“Need a few queries answered about the Yureka? You’ve come to the right place”
When you go hunting for a smartphone under Rs 10,000, the sheer number and variety of options that exist in the Indian market now will boggle your mind. The fact is that the affordable smartphone segment in the country has seen a sea change just in the last year or so, and now you don’t need to settle for a device with poor build quality or low specs just because you don’t want to splurge on a high-end daily driver. The budget-performance class of devices have taken over the arena in a big way, and brands like Motorola, Xiaomi, ASUS, Lava etc present compelling options in the budget segment. Another new trend we saw last year was the strategy of online-only sales, in many cases with exclusive retail partners. This was one of the ways how Motorola was able to stage a successful comeback into the country, while other brands like Xiaomi and ASUS also chose the online-only route to reach consumers. Micromax’s answer to all this is YU, a new brand that aims to target new-age audiences via online-only sales, and its first offering, the Yureka, will be available via Amazon. The Yureka has been able to impress us enough to count YU as one of the top smartphone brands to look out for this year.
The Yureka (unboxing| first impressions) is yet another solid example of how the affordable segment is seeing a splurge of devices that offer great specs for prices that don’t hurt the pocket. The device was also in the news quite a bit for its Cyanogen OS, to which it has exclusive rights in the country, and for being responsible for getting the OnePlus One banned. The OnePlus One also runs Cyanogen OS, but is actually in a different league since it’s priced much higher… though it’s also one of those that completely defy the usual price vs specs ratio.
Coming back to the Yureka, there’s no question that it’s a solid smartphone for its asking price. Landing into phablet territory with its 5.5-inch display, it offers specs that look very capable indeed, and it’s also very notable for its Cyanogen firmware built atop Android. Cyanogen’s firmware is well-known for offering a stock Android UI, which comes loaded with tons of options for tweaking and personalisation. Let’s get into the details and quell the questions we’re sure must be swirling around in your minds regarding the Yureka.
Capable specs? Can I get more details?
Sure. The Yureka offers a 5.5-inch display sporting a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. Under the hood purrs a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chip, which is an octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. This works in tandem with 2GB of RAM. The shooting department comprises a 13-megapixel autofocus camera at the rear, and a 5MP snapper at the front. A 2,500mAh removable battery powers the show.
I read that the Yureka sports a ‘moonstone’ finish. What’s that about?
The rear panel of the Yureka is made out of plastic, and features a grey-coloured matte finish which YU refers to as ‘moonstone’. It’s not as rough to the touch as the OnePlus One’s sandstone finish, but does a good job of keeping smudges and fingerprints at bay to some extent.
What all is included in the sales pack?
The Yureka’s retail box includes the usual set of accessories – including a two-pin wall charger, a USB cable, a and stereo wired headset. The removable battery is packed separately inside the box.
Does the Yureka’s display sport a layer of Gorilla Glass?
Affirmative, the phablet’s large display is protected by a layer of third-generation Gorilla Glass, so it should hopefully be able to withstand contact with coins or keys in your pocket without getting scratched.
What SIM card(s) does the Yureka accept? Does it support 4G?
The Yureka is a dual-SIM device and accepts a pair of micro-SIM cards. As one of its mainstays, the smartphone boasts support for the Indian 4G bands, so your purchase is future-proof even if you don’t have 4G coverage in your area.
Does the Yureka support USB OTG?
The answer to that is a yes.
Does the Yureka feature NFC?
Unfortunately, NFC is a connectivity option that’s not available on the Yureka.
What are the other connectivity options on offer?
Apart from 4G, the other connectivity options are standard, and include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS and cast screen.
How much storage does the Yureka offer? Can I add more?
Out of the 16GB storage, a little over 12.5GB is available to use. You can add up to 32GB more via the microSD card slot.
How are the Yureka’s cameras?
The 13-megapixel primary and the 5MP front shooters look good in terms of specs, and the Cyanogen camera app is also quite loaded with respect to features. You get a clean interface, a range of colour filters and scene modes, options to tweak white balance and exposure, and features like slow motion and time lapse for video. However, the Yureka doesn’t support video recording in the 4K resolution, just in case that’s something you’re looking out for specifically. We’ll have more about the Yureka’s camera performance as part of its camera review, coming up soon.
What about the software side of things?
The Yureka runs Cyanogen OS 11, which is built atop Android KitKat 4.4.4. The firmware offers an interface which isn’t very different from stock Android, but get into device settings and you’ll find tons of options to personalise things like the lock screen, the notification bar, the quick settings panel, and the navigation buttons, among others. There’s support for themes too, and you can easily change even the boot animation if you so desire.
One of its coolest features is to let you disable the hardware navigation buttons below the screen and enable virtual keys instead, and even their positions being customisable as per your liking. In essence, the UI and the options are very similar to the Cyanogen OS that runs on the OnePlus One, and you can get a dekko at the key software features in our OnePlus One review.
Any other special features?
Oh yes. The screen also supports double-tap-to-wake and double-tap-to-sleep. The latter only works when you tap on the status bar though. However, there’s no glove mode option available.
What’s the outlay involved and how can I buy one?
The Yureka is a loaded device that also offers a very compelling software experience. And it doesn’t cost the earth. Priced at Rs 8,999, the Yureka will start selling via Amazon India on January 13th. However, it required a pre-registration beforehand and the registration window is now closed, so you won’t be able to get your hands on it on the 13th if you haven’t already registered for it. We’ll keep you apprised when the brand begins registrations again, but for now, watch out for the full review of the Yureka, coming your way soon.
Photos by Raj Rout