A lot to be Yuphoric About
Micromax created a major ripple in the Indian smartphone market when it announced a tie-up with Cyanogen, the developers of one of the most popular versions of Android last year. The products released as part of the tie-up are under a new brand called YU. January saw the first phone be released in this series – the Yureka, which thanks to a superb combination of hardware and software and an incredibly affordable price, sold like hot cakes. And now YU has attempted to repeat the formula with another phone, the Yuphoria (yes, we reckon all the phones in the series will begin with Yu!). And guess what? We think they have hit pay dirt.
For let’s get one thing straight – the Yuphoria might be a tad lower specced than the Yureka, but it picks up points on several other fronts. The most notable of these is appearance and design. Yes, we have heard some people smirking about the design bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Lumia 830, but that was hardly a bad-looking phone, was it? And if some people can ape the iPhone, why cannot others draw the best from the Lumia? Getting back to the Yuphoria, the phone rests on a metal frame, which has led to it’s being termed a ‘miracle in metal.’ The front has a 5.0-inch display with three touch buttons which are not below the display as seen in the Yureka but are actually part of its lower portion – much better, we think. The back (it is removable) is a flat plastic panel with the 8.0-megapixel camera lodged in a circular space, which YU claims to be inspired by the rings of Saturn, with a dotted speaker grille at the base. Yes, it does look very Lumia 830 but it does make the phone stand out in a crowd. At 8.2 mm at its slimmest point, it is sleek too and is compact enough to fit most hands, even those of the ladies.
And well, there is a lot of hardware goodness lurking beneath that good-looking exterior. The display is a 720p affair like the Yureka, but as it is smaller (the Yureka had a 5.5 inch one), it has a greater pixel density. The phone has two cameras – a 5.0-megapixel one in front and an 8.0-megapixel one at the back. And powering it is a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, which is not quite in the league of the Snapdragon 615 we saw on the Yureka, but is very good at this price point, and is backed up by 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage, which is expandable via memory card – twice of what we have seen on the likes of the Redmi 2 and the Moto E (second generation). The phone is a dual SIM device and comes with the usual connectivity options as well as 4G support. And running bang on top of this is the latest version of the Cyanogen OS, Cyanogen 12, based on Android 5.0, making this the first phone to come with Cyanogen 12 out of the box.
Best of all, it all works very smoothly indeed. Yes, there will be the odd lag when you get into high definition territory, especially in games like FIFA 15, but for the most part, the Yuphoria delivers a very solid performance, handling basic tasks like calling and messaging smoothly and even serving up a very good online experience. Cyanogen might strike some as being a bit too plain for comfort and it takes some time to get used to all its customization options, but on the flip side, it does not guzzle RAM like some of the overlays we have seen and used. Yes, we would have liked more detail and brighter colours from the 8.0-megapixel camera, but that is just us being choosy. The stark fact is that for Rs 6,999, the Yuphoria delivers a lot of bang for not too many bucks. And hey, it looks good too. Those on the lookout for a good budget smartphone have good reason to be, well, Yuphoric. Pun intended.