Indian Smartphone market is still growing at a fast rate and entry level smartphones play a big role in that growth. Also with the expected 4G expansion happening pretty soon in India, entry level 4G smartphones will play significant role in that growth. Keeping that in mind, Micromax backed YU has launched YU Yunique 4G smartphone which can be said as one of the most affordable 4G smartphones in India at the moment.
We have used the YU Yunique 4G device for almost two weeks as our primary smartphone (My usual primary phone is Nexus 4 though) and this review is based on that. To be honest, we didnt expected too much from the device considering that it is priced just Rs. 4,999 only, but we were impressed with it after having used it for more than a week.
- Display : 4.7-inch HD IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Processor : 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916)
- GPU : Adreno 306
- RAM : 1 GB
- Operating System : Stock Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
- Camera : 8 MP / 2 MP
- Storage : 8 GB internal with Micro SD support up to 32GB
- Battery : 2000 mAh (non-removable)
- Weight : 128 grams
- Network 2G / 3G / 4G support
- Dual Sim support (Micro SIMs 4G + 4G)
Design, Hardware and Build Quality
In terms of design and build quality, it doesn’t look like a cheap or entry-level smartphone but gives a bit of premium feel. Even though it comes with a removable plastic back cover, the finish at the back helps you hold it without slipping. Yu Yunique uses a different approach for placement of buttons. The Power button is placed in the middle of Volume rockers buttons which make them appear as a single long button at one side. Even though it may feel odd initially, we were comfortable with it after using it for few days.
The three Menu buttons are on screen buttons just like on devices such as Nexus 4. Our personal preference is of on screen buttons instead of physical buttons and we consider it as a welcome addition in an entry level smartphone.
The back plastic cover with matte finish itegrates the big circular camera at the top with a LED flash and speakers at the bottom with YU logo. The camera reminds you of designs of Lumia devices and also of the Yuphoria devices.
Yunique is powered by 1.2 GHz, Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 ( MSM 8916) with Adreno 306 GPU along with 1 GB of RAM giving it enough power to run it smoothly under normal conditions.
It comes with a LED notification light and accelerometer, light & proximity sensors.
Yunique sports a 5 inch HD IPS display with 1280 x 720 pixels resolution. The display appears crisp and clear (when set at full brightness) with good Colour reproduction in normal lighting conditions and good enough in sunlight. The viewing angles are good enough and we didn’t face any issues in terms of viewing angles during out review period. The ambient light sensor though works a bit slow and takes some time to adjust to sunlight to change the brightness of the device. Under heavy sunlight conditions at noon, you may face small issues like less visibility on screen.
Performance, Gaming and Benchmarks
During our review period of one week, we didn’t encounter any issues like lags in the UI or any other problem which hangs up the smartphone during our normal usuage. Everything worked great without any issues. The only exception, when you start playing some graphics insentive games like Asphalt 8 and you may feel a bit of lag or frame drops. Similarly, if you are multitasking and too many apps including some heavy games are open, you may feel a slight lag in the performance of the device. (Keep in mind that we are not comparing this smoothness with high-end or expensive smartphones).
While running Asphalt 8 which is a graphics intensive game it ran almost smooth for some time but with random frame drops and some lag which can be ignored. It didn’t degrade the gaming experience much and the game can be played easily without any significant lag issue. In terms of heating, we didnt feel much of heating and it was only few degrees even after playing for 15-20 minutes continuously.
But for normal, non intensive games we didn’t faced any issues like those mentioned above. It performed well for the small games.
In terms of Benchmark scores, it came out with a score of 19,400+ score which is quite good considering that this is just an entry-level smartphone. This Antutu Benchmark score is similar to the Coolpad Dazen 1 that we reviewed sometime back. (Read Coolpad Dazen 1 review)
Yu Yunique also supports USB OTG devices and hence you can add external storage using USB OTG flash drive to expand your storage along with the micro SD card.
It comes with dual SIM 4G support which means that you can use two 4G SIMs at the same time. We used it on Airtel 4G network SIM during all our testing / review period and it worked great. We were able to get good speeds on 4G network based on the signal present in the area at the moment.
The sound from speakers are decent but not too much loud.
Yu Ynique comes with a 8 MP main rear camera with LED flash and 2 MP front shooter. We used both the cameras for almost a week shooting images in different lighting conditions. The main rear camera even though produced some good shots, yet it was slow often in focusing. Similarly, under low light conditions, it doesn’t produce good shots. But under normal lighting conditions and with steady objects, the camera did produce good enough shots with good color reproduction and sometimes even depth of field. Yet you can describe it as an a bit more than average camera for devices in price range of just Rs. 5,000. The front camera of 2 MP was decent enough for clicking some selfies but in terms of quality, we can’t talk much. It’s just for clicking decent selfies for web.
The camera app came with different modes for clicking pictures and also with different filters. But honestly, we didn’t feel much difference in the same shots taken in different modes. Also the default settings set the main camera at 5 MP and you need to change it to 8 MP. You can check out the camera samples below.
The device is powered by a 2000 mAh Li-Polymer non-removable battery. In terms of battery life, it was just average. Under normal usage it did last for almost full day but under moderate or heavy usage, it didn’t last full day and needed to be charged again. We are not sure why they made the battery removable and yet gave the option to open back cover as some users may accidentally try to pull the battery out.
Operating System and UI
We at Androidpure always prefer an stock Android operating system on a smartphone instead of OEMs own custom UIs. For entry level smartphones, a stock android in ouropinion gives smoother experience compared to any custom UI as it is free from the bloat that comes withh those UIs. YU Yunique turns out a winner here as it is powered by Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and comes with no bloat in the form of apps. Yu though promised that you can flash Cynagenmod on the device later on, but I am not sure how many Indian consumers are comfortable doing that.
The user experience on the device was great without any problems in the form of crashes. Yes it did hang a bit when you were running few heavy games or using too many apps. But that condition is not frequent and you will love the experience of using a stock android on this entry level budget smartphone.
Review of YU Yunique on Youtube
In short, we found out Yu Yunique did surpassed our expectations except few small issues like some random frame drops while playing heavy games and an average battery.It is a serious contender in the entry-level 4G smartphone market in India and is one of the most afforadable 4G device in India at the moment. The pricing of the device is great. If you want a 4G smartphone with a budget price, this is the device for you. For a price of Rs. 4,999 this one is great buy. On a side note, we have heard some bad stories regarding service centers though and hopefully YU can fix those issues pretty well.