They have both arrived with a lot of fanfare in the Indian market. Both their manufacturers have had more than their fair share of legal wrangles. They both offer very decent hardware at surprisingly low prices. They are both in limited supply and are sold only online. So which one is the phone for you – the Cyanogen-laden YU Yureka which goes on sale today or Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4G? We attempt to answer the question by comparing the two devices.
What lies above: Appearance and looks
The maxim “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” could well have been written keeping these two handsets in mind. For, although neither looks like the other, neither is an eyesore by any means. Honestly, we still think the Asus ZenFone 5 is the best looking sub-Rs 10,000 phone in the market, but these two are no plug uglies. Which of these is the one for you really boils down to your definition of beauty. If you covet thin and lighter phones, then the Yureka takes the cake – it is 8.8 mm thin as against the 9.5 mm of the Note 4G, and tips the scale at 155 grammes as against the significantly heavier 185 grammes of the Note 4G. The Yureka is also slightly less wide (78 mm against 78.7 mm) and only marginally taller than the Note 4G (154.8 mm to 154 mm), so is actually just a bit – a bit, we stress – more palm-friendly. That said, some would find the additional weight of the Note 4G reassuring as it gives the device a feeling of solidity.
The red touch keys beneath the jet black display of the Note 4G also look a lot more striking than the single round key beneath that of the Yureka. Both phones are rather Plain Janes on the back – the Note 4G has a glossy back, while the Yureka has a ‘moonstone gray’ finish. That said, the Note 4G has a more ‘consistent’ texture to it while the Yureka seems made of two distinct materials (a bit like the Moto G).
Winner: It really is down to personal preference here – the slim-trim crowd will like the Yureka, the smart-solid one will hark to the Redmi Note 4G.
What lies beneath: the hardware
It is in the hardware that the battle between the two devices becomes really interesting. Check the following:
- Both boast a similar 720p 5.5 inch display, with a similar 267 ppi pixel density. In terms of brightness, we felt that at both displays maxed out, the Note 4G had a slight edge and was more readable in daylight.
- Stepping into the innards themselves, the Force seems to be strong with the Yureka, which is powered by the newer 64-bit octa core Qualcomm Snapdgraon 615 processor, while the Redmi Note 4G runs on a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor.
- In terms of graphic processor too, the Yureka has the edge – an Adreno 405 against an Adreno 305.
- Both devices have 2GB RAM.
- When it comes to storage, the Yureka seems to wing it again with a storage of 16 GB against 8 GB on the Redmi Note 4G, but the latter can support 64 GB of expandable storage, while the former can only support 32 GB. So yes, the Yureka might be a better option for app addicts but the Note 4G might prove better for those who like to carry stacks of music and videos around.
- Cameras are evenly matched – 13.0-megapixels at the rear for each, and a 5.0-megapixel one in front.
- The Note 4G gets an edge when it comes to sensors – it comes with a proximity sensor and gyroscope as well as a compass, the last being something that the Yureka lacks (we are waiting for official confirmation of this).
- Both devices support 4G, but the Yureka comes with dual SIM connectivity while the Redmi Note 4G is very much a single SIM device.
- Finally, the Note 4G is well ahead of the Yureka when it comes to battery size – it comes with a 3100 mAh battery as compared to the 2500 mAh one on the Yureka.
Winner: No, it is not as foregone a conclusion as some might have thought. The geek brigade will love the faster processor of the Yureka, but mainstream users will point to the greater expandable storage support and bigger battery of the Note 4G. And while geeks will agonise over the absence of a magnetometer compass on the Yureka, mainstream users will cheer for its dual SIM support. Again, your call, really. If battery mAhs, sensors and gigs of storage count, the Note 4G wins. If processor speed and dual SIM connectivity come into play, it is the Yureka for you.
What lies on the surface: software and UI
The software and interface is where, in our books, the real difference between the two devices lies. Yes, both run Android KitKat, although the Yureka runs a slightly newer version (4.4.4) as compared to the Note 4G (4.4.2), but both phones look as different as chalk and cheese for the users. That is because while the Yureka runs Cyanogen, the Redmi Note 4G comes with Xiaomi’s own MIUI interface. Each represents a very different philosophy – the MIUI comes with a number of bells and whistles and neat touches for the consumers (turning on the torch from the lock screen, the different languages keyboard from Swiftkey), while Cyanogen essentially places the interface in the hands of the users. The Redmi Note 4G’s interface looks more colorful, that of the Yureka more minimalistic. It is one heck of a battle, believe you us, not least because both Cyanogen and Xiaomi also follow a philosophy of constantly updating their software.
Winner: This is really going to separate the geeks from the general users. The geeks will almost universally love the customisation and control that Cyanogen offers letting them almost tailor the UI to their requirements. But the general consumer who wants a lot of features right out of the box with minimum fuss will love the MIUI on the Redmi Note 4G. Which one works for you? If you love to fiddle with interface, the Yureka. If you would rather just get everything installed right away, the Note 4G.
In terms of benchmarks, the Yureka pretty much demolished the Redmi Note 4G on the Antutu scores. However, there is more to phone performance than benchmarks, and in real life conditions, both phones ended up breathing down each other’s necks. Witness the following:
- In terms of general viewing of content, we think the Redmi Note 4G provided a slightly better experience.
- In gaming, we felt the Yureka performed better -the Redmi Note 4G did lag occasionally with some of the newer titles.
- In photography, we felt the Note 4G came out with better colors but the Yureka handled detail just a bit better. In terms of interface and options, we think MIUI on the Note 4G offers more to the general user than Cyanogen on the Yureka.
- When it came to sound, we think the Note 4G had a very slight edge in terms of quality but the Yureka does come with AudioFX for a number of controls and tweaks.
- In terms of call quality, we think the Yureka took the honours from the Redmi Note 4G.
- In terms of battery life, the Redmi Note 4G easily wins. The Yureka does surprisingly well for a large screen device with a 2500 mAh battery seeing out a day of use easily, but the Note 4G took us into almost half of the second day.
- What we would like to stress here is that the difference in most of these circumstances was wafer-thin. We have seen people who think the exact opposite of us and rather than argue, we can see where they come from. These are two very evenly matched devices, and the reviewer’s perception of quality is going to come into play in a very big way here.
You want processor power and gaming muscle? Go for the Yureka.
You value multimedia? Go for the Redmi Note 4G.
Yeah, that simple.
Ease of use
When it comes to handling, you would have thought that the sleeker, lighter and slightly slighter (oh yes, we love that experssion) Yureka would have walked away with the title. But ah, as we have discovered since the time we started making comparisons, appearances and specs do not really count for much in the real world. We actually found ourselves liking the fact that the Note 4G had the volume and rocker keys on the same side (the right) as compared to the one-on-the-right (power) and one-on-the-left (volume) pattern of the Yureka. That said, there is no doubting that the Yureka was easier to manage with one hand.
Winner: This one is very close, really. We will ultimately side with the more compact Yureka, but yes, the button arrangement on the Note 4G is much the better, we think.
Pretty evenly matched in most departments, these devices are separated in terms of price by Rs 1,000 – the Yureka is available for Rs 8,999 (~$142), while the Redmi Note 4G comes for Rs 9,999 (~$158).
Winner: The Yureka. No qualms there.
So which is the one: Mi or YU?
Take our word for it, we scratched our heads like the Devil over this one and well, all said and done, in the final balance, we think you need to ask yourself the following questions:
Do I want a newer, zippy processor?
The Yureka wins.
Do I want very good battery life?
The Redmi Note 4G wins.
Do I want dual SIM connectivity?
The Yureka wins.
Do I want very good multimedia performance?
The Redmi Note 4G wins.
Do I want an interface I can control?
The Yureka wins.
Do I want a gaming barnstormer?
The Yureka wins.
Do I want an interface that has lots of features with minimum fuss?
The Redmi Note 4G wins
Do I want to spend as little money as possible?
The Yureka wins
Do looks matter a lot to me?
Look at both phones and pick whichever looks better – your eyes!
No, it is not simply a matter of adding which phone wins on more parameters. Take it from us, this is a heck of a difficult call to take. It really depends on what you consider to be important and to which factor you attach more weightage. We have seen people who rate camera performance more than the number of cores of a processor. And we have also seen those who don’t bother too much about battery life as long as they get their gaming fix without any dropped frames.
Speaking for ourselves, we would recommend the Redmi Note 4G to the mainstream user and the Yureka for the geek brigade which likes to tinker around with the liberties Cyanogen gives it.
But if we had to pick one phone? Ah, that’s really tight and might split us down the middle: I would probably opt for the Yureka thanks to my penchant for apps, but my camera and video loving better half would go for the Redmi Note 4G.
Yeah, it is that kind of choice.