It’s amazing how the last 18 months have seen terrific paradigm shift in the mobile industry, truly democratizing the digital population and making devices affordable to wider sections of the society. Slowly, the Smartphones breached the feature phone price segment and is a good sign. The bigger news is that unlike earlier, there is really a good Smartphone with decent specs and performance in various price points.
While till now the fight was for the Rs. 10,000 price segment, it is shifting to the Rs 5,000 segment now. The segment hitherto dominated by the likes of Intex, Celkon and Karbonn. First it was Lenovo with its A2010 but Yu . the sub-brand of Micromax, dropped the bomb with Yu Yunique that would drastically change the future lineup in this segment.
For starters, Yunique comes with a tag as the most affordable 4G Smartphone with HD resolution and is priced at Rs 4,999.
Yunique looks like a younger brother of Yu Yuphria complete with the big camera module on the rear. There is no metal banding around the sides though, and Yunique has a polycarbonate body. Measuring 8.3mm and 128 grams, Yunique gets the weight and thickness right.
For those who find the 5-inch and more displays too big to handle, the 4.7-inch screen, compact body should come as a relief. The bezels are less making the phone good to snuggle on palms. Yunique does in the sub-5K segment what Yureka did for the sub-10K price segment. Yureka was the first Smartphone to bring fullHD (1080p) affordable under Rs. 10,000 and now Yunique brings HD (720p) resolution affordable at the sub-5K price band. Not just that, the display also gets Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, which is very rare find at this price level.
Talking about the display quality, the 1280x720pixels packs a 312ppi but if you are someone who love a brighter display, you might be disappointed a tad bit. But, the screen is sharper and crisp.
The big camera dial is a design trait spilled over from Yuphoria. The rear wraps around the front and the rounded corners scores high on ergonomics. The pin-holed rows of the speaker grille looks neat. Apart from the big large eye on the rear, the design is plain jane but pleasant. The soft matte finish of the thin back panel feels really nice but also gathers smudges.
The power button is sandwiched between the volume rockers. A gleam of metal breaks the monotony of the black shade. The 3.5mm audio jack is on top and the microUSB port rests on the bottom. A notification LED is embedded in the earpiece grille on the front and the front camera is a bit off to one side of the phone. There are no capacitive buttons and Yunique uses on-screen Android navigation buttons.
The back panel is removable but not the 2000mAh battery. There is a dual-SIM slot with the first slot supporting LTE (4G) and the second a 2G. There is also a microSD card slot to expand up to 32GB.
The Yu devices runs on Cyanogen OS and that proved to be the key selling point, it also led to the bitter legal tussle with OnePlus, and so it came as a surprise that Yunique comes with almost a clean Android Lollipop baked. Actually, it is good as the phone was lot snappier. Yu says the option to run it on Cyanogen OS 12.1 in case you want to. The stock Android is indeed a unique part of this device.
On the downside, if you were fan of all those cool, customization options that CM offered, you will find the plain vanilla Android boring. The shift to stock Android also solved some of the headaches the previous Yu devices faced – the bugs. Yunique should not be facing such issues with stock Android around, though I still faced few instances when some Chinese screen came up while booting.
The phone is lag-free and responsive except some times when you are playing some heavy games and try to quit, it slows down or momentarily freezes, with a budget offering it is pardonable and not a major issue. The audio quality again is pretty good both while calls or media playback.
The Snapdragon 410 chipset and a quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, Adreno 306 GPU and a near stock android works wonderfully on this compact device. Be it gaming, browsing or watching videos and every day task, I never felt any issues and the phone was a good all rounder for the price. Gaming is one area that surprised me. The hardware except for the 1 gigs is similar to the one in Yuphoria, ZenFone 2 Laser and here the 1GB RAM was not underwhelming when it comes to gaming. It handled most of the game with ease including Asphalt 8 even when the graphics was turned on high. For most gaming needs, this phone can muster it with heating levels that again is within acceptable levels.
Do check our gaming performance video where we show couple of games been played on this device.
While a 2000mAh battery might look smaller but for a compact device with a 410 chipset, it works well. It will easily last you more than a day.
Yunique is armed with a 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus with a f/2.0 aperture. It can also record videos at 1080p resolution. The front hosts a 2MP shooter.
Before we get into the picture quality, let’s make it realistic. This is a budget phone and we have to keep our expectation toned down. Sounds like a forewarning? No, some people tend to get too carried away when it comes to the imaging capabilities of the mobile camera. Yunique definitely can store your memories in a decent way but if you are looking at too much detailing, it might disappoint that explains the warning bells. It does its job as much a sub-5K phone can do. Like most phones, the day light pics came out decently well though we had few focus issues on some frames. A minute eye can detect noise and the low light pictures are just about OK. I would just say, the Yunique is a average camera to deal with.
So is the Yunique the right phone for you? Absolutely yes! If you are on a tight budget and looking for a device strictly below Rs 5,000, I can’t suggest a better phone than Yunique currently. If you stretch your budget a little bit, then there is Redmi 2 Prime but in the sub-5K, Yunique is in a unique comfort zone and you will never regret the money spend on it. It is a very good all-rounder and a phone you can live with.