Micromax's online only sub-brand YU Televentures has been making a good name for itself with its affordable range of smartphones. Of late, YU is in news for its next phone, which is dubbed as the world's most powerful smartphone. The company's cheapest handset Yunique is enjoying its share of popularity ever since it was launched on 8 September. YU enjoyed several flash sales for the handset that outline the success of Yunique in the country.
Despite great sales and positive audience response, is it really the best sub-Rs. 5,000 smartphone in the market right now?
In quest of the right answer, we extensively reviewed Yunique by putting it through different tests for camera, battery, speed, performance and usability. At last, we have our answer along with a detail explanation of what we think of Yunique so far.
As most of us might have already noticed, YU Yunique looks almost identical to the company's own Yuphoria smartphone. The handset measures 8.3mm in thickness and weighs 128 grams. The 4.7 inch screen gives a compact and a comfortable grip on the handset. The overall design is kept simple with three physical buttons placed on the right side of the handset. The power/ lock button is in the center surrounded by the volume up and down keys. The 3 element key structure sometimes make it difficult to locate the lock button. We had to fiddle between the buttons before unlocking the screen.
The front panel is covered with edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with three capacitive touch buttons serving as the back, home and app switcher functions. Turning the device over to the other side, we find the primary camera with company's signature Saturn ring and a speaker placed at the bottom, which makes it important to turn over the phone while playing songs. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top and a micro USB slot at the bottom.
Using the handset for a long time, we found the rear cover of the handset get easily exposed to smudges, which is hard to get rid of. If you take off the rear cover, you find the battery compartment, dual SIM slots and a microSD slot.
Take a look at the photos below showing Yunique in different angles:
The 4.7-inch screen is powered by a HD (1280 x 720pixel) IPS display panel with 312ppi. YU rightfully claims Yunique to be the most affordable smartphone with HD screen in the market right now. We found the images to appear quite clear but we cannot ignore the smudges on the screen. You will probably end up cleaning the screen more often than not. The videos and photos appear quite clear indoors. Using the handset in sunlight did not affect the readability (we kept the screen brightness to full during our entire review).
Here are some more images to show you the HD screen of Yunique:
The camera in the Yunique smartphone was one of our favourites. Considering the low price tag, Yunique took great shots outdoors and decent images indoors. The handset uses an 8-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture lens and Full HD recording as the primary camera. There's an LED flash to take photos in low light conditions but the flash appears to be too bright and hinders the original colours of the subject.
The camera has built-in modes such as HDR, night mode, landscape, portrait, sports, flowers, backlight, candlelight, sunset, beach and snow (sorry couldn't test this one). We took multiple photos to check the clarity of the camera and the images appeared quite appealing if not the best in class. It's worth noting that the true colours of the subject were lost in some photos but it delivers the best it can.
The 2-megapixel front facing camera, which packs f/2.4 aperture lens, delivers decent image quality. HDR along with other modes are supported in the selfie camera.
Below are various sample images we took to test the Yunique camera in real world:
During our test, we noticed that HDR mode suppresses light in an attempt to bring clarity and natural colours. Also, we found it difficult to focus on the subject even with sufficient light but the face detection was quite impressive. Take a look at the samples below:
After the camera, the handset's performance really took us by surprise. Yunique is powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor coupled by 1GB RAM yet delivers great results. The handset has 8GB built in storage with only 4.61GB available for use. But the option to add more storage using microSD card is of great help. (Note that you can move apps to microSD if the space on the phone is getting full). Over the entire course of using the handset, we did not witness any lags. In fact, we put out for a real test by running multiple apps at once to see how it plays out.
To our surprise, running 9 apps in the background and playing Candy Crush Saga did not cause a hitch. The apps running in the background were Facebook, Google Maps, YouTube, Camera and others, which by our knowledge puts intense pressure on the CPU. We did notice some heating during the long gaming sessions but it wasn't so bad.
The graphics of the game were decent enough and the Full HD videos played out quite impressively.
In addition to testing the performance of the handset, we ran some benchmark tests. Yunique scored an impressive 20444 on AnTuTu Benchmark. While testing the handset on GeekBench, the single core score was 424 while the multi-core score reached 1325. These scores are impressive for the handset that retails for Rs. 4,999.
As the speaker is located on the rear side of the handset, we had to turn over the device to play music. However, the plug-in earphones that come with the handset are quite loud. The microphone, however, is placed a bit lower so talking hands free can be a challenge. The headphones produced too much base, condensing the vocals but changing the settings can solve that problem.
Yunique was the first YU smartphone to release without the Cyanogen OS ROM out of the box. The handset runs on Google's stock Android 5.1 Lollipop and gives you the same feel as using a Nexus smartphone. But if you wish to run CM software, you can still get it through FOTA download.
Yunique packs a 2,000mAh non-removable battery, which may be a turn off for many. We used the handset under various conditions. Firstly, we used it as a secondary phone and mainly for long-hour calls and Wi-Fi. The handset easily pushed through the day on a single charge. But using Yunique as a primary phone for playing games, using 4G/3G data, Wi-Fi, making calls and constant chatting, we had to charge the smartphone twice a day. It is standard with any smartphone you use these days and affordable power banks can be a handy add-on.
YU Yunique can be a first choice for first-time smartphone buyers. It is affordable, packs decent specs, good camera and battery life and remarkable performance. The ultra-cheap handset is available in weekly flash sales exclusively via Snapdeal, which makes it hard to grab if you are not prepared for the sale. The handset's HD screen and 4G LTE support sure does come as a handy feature.
Yunique compares with some of the best sellers such as Lenovo A2010, Xiaomi Redmi 2, Micromax Canvas Spark and others. If you are running low on budget for smartphone shopping, Yunique is worth considering as it gives great value for money. Of course, there are some shortcomings with the Yunique but the pros outweigh the cons.