Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Yu Yutopia

Calling your flagship as the “most powerful phone on the planet”  when you're not a world famous phone manufacturer is a brave claim. Yu Televentures (a subsidiary of Micromax phones) has just launched the Yutopia , and it's the first flagship phone from India. They took digs at Samsung, Apple and One Plus before launching, so let's see if there's any real merit to their claims. 


Design, Display & Hardware:


Pull the phone out of the box and you get a premium looking aluminium and magnesium chassis phone with good ergonomics. It has the primary SIM and secondary hybrid SIM slot on the left , while the power button is on the right surrounded on either side by the volume rockers. The headphone socket is on the top, with the Micro USB charging port with Quick Charge 2.0 support at the bottom.


The rear camera has a large circular dial , Lumiaesque style and dual tone LED flash. Below that is the fingerprint sensor with a Saturn ring and the speaker grill right at the bottom. You get the hard plastic case and screen guard free which is great. The front has 5.2” Quad HD screen with Corning's Concore glass that is similar to Gorilla Glass but here the glass and touch screen are a single panel .There's also a notification LED at the bottom. In the box you get a Quick charging cable and adapter, Little Bird earphones from the House of Marley and a SIM removal pin besides the back case and screen guard.

In terms of Hardware they've gone all out and tried to put together the best from all manufacturers. A 2K WQHD screen from Sharp ( 565 ppi) , Snapdgragon 810 SoC ( arguably the best available on the market right now), Adreno 430 GPU & 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, Sony's 21MP camera (Exmor RS IMX230 sensor ), DTS Dolby Audio ( with Little Bird earphones) and Software by Cyanogen (OS 12.1), can't get a better mix than this! The only let down would be the battery at 3000mAh which possibly is around 20% less than needed for a crazy power consuming screen and CPU. At 7.2 mm it's thinner than the OP2 ,Samsung S6 and iPhone 6s! The fingerprint sensor works great too, almost 9 out of 10 times. Should have added some functionality to it besides just unlocking the phone though.

Software:


When you have a Cyanogen powered device , customisation is your USP . Yutopia let's you do all of it with Cyanogen OS 12.1 on top of Android Lollipop 5.1.1. Themes are available in abundance and you can cutomise all icons, settings, status bar etc. Truecaller is built in which I'm not really a fan of since it takes your contact info .Live Display option changes the screen's colour based on the ambient lighting. Then you also have a Privacy guard that lets you control the apps that can access your personal data . Whisper Push lets you send and receive encrypted SMS which is something corporate users would like .

The new feature from YU which none of the other Yu phones have is “Around YU”, basically your shopping , dining, hotel booking app all in one.  This basically gives you an option of not installing separate apps like Zomato ,Ola, iXigo etc. Hopefully more partners will be added soon & it'll definitely become a  more useful service. Yu Yuniverse app is a new add on which has  a built in file manager, screencast app and Opera Turbo optimised specially for this handset.

Camera:


With Sony's 21MP rear  camera being a great proven performer already, it was not surprising that it produced great shots in daylight. Focusing wasn't the quickest I've seen but if you enable “Zero shutter lag” option, it will take quicker pictures and might often affect the quality. They've managed to put in Optical Image Stabilisation  (OIS) which is something that not even Sony has done yet on their Z5. Burst mode is available once you turn on the zero shutter lag option.

You can change modes just by swiping up or down on the screen to get HDR, sepia and other filters. Front camera at 8MP which is pretty good and captures wide angle selfies very well. Video capture is smooth and has almost zero frame drops were seen when recording in 4K, which is great. The front camera also captures video at 1080p which is not something most people use and has decent playback.  

Gaming & Multimedia:


Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat ran pretty smoothly and multi tasking wasn't a problem even when both games were open in the background. The battery lasts close to 10hrs on decent usage of games , 4G, video playback etc. A quick 30 minute charge resulted in phone charging upto 55%.
The built-in music player is taken care of by the Gaana app that can play online and your device offline songs as well. You also get a free 6 month subscription.  Audio FX can be changed in the app as well and there's a DTS sound toggle as well that works great when you got the earphones on. Little bird earphones are a great addition and definitely increase the value of the phone when you compare it with other similar priced devices like the Op2 or Asus Zenfone 2.

In terms  of benchmark scores AnTuTu gave a score of 51655  which is a disappointment but guess that' gotta do with the buggy OS and battery efficiency  change causes the results to change as well.There's no real heating issue which the whole world keeps talking about since the phone temp is constantly under 40 C during gaming & 32-33 during normal usage . Phones definitely get warmer than 40 which would be a problem.

Conclusion:



At this price, it's cheaper than the best flagships in the market and almost half priced when compared with the Sony's & Apple's . People would view this phone as any other Chinese ( It's Indian though!) phone with a low price and high specs but let the brand name not change your buying decision if you want flagship grade specs at a mid-range phone price.

Missing NFC and buggy Cyanogen  is the only drawback of an otherwise beast phone . If you want to buy a phone with the best specs available in the market right now, look no further.

I give the Yu Yutopia an outstanding 5/5.

★★★★★

Pritesh Khilnani


Yu Yutopia at CeX


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