Since 2015 is expected to be the year in which India finally hits the 4G super highway, all smartphone manufacturers are going to pump the market with all kinds of devices that work on these high speed bands. However, as with smartphones these days, a bulk of the volumes will be in the entry range priced under Rs 10,000. We have already seen Xiaomi launch the Redmi Note 4G, only to be countered by the Yureka Yu from the founders of Micromax.
How is the Yureka Yu different?
The big difference with the Yureka Yu is that it runs CyanogenMod and not stock Android. The phone offers its users much more customization than Android, maybe a bit too much for the price bracket. I can only hope that the Indian users have become mature enough to understand CyanogenMod, which I would otherwise associate with power users, the sort that will but the OnePlus One. Even Cyanogen has tweaked its OS a bit for Yureka and you have a couple of themes exclusive to the brand. This is undoubtedly the biggest differentiator for the Yu.
The other interesting feature has to be the 13 MP camera, which is quite rare in a sub-Rs 10,000 phone. The camera is good, but by no means exceptional. So, while you are getting more megapixels than others, you can’t really convert that into performance. I, however, liked the low light capabilities of the phone. If only it could give you a bit more detail.
How is the performance?
I used the phone for over a week and extensively during a week-long trip to the US to cover the CES. I did not face any issues with the phone, except for the fact that it was not compatible with the 4G LTE that T-mobile was offering there. So I ended up using the phone in 2G most of the time. I did not notice any lag in the phone and the battery held up for most of the day. The phone has a good design that is good enough to be accepted by the tech savvy crowds that frequent Vegas in the first couple of weeks every January. In fact, a couple of US accessory manufacturers were quite impressed by the look of the phone, and the fact that it is priced at about $150.
Are there any flaws?
No. The phone works well and ticks all the boxes when you look at what you are paying for it in the end. While some of you might have been expecting more from the phone, the fact remains that it is a good value for money budget phone and not a mid-range phone that has found itself at a lower price band due to some divine intervention.
Should you buy it?
Certainly, if you are in one of the cities where 4G is already available. Others can look at this as a different option in comparison to the Xiaomi Redmi Note and maybe even the Moto E, though this is slightly more expensive. You are definitely getting a bit more bang for your buck with this phone and the CyanogenMod gets you more bragging rights than other Android users.