For the uninitiated — CyanogenMod is a free, community built version of Android which is highly customised and is designed to boost the performance of your Android device. It began as an open-source project on Github and is still the second biggest project on the site and Steve Kodnik is the founder/creator of CyanogenMod. The Micromax Yureka runs Cyanogen OS 11 and perhaps the best news is that users will get OTA updates every month. Micromax has also promised that the Android 5.0 aka Lollipop update will be made available pretty soon to users.
The biggest plus point for this phone: It will cost only Rs 8999 and that should definitely appeal to those who love to tinker with their devices. In addition to the price point, users can root the phone, play around with the OS and not worry about losing their warranty. Again given that CyanogenMod as an OS is likely to appeal to the geek/tech savvy audience this bit about the warranty will probably be music to their ears.
As far as specs go, it has a 5.5-inch HD screen, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 16 GB storage which can be expanded to 32 GB via microSD, a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-core processor, 13 megapixel rear camera, a 5 megapixel front camera and a 2500 mAH battery. Oh and this smartphone is a 4G LTE device as well.
Our first impression of the device.
As far as the dimensions of the smartphone are concerned, they are 154.8x78x6/8.8 mm and while it’s not a bulky looking device, the 5.5-inch screen means that if you have tiny hands, you’re likely to have trouble handling the phone. Of course, for phablet lovers, the extra-screen size is always welcome.
Micromax has also introduced what it is calling a ‘polished moonstone finish’ on the back. The good thing is the material doesn’t feel like plastic and frankly that’s a great improvement, especially for a device that doesn’t cost the earth. Other than the moonstone finish, it’s a pretty standard smartphone design, and given that it is only available in black, it actually looks rather sleek.
Processor, Memory Space:
Micromax has gone for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-core processor which is 64-bit, is clocked at 1.5 GHz, comes with Adreno 405 GPU. The chipset supports 4G LTE in India as well. The RAM is 2GB DDR3. As the Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma explained during the launch, “the 64-bit processor means that the processor can access upto 4 billion times more memory than the 32-bit system and utilises the RAM more effectively”. The total memory space on the phone is 16 GB which can be expanded to 32 GB via microSD. This is a dual-SIM smartphone.
From the limited amount of time we spent with the device, we noticed that out of the 16 GB — a total of 12GB memory space was available to users and the phone didn’t show any lag as far as functioning as concerned. Given that this runs CyanogenMod, the device is expected to function smoothly, although we can confirm more of this once we test it out.
The phone has a 13 megapixel which has a Sony EXMOR CMOS sensor, f2.2 aperture, 75.4 degree wide-angle lens and can shoot at 1080p and a slow-motion video at 60 frames per second. It’s also got Blue Filter architecture to balance light and get better exposure. The front camera is 5 megapixel (1944*2592 resolution).
Micromax showcased a couple of pictures they said were taken from Yureka device and from the looks of it, this seems like an exceptional camera, even though we couldn’t help notice that a few images looked slightly blurred. We’ll have more on the camera, once we’ve tested the device vigorously.
As far as connectivity goes, this is a 4G LTE device and given the price point at which it has been launched makes this very exciting. Essentially if you have 4G in your city, you could get a device for allows you to access the network for just Rs 8999. The bands supported at LTE TDD B40 2300MHz, LTE FDD B3 1800MHz, WCDMA 900/2100MHz. It supports CAT 4 technology which will allow download speeds of upto 150 mbps, of course subject to network efficiency.
This is what makes the smartphone different from other devices and probably the only reason why many fans will line up to buy this. It runs CyanogenMod OS 11 on Android 4.4.4 and looks like a stock Android device. You don’t see any bloatware or other unnecessary apps that often tend to slow down a phone and annoy users.
As far as some features of the OS are concerned, here are some features:
This will allow users to set what privacy settings an app can access. You can individually fix the data limits for a particular app from contacts, location, reading/sending SMS, camera and choose the level of access for an app as well.
The smartphone also allows for Data encryption and remote wipe data in case you lose your device. Another feature allows users to password-protect apps.
The camera has a variety of features and inbuilt filters. You can just keep swiping up and down to change the filter as you take a picture. The camera also has a burst mode, an HDR mode, a night mode, etc.
Editing Hardware and Software buttons:
You can choose to edit the functions a hardware or software button will perform. You can add customized functions to choose what the phone will do in say a single tap, double tap etc.
The phone will launch with two themes in India and the company will offer more in due course.
As far as the OS is concerned, it has a clean, clutter-free interface. Add to that regular updates will ensure that the phone has the latest feature, which is a big plus point.
Battery The smartphone has a 2500mAh battery and Micromax says the standby time is 210 hours and is offering 11 hours of battery on 4G LTE and close to 13 hours on 3G. The company says that the OS has been optimised for better battery. More on this once we test the device, but on paper 13 hours on LTE sounds exceptional for a device that is under Rs 10,000.
Price, Availability, Service:
During the launch Micromax indicated first that the phone would cost Rs 19,999. Naturally there was disappointment in the crowd, but then they quickly (ok, not so quickly) announced that they were reducing the price to Rs 8,999.
For those who don’t think a decent smartphone should cost the earth this is an excellent price point. It also means that OnePlus One, which is already facing a ban in India thanks to a Delhi HC order, is now a very expensive alternative to the Yu series.
Also Read – OnePlus One Review
The smartphone is available only on Amazon and pre-registration is required. As of now the Registration are closed before one day for the sale on 13th of January at 2 PM. Micromax didn’t really give a number on how many units will be up for sale. It’s likely to be a flash sale and it won’t be surprising if the device gets sold out soon. Rahul Sharma seemed to indicate that it would take the company some time to build up the stock on the device.
As far as service is concerned, you don’t have to go to a service centre. Instead someone will just come and pick up the device for you. All of this sounds great, but in India we know that getting quality service can be a major issue and this is not just limited to smartphones. Hopefully, Micromax won’t disappoint users in the Yu series at least.
This is definitely a buzz-worthy smartphone from Micromax. Micromax Yureka might not be the most easy name, but given the specs, price and OS, it could well be the game-changing device that could boost the company’s image and revenue in the year 2015.
Also Read – Top 10 Smartphones of 2014