Yu is a sub-brand of popular Indian smartphone maker Micromax. And the highlight of Micromax phones so far has been the Cyanogen OS, a more customized version of Google’s Android operating system. However, the latest phone, called Yu Yunique, does not run Cyanogen OS. The real attraction of this phone is its extremely affordable price tag— 4,999. But is its performance any good?

Its a plain looking phone with a plastic body
Its a plain looking phone with a plastic body

Ordinary looks but very handy to use

The Yunique is a plain looking phone with a plastic body. It is surprisingly compact and would fit into the smallest of hands with ease. It weighs 128g, which is lighter than the Canvas Xpress 2 (138g) or Moto E 3G (143g). The back panel is removable but the battery cannot be removed from its bay. The back cover is made of thin plastic but the soft matte finish on it feels really nice and grippy in the palm. The phone has some design similarities with Yuphoria, the predecessor—the circular camera module, for example. The problem is that the camera lens is too big and smudges a lot, often leaving a blur on the camera.

The screen looks dull and lifeless in terms of colour, brightness and contrast
The screen looks dull and lifeless in terms of colour, brightness and contrast

An average display

The Yunique has a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 1280x720pixels. There is a layer of scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 over it. We feel that the screen looks dull and lifeless in terms of colour and brightness. Auto-brightness is not very effective as it remains a tad too dark most of the time. Visibility from wide angles is not very clear and under direct sunlight is poor because of reflections. The phone is strictly meant for basic use and not meant for games and HD videos.

Plain Android replaces Cyanogen

Yu has used the latest version of Android (5.1) Lollipop with a plain Android interface. It doesn’t run the Cyanogen 12 CM interface like its more expensive siblings–Yureka Plus and Yuphoria. Basically, it means you won’t get all those customisation options and features associated with Cyanogen on this phone. However, Yu has bundled a YUniverse web browser based on the Opera Mini browser.

Meant for basic use

The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor, which is paired with 1GB of RAM. This is a fairly powerful processor and is used in more expensive phones like Moto G third generation ( 12,999). It works smoothly enough, handles movies, reading, social networking with consummate ease, but only until it is not strained too much. This is because the phone has just 1GB RAM, and that limits the number of apps that you can leave open at the same time. Internal storage stands at 8GB with 4.6GB available for users. With a micro SD card, you can add another 32GB to it for music, movies and some apps. The phone is powered by a 2,000mAh battery that can last a full day on a single charge with ease.

The picture quality is a letdown
The picture quality is a letdown

Letdown by camera

The 8-megapixel camera has a rather smart interface. It supports touch to focus which works on the first tap, even though it takes a while to do that. The picture quality is a letdown, though. Even on a bright sunny day, the results were hazy and washed out. Indoor shots were far more inferior and blurry.

Verdict

Yu Yunique is ideal for first-time users or people who want a basic phone for checking mails, Internet browsing, and voice calling. For this price it is a good option, but if you are looking for a 4G phone with a superior display, and a better camera, try the Canvas Xpress 2 ( 5,999). If you can extend the budget a bit more, the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime which costs 6,999 is a better option.

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