“With its combination of powerful hardware and software, the Yureka might set a new benchmark in the sub-Rs 10,000 range.”
The new YU smartphone brand from Micromax has been creating quite a few ripples in the Indian smartphone market for a while now. At a press event in New Delhi today, the brand finally launched its first ever smartphone, the Yureka, for its customers in India. The device has been priced very affordably at Rs 8,999, and at that price you get an impressive set of hardware specifications as well as CyanogenMod 11, a custom firmware that gives a new meaning to Android. We got to experience the Yureka at the launch event and here’s what we have to say in our first impressions.
Built around a 5.5-inch display, the Yureka carries a simple yet intriguing design. Its simplicity lies in the bold black coloured front that houses the display, with the three capacitive buttons at the bottom, and the earpiece along with the front camera adorning to topside. Behind this simplicity, the device houses a layer of Corning’s Gorilla glass 3, which is there to protect the display from scratches and accidental knocks.
Additionally the company has also added a silver-ion coating to the device, which maintains the hygiene on the surface. At the back, is a textured back panel featuring a coarse Moonstone finish. This rough finish offers superior grip, while adding a touch of class to the design as well. The back panel also features a speaker grille that has been drilled into the bottom, YU branding in the centre, and the primary camera with flash placed on the top. The back panel is removable, exposing the removable 2,500mAh battery, dual SIM card slots and a microSD card slot.
In terms of button placements, the device gets the volume rocker on the left side, while the right side houses the power/standby key. At the bottom lies the USB/charging slot, while the top features the 3.5mm audio connector.
The Yureka feels pretty lightweight, which is due the use of plastic as its primary construction material. The device features a simple design and the reduced bezel size helps make it compact enough for easy one-handed use.
At 8.8mm thickness, the Yureka isn’t among the slimmest smartphones available in the market today, especially considering some devices that are almost half its thickness, like the vivo X5 Max (first impressions). However, it does feel sturdy, which is partly attributed to its textured back panel.
The main highlight of the smartphone is its software. It runs CyanogenMod 11, which you might be familiar with if you’ve used the OnePlus One (review). Cyanogen offers a great deal of customisation and personalisation options, which are not just limited to changing the look and feel of the device, but also altering the functionality. For instance, users can download custom themes, disable the hardware buttons, and enable onscreen controls for navigation.
In addition, since Cyanogen has Android at its core, users can reap all the same benefits, such as downloading apps from the Play Store, as well as third party stores.
Coming to the hardware, the Yureka rocks a 5.5-inch HD display, which is built using IPS technology. The display offers higher intensity colours and high brightness levels.
At its core ticks an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor clocked at 1.5GHz featuring two separate quad-core processor clusters, with its performance core running at 1.5GHz and the battery saving core running at 1Ghz. It is aided by 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of internal storage. With the use of the provided SD card slot, users can expand the storage on the device by an additional 32GB.
For shutterbugs the Yureka offers a 13-megapixel camera flaunting a Sony Exmor sensor. To that, the company has added a blue-filter for colour correction and neutralising image hues and tones. Additionally, there is a 5-megapixel selfie camera in the front as well.
Given its price and features, the YU Yureka looks like a strong contender in the sub-Rs 10,000 category. In this domain, it will have to compete against popular smartphones such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note (review | cheatsheet) and ASUS Zenfone 5 (review). For more details on its performance, and gauge whether it can settle the score with the competition, stay tuned for our full review.