Yu Yuphoria is the second smartphone from Yu Televentures headed by Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma. The USP of the Yu brand is the CyanogenMod OS customised Android smartphones, the first of which was the YU Yureka at Rs 8,999.
So what’s different with Yuphoria? For starters, a budget price of Rs 6,999 and a metal frame. But does the phone deliver? We used the device for over a week and here’s what we think.
Specs: 5-inch 720p HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection|1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with 2GB of RAM, Adreno 306 GPU and 16 GB internal storage| Cyanogen OS 12 on Android 5.0| 8 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front camera with a wide-angle lens|2,230 mAh battery| Dual SIM with 4G
Watch: Short video review of Yu Yuphoria:
Design, Screen: Design is where Yu is hoping Yuphoria will stand out from other budget smartphones. Yuphoria has a metal frame, a power button between the volume rockers. Also the camera is right in the middle of the rear cover with a ‘saturn-ring’ design, which will remind you of Lumia devices.
I would say the smartphone is a lot bulkier than I imagined it would be. But the Gold and White version, looks better than any Rs 6,999 device, and it has an exclusive feel.
It takes a while getting used to the power button being between the two volume rockers, but I think it is convenient to have all the buttons on one side.
The screen is definitely prone to smudges though it does not get that dirty and has remained scratch-free thanks to Gorilla Glass 3. This is a definite plus point in a budget phone. The reading and visual angles are sharp and I did not face any trouble browsing on the phone in sunlight.
Performance, OS: Metal frame is USP number one, CyanogenMod is USP number two for those who buy the Yu Yuphoria. The advantage with CyanogenMod is that it is a highly customisable build, which lets you tinker with everything on the smartphone.
From changing themes to specific app themes to fixing privacy settings for each and every app, the advantage with CyanogenMod is that if you want to know how get more out of Android, this is a safe way to do it.
With performance, the phone did not score very high on benchmarks and I did notice lag, especially when closing gaming apps. At times, I would only see the wallpaper and the screen and apps took time to load.
From a browsing perspective, (for me that’s mostly Facebook, Twitter and every other link I can open via these two) the phone is fairly fast and responsive. With phone calls, audio quality was decent, although the phone starts to heat up on a long call. Audio playback in YouTube videos and those that I shot on the phone, is definitely not the best when you’re listening on a very high volume.
The Snapdragon 410 processor is entry-level and like all Snapdragon devices, Yuphoria heats up during charging, on a long call or even during browsing. But given the metal frame, I would have been surprised if this did not happen.
Camera: The 8MP rear camera really does not live up to the specs. The colours just do not match up. With the camera, users can fiddle with the settings but I avoided these given the camera’s performance. The front camera on the other hand is great, given that it is 5MP and the selfies are pretty sharp. Well sharper than my iPhone 5c any day.
Having said that, let us remember that this is a Rs 6,999 smartphone aimed at budget users. You can easily focus on objects, zoom right in and it does do the job. Just that if you expect it to deliver stunning results, you will be in for disappointment.
Battery: We’re already mentioned that the Yu Yuphoria has heating issues. The battery for me lasted a little over 10 hours with regular usage, which includes calls, browsing on social networks and reading extensively. The battery power saver mode left me impressed because it ensured that my phone did not die even though I continued browsing for well over 45 minutes without charge. Charging the Yuphoria does take time and I found that more than an hour after leaving it for a charge, it was still on 60 per cent.
Yuphoria in my opinion delivers on looks, the OS with CyanogenMod and battery to some extent. Camera is a disappointment, although if you are not very particular, you are unlikely to see the problem.
The smartphone is not aimed at power users, but for the budget user, the one who wants to try Android devices which look good and can be customised. What is unclear is how servicing for this smartphone will work and whether Yu will offer home-pickup like it did with Yureka.
With budget phones, the other biggest caveat is how long they will last. That being said, the Yuphoria should be on your list of contenders.