and colour reproduction. While it isn’t the best in the market, it easily gives the Redmi Note a run for its money.
That said, images taken by the Yureka were sometimes a little undersaturated. This could be a result of the algorithms used by CyanogenMod, since the same was seen on the OnePlus One. Images were much worse in the One though and the Yu doesn't undersaturate them that much. Of the three devices (Yureka, Redmi Note and OnePlus One), the Yureka may easily have the best camera.
Also read: OnePlus One review
The 2500 mAh battery on the Yureka seemed too small on paper, but Micromax insisted that the CyanogenMod OS draws more out of the battery. Well, I agree to that. Under my regular usage, which includes a lot of gaming and other battery instensive tasks, I couldn't get the device to last a full day. But under some more toned down usage, with occassional web browsing and little gaming, the Yureka got me through a full day. While this isn't bad, phablets should have a larger battery life. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G offers the almost the same battery life, while th 3G version of that device is worse. So, while the Yureka matches up to its competition, the device should still have better battery life, especially since there's enough space for a bigger battery.
The Yu Yureka creates a completely new brand owned by Micromax and is nothing like any device that the company has made so far. The Yureka is a thoroughly satisfactory device for the price that Micromax is asking. In addition, the company is following the same flash sale model as Xiaomi, meaning the Yureka is essentially the only and toughest competitor that the Redmi Note has in the market right now.
If you want a phablet within 10k, then go ahead and buy this device. The compromises that you make are worth the price tag and the Yureka is easily one of the best smartphones that Micromax has made till date.