With great fanfare, YU today unleashed its Yutopia in India for 24,999 INR. This is by far the most ambitious attempt by any domestic manufacturer, and thus deserves our undivided attention. While unveiling Yutopia piece by piece, Rahul Sharma, Founder of Yu Televenture, reiterated many a times, that they just went and sourced the most powerful components from around the globe. But, is that how you make a truly great smartphone? Does Yutopia shines as much when held in hand as it does on paper? Let’s try and find answers in our hands-on review.

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Key Specifications of Yutopia:

Phone Yu Yutopia
Display 5.2-inch (1440 x 2560 pixels) Quad HD OGS display with Corning Concore Glass
Processor 2 GHz 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor
RAM 4GB LPDDR4
Internal Storage 32GB with expansion slot (128GB)
Software Android 5.1.1 Lollipop based CyanogenOS 12
Primary Camera 21MP with dual tone LED flash, PDAF, OIS, wide angle lens, 4K video recording, Sony Exmor RS IMX230 sensor
Selfie Camera 8MP with wide angle lens, OV8865 BSI-2 sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 1.4um pixel
Others Fingerprint sensor, 4G LTE, Hybrid Dual SIM
Battery 3000mAh, Quick Charge 2.0 supported
Price 24,999 INR

Looks Like A Premium and Polished Yuphoria

Now it’s not uncommon for companies to follow same design language and ethos across their product portfolio, and we are still undecided if we mean that in a condescending manner, but that was the first thing that came to mind when we examined Yutopia.

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The symmetrical design (audio jack, Camera and USB port aligned perfectly to the center), rear and front speaker mesh, Saturn ring camera module, power button sandwiched between volume up and down (3 element key), rounded side edges –  all that is reminiscent of Yuphoria (or even Yunique), more than what we might have liked. But yes, use of good quality material (read metal) makes this a premium device.

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A fingerprint sensor is fresh addition and is present right below the camera module. As Rahul was quick to point out, Transmission antenna lines are slimmer than those on iPhone, but on Yutopia they run all along the side edges. Also, Amidst all those flagship challenges YU has been throwing in teasers for months, Yutopia is missing a USB Type-C port, which is indeed a flagship trait at this point of time.

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Comparisons with OnePlus 2 are inevitable. Yutopia is very light, slim and has a 5.2 Inch display, all of which makes it more manageable and very comfortable to hold. On the other hand, OnePlus 2 is bulky, but looks good and unlike Yutopia, offers option to replace back cover with cool alternatives.

Also Read: Should You Buy the OnePlus 2 or the Nexus 5X?

YU Yutopia Photo Gallery

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All those pixels, but the Display didn’t dazzle

Yutopia features a 5.2-inch (1440 x 2560 pixels) Quad HD, 565PPI OGS display with Corning Concore Glass, 1000:1 Contrast Ratio and 91% NTSC color gamut and pure black touch glass. Display was manufactured by renowned display panel maker Sharp. All that sounds enticing on paper, but failed to dazzle us.

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Display is the part which Yutopia didn’t nail. Moreover, the default Cyanogen OS 12.1 wallpapers on the hands-on prototypes weren’t scaled properly and appeared pixelated. Default theme was black, and blacks were good, but colors appeared a bit bland. We will still reserve our final verdict till we have had more time to test it in our own space.

Tries to please audiophiles

To please audiophiles, YU uses DAC audio, bundles Little Bird from House of Marley in the box and give pre-installed Gaana app for both online and on-device music. You also get 6 months free subscription for Gaana app. All that is certainly cool and something to be excited about, but efficacious or not? That remains to be tested.

Software and AroundYU

Familiar CyanogenOS 12.1 in Yutopia is based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. You can count and receiving Android Marshmallow update too. CyanogenOS is light and provides ample meaningful customization options. If you love tinkering your phone you will surely like it. We didn’t notice any UI lag or issue in our time with the device.

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One digression from CyanogenOS is AroundYU, a software service which lets you compare prices for cabs, food and other things around you. When you swipe left from the home screen or the place reserved for Google Now in Stock Android Launcher is where you will find AroundYU. Even pressing the home button, by default, takes you to AroundYU page rather than home page. This can be irritating (but we expect this can be changed from settings).

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Yu includes a 21MP sensor with two-tone LED flash, Phase detection AF, OIS and wide angle lens. Front selfie camera poses with equally impressive specifications. In our brief testing in low lighting, camera performance seemed quite decent. It is never possible to formulate a solid opinion about camera in such a brief time, but yes, there was nothing particular that set us off. Camera App is default Cyanogen App which is light but not feature rich.

Expectations – A device without Buts?

All 2015 phones have been imperfect and as Rahul Sharma stated, YU set out to make a device without any BUT involved. They sourced the best of hardware component pieces to complete the perfect smartphone jigsaw puzzle, however, the cumulative picture is certainly not without ‘Buts’. Unfortunately, making a truly great phone isn’t as simple as bringing together the most powerful components. If it were that simple all OEMs would have done it. We are indeed happy about a domestic brand finally steping up to global flagship standards, but this journey has just begun. Stay tuned for our final verdict.

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