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YU Yunicorn unboxing and first impressions: a well-priced phablet that's loaded in every aspect

|May 31, 2016 |Android Phones, Mobiles, Android

“The Yunicorn comes across as a solid competitor in the mid-tier segment”

YU might be a year-old company, but Micromax sub-brand managed to take the market by storm within this short span. It made the right moves last year with its attractive offerings, right from the entry-level Yunique (review) to the Yutopia (review). However, this year, the company has been taking it slow, as it only launched the Yureka Note, that too without any hullabaloo.

Now, the brand is aiming to change all that and hopes to redefine the flagship genre with its latest smartphone named Yunicorn. Priced at Rs 14,999, the phone seems to be pretty loaded for what it brings to the table. Our review should be able to gauge how successful the brand has been in its endeavour. Before that however, let’s share with you our hands-on impressions along with a look at its retail packaging.
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The YU Yunicorn comes wrapped in a regular-looking cardboard box. Taking the minimal philosophy to the max, the box doesn’t even have an image up front and only mentions the name at the fascia and the key specs at the rear. Opening the box reveals the smartphone itself.
YU Yunicorn unboxing 01
Beneath the tray holding the device, you’ll find the cardboard wrapper hiding the SIM-ejection tool and documentation in the form of a user guide and warranty card. Underneath, there's a charging adapter and a micro-USB cable. While our sales pack missed on the stereo earphones, they will be available in commercial boxes.
Coming back to the smartphone, the first thing you’ll notice with the YU Yunicorn is that it lives up to the adage “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. At the front, it gives the impression of the recently-launched OPPO F1 Plus (first impressions) and MEIZU m3 note (first impressions). And, if you flip to the back, then it seems to be inspired by the HTC One series of smartphones, although it’s flatter. That’s not to say that the YU Yunicorn doesn’t look or feel good. Thanks to the ample use of metal, the smartphone is quite premium. It manages to grab your attention even from a distance.YU Yunicorn review 01Similar to YU’s previous flagship, the Yutopia, the Yunicorn is a phablet and is fitted with a 5.5-inch display. However, instead of the eye-popping 2K resolution, the IPS panel on the Yunicorn sports a full HD resolution. We’re glad that smartphone maker took this decision as the display remains plenty sharp at 401ppi, and it’d also put less strain on the battery. The colours are quite nice, and brightness levels are also impressive. a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass acts as protection against scratches and minor knocks.

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Along with the display at the fascia, the Yunicorn offers an earpiece sandwiched between the front snapper and the ambient light sensor above. Below the screen, there’s an oval-shaped home button that also doubles up as a fingerprint reader. Interestingly, the phone has software-based keys for navigation, though you can use either the physical button or virtual key for jumping to the homescreen.The unibody smartphone offers gold colour at the edges as well as the rear, which also add to its charm. You can also purchase the phone in silver or graphite options.
Both the power toggle and the volume buttons can be found on the right, while the left edge sports an ejectable tray with hybrid SIM slots. At the top, you’ll find the audio socket along with a noise-cancelling mic, whereas at the base, there’s a micro-USB port flanked by precision-drilled speaker holes.

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Unlike the Yutopia, which chose Qualcomm’s top-tier processor, the Yunicorn has taken the MediaTek route by offering the Helio P10 octa-core chipset for handling the performance. A beefy 4 gigs of RAM is coupled with the processor, and during our brief session, the phablet was able to handle everything smoothly. 32GB of flash storage on board takes care of your memory requirements, which offers around 25.2GB of space after accounting for the OS and other resources. You can top up the storage further with the use of a microSD card.YU Yunicorn screenshot (1)Perhaps the biggest shift with the Yunicorn is the fact that YU has ditched Cyanogen OS and is offering stock Android. Sadly, you are getting the age-old 5.1 Lollipop, which is quite disappointing. A dose of Marshmallow would've been ideal considering the Android N’s beta iteration (review) was released recently. Otherwise, the interface is largely default with aesthetic changes in terms of icons. There’s no preloaded bloatware either, though you get a dedicated homescreen dubbed Around YU. The vendor is promising that the feature is more refined as compared to the Yutopia, and we’ll surely check it out in our review.
In the imaging department, the device offers a 13-meg sensor at the back and a 5MP snapper for shooting selfies. A dual-tone LED flash assists in capturing dim environments. Another side-effect of YU going the stock way is that the camera app is the default one and is quite barebones. We have already taken the handset on a shooting spree, so you can read what we think about the camera performance of the YU Yunicorn.YU Yunicorn review 12The calling card of the YU Yunicorn seems to be its massive battery capacity of 4,000mAh, which should last more than a day. The phone can also charge quickly, thanks to the support for fast charging.
YU seems to be firing on all cylinders with the Yunicorn. While the phone's regular price is Rs 13,499, it’ll be available at a special price of Rs 12,999 for one month. The phone will be available via flash sales model on Flipkart. It’d give a tough competition to the current favourites in this segment – the Lenovo ZUK Z1 (review) and Moto G4 Plus (review). 
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The smartphone does seem like an attractive package, but should you buy it? Well, you won’t have to wait for long to find out what we have to say about that, as our review is in the pipeline as you read this.

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