At Rs 8,999 Micromax's 4G phone is pitched against the likes of Xiaomi, OnePlus and Oppo. But will it steal the limelight from these budget-smartphone worthies? Himanshu Juneja finds out
Micromax enjoyed a steady stream of success and fame in the past, but recent barrage of attractive and value-for-money phones from the likes
of Xiaomi, OnePlus and Oppo has taken the limelight away from it.
Micromax finally came up with a contender in the form of Yu Yureka to not only match, but with plans to go one up against the compeition.
Released under Micromax's online sale-only brand Yu Televentures, Yu Yureka certainly made a splash. The stellar configuration combined with
the capable custom Android skin of Cyanogen meant that the phone ticked all the right boxes, but can a rogue update app and pricing post promo period spoil the party for MMX?
Let's find out.
1. The Yu Yureka is a dual SIM phone which supports 4G LTE on one of its SIM, and 2G on the other. The phone lacks NFC, which can be due to its budget segment; it does support the LTE bands which are in operation in India. The phone also provides Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and Wi-Fi.
For a budget phone, these are pretty good offerings.
2. The Yu Yureka comes with an okayish build quality. The front part is made up of glossy black plastic panel, whereas the rear panel seems to be inspired from Oppo's sandstone motif. It is a poor rendition though, but provides a decent grip.
The top part of the phone comprises a 3.5mm audio jack, whereas the left side of the phone houses the volume rocker. The Power/Standby button is located on the left side. Both the buttons have been given textured finish which adds to the looks. The bottom part of the device carries the microUSB port.
3. The phone carries a 5.5-inch IPS display with 720x1280p resolution. This roughly translates to a 294 ppi which is fair for a budget smartphone. Micromax added Corning Gorilla glass 3 for protection which is very thoughtful.
The display is not very sharp and its grainy nature can be observed every now and then. Colours did come out as over saturated and hence not very accurate. Upon close inspection, there is a very slight bluish tint, but not too bothersome.
In real time usage, the screen provides a good experience while watching movies, but text appears less sharper than expected. Nonetheless, a big screen in the given budget should evoke interests.
Usage under sunlight is manageable, but users will have to crank up the brightness level a few notches.
4. Micromax couldn't have put a wrong step with the first phone for the Yu brand and seems like they did plann this nicely. The Yu Yureka is one of the few phones to be running on the all new 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC.
An 8 core processor, four of the cores are clocked at 1.7GHz and the other four at 1.0GHz. These all are Cortex-A53 cores.
The phone comes with 2GB RAM (a first in this budget), and Adreno 405 for its GPU. Yu Yureka is equipped with 16GB of storage capacity, the users can of course expand the capacity by another 32 GB via memory cards.
The phone is loaded and performance was very impressive. The phone performs at fast speeds, and handles day to day tasks with utmost ease.
Though there were few stutters noticed when full HD videos were played, the phone otherwise didn't give any room for complaints. This should
work in Yu Yureka's favour.
5. Micromax definitely would be banking upon the OS department to boost the sales of the latest phone. The Yu Yureka is running Cyanogen OS 11,
which is basically based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
Running a forked version of Android, the Yu provides immense power to the user to tweak the look and feel of the phone. There are a number customisation options available here like for starters, users get to choose themes via a theme app to customise the look. This includes
elements like icons, fonts, navigaiton bars, boot animation etc. The default lockscreen can be replaced to get the quick launch icons which
have become quite commonplace.
Apart from the Google apps, Yu also features app for Gallery, File manager, screencast app, a sound recorder etc. The notification area
carries setting shortcut which should come in handy during day-to-day operation.
A strong hardware configuration combined with a very capable operating system is a dream combination. Overall, the OS experience was pretty good. Micromax has also promised that the phone will soon get Android Lollipop update too.
6. Micromax Yu Yureka has been provided with a 13 Megapixel camera on the rear side, and a 5 Megapixel camera in the front.The rear camera
comes with a flash.
During daylight, or with good ambient light conditions, the output is just about good with decent details getting captured. The colours were
pretty good, and pictures seemed good to be shared around.
Low light photography really suffers as the camera is really not that great.
The noise and grainy nature of the photographs cannot be missed really.
There are filters and other modes like HDR available, but a quick experience with HDR mode wasn't satisfactory. The picture captured below
par details and looked low on details and colours to some extent. The camera is capable of shooting full HD videos as well, which again depend
upon how good the lighting conditions are. Overall a pretty okayish performance from the camera on the Yu Yureka.
7. The phone has been provided with a removable 2500mAh battery pack, which proved to be a mediocre selection. A phone with a 5.5-inch HD display
ought to have a better capacity battery, otherwise users will be charging the phone once a day. The case is pretty much the same here. A decent usage pattern will see the battery lasting for about 10-12 hours only.
Micromax really should have gone for a higher capacity battery.
8. The loudspeaker is located at back of the phone. Performance was pretty disappointing as the quality of the sound was definitely not
upto the mark. To compound the issues, it is barely audible if placed on a flat surface.
Micromax did slip here big time.
Users may find themselves resorting to the bundled earphones which are surprisingly very decent.
9. Earliest of the users have reported some issues. Most have noticed ads being displayed in the notification area. Upon inspection it was discovered that Micromax decided to go ahead with a non Google's Over-The-Air update service for updates.
The app being used in the Micromax Yu happens to be 'FWUpgrade.apk' which has been written by a chinese company and is responsible for the ads being
Hopefully Micromax will take customer's privacy and concerns into considerations as these ads need to go on an ASAP basis.
The Yu Yureka phone comes in at a time when the competition has been peaking in the budget segment. The promotional pricing of Rs 8,999 makes it a solid contender as it packs quite a punch vis-a-vis the hardware and software front. However, with news of regular pricing likely to be pumped up to Rs 12,499 it won't be a far-fetched assumption that the phone will struggle to pull in the numbers.
Micromax will do well to revise the Yu's final pricing. A highly priced phone having strictly okay build quality and camera along with other concerns means that consumer might not be too willing to pose faith in a company whose products have been marred by poor after sales in the past.
Photograph: Courtesy Facebook/Yu Televentures