Yu Yuphoria Review: Good but not the best

At Rs. 6,999, the Yu Yuphoria is definitely a value for money smartphone. It’s the best looking budget device that you can buy right now, as long as the camera isn’t a priority for you. If you need a good camera, then the Xiaomi Redmi 2 is a better smartphone. On the other hand, if you multitask a lot on your phone, then the extra 1GB of RAM on the Yuphoria will be more useful to you, at least as long as the other version of the Redmi 2 comes into the market.

When your first smartphone is a runaway success, the consumer’s expectations from whatever comes next is automatically raised. This is the story of Micromax’s Yu brand, which started with the Yu Yureka, and has now follows through with the Yu Yuphoria. The Yureka though entered to a rather empty competitor-less market, while the Yuphoria enters what is easily the most difficult market segment right now.

So, did the newly launched brand follow up with an equally impressive smartphones? Here’s the Yu Yuphoria review.

Build and Design

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Yu’s strategy with the Yuphoria is reminiscent of something many Indian brands have tried before — make your phone look like the best and it will sell. The Yu Yureka is a good looking device, probably the best that the sub-7k segment can offer right now. I’m torn between this and the Redmi 2, but the addition of metal on the side can easily sway a buyer towards the Yuphoria.

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The rounded metal edges though add more than just looks to the device. Yes, the metallic shine does make it look better than others, but what’s more important to me is that it provides grip. If you’ve ever used a Xiaomi Mi3, you would be familiar with what I’m saying. The rounded edges fit right into your palm, making the phone feel very natural when you hold it.

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What’s even more impressive is that the story of the Yuphoria’s looks doesn’t stop with the metal part of the phone. In fact, personally I’m much happier with how the phone looks from the back. Barring the absolute premiumness and camera module, this phone looks almost exactly like the erstwhile Nokia Lumia 925.

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The big round camera module on the back looks unique. Yu calls this the ‘Saturn ring’ design and it adds to the design. The overall design is sure to turn some heads and may even solicit surprise from those who aren’t already familiar with this smartphone.

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For me, the uniqueness is what gives this points over the Xiaomi Redmi 2. In terms of looks, the Yu Yuphoria is a first in the budget segment, while the Redmi 2, though a looker, is not exactly an unique looking smartphone. It is more compact though, which would be a big plus for those who care for such devices.

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The only complaint about the design of this smartphone is about the placement of the volume rocker and power button. The power button rests between the up and down volume buttons, but it is bigger than those. As a result, it is usually pressed on one side and tends to bend towards that side. This is a disaster waiting to happen and you may very well find the power button to be non-functional after using this phone for a while.

Display

The first real pitfall for the Yuphoria is in its display. While a 5 inch 720p display should be convincing on paper, the Yuphoria’s display is not. There’s a definite pink-ish hue all over the display, which makes apps, images and videos looks weird, if not bad.

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It’s sharp enough and the viewing angles are acceptable for a budget smartphone, but I would go with the Redmi 2’s display any day, simply because it is much more accurate.

UI

One of the biggest selling points of the Yuphoria is that it comes with CyanogenMod 12 and Android 5.0. This makes the phone only the second after the Moto E, to boast Android Lollipop out of the box in the sub-7k segment.

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There isn’t much by way of unwanted apps, although the inclusion of Baton seems fruitless since it’s still in beta stage and doesn’t allow new entrants. In addition, the YUniverse apps kept freezing and crashing everytime I tried to use them.

Performance

From our reviews of the Lenovo A6000, Xiaomi Redmi 2 and others, we’ve decided that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 isn’t a sizeable upgrade over the Snapdragon 400. That said, it is still the reigning SoC in the budget market right now. The Yu Yuphoria couples this with 2GB of RAM, which on paper should give you stellar performance.

Benchmark lovers will have nothing to complain about here, the Yu Yuphoria performs just as good as the Lenovo A6000 Plus, Xiaomi Redmi 2 and is better than the 3G variant of the Moto E. On benchmarks, the Yuphoria performs pretty much the same as these devices.

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