Review: YU Yureka Black isn’t perfect, but it cannot be ignored
It seems that Indian phonemaker Micromax is not giving up on the YU sub-brand yet. After several months of silence, it has released a new budget smartphone called YU Yureka Black. Priced at Rs8,999, it faces direct competition with the 32GB version of the Xiaomi Redmi 4, which is selling at the same price. The Yureka Black is available on Flipkart.com.
Design: Stylish but glossy finish
The Yureka Black is a well-built smartphone with a glossy black finish. There is another variant with matte black finish.The glossy one smudges a lot and also makes the smartphone slippery and difficult to hold. It weighs 152g and feels a little heavy. The Redmi 4 weighs 156g but has a matte finish and flat edges which offer better grip quality.
The front panel on the Yureka Black includes a 5-inch display and a home button which also serves as fingerprint sensor and back key. You can use this as the navigation key, or you can switch to on-screen navigation keys. The fingerprint sensor works fast and is quite accurate. The volume and power keys are placed side-by-side on the right side panel. They are easily accessible but feel a little stiff.
Display: Bright and sharp
The 5-inch display has a resolution of 1,920x1,080p. It is a bright-looking display with good viewing angles. Colours in videos and games look intense, while text in web pages looks crisp. Auto brightness was able to handle visibility well under bright light. The Redmi 4 has a 5-inch display too, but offers a lower resolution of 1,280x720p. It handles colours well but doesn’t look as rich as the screen on Yureka Black.
Software: Old Android new interface
The Yureka Black runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with a new user interface. The clean Android interface and features such as Around YU seen in earlier YU smartphones have been left out. What you get here is a UI which looks like a custom UI with square-shaped app icons and no app drawer. Deep down it looks more like plain Android—it has similar settings page, multi-tasking window, no themes store, and very few pre-loaded apps. This makes it easy to operate and also puts less stress on the hardware and other resources. The Redmi 4 also runs Android 6.0 but offers a more feature-rich and complex MIUI 8.
Performance: Smooth under stress
To drive the smartphone, YU has used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor and clubbed it with 4GB RAM. It is an adequately powerful chip and has been used in a number of budget smartphones such as Asus ZenFone 3 and Nokia 6. Switching between most apps was smooth but opening games took a little longer. However, it handled new games such as PES 2017, which has fairly good graphics, without any lags or heating on the back. Yureka Black comes with 32GB storage and supports microSD cards of up to 256GB.
It has a 3,000mAh battery which supports a whole day of modest use on a single charge. While it works for casual users, if you are looking for more backup, the Redmi 4 is slightly better placed. It has a 4,100mAh battery which lasts a day and half of modest use comfortably.
The Redmi 4 also runs on the Snapdragon 435 octa-core chip which is slightly better with heavy tasks and games. It also provides 32GB internal storage and 256GB expandable storage.
Camera: Good with details
The 13-megapixel camera in the Yureka Black can muster ample amount of detail if the lighting is good. Colours look a bit washed out and its clearly visible in landscape and indoor shots. Low-light shots look both washed out and blurry.
The camera app looks plain but offers some cool options such as self timer, smile shot, face beauty, night, panorama and Super Pixel. The Super Pixel mode improves the detailing but takes longer to process images. Redmi 4’s 13-megapixel camera scores in terms of colours, but is not very good with detailing.
YU has made a solid comeback with the Yureka Black. It delivers a steady performance, has a simple interface, and offers a brilliant display. If you are more into watching movies and reading, the Yureka Black is a better bet than the Redmi 4.