“With its impressive configuration, the Yunique has many ‘unique’ selling propositions to its credit”
In the hyper-competitive smartphone market, it's not an easy task for a brand to make a name for itself. However, the less-than-a-year-old YU has been able to pull this off quite well. It has launched just three phones in India and all of them rank high in the popularity charts.
Now YU is aiming to multiply its success by venturing into the new segment of entry-level mobile phones. Dubbed Yunique, the company's latest smartphone is priced attractively at Rs 4,999 and with its configuration, YU is rightly promoting it as a "phone for the future, price from the past". The device has just arrived in our labs, and as usual, let’s welcome it with an unboxing followed by our first impressions.
Just like the previous offerings from YU, the Yunique comes hidden in a large non-descript brown cardboard box. The box is extremely minimal with only YU’s logo and the device name mentioned up front. In contrast, the back of the box details the specs of the device along with other information such as box contents, IMEI number, etc.
Now let’s pry open the cover and see what's available inside. The first thing that greets you is the smartphone, which we’ll check out in a while. Below the tray holding the phone, you’ll find a screen protector, a warranty guide, and SAR information, neatly packed in a wrapper. Beneath the flap on the left, the box contains a charging adapter rated at 700mA, a micro-USB cable and a pair of in-ear stereo earphones.
The box contents of the YU Yunique might not be unique, but the device certainly is, based on our brief time spent with it. Here's why.
YU must be commended for paying attention to the design of the Yunique, despite its entry-level price. Its design ethos is similar to its sibling, the Yuphoria (review), even though it is constructed out of plastic. The fascia sports the 4.7-inch display panel, which is accompanied by an earpiece, a front-facing snapper and the brand’s logo. The navigation keys are available in the software interface leaving the space below the display panel completely empty. The size of the phone makes it ideal for one-handed usage, and its slimness of 8.3mm and weight of 128g adds to the ergonomics.
The right spine features three-element keys, with the power switch sandwiched between the volume buttons. The left edge of the YU Yunique is bereft of any functional elements. The headphone socket can be found up top, whereas the micro-USB port is available at the base.
The YU Yunique has a rubberised finish at the back, which offers a superb grip. The attention-grabbing camera module is surrounded by a slightly protruding ring which also holds the LED flash, and the company refers to this as the Saturn ring. It certainly looks interesting, although it’s not as prominent as the one on the Yuphoria. Removing the back plate exposes a pair of micro-SIM slots and an expansion slot. The battery isn’t removable.
The calling card of the YU Yunique is its HD screen, which is a rarity in its price bracket. Combined with its IPS display of 4.7-inches, the device offers crisp text, thanks to its pixel density of 312ppi. The display also gets a laminated coating of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection against scratches and minor knocks.
Ticking under the hood is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 CPU, which offers four 64-bit Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.2GHz. The processor is a popular choice for manufacturers in the Rs 10,000 segment, and the fact that YU has brought it to sub-Rs 5,000 price point with the Yunique is an impressive feat. The chipset is coupled with an Adreno 306 GPU and a gigabyte of RAM. We found the performance to be quite smooth during our usage, though its actual prowess can only be gauged when we stress test it with multiple apps or heavy games. The storage offered by the mobile stands at 8GB, out of which a little over 4GB is available to the end user. It can also be extended further up to 32GB.
The smooth operation of the YU Yunique can also be attributed to the fact that it runs stock Android v5.1 Lollipop. This is quite noteworthy as Micromax’s sub-brand has always highlighted the power of CyanogenMod with its previous offerings. However, considering its pricing and target audience of first-time users, the company has made a sensible decision as the OS is devoid of any bloatware and offers a pure experience of Android. Interestingly, YU is providing users the ability to download CM OS 12.1 via a FOTA (firmware over-the-air) update.
For shutterbugs, the YU Yunique comes equipped with an 8-megapixel shooter at the back, which is supplemented by an LED flash. Another rarity in its segment is that the phone supports full HD video recording at 30fps. The phone has a 2MP front camera for selfies or video calls.
The YU Yunique is among the most affordable smartphones available in the country with 4G support. Other connectivity options are standard – dual-SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. The phone draws power from the embedded 2,000mAh battery.
As we mentioned before, the Yunique has already upped our expectations. The device also manages to stand out from its competitors such as the Phicomm Energy 653 (review) and Lenovo A2010. We’ll check out the YU Yunique in detail over the coming days, including its camera quality, performance and more, so keep an eye out.
Photos by Raj Rout