After a rather pronounced series of tweets and hype building, Yu finally let loose the Yuphoria earlier this week. The handset is a comparatively lower end device compared to the Yureka launched earlier this year and in some ways complements it. The promise is quite enticing. Fast updates via CyanogenMod and best in class hardware for as low a cost as possible. However in that race, compromises have to be made. We took some time out to check out the Yuphoria and here’s what we thought.
Yu’s Rahul Sharma emphasized the design of the handset and the focus on build quality. Our opinion? While not bad, the design certainly does seem derivative and in fact takes a fair bit of inspiration from the Lumia series of phones with the Lumia 830 standing out in particular as a source of inspiration. While on point, the company is also quite proud of the metal build of the phone. The metal construction is really just the band running around the phone and that too doesn’t feel quite like metal at first glance due to the nature of the paint job.
The rest of the construction is plastic with the sole exception being the ring running around the camera module. Called the “Saturn Ring”, it is a unique take on design that Yu plans to adopt with all upcoming devices. The back cover of the device is removable and is predictably flimsy. The right side of the handset has a central power button with volume rockers flanking it to the top and bottom. These buttons are made of plastic and the feedback isn’t particularly good. Up top and at the bottom are the 3.5mm audio jack and microUSB ports respectively encased in plastic that segregates the metal bands being used.
The display on the handset is a 5 inch 720p panel. The resolution is more than sufficient for that size and to be realistic, expecting a Full HD panel at this price point would be too much. That said, brightness levels are lower than we’d have liked. The low brightness and hyperglossy nature of the display make it a bit hard to read in sunlight. Not impossible but certainly hard. A Gorilla Glass 3 layer covers the screen for a modicum of protection. What did concern us a bit was the slight yellowish cast on the screen. We spotted this on a couple of units and really do hope that it isn’t a widespread issue.
Performance is one area where Yu is going to impress you. More to do with the really clean, optimized build of software than the hardware, CyanogenMod 12 flies on the Yuphoria. Based on Lollipop, you get all the latest Android goodness. There’s little to complain about here other than slightly lower than expected free storage and the number of preloaded applications. There’s just about 11GB of free storage on offer. The phone runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. That’s certainly good enough to chomp through most tasks you’ll throw at it with the sole exception being high end gaming but more on that in the review.
The camera module is an 8MP auto focus capable unit. Up front is a 5MP camera. We didn’t really get a chance to test that out and you’ll want to wait for the full review for our consensus on that. Under the removable cover, you’ll find the 2230 mAh battery which Yu says is sufficient to last a full day of usage. Given the combination of components that is certainly feasible. The phone has dual SIM card slots and is LTE capable. A microSD card slot is placed to the left and you’ll need that to augment the 16GB of built in storage. Other connectivity features includes WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.
Honestly speaking, the Yuphoria isn’t bad at all. It is very clear that compromises were made in the build and display to achieve this price point and if that is a priority for you then the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G would probably serve you a lot better. This one is for those on a strict budget and who still want bleeding edge updates or for someone who is a CyanogenMod diehard. Its too early to give a solid verdict but we’d look long and hard at the competition before investing in the Yu Yuphoria. The phone itself is priced at Rs. 6,999. We’ll have our full review out very soon. Do let us know if you have any questions about the handset in the comments section!