Founded by Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma, Yu has been a youth oriented smartphone brand set to take on Xiaomi, Lenovo and other new aggressive rivals that have come up in India in the past few months. Its first smartphone, the Yureka, did pretty well for a new brand and now the company is ready with its second smartphone, the Yuphoria.
In the sub-Rs 10,000, there is very little one can innovate in terms of hardware and specifications. Most new players like Xiaomi are selling smartphones almost at cost, which makes this segment hyper competitive. Yu already had a great value for money product in the Yureka that competed with Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4G. With the Yuphoria, it has the Redmi 2 in its crosshairs.
The key USP of the Yuphoria is its design. At the launch event earlier today, Sharma spent the first 15 minutes waxing about the design and manufacturing process. He claims that Yu has made four patent applications for the Yuphoria’s design.
Forget the Rs 6,999 price tag of the Yuphoria, it is genuinely a well-designed smartphone. The design reminded me of the Nokia Lumia 925 with a metal frame and plastic rear. Unlike the Lumia 925, however, the rear case and battery is removable. Also housed inside are the SIM card trays and microSD card slot.
The metal frame has soft edges and rounded corners, which feels good to hold. Partly thanks to the design and partly to the decision of using a 5-inch display, the Yuphoria is extremely comfortable to use with one hand.
The Yuphoria has what the company calls a centrally aligned design. The 3.5mm audio port at top, the camera lens and the micro-USB port all line up at the centre. One of the benefits of aligning the camera lens at the centre is there are lesser chances of the user’s finger coming in the frame while clicking a photo.
On the specifications front, the Yuphoria blows away the competition. While there are a lot of things in common with the Redmi 2, like the 5-inch 720p display and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, the Yuphoria offers double the RAM (2GB) and double the internal storage (16GB). Both the smartphones have an 8-megapixel rear camera, but the Yuphoria has a higher resolution 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
The Yuphoria runs on Cyanogen OS 12 atop Android Lollipop and during my brief usage, the performance was much snappier and smoother than the Redmi 2. This could be attributed to a combination of 2GB RAM as well as the UI not being as big a resource hog as Xiaomi’s MIUI 6. More on that in our upcoming review.
Coming to the display, the Yuphoria’s 720p display is bright and reproduces colors well. However, I found the screen to be highly reflective, which could be problematic to use under sunlight.
At a glance, the Yuphoria seems to be a pretty compelling smartphone, especially considering it is priced at Rs 6,999. But watch out for our final verdict when we review it next week.