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Micromax YU Yuphoria first impressions

Riding on the success of Yureka, YU Televentures, a division of Indian handset maker Micromax, is back with a new value-for-money, budget smartphone. Following the same naming convention, this one's called Yuphoria (the name was crowd sourced) and sports hardware specifications that are inferior compared to its predecessor. At Rs 6,999, the pricing is also lower, and is similar to the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Lenovo A6000 Plus. We spent some time with the Yu Yuphoria and here are our first impressions of the phone...

Unlike the Yureka, the Yuphoria smartphone is not a phablet and features a 5-inch display optimised for one hand use. It's interesting how phone makers are going back to the compact form factor and the phablet revolution appears to be passing fad.

The highlight of the phone is its metal frame which is curved all over and has rounded corners. There are two small bands on both the top and bottom edge of the phone that feature the 3.5mm headset jack and the micro-USB port, and also act as the antenna. The right edge features the three metal buttons - a longish power key sandwiched between the volume rocker keys. The buttons are within easy reach, offer good tactile feedback and are pretty responsive. We've seen this arrangement in BlackBerry phones with the mute/Assistant key placed between the volume buttons.

The back of the phone features a removable plastic panel that fits snugly with the frame. We've seen this design before in some Nokia Lumia phones including the Lumia 925 and 830.

The back panel plate hides a removable battery, two micro sim-card slots and a microSD card slot. At the back, you'll also see a ring surrounding the camera lens. It also embeds an LED flash.

There's some YU branding at the back and the front of the Yuphoria phone.

Overall, we feel the YU Yuphoria is a really well built phone for its price and exudes a premium feel.

The front is dominated by a 5-inch HD IPS display (720x1280p) and is one of the few phones in this range to feature Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The display is sharp thanks to the high pixel density though we did notice some colour shift when you change the viewing angles horizontally. We found the display to be reflective and this affected the sunlight legibility as the brightness levels are also a little low. Touch response was pretty good.

YU Yuphoria is powered by a 64 bit 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core chip, Adreno 306 GPU and 2GB DDR3 RAM. The phone has 16GB internal storage expandable up to 128GB via microSD card.

YU Yuphoria features a 8MP rear camera (f2.2 aperture, capable of 1080p video capture) with LED flash and a 5MP front camera (f2.0) with 86 degree wide angle lens. In our short time with the phone, we did not observe any shutter lag and found that the camera takes decent pictures even in low light. We'll have a detailed look at the camera in our full review.

It runs Cyanogen OS 12, a custom aftermarket version of Android 5.0 Lollipop developed by Cyanogen. Cyanogen is known for its customisability, enhanced performance and additional features. The look and feel is very close to stock Android barring a few UI elements, although customization is possible via themes.

Cyanogen OS 12 features an App Themer, Boxer powered Cyanogen Email and Truecaller dialer integration. In our brief use we did not encounter any stutter or lag and found the UI to be very smooth.

In terms of connectivity, the dual-sim phone supports 3G, 4G (CAT 4, including TDD-LTE, Indian 4G bands), Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. It comes with a 2230mAh high-density quick charge battery which the company claims delivers 160 hours of standby time and can get a 60% charge in 45 minutes.

At Rs 6,999, YU Yuphoria rivals Lenovo A6000 Plus which costs Rs 500 more and is a chunky device. It will also compete with Xiaomi Redmi 2 which sports inferior specifications and is sold at the same price. We'll have a detailed review of the phone soon to find out if the Yuphoria has the potential to become the undisputed leader of the budget segment.

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