Yunicorn review – Flagship redefined?

Yu Televentures have announced their latest flagship smartphone – Yunicorn at a launch event in Delhi. Yu managed to created a lot of hype on social media for the latest device which they consider as their best product till date. Let us find out if we feel the same about Yunicorn.

yunicorn

Box Contents:

  • Yunicorn smartphone
  • Sim tray ejector
  • Charger/Wall adapter
  • Charging cable
  • In-ear earphones
  • User guide/Warranty

Design and Display:

Yu claims that Yunicorn is the most beautiful device the company has ever produced and we must say it is indeed true. The phone has a solid build and feels nice to hold in the hand. The body is made of Aluminium, Manganese and Magnesium which Yu claims to be more resistant and durable and also makes the phone feel better with aging. Weighing in about 172gms, the phone feels a bit heavy but that should be overshadowed by the beautiful build.

“Yunicorn has a solid build and design which might be the best in this category” 

The phone is 8.15mm thick and has tapered edges, a 5.5 inch screen on the front laminated with 2.5D glass screen. There is a physical home button below the screen that also acts as a fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone. On the back you find the 13MP camera and a dual LED flash to accompany it. There is a 3.5mm jack and microphone at the top, speaker and the microUSB port at the bottom. The sim card slot which houses 2 nano sim cards or a sim card/memory card is on the left while the volume rocker and power/lock/unlock button is on the right which lacks good tactical feedback. The finger print scanner on Yunicorn is one of the fastest we have seen in smartphones but the usage is limited since it can be used only for unlocking the screen without need for pin/pattern only after the phone is waken up. You cannot directly unlock the phone with your fingerprint unlike other smartphones.

Yunicorn has a 5.5″ FHD LCD display meaning we get a resolution of 1080p which is great considering the price point of the device. The screen produces good colors and optimized sharpness and contrast. The outdoor visibility is good and the viewing angles are also really good.

Software:

Yu has parted ways with Cyanogen OS because of the contractual issues and the bitter experience from Yutopia – the previous flagship. Yunicorn runs on a custom flavor of Android called AOS – Android on Steroid! It is as close as it gets to stock Android but with couple of pre-installed apps like gaana, Yuniverse, health app and a default music player app. The device is running on Android version 5.1 as of now but Yu has promised that update to Marshmallow will be rolling out very soon to the users. You pretty much have the same applications, layout and settings which you see in other Android devices running on stock android. There is a native monochrome option which turns the screen black and white and enables reading mode to keep the battery usage low and also the strain on user eyes minimum.

Around Yu – One of the most fascinating features of Yunicorn! The user can pretty much buy/book anything with a swipe on the home screen of Yunicorn. Users can book a cab, buy a new mobile, pay electricity/DTH/mobile bills or search for restaurants nearby without even installing any dedicated or third party apps. Yu has partnered with leading service providers like Ola and Uber so that you will be able to book the cabs without installing their apps. There are numerous other services with which Yu is associated to ensure a hassle free superior experience for the users. Yu has also introduced their own wallet with Yunicorn – Udio. This wallet can be used for many services and Yu plans to roll it out across platforms soon.

“Around Yu is hands down one of the appealing and best features of Yunicorn that makes it an easy choice in it’s price category”

The Health app in Yunicorn is one of the other highlights. The app allows users to consult a doctor, book doctor appointments or even buy health packages from a wide selection. The app also allows you to look for doctors or clinics for specific problems which would save time to decide on a doctor or prescription. There are also occasional health quizzes being posted which when you try and answer, provide a discount code that can be used while consultation.

Hardware and Performance:

Yunicorn is powered by MediaTek Helio P10 chipset which is an Octa-core processor clocked at 1.8 GHz and paired with Mali T860 GPU. We had some concerns when Yu announced it would be using the helio P10 processor for their flagship device in a time when even the mid range phones like Le 1s and Redmi Note 3 use helio X10 processor which is far more powerful. But Yu had their reasons – keep power consumption low, keep the price low and support for carrier aggregation. Yu has however made up for the less powerful processor by providing 4GB RAM which keeps the operations smooth and lag free. We have been using the phone for a week now and yet to see the phone lag for the first time. Opening applications, switching between apps or even rebooting the phone are all quick and smooth. Games like Asphalt 8 started lagging with “high” settings but were playable once we changed the settings to “medium”. The internal storage is 32GB which can be expanded upto 128GB using a microSD card.

Yunicorn has a 4000mAh battery which keeps phone powered up for 2 days with casual usage that includes calling/messaging, browsing, occasional songs and videos and data usage.

Camera:

Yunicorn sports a 13MP rear camera with PDAF (Phase detection auto focus) and 5MP front camera for selfies and video calls. Outdoor pictures are well detailed and bright while indoor pictures could have been better from the rear camera. The front camera does a good job for selfies and video calling. Yunicorn’s cameras are similar to other smartphone cameras in the same price range.

Call/Audio quality:

Connectivity wise, Yunicorn supports dual sim cards with 4G LTE and up to 16 bands worldwide. The call quality on the device was good on both sides of the call. The audio from the speaker is mildly loud and clear enough for a person who is listening to music at home in a room.

Conclusion:

Yunicorn has been launched as the company’s flagship device for this year after taking quite a break from the last flagship launch. The last device Yutopia had great specifications but still failed to live up to expectations because of the user experience and the price it was launched at. Yu has made a great comeback with Yunicorn by striking the right balance between design, hardware, software and the price. Yunicorn might not be the real flagship device in terms of hardware but it surely deserves to be among the flagships because of value added features and the experience users will be getting out of it.

“We are very excited after a long time for an Indian brand which has put so much effort and investment to make sure smartphone is also about User experience and not just hardware.”

Pros:

  • Solid build
  • 4GB RAm
  • Great software experience
  • Value added services like Health, Around Yu etc.
  • Great Battery

Cons:

  • Not a very powerful processor
  • Speaker is not very loud.

The phone priced at Rs.12,999 will be available exclusively on Flipkart through flash sale for few days and then go on open sale. Registrations are open for the sale that is scheduled on June 7th.

Rating: 4.2/5

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