Micromax-backed YU recently launched its fourth smartphone in India, called Yunique. Available exclusively via Snapdeal, YU is sticking to its weekly flash sale format. Priced at Rs 4,999, the USP of Yunique is that it s a 4G LTE capable dual SIM smartphone with both SIM cards supporting 4G connectivity.
Unlike other YU smartphones that run on Cyanogen OS, the Yunique runs on pure Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. The smartphone is equipped with an HD display, a snappy processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 4G LTE connectivity. At this price point, the Yunique will face fierce competition from the likes of ZTE Blade Qlux, Lenovo A2010 and the Phicomm Energy 653, all of which are similarly priced, ultra-affordable 4G LTE smartphones. After spending nearly two weeks with the Yunique, here s our detailed review.
The Yu Yunique is a compact and lightweight smartphone made from a plastic body. Despite its aggressive price tag, the build quality is pretty decent. Thanks to its 4.7-inch display, the thumb can easily reach all four corners of the screen, making it easy to operate with one hand. The back cover is removable and has a soft matte, rubberish finish to it, which feels nice and offers a good grip to hold the smartphone. However, removing the back cover is a bit of pain, especially for those with very short nails.
The front is dominated by a 4.7-inch HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The screen is a fingerprint magnet and at times, a little difficult to wipe clean. Just below the earpiece, you have the YU logo flanked by the proximity sensor on one side and front-facing camera on the other side. Underneath the earpiece grill, you have a status LED that glows red when charging and flashes green when notifications arrive.
In terms of ports placement, you have the 3.5mm audio jack on the top and a microUSB port at the bottom. On the top right edge of the panel, you have a power button placed between the volume buttons. Although these buttons are easily accessible by the thumb, it took us a day to get used to it.
At the back you have a round camera module with a Saturn ring and an LED flash, similar to what we ve seen in the YU Yuphoria. Towards the bottom, you have another YU logo and a speaker grille running across the width of the smartphone. Under the back cover, you have two 4G enabled SIM card slots, microSD card slot and a non-removable battery.
The 4.7-inch HD display is pretty decent. It has good viewing angles, but sunlight legibility is just about average. It turns worse when the screen has smudges on it. The color reproduction is also slightly off as colors look washed out most of the times. The blacks are dark, but whites are little pale. Considering the price tag, it will be too much to expect from the display.
Under the hood, you have Qualcomm s Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor that is clocked at 1.2GHz and paired with 1GB of RAM. It offers enough power to take care of daily tasks such as social networking, surfing the Internet, some phone calls and multimedia use. However, when you have over five apps running in the background, the smartphone tends to lag at times.
Casual games such as Temple Run and Subway Surfers run smoothly, but the struggle is noticeable when you have some background apps. For smooth experience, make sure you close all such apps and then start the game. Graphics-heavy titles such as Asphalt 8: Airborne run pretty decent with graphics settings at low, but real lag is seen when you amp up the graphics settings. We noticed that the touch became unresponsive at times while playing Asphalt, and also the area around the back camera heated a bit. However, it never reached the level where it becomes uncomfortable to hold.
The Yunique does offer a good multimedia experience. The headphones that come in the box are loud and a little high on the bass. Replace them with a good pair of headphones, and the audio quality sounds much better and detailed too. The speaker is average – it s moderately loud but clarity and details are missing.
For music lovers who like to tweak the listening experience, there are several equalizer presets with options such as Bass Boost, Surround and Reverb effects, and it works pretty well too. The video player was able to play both HD (720p) and full HD (1080p) MP4 videos, without a hitch. There is also an FM radio which is loud and offers a clear reception.
The Yunique is equipped with an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. The camera app interface is slick and has a lot of settings to tweak around with. You can play around with options such as exposure levels, ISO, white balance, focus mode and redeye reduction. The camera supports touch to focus, but our review unit had issues with the focusing. It took at least six to eight taps to get the auto-focusing to work.
In terms of quality, the camera produced average quality photos. Outdoor shots looked washed out and a little overexposed too. The photos lacked details, and the camera wasn t able to capture accurate colors. Indoor shots too looked a bit blurry and inferior to the ones clicked outdoors. The selfie camera does a decent job in well-lit conditions, but goes for a toss indoors, with visible noise and lack of details. Video recording at 1080p is of average quality. Although, we can t ask more at this price tag, there are smartphones like the recently reviewed Phicomm Energy 653, which offers better results.
On the software front, the Yunique is loaded with the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OS without any over the top customizations or bloatware. YU has just bundled one app, the YUniverse web browser, based on Opera Mini. Overall, it runs smoothly, except for a few hiccups here and there. At such times, clearing cache using Cache Cleaner apps and restarting the phone seem to solve the issue.
Connectivity options include dual-SIM support with 4G LTE connectivity on both SIMs. Although we didn t get to test 4G, 3G connectivity was pretty smooth. The call quality was pretty decent, and we did not face any call drops or experience any cracking sound. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS support and USB host.
The 2,000mAh battery is decent enough last the whole day with moderate usage. We had three email accounts configured with real-time sync, and social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp running in background. With an hour of phone calls, social networking and some casual gaming for 20 minutes or so, the battery lasted a good 14 hours, until it needed to be charged again.
With a price tag of Rs 4,999, the Yunique comes with a neat design, decent display and offers an average performance. The battery life is good and the phone offers a better multimedia experience, but the camera is a letdown. At the same price point, the Phicomm Energy 653 offers a better overall performance, making it a good option for those who are looking for a decent entry-level smartphone. Unlike the YU Yunique that is available via weekly flash sales, the Phicomm Energy 653 is easily available on Amazon India.