Micromax-backed Yu launched its third smartphone in India, called the Yureka Plus. As the name suggests, it is essentially an upgrade for the now-discontinued Yureka. This new smartphone looks identical, boasts much of the same specifications — albeit with a vastly improved display — and is priced a tad higher at Rs 9,999. At this price point, it takes the recently launched Lenovo K3 Note head-on, but just how good is Yu’s latest smartphone you ask. We spent the last few days with the Yureka Plus, and here are our two cents on it.
It is nigh impossible to distinguish the Yureka Plus from the Yureka, as both flaunt the same size display, and the rubberized matte finished back panel. To help differentiate them though, Yu has launched a new color variant called ‘Alabastar White ‘. In pictures and videos the white variant is a looker, but that’s about all we can say since we reviewed the Moondust Grey variant.
Yu also says that in addition to Gorilla Glass 3 protection to the screen, the Yureka Plus also boasts a reinforced chassis and tough polycarbonate back panel. In layman’s terms, the company is assuring that the smartphone can easily survive a fall. Encouraged by CEO Rahul Sharma’s extreme durability tests, we too threw the smartphone off our table, bed and down the stairs. As advertised, the smartphone came through unscathed.
The biggest change that Yureka Plus brings is its display. While the size remains the same (5.5-inch), the resolution has been bumped up from HD to full HD that translates into a pixel density of 401ppi. With this upgrade, the smartphone jointly holds the crown with the K3 Note for the most affordable handsets in the country with a 1080p display.
With not a lot to choose from, this is easily one of the best displays you can get in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment. It offers great viewing angles, and color reproduction is stellar without the over saturation seen on AMOLED displays. Blacks look splendid and text on a white background too looks crisp. Legibility under direct sunlight too is quite good, and thanks to the oleophobic coating the screen largely remains smudge-free. Overall there is little else you can ask from a phone’s display.
On to the next small, yet important change. On paper, the Yureka Plus features the same 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera as the Yureka. Yu has however made a small change in the camera’s image sensor, and the Yureka Plus now features a Sony IMX214 CMOS sensor, as opposed to the Sony IMX135 CMOS sensor. Furthermore, Yu seems to have made some changes to the camera software as well.
When we had reviewed the Yureka, we were quite disappointed with the camera’s performance, but that has changed with the Yureka Plus, and the overall experience is much improved. The new camera captures some really good photos. Outdoors in daylight, the camera manages to capture a lot of details, the objects are sharp, and colors are quite punchy as well. At night as well, the camera is surprisingly able to capture quite a bit of details. Indoors under ambient lighting, noise tends to creep in, but not so much as to make the photos unusable, and that is saying a lot for a smartphone that costs on the right side of Rs 10,000.
The 5-megapixel selfie snapper too is quite good and tends to capture some good photos even when the lighting it far from ideal. Being a wide angle lens, you can easily add all your friends into a groufie.
That’s about all the aspects that differentiate the Yureka Plus from the Yureka. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM, which is the same for both the smartphones. In terms of storage, you again get 16GB internal storage — around 12GB usable — that can be further expanded using a microSD card.
While the processor performed quite well on the Yureka, it doesn’t quite deliver the same level of performance on the Yureka Plus. Since the same hardware now has to power a full HD display, we noticed the processor at times trying too hard to keep pace with all the tasks. There is a visible drop in speed and simple tasks such as opening the phone dialer, cleaning background apps or unlocking the phone when it is displaying multiple notifications seem to take ages to complete.
Coming to software, and the smartphone runs on Cyanogen 12 OS based on Android Lollipop 5.0.2. While all the customization options have been carried over from the Yureka, there are a couple of issues that need to be ironed out. During our time with the smartphone, we came across apps crashing for no reason, and the phone randomly restarting multiple times. We faced the issue with restarts on a near daily basis, including at the time of filing this review. We reached out to Yu, but the company insists it hasn’t come across these issues and it could be an isolated case with our review unit.
As far as the very basic of functions are concerned, the Yureka Plus doesn’t give much to complain about. The call quality was good and we didn’t face any noticeable call drops. The speakerphone though sounds a tad low and when outdoors or driving, using a handsfree headset becomes necessary.
The battery on the Yureka had left us impressed, and same is the case with the Yureka Plus as well. Both feature a 2,500mAh battery, and both end up surviving for just about a day. This is particularly impressive, since it now handles the load of a 1080p display.
We used the smartphone with two SIM cards, switching between Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, two email accounts, social accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, WhatsApp, and playing Marvel’s Contest of Champions. Despite a rather heavy usage, the battery was able to survive for 12-14 hours. On a more judicial usage however, we could go past a day on a single charge.
With the Yureka Plus, Yu may not have changed a lot, but it has managed to improve some of the flaws (read camera), while also improving an already impressive display. The fact that it proves difficult to break is also an important asset to have in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment. The new smartphone however isn’t perfect, and issues with performance are what mar the experience on an otherwise good smartphone. But if Yu was to quickly iron out these few niggles, the Yureka Plus is quite a good smartphone, and one we would recommend.