First Impressions: Yureka: Here’s looking at YU, Baby!

by: - Last updated on: January 3rd, 2015

And we have YU. Pardon us, but the pun was just too hard to resist. Abandoning the word play, we have in our semi-frozen hands (it is two degrees in Delhi. Brrr…) the first fruit of the Micromax-Cyanogen union in India and of the YU brand that represents it, the Yureka. It was unveiled on December 18, and will go on sale on January 13, exclusively on Amazon India. Registrations for it closed a couple of days ago, amidst claims of their being “overwhelming.”


Now, a lot has been said (some of it by us too) about the Cyanogen-Micromax(YU)-OnePlus brouhaha, so we will steer clear of that for the time being and just stress that the YU brand in India is the official torchbearer of Cyanogen, and the Yureka is its first phone. And well, it has been released at what we think is a crackerjack of a price – Rs 8,999 for a phone with a 5.5 inch display, powered by an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage (expandable), 4G LTE, dual SIM connectivity, a 13.0-megapixel rear camera and 5.0-megapixel front one, and ah, CyanogenMod 11, which is based on Android 4.4 KitKat. It is a phone that YU (and Micromax) founder Rahul Sharma declared at the launch would be good enough for two years. “After that, do buy a new phone,” he had added, to laughter from a delighted crowd.

Well, we have the Yureka and while a detailed review is being worked on even as you read this, here are our first thoughts. The device comes in a brown flat pizza-style box (rather than the shoebox packaging that some brands prefer) with the Yu branding and the review unit we received came with a charger, headset, data cable and battery, all packed together neatly. Some people have noticed a similarity in the packaging with Xiaomi which also uses brown colored flat boxes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as we like our packages stark and with minimal messaging on the front.

The phone itself is an all plastic and glass affair – no metal accents as in the OnePlus One. At 154.8 in length and 78 mm in width, it is slightly longer and wider than the One Plus One (OPO henceforth) and at 8.8 mm, only slightly thinner. The bezels seem slightly larger than on the OPO, although unlike that device, the Yureka sticks to straight lines and no gently curving out upper and lower sides, even though its edges too curve gently. At around 155 grammes, it is also marginally lighter than the OPO, although that device’s defenders will point to the metal accent in it.

All said and done, the Yureka is a large-ish device (it is more than half a foot long) and you are going to be needing both hands to operate it more often than not. But it feels reassuringly solid and well-crafted – no sloppiness here. The feel of the phone is not cheap, as many had feared. The back is smooth and not glossy and will not pick up scratches and smudges easily.

The front is all about the 5.5-inch display (Corning Gorilla Glass 3) which has a resolution of 720p, which some might complain about when you consider the full HD display on the OPO, but then factor in the price, which is less than half of the OPO and suddenly it does not seem too bad after all. We have seen the Xiaomi Redmi Note carry off a 5.5-inch 720p display very well and from what we have seen so far, so does the Yureka. Bang below the display is a spherical soft home button, and when you switch on the display, you will notice that it is flanked by a theme settings button (which doubles as a multi-tasking button on a long press) and a back button. When switched off, the front is jet black with only the spherical home button visible – shades of the early iPhones, we know, but again, we mind it not a bit.

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The back has the 13.0-megapixel camera with an LED flash below it, with the YU logo on the upper part. Honestly, we think the YU logo could have been better handled (Micromax handled the logo on its Android One device magnificently, remember?) – the blue logo on a grayish black (the official name is Moonstone Grey) does not exactly stand out. We wonder if using the grey/black and red version of the logo that is on the box might have been a better idea, although some will say that the darker shade would not have been as clear. There is a speaker grille on the lower part of the back. The sides are relatively sparse, with one feature on each – the right has the power/display key, the top 3.5 mm audio jack, the left the volume rocker and the base the microUSB port.

You can remove the back cover to reveal the battery, the two SIM slots and microSD card slot – you can insert one SIM without removing the battery, but you will need to remove the battery to insert both SIMs (micro SIM cards for both slots) and the memory card. The battery itself is a 2500 mAh affair, which some feel is a bit on the lower side for a device with such a large display (the OPO had a 3100 mAh one, but then that was a full HD device too) – we will find out in the coming days.


On starting the phone, you will be asked to create a Cyanogen account or log in to your existing one. The interface is Cyanogen but the one addition that jumps out at you is an app called YUniverse, which is actually a browser for the YU device made by Opera – it is very similar to Opera for Android at first look and we will let you know about any other tweaks that we notice. Another addition that Indian users might like is the presence of FM Radio (you need to plug in the headset to make it work).

In sum, our first impressions of the Yureka are positive. We found none of the sloppiness that a lot of Micromax critics had warned us about (honestly, as we keep saying, the company deserves a bit more credit). The Yureka is a smart enough phone, well-finished and with a good, solid feel to it. No, it is not going to stand out in a crowd, but then it is not supposed to be a looker and is supposed to appeal more to the geek crowd, which we think might like its minimalistic, clean design. In fact, it is definitely one of the better looking phones at its price of Rs 8,999. What will really determine the Yureka’s fate is how well it performs and runs Cyanogen. On which we will be writing in the coming days. As of now, all we can say to you (and YU) is: YU is/are on the right track as far as looks and design go.

Yes, we HAD to sign off with a pun. Stay tuned for a detailed review.

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  1. Awesome stuff. The first impression of this much awaited device that I can’t wait to buy on 13th Jan. Always believed that Micromax has done enough for us to prefer them over Chinese or Koreans phobia. The new brand will defintely take it to next level. Do let us know if there are any tricks to be able to book the device on 13th before it goes off.

  2. Funny how everyone ignore the fact that it is re-branded. Someone creates a “new” brand with all hype and then the first product is a rebranded (Coolpad F2) piece of crap.
    Tech is about innovation, there is nothing here. No money spent on R&D and thus the price, almost of the import price of the device. (Cyanogen takes credit for the software side)

    1. Let’s be realistic. This is a brand new company which was just set up and they have started building an R&D team and has also announced developer relations. At this time it IS a rebranded hardware with cyanogen OS, but special software features should come soon

      1. Let’s be even more realistic, YU is owned by MMX. They are not starting from scratch.
        Since you are implying its “brand” new, please do checkout current phones of MMX. All are rebranded, including the so called flagship.
        They’re implying the same logic over & over again.
        Now don’t tell me MMX has a device designed by their in-house team.

        1. well said bro! all of MMX are crappy rebrands of BLU or COOLPAD. they never did any innovation or never will do. They will only fool ppl.

          this clueless guy Rahul in the launch said the RAM can be increased to 32GB – guy doesnt know ABC of technology why the hell will be plan for the future? lol.

          i have no prob with rebrands – but the guys say they have great RnD centers, will allow the RAM to be increased to 32GB, will have millions of users in few months, door-to-door-service will be the best all all that – is just a SHAM.

          i would truly loved to be proven wrong ! at the end of the day as a customer if i get a good working product for 8,999 – i am a happy guy :D

          guys at techpp should truly do their homework well and not be too obvious that they are PAID bloggers / reviewers who attend all those fancy launch parties in star hotels with travel sponsored by the companies and in the end are obligated to SUPPORT them! – no offence, i’ve been a blogger myself for 5 years and finally decided to quit the be-the-slave-to-make-money game. I know how exactly it works. lets try to be someone like engadget / verge / anandtech / mkbhd and provide TRUE reviews that help ppl!

          1. I’m not even sure if your mindless jab about our ethics ever deserve a reply or not, but I’ll try anyway.
            One, this is NOT a review. It’s a first impressions/hands on post which talks mostly about the hardware and design of the smartphone.
            Two, bother to actually read what we have written about battery, logo etc.
            Three, as Yash pointed out in his comment above, end users don’t really bother about rebranded stuff till the time it works well.

      2. Do read the other comments here, someone mentioned not to compare it with the Chinese “clone”, coolpad F2. The irony there.
        Another guy seems to be saying MMX is better than Chinese/Korean phones.
        Lol. The irony.
        Totally deceiving the normal ppl.

      3. Can you please tell me how did you get your hands on this phone? It’s really a good phone in its price range, let’s hope it’ll be available freely and not Xiaomi or OPO gimmicks.

    2. Well, if you must know, the OPO is also a twin of the Oppo Find 7/7a sharing similar components and is virtually the same phone. Considering that One Plus is actually a break off from the Oppo team, that’s not saying much for innovative R&D either. Not defending MMX here, but why reinvent when it isn’t broken?

      1. Did I even compare it to OPO?
        And its better to be influenced by your parent company rather than a Chinese OEM who is known to have backdoors. Its a subset in truth, their parent company spent on R&D. They may deny being a subset but well you know..
        (Google about the backdoors in coolpad devices.)

        1. well to say that coolpad has backdoor for spying or whatever would not be a good argument as the CM people control the ROM now and are pretty good at security

        2. Get your facts right! That thing about Coolpad F2 is just a software issue. And that won’t affect YU, as Yu is not using Coolpad’s OS

    3. I don’t see how it being a rebranded device affects you as the end user. Which is why, I personally wouldn’t mind getting this phone for 9k… If I was looking for one.

  3. In just 140 USD / 8999 INR, you will get contract free custom android OS armoured device which has:
    *5.5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass class 3 protection
    *Octa-Core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) (ARM Cortex A53 – 4×1.5GHz + 4×1.0GHz) processor with Adreno 405 GPU
    *2GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB internal memory, expandable memory up to 32GB with microSD
    *Dual SIM
    *CyanogenMod OS 11 based on Android 4.4 (KitKat) with constant future proof OS updates due to strong harware
    *13MP rear camera with LED Flash, 5P lenses, Sony Exmor RS IMX135 sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 1080p at 30fps, 720p slow motion at 60fps, 5MP selfie camera, OmniVision 5648 sensor, 4P lenses, 71-degree wide viewing angle
    *4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
    *2500mAh battery, 8 hrs talktime, 210 hrs standby

    The best thing is, it is all from INDIA our country!!


    Note: Don’t compare it with Chinese clone COOLPAD F2, as MMX YUREKA has robust Octa-Core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 but the COOLPAD F2 has cheap MediaTek MT6592

    1. No the display is not over saturated it is slightly looking because of default icons color but you can change them according to me vaibhav goyal….

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