Micromax has started on a new path, coming out with Cyanogen-based phones. This new phone come from Yu Televentures, which is Micromax’s new venture, expected to come out with different-than-ordinary phones. It is also a leeway from the main brand, which has definitely captivated a large-scale target audience in India, but its reputation as a ‘cheap phone’ brand continues to tag along with it. Yu, therefore, should ideally be Micromax’s way of breaking away from its image. But, it’s not Micromax’s first effort at doing so. Micromax has, in the past experimented with many kinds of phones, but it was the Canvas series that was the clincher for the brand. Yu, should therefore be something different from low-end and Canvas series phone. The first phone the Yu Yureka, is something that will either make or break it for the brand in the low-end market. Another factor that I should mention to complete this backstory should be the Mi factor. Simply put, Micromax ate away the market of the original low-end pioneer, Samsung. It did well from 2011-13 selling an exorbitant amount of phones and even embarking on overseas ventures.
But, this is the smartphone industry that we are talking about here. The script never remains the same, and August 2014 was set for a storm. Micromax got a challenger from China, Xiaomi this year, which turned around every logic people had on the smartphone industry. Xiaomi came out with real value-for-money phones, which were not just market gimmicks. These phones offered good performance, great software and worth-it hardware. at runaway prices. Xiaomi was the brand the price-conscious Indian consumers had been aspiring to own for so long. Xiaomi set the charts on fire and the prices tags of its phones simply meant one thing – this brand was eating away at Micromax’s core market, which meant that the brand could either go down without a fight (as Nokia and BlackBerry have done in the past) or work towards something different. Well, that is what the Yu Yureka is aimed at, which should give you a clear perspective of this phone. In this competitive market, with phones such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note, the Asus Zenfone, Moto E, Lenovo A6000 and hordes of other phones, the old approach just can’t make do, can it.
The Micromax Yu Yureka is something of a silent yet defining moment for the brand, which is visible from Micromax putting its weight behind the Yu brand, whether it be OnePlus One controversy or adopting Xiaomi’s flash sale model for fame.
Well, that isn’t all you need to know about the Yu Yureka before we delve further into this review.
The Micromax Yu Yureka comes with a 5.5-inch 720p display, a Qualcomm 615 processor, an Adreno 405 GPU, 2GB RAM, 32 GB MicroSD support, a 13-megapixel rear cam, a 5-megapixel front cam and a 2500 mAh battery. Most importantly, it runs on Cyanogen OS 11 instead of the regular Android, making it a geek’s phone, which just an year ago would have been hard to imagine from the brand.
Now that you know the story and have at least a bare idea of what the phone represents, let’s delve into our detailed review of the device.
Micromax YU YUREKA specs:
- 5.5 inch display
- 1280 x 720 pixels resolution
- 1.5 GHz octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
- 2 GB RAM
- 16 GB internal memory
- 13 MP primary camera
- 5 MP front facing camera
- Cyanogen 11 ROM
- 2500 mAh battery
The first thing that you will notice about the Yu Yureka is the lack of Micromax branding anywhere on the device. The geometrical Yu branding is something that you will see all the time instead, whether it be on the hardware, the startup animation or in the software.
As far as the look and feel of the device are concerned, the Micromax Yu Yureka is slightly different, but not worlds apart from a typical Micromax device. The device is not ultra-slim or ultra-light, but on the first look, you might think that the form factor trumps its main rival, the Xiaomi Redmi Note.
We got the ‘Moonstone Grey‘ device for review. The first thing you will notice about it is the velvetized back. The device felt good to hold. The device has the volume rocker on one side and power button on the other side. Both the power and volume rocker buttons are slim and easily reachable.
The 3.5mm audio jack is on top, while the MicroUSB slot is on the bottom. The home button is a printed one while the menu and back buttons come to life on touch. All three buttons are backlit and will light up on touch.
The 13-megapixel rear cam is located on the left side, while the speakers are located at the bottom. The front cam, too, is accompanied by a speaker.
The Micromax Yu Yureka is structured as such that it won’t scratch easily. The MicroSD slot and the dual-SIM slots are located above the 2500 mAh removable battery.
The internals too function well, yet despite 2 GB RAM, the device is not too smooth. The octa-core Snapdragon 615 renders 64-Bit support. But as far as the regular functioning is concerned, there was smoothness, but something is found lacking, when you experiment with the themes. That might be just a software glitch, but I definitely do not want to hide it.
As far as hardware is concerned, it is better than the usual Micromax deal, but I wouldn’t go gaga over what this phone offers.
The Micromax Yu Yureka comes with a 5.5-inch 720p IPS display along with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display is scratch-resistant, but becomes smudgy overtime. The display of the Yureka generally works well. The display is sensitive and the UI also doesn’t leave me complaining too much.
Sunlight visibility is good and you don’t even need to crank up the brightness to 100% for using the phone outdoors.
Rather than Micromax, I would give the credit of this to Cyanogen, which has definitely backed up the display. This phone doesn’t have the usual Micromax bloatware, which does it a world of good. The hardware is good, but if the display doesn’t lag, which is all due to credit of the software.
The Micromax Yu Yureka runs Android 4.4.4 on a Cyanogen 11 ROM. The Cyanogen ROM is the highlight of this phone and the reason behind Micromax’s tussle with the world’s leading Cyanogen ROM phone – the OnePlus One.
The Cyaonogen 11 ROM is a highly customizable one. There is a lot to cherish on the phone. Whether it be the audio, screen casting or the lock screen, apps such as AudioFX, screencast let the user really work this phone. You can also record your screen navigations easily.
There is also a customized version of the Opera browser on board called the YUniverse.
If you delve into the settings menu, you will see other customizations. You can double tap to wake up the device. You can also dedicate the buttons to perform functions.
One interesting thing about the Cyanogen 11 ROM on the Micromax Yu Yureka is its themes. The themes on board this phone are pretty interesting and make it look like Micromax has picked up a page from Xiaomi’s book. The themes are extremely detailed and in fact, everything from the notification panel to the volume bar changes. The themes are what you will cherish the most on this phone.
Another interesting thing – if you like one aspect of a certain theme, you can use the on board app called themes, which lets you download different aspects of different themes. You can take the wallpaper of one and font of another, if you get the drift.
It is more to the credit of Cyanogen than Micromax that this phone’s software is different from the general Micromax deal, but, both ways it works well for the end-of-the-line consumer.
Up till now, the Micromax Yu Yureka has surprised us. But, the camera performance is a tipping point for the device’s worthiness.
The Micromax Yu Yureka comes with a 13-megapixel rear cam and 5-megapixel front cam.
The camera on this phone is definitely a breath of fresh air. In the past too, we have seen 13-megapixel snappers but the performance has just not been up to the mark.
The picture quality is beyond impressive in daylight. The clarity was appreciable.
Whether it be close-ups or macro shots, the Yureka performed pretty well. Still, I would say the low-light performance of the device leaves something to be desired.
Performance and Battery Life
The Micromax Yu Yureka comes with a 1.5-GHz Octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC. The device not only performs well on the benchmarks, the general performance too was pretty satisfactory, whether it be the touch response, the sound playback or the call quality.
Even high-end games performed well on the Micromax Yu Yureka.
The Yu Yureka houses a 2500 mAh battery. Despite its other specs, the device lasts long. A regular consumer will be satisfied with how the battery performs.
As far as the overall performance is considered, we can rate it as satisfactory.
Micromax has definitely comes out all guns blazing with the Yu Yureka. It definitely delivers the kind of device that we have desired from the company for long. At Rs. 8,999, this is definitely a desirable device and given Micromax’s hold over the market, it should be expected to do well.
The brand definitely has competition from the likes of Xiaomi, Asus, Lenovo and Motorola, but the company has made the right move at the right time. Two things stand out – the Cyanogen 11 ROM and the camera performance.
The hardware is not too bad either. Micromax is trying to transform Yu into a different brand than the usual Micromax deal, which is great.
This is definitely different-than-the-usual deal from Micromax and definitely a device you can consider for the price.