Can the Yu Yunicorn Be Called a Flagship?

Can the Yu Yunicorn Be Called a Flagship?
  • Yu pits Yunicorn to compete with flagships of other companies.
  • The Yu Yunicorn is priced at Rs 12,999.
  • It offers specifications in line with its price point.

The Yu Yunicorn smartphone was launched last week by Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma at an event in New Delhi, priced at Rs. 12,999. This price put the smartphone in the mid-range segment, but Sharma says that the specs of the Yu Yunicorn are worthy to compete with the available flagship smartphones in the market.

Talking to Gadgets 360, Sharma said that the Yunicorn should not be compared with budget or mid-range smartphones available at similar prices. He said that the Yu Yunicorn is targeted to compete with flagships with higher price tags from competitors.

While the Yu Yunicorn brings a host of new features that make it appealing, it is still far from close to competing with the other flagships in the market - the leading phones come with astronomical price tags, which many might not feel are justified, but they do deliver a superlative experience as well. There are a number of areas where the Yunicorn falls short when compared to these top end phones.

First up, Yunicorn boasts of a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080x1920pixels) display, which is a noticeable downgrade from the Quad HD (1440x2560 pixels) display on its predecessor, the Yu Yutopia. Though many people will agree that full-HD is sufficient for a small screen, the downgrade from its own predecessor cannot go unnoticed. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 - the flagships for their respective brands - both use QHD displays.

Yu also ditched the Snapdragon SoC to introduce a MediaTek Helio P10 processor instead. While Yutopia housed a Snapdragon 810 SoC, the Yunicorn doesn't get a processor upgrade from the Qualcomm family that many hoped for. Yu may have done this to cut costs and keep the price to where it is now, but most flagships today swear by Qualcomm processors. The phone also lacks fast charging - something that isn't just a standard for most flagships today, but rather, for most new phones. The Yunicorn has a large battery and it fared well in that category in our review of the device, but fast charging is a great feature that OEMs are now bundling even with mid-ranged smartphones.

While the cameras are decent on the Yunicorn, the other flagships in the market offer much more. The Samsung Galaxy S7, for example, comes with hyperlapse, motion photo, motion hyperlapse, and a new feature called live broadcast as well. The front optics boast of a Dual Pixel setup on a 12-megapixel lens, while the Yunicorn has a 5-megapixel lens for selfies.

In the Indian context, NFC payments is still nascent tecnology, and might take some time till it becomes a norm. However, most flagships today come with NFC. OnePlus was heavily criticised last year for not including NFC in the OnePlus 2, and we would be surprised if it isn't reintroduced in the OnePlus 3. Also, Yunicorn runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop-based Yu 2.0 OS. Lollipop is almost two years old now, and Android N public betas are already being tested by developers. Bringing a Lollipop-run device to the market, after Android Marshmallow has been existing since almost eight months now, does not really ring flagship bells.

The Yu Yunicorn is a big upgrade from its predecessor. The metal unibody and the big battery life has left us impressed. However, it still deems fit to compete with smartphones falling in the same price point, and not flagships of other OEMs. We expect the Yunicorn to give severe competition to Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Lenovo Zuk Z1, Meizu m3 note, and even the Moto G4 Plus.

The other noticeable absentees from the Yunicorn is the USB Type-C port, and FM Radio. Even though Yunicorn falls short in the flagship battle, it doesn't mean that the Yunicorn is not worth the money. It is actually quite a fair deal with 4GB RAM, 32GB of storage, 4000mAh battery, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel selfie lens, and much more - all for Rs 12,999. The Yunicorn is a good phone that appears to offer good value for money. And for the brand, it could well be a flagship - as in, it's the leading product for the brand - but today that word has some connotations in the general public's mind, and for that reason, I wouldn't call the Yunicorn a flagship.


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