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It is not a good looking phone but designed in a way that it feels comfortable to use. It is paired well with a sleek form and a fine matte finish that feels a lot like velvet. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
It is not a good looking phone but designed in a way that it feels comfortable to use. It is paired well with a sleek form and a fine matte finish that feels a lot like velvet. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Review: YU Yureka Plus

YU is rebooting the popular Yureka smartphone, with a bigger screen spin-off and there are general improvements across the board too

We reviewed the YU Yuphoria in May, and came away impressed. While it is a good option for anyone considering an affordable Android smartphone (such as the Moto G or the Lenovo A-series), it still didn’t really appeal to someone who wanted a very big screen phone. YU is a sub-brand of the popular Indian smartphone maker, Micromax, and has an exclusive tie-up with Cyanogen group to offer the Cyanogen operating system on its phones. Cyanogen is based on Android, but offers additional functions and features.

The velvet like matte finish on the back panel makes it comfortable to hold
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The velvet like matte finish on the back panel makes it comfortable to hold

Re-plugged design, and it still works

It is not a good looking phone but designed in a way that it feels comfortable to use. It is paired well with a sleek form and a fine matte finish that feels a lot like velvet. The Moondust grey colour on the back looks quite different from the mass of black and grey coloured phones. At 8.5mm, it is quite sleek. And is not very heavy too, tipping the scales at 155g.

The 5.5-inch full HD (1920x1080p) display looks a little washed out but is sharp and works well under bright light
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The 5.5-inch full HD (1920x1080p) display looks a little washed out but is sharp and works well under bright light

Sharper display

When it comes to display, Yureka Plus is better stocked than rivals with a Full HD (1920x1080pixel) 5.5-inch screen. The colours look slightly washed out, yet videos look sharp and enjoyable. The text looks crisp and intact even with larger fonts and it is legible under bright light. The screen size and the sharpness makes it ideal for reading, watching videos and games. But while there is an oleophobic coating to keep smudges away, it is not very effective.

The Cyanogen 12 interface looks very similar to the material design of stock Android, but offers more customisation options and controls to user.
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The Cyanogen 12 interface looks very similar to the material design of stock Android, but offers more customisation options and controls to user.

Android with a unique twist

The phone runs on Cyanogen CM 12 with Android 5.0 out of the box. The interface is very similar to the Android material design interface, but with slight changes. Unlike the plain Android where you have very limited tools and options, Cyanogen 12 offers plenty of customisation and controls. For instance, you can change the icon style and the interface and control which app can access how much of your phone’s data. However, you can’t uninstall any pre-loaded apps. Users who like to personalize the look of their phone’s interface will appreciate the fact that there are a bunch of downloadable icons and themes provided by the Cyanogen community.

Power of eight cores

Yureka Plus is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor which is paired with 2GB RAM. It is a fairly powerful chip and has been used in many sub-20,000 phones such as Xiaomi Mi 4i ( 12,999). The overall user experience has been smooth and lag-free and not something a lot of similarly priced phones can boast of. While we appreciate the smooth performance, the phone does heat up a bit while playing games, and that can hurt battery life temporarily.

The 13MP camera captures colours well and is very good with close shots on a good sunny day.
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The 13MP camera captures colours well and is very good with close shots on a good sunny day.

Daylight camera

The Yureka Plus comes with a 13 megapixel camera. It is not fast but is capable of pulling colourful and detailed shots on a good sunny day. It continues to struggle in low light. It is not packed with options and features, but what it has works well. The option to adjust the duration of the focus and exposure are some useful features. It comes with an impressive 5 megapixel front camera, which is apt for group selfies and video chats.

Let down by battery backup

The Yureka Plus has a 2500mAh battery. Even with moderate use, it drained out in less than 20 hours.

Verdict

We would recommend the Yureka Plus for the big screen experience and the flexibilty of Cyanogen OS at an affordable price. It is available only on Amazon.in at 8,999. It is a more affordable alternative to its closest rival Lenovo K3 Note, another 5.5-inch screen phone with a full HD display priced at 9,999.

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