Micromax’s Yu ‘Yureka’ smartphone With Cyanogen OS Launched at Rs. 8,999

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Micromax has launched the first of its new Yu brand of Cyanogen OS-based smartphones, the Yu Yureka. The company’s motto for the brand is ‘Yu play god’, signifying the two “pillars” it is based on – customisation and services. The smartphone has been priced at Rs. 8,999, and will go up for registrations via Amazon on Friday (2pm IST) with the launch in the second week of January.

Early adopters will get a leather back cover worth Rs. 999 free. Notably, the company is also touting “free replacement or repair” at the user’s doorstep. The Yureka (AO5510) smartphone runs on a custom-build of Cyanogen OS, Cyanogen OS 11, what Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax, calls the “temple of customisation” and “Android on steroids”, boasting of the “thousands of features over and above stock Android.”

Micromax’s Yureka smartphone features dual-SIM support, with slots for Micro-SIM cards (4G+3G). It bears a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with a pixel density of 267ppi and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The smartphone notably also features Cat. 4 4G LTE. It runs on a 64-bit 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 615 SoC (MSM8939), coupled with Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It bears a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor CMOS sensor rear camera with an f/2.2 aperture. A front-facing 5-megapixel camera is also onboard.

The Yureka comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB), and sports a 2500mAh Li-Po battery claimed to deliver ’25 percent more power, equivalent to 3000mAh’ with OS optimisations, with video playback time of up to six hours, and gaming up to 4 hours. It measures 154.8x78x8.8mm. The Cyanogen OS 11 build is based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and an Android 5.0 Lollipop-based build is promised.

Co-founders of Cyanogen Inc, Kurt McMaster, Steve Kondik, appeared at the event via webcast, and spoke about their early motivation for creating CyanogenMod, wanting to “modify and change Android” to create a mobile platform with the features “they wanted to see” on the open source operating system.

Other Cyanogen executives present at the event spoke of the ‘personalisation, security, performance’ of Cyanogen OS. Starting with customisations, Cyanogen stressed that Yu users will be able to modify icons, fonts, boot screen animation, taps, and more with themes. Two free custom Yu themes will be available at launch.

As for privacy, Cyanogen said users will be able to edit and customise permissions of each app, apart from use features like Find & Wipe device, device encryption, Pin Scramble, Blacklist for spam callers, and a Protected Apps section.

Speaking about performance, Cyanogen executives detailed the camera and gallery apps of Cyanogen OS 11, and said that the current slow mo functionality at @60fps will be boosted to 120fps soon. The company also detailed that the highly-anticipated third-party Android continuity feature, NextBit Baton, which allows for backup and cloud synchronisation of logins, apart from app data and settings, will debut on the Yu Yureka. The NextBit Baton Pass feature lets users continue their work on another device. The AudioFX app’s 24-bit high-res lossless audio was also emphasised.

Interestingly, Sharma clarified that the Yureka phone will feature an unlockable bootloader, kernel source, and full Android build tree. As for power users, Micromax claims warranty will not be voided on rooting the smartphone. Commenting on the feature, Sharma said, “You are the master, you control your destiny, you create the software, we’ll put it on your devices.” 

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