Yu Yutopia Review

Yu Yutopia Review

The brand new Yu Yutopia is being touted as “the most powerful phone on the planet”, which is a bold claim from a company’s debut entry into the big leagues. Yu Televentures CEO Rahul Sharma seems mighty confident though since the company’s marketing department had no qualms about taking digs at Apple and Samsung in the teasers that led up to the phones’ debut last week.

Pot-shots aside, it’s clear that Yu is going after the Chinese manufacturers like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Gioneeand Oppo who have long been offering “flagship killers” without having to empty your bank account. The aptly named Yutopia is an imagining of what a perfect smartphone should be like, while still being affordable to the masses.

Yu has certainly got the ingredients right but how it all comes together in the end, is what really matters. Is the Yutopia every bit as good as it looks on paper? Let’s find out.

Yu_Yutopia_back_ndtv.jpgLook and feel
The aluminium and magnesium chassis is one of the highlights of the phone. It feels incredibly premium and has good ergonomics. The phone is also comfortably slim and heavy enough to not feel like you’re holding a toy. The satin texture does make the phone quite slippery though and we wish Yu had bundled at least a bumper case along with it.

The primary SIM tray and secondary hybrid-SIM tray are accessible via a common flap on the left. The right side houses the volume and power buttons, which have good tactile feedback and are easily accessible. The headphone socket and Micro-USB 2.0 port are placed on the top and bottom respectively.

Yu_Yutopia_buttons_ndtv.jpgAround the back, we have a circular protruding dial which houses the 21-megapixel camera and dual-tone LED flash unit. Below it, is the fingerprint sensor followed by the speaker grille placed at the bottom. As expected, the glass cover for the camera isn’t scratch resistant and we noticed scuffs developing after just a couple of days of usage. This is another reason why you desperately need a case for the phone.

The front is dominated by an excellent 5.2-inch, Quad HD IPS display along with Corning’s Concore glass. The latter has similar scratch resistant properties as Gorilla Glass, except here, the protective glass and touch screen are a single panel. Colour reproduction and viewing angles are very good and so is sunlight legibility, thanks to some nifty software tricks, which well get into in a bit. The touch response can get a little iffy at times as we noticed intermittent unresponsiveness during our usage. It’s not a consistent issue but every now and then, it fails to register an input. The notification LED is placed at the bottom.

Yu_Yutopia_bundle_ndtv.jpgThe Yu Yutopia comes bundled with a transfer cable, a charger which supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, Little Bird in-ear headset from House of Marley, and some instruction booklets. The quality of the accessories are good and feel like they will last you in the long run. Overall, the Yutopia is a handsome looking phone that’s well built and ergonomically large for some single handed usage. We would have liked some scratch protection for the camera bump, a bundled case of some sort to protect the body and for grip, and perhaps, oleophobic coating for the display, since it easily catches fingerprints.

Specifications and software

Yu has gone all-out when it comes to specifications, well, at least the core components. We get Qualcomm’s finest Snapdragon 810 SoC, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. The latter can be expanded via a microSD card up to 128GB. There’s also dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, USB OTG and FM Radio. We’re still missing NFC and unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging either. Apart from the usual suite of sensors, the Yutopia also gets a barometer sensor. Last but not least, we have a 3000mAh non-removable battery with support for fast charging.

Yu_Yutopia_softwarel_new_ndtv.jpgThe Yutopia runs on Cyanogen OS 12.1 which is based on Google’s Android Lollipop 5.1.1, and is slated to get Marshmallow-based update sometime next year. The default theme upon first boot is quite buggy and causes random freezes during usage so we recommend switching to something else immediately. The Yu theme from Cyanogen is a lot better as Wi-Fi and cellular status are accurately represented and the random freezes have almost gone away. Despite this, the OS doesn’t feel Nexus-smooth or look as refined as say, Oxygen OS from OnePlus, but perhaps we’ll get there in future updates.

Yu_Yutopia_SIM_ndtv.jpgThe beauty of Cyanogen is the tonne of customisation that’s on offer and the additional features integrated into stock Android apps. Theming is big here and you have options from a theme pack to only customising individual components like the icons, status bar, toggle switches, etc. Truecaller is integrated into the dialler which can be enabled if you choose to; LiveDisplay will automatically adjust the screen’s colour temperature depending on the type of ambient light; you can set system profiles; Privacy Guard lets you control which apps have access to your personal data; and there’s integrated WhisperPush service for sending and receiving encrypted SMSes.

The Yutopia also debuts Yu’s brand new software service called Around Yu, which lets you shop, book a cab and much more, all in one place. Yu has tied up with Zomato, Ixigo and Ola currently and we expect many more to jump onboard soon. The services are actually well integrated and easy to use. This is a good value added feature which will be genuinely useful once more partners are on board.

Yu_Yutopia_music_new_ndtv.jpgIn addition to this, there’s a YUniverse app, which is a customised Opera Turbo for the Yutopia, a file manager, and a screencast app. Audio is another area where Cyanogen has done a brilliant job. The AudioFX app lets you toggle between sound profiles for the speaker and headset, individually or create your own custom preset. In addition, you get DTS Sound too but this can simply be toggled on or off. The stock music player has also been integrated with the Gaana music streaming app and the result is surprisingly well done. AudioFX can also be accessed from within the music app, which is great for switching profiles on the fly.

Performance
Once you to get rid of the buggy default theme; the Yutopia performs as it should. App performance is good and so is multitasking. On average, there’s always about 2GB of free RAM for apps so that’s one thing you’ll rarely fall short of. However, it doesn’t take long for the 810 SoC’s achilles heel to rear its head. The phone warms up pretty easily even with simple tasks and gets really hot around the rear camera area when gaming or shooting videos. Unfortunately, this issue is unavoidable, especially when you have a chip that’s prone to heating. Call quality is good though and the 4G support is present on both SIM slots.

Yu_Yutopia_fingerprint_ndtv.jpgYou can store up to five fingerprints and use to instantly unlock the phone, without hitting the power button. It can also be used to take a selfie from within the camera app. The trouble is, the sensor isn’t very accurate and often rejects your fingerprint in the first attempt, prompting you to try again. At times, it doesn’t register it even when you place your finger perfectly on the dial while at times, it will unlock the phone when used even at an obscure angle.

The phone is also very benchmark-happy, posting impressive numbers across the board. We got a good score of 69036 in AnTuTu, 40fps in the T-Rex test of GFXbench and 10284 in 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme.

Yu_Yutopia_earphones_ndtv.jpgThe Little Bird headset from House of Marley is a great addition to the Yutopia’s bundle. The in-ear buds provide excellent ambient noise isolation and produce tight bass, with decent reproduction across the rest of the frequency range. The phone also handles UHD video playback well. Unfortunately, the video player app is a little too barebones for our taste and could use an overhaul. The rear speaker is not the most powerful and tends to drown out when used outdoors.

The 21-megapixel main camera manages well detailed close ups and landscapes shots, provided there’s ample natural light. You swipe up or down on the screen to cycle between shooting modes while options for flash, front camera, white balance and even more shooting modes are placed in front for easy access.

Yu_Yutopia_HDR_new_ndtv.jpgHDR mode adds a white haze which makes the picture look very unnatural (click for full-sized image)Yu_Yutopia_closeup_ndtv.jpg(Click for full-sized image)The focusing system is not the quickest and tends to slow down even further under low-light. Capturing speed isn’t the quickest either, although this can be remedied a bit by enabling ‘Zero shutter lag’, at the cost of some sharpness and detailing. HDR didn’t seem to work well at all as the resulting picture looks hazy and very unnatural. There’s also no burst mode, pro mode or any option to save as RAW.

Yu_Yutopia_indoor_ndtv.jpgYu_Yutopia_night_new_ndtv.jpg(Click for full-sized images)The Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) helps getting smooth video but we noticed a hint of frame drops when panning. This issue was present while recording in 4K as well as 60fps mode. In low-light, 1080p mode works best as 4K introduces way to much noise in the video. However, no matter the lighting, the sensor is always hunting for focus, which doesn’t look too good in the end result. Surprisingly, the front 8-megapixel camera is actually good, producing fairly detailed selfies, both outdoors and indoors.

Yu_Yutopia_charging_ndtv.jpgThe 3000mAh battery lasted us for 8 hours and 57 minutes in our video loop test, which is not bad but could have been better. During regular usage with a mix of camera, calls, music and gaming, we got an average of about 18-20 hours, before the battery saver kicked in. Thankfully, the phone does support Quick Charge 2.0 and in our tests, we were able to charge it from bone-dry to 35 percent in half an hour.

Verdict
The Yutopia is certainly a good first premium effort from Yu but it’s far from the utopian smartphone that the company envisioned. Simply cramming in top-end components to fit a desired budget doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best product. The Yutopia does have its share of redeeming qualities like the excellent 2K display, very good build and finish, quick charging, great multimedia and services integration in the OS and quality bundled accessories.

However, there’s plenty of scope for improvement for the next version. The current fingerprint sensor is a bit of a hit-or-miss affair, battery life could have been better, overall camera performance feels underwhelming and there’s really nothing new to say about the heating issue from the 810 chip. We would also like to see NFC and maybe wireless charging included in the next iteration.

At Rs. 25,000, the OnePlus 2 (Review | Pictures) is still a good option. If a higher resolution screen is what you’re after, then the slightly older LG G3 (Review | Pictures) is still a good candidate at around the same price, and it is expected to get the Marshmallow update sometime next month.


Yu Yutopia in pictures

Missed the news? Here’s a list of all phones launched at MWC 2016 on one handy page – or catch our full Mobile World Congress coverage.

Yu Yutopia

Yu Yutopia

R 24999

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Sharp display
  • Good build and finish
  • Quality bundled accessories
  • Feature-rich OS
  • Fast charging
  • Bad
  • Fingerprint sensor doesn’t work well
  • Heats up quickly
  • No NFC
  • Underwhelming camera performance
  • Battery life could be better
Read detailed Yu Yutopia review
Tags: Android, Micromax, smartphones, Yu, Yu Yutopia, Yu Yutopia features, Yu Yutopia price, Yu Yutopia price in India,Yu Yutopia review, Yu Yutopia specifications, Yutopia
[“Source-Gadgets”]

InFocus M680 Review

InFocus M680 Review

InFocus has been a player in India for less than a year now, but it has been releasing a steady stream of new models, most of which we have received well. The US-based company, which specialises in projectors and office communication equipment, is working with Chinese electronics giant Foxconn to put its name on a line of smartphones aimed at emerging markets. Through this relationship, InFocus is trying to carve out a space for itself, and it seems as though the periodic flash sales it holds are receiving quite a lot of attention.

It can’t be easy to compete in the Indian smartphone market, where a disruptive new device comes along nearly every other week. Still, InFocus appears to be gunning for the budget segment with a combination of low prices and premium features. Let’s see if the new M680 can take on existing low-cost champions and leave a good impression.

infocus_m680_left_ndtv.jpgLook and feel
We liked looking at the InFocus M680 from pretty much every angle except head-on. The front face is really busy, with the earpiece, large black cutouts for the front camera, sensors and notification LED, and a prominent company logo all placed asymmetrically in the narrow space above the screen. The three capacitive buttons below the screen aren’t backlit, but at least their labels are easy to see in daylight.

Our review unit was gold and white, but a silver and white version is also available. The rear has a matte metallic finish. It looks like there’s a removable panel, but that isn’t the case. Our review unit had a large, ugly label stuck on the back which picked up dirt almost immediately – we hope retail units don’t come like this, because it really ruins the look. We also noticed minor scratches and scuffs on the metalafter just a few days in our front pocket and on our desk, so a cover is advisable no matter what.

infocus_m680_rear_ndtv.jpgThe sides are also metallic and have distinctly iPhone 5-inspired chamfered edges. There’s a speaker grille and a Micro-USB port on the bottom; a 3.5mm headset socket on top; volume buttons on the left; and the power button and SIM tray on the right. The M680 can work with two Nano-SIMs, but you’ll have to choose between microSD storage expansion and a second SIM, thanks to the frustratingly popular “hybrid dual-SIM” slot design which only lets you use one at a time.

The phone certainly feels solid, thanks to its metallic touches. 7.25mm is quite thin, but this phone isn’t petite with its 5.5-inch screen or light at 158g. We found the rim a bit scratchy in our hands and against our ears, but we had no other complaints with ergonomics.

infocus_m680_right_ndtv.jpgOur review unit came with a SIM tray eject tool, a charger and a USB cable, the latter two of which seemed to be made of very cheap materials. There’s supposed to be a headset, but we didn’t get one to try out.

Specifications and software
InFocus is promising a packed spec list and we’re pretty pleased by what we see, considering this phone’s sub-Rs. 11,000 price tag. The M680 is based on a MediaTek MT6753 SoC, which has eight CPU cores running at 1.5GHz. There’s 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage which can be expanded by up to 64GB if you choose to forego dual-SIM functionality. 4G is supported on both SIMs and will work with Indian bands.

infocus_m680_bottom_ndtv.jpgThe 5.5-inch screen has a resolution of 1080×1920. Both the front and the rear cameras have 13-megapixel sensors, which is pretty impressive. InFocus also points out that the phone has an independent audio amplifier. The battery has a capacity of 2600mAh which is a bit low, but explains the phone’s slimness. You also get Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and USB-OTG.

Android 5.1 is covered up by InFocus’s Inlife UI and custom icon set. Most of the UI features expand on the capabilities of stock Android without being too loud. Once nice touch is the ability to switch between a single-layer UI (the default) and a two-layer mode with separate homescreens and an app drawer. The lock screen is also pretty useful, letting you drag docked icons upwards to launch those apps directly. You get four quick toggles for important settings in the notifications shade and can pull down further to reveal the full set of shortcuts.

infocus_m680_lowerfront_ndtv.jpgThe Settings app itself has been given a makeover. You can choose to scroll through the standard Android list orsee all options in a tabbed structure which is actually pretty easy to get around. On the flip side, you lose the ability to search for settings. There’s a Task Manager section hidden in the homescreen customisation view which lets you purge apps from RAM and also encourages you to get rid of ones you don’t use frequently.

The camera app is totally custom, with a variety of modes including Motion Track, Face Beauty and Multi Angle composition. Face Beauty is displayed more prominently when you switch to the front camera. You get controls for “wrinkle removal” and “whiteness” which both seem to make faces look very artificial. There are also creative filters ranging from the standard Mono and Sepia to Posterise, Negative, and Blackboard.

infocus_m680_screens_ndtv.jpgFor some reason, InFocus has preloaded three additional camera apps. One has a Chinese name and interface, making it rather pointless for users in India. The second is called Beauty Cam, and it duplicates the camera app’s functions but also adds more controls for things such as acne removal (a crude clone-stamp tool), far more filters, and animated effects such as floating hearts and stars. There’s an additional section with a Chinese interface which appears to offer instructions of some sort, though we couldn’t do much with it.

The third app is called MeituPic, and it’s yet another layer of duplication. This one does nearly everything that the others do but then again it offers face slimming, leg lengthening, dark circle removal and eye enlargement. You can create collages and apply filters tailored specifically for shots of people, food, scenery or objects. If that’s not enough, you can add effects such as a selective blur, text overlays, frames, and much more. There appear to be downloadable “materials” and “mini apps” but yet again these sections were in Chinese and so we couldn’t proceed.

infocus_m680_buttons_ndtv.jpgBeyond photography, there are a few other preloaded apps. Power Detective shows battery status and usage statistics, including how long Wi-Fi and GPS have been active in addition to apps themselves. You can also check the CPU and battery temperature. A lot of data is logged, which could be useful. App Traffic Control lets you firewall individual apps with separate toggles for Wi-Fi and cellular data. Safebox lets you hide files, apps and contacts behind a PIN or pattern lock. Backup Tool does as its name suggests: you can choose different kinds of data to package and back up to either local storage or a microSD card. Then there’s WPS Office, Facebook, and Infocus’s own Support and Customer Feedback apps.

Performance
We had no trouble with the InFocus M680, and in fact found it to be snappy and responsive. The screen is pretty crisp and colours are natural yet bright. The Inlife UI offers settings for colour temperature adjustment, a “dynamic mode”, and a separate blue light filter with four intensity settings. We ignored the dynamic mode but found the filter to be useful, especially at night. We only wish there had been a quick toggle for it in the notification shade, instead of making us dig through the settings.

infocus_m680_slots_ndtv.jpgSound was loud, but with such a tiny speaker it was bound to get distorted and compressed. We used our own earphones to judge InFocus’s claims of enhanced sound quality with the dedicated amplifier. There was a bit more thump to the bass and overall depth to some of our sample tracks – pop and EDM did better than classical – though your mileage may vary depending upon the headsets you use.

Gaming was mostly pretty smooth, though we did feel the upper back of the unit heat up quite a bit within a few minutes of playing Dead Trigger 2. We felt warmth through other tasks, even when the phone was just lying for a while with its screen on, but it was much milder and easy enough to work around.

infocus_m680_camera_ndtv.jpgWe ran our usual suite of benchmark tests, all of which delivered satisfactory results. AnTuTu 6.0 returned a score of 37,674 and Quadrant gave us 20,227 overall. 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme gave us 4,325 points and GFXBench ran at 12fps – this is the downside of the high-resolution screen.

We were able to capture some very nice photos with the M680. The camera was quick to lock focus and record shots. In daylight and even sometimes at night, pictures were detailed with great colour reproduction. There is a definite focus area and anything outside it loses definition, but for the most part images were good even when zoomed in. InFocus boasts of an f/2.2 aperture which has to contribute to the good low-light performance, though there’s still quite a lot of motion blur in night-time shots.

infocus_m680_camsample_day1_ndtv.jpg
infocus_m680_camsample_night1_ndtv.jpg(Click to see full size)
The front camera left us a little less thrilled. Despite being a 13-megapixel unit just like the one on the back, we found details were less well defined, especially in details like hair. The beautification effects were rather crude and looked really obviously fake for the most part.

Battery life was just a shade underwhelming. We just about managed to last through a full day with quite a bit of photography, some gaming and heavy Internet usage over 4G, and our video loop test ran for only 7 hours, 11 minutes before the phone died on us.

infocus_m680_accessories_ndtv.jpgVerdict
The InFocus M680 stands out for its metallic body, 13-megapixel front camera, and the wide selection of surprisingly useful apps. The device is quite polished overall, but it would be great if the company could iron out its few wrinkles – for example, the ugly sticker on the rear, the low-quality charger and the Chinese apps need to be rethought. We liked the overall look of this phone, though it’s unfortunate that it’s so easily scratched.

If you value style but aren’t willing to compromise on the basics, this will be a good phone for you. It obviously isn’t for the most demanding tasks, but should hold up very well in everyday use. We think InFocus might well be able to grab some of the value market with this model. However, there are plenty of choices: this phone competes with the Moto G (Gen 3) (Review) which has lower specs almost across the board, but a waterproof body and solid brand reputation, and the popular Lenovo K3 Note(Review | Pictures) which has a plastic body but slightly lower price tag and better performance.


InFocus M680 in pictures

Missed the news? Here’s a list of all phones launched at MWC 2016 on one handy page – or catch our full Mobile World Congress coverage.

InFocus M680

InFocus M680

R 10999

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Looks great
  • Good display
  • Good camera
  • Useful apps and UI tweaks
  • Bad
  • Average battery life
  • Gets a bit warm with use
  • Hybrid SIM/SD slot
Read detailed InFocus M680 review
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Tags: InFocus, InFocus India, InFocus M680, InFocus M680 camera, InFocus M680 features, InFocus M680 performance,InFocus M680 price, InFocus M680 price in India, InFocus M680 Review, InFocus M680 specifications, InFocus M680 value,InFocus mobiles, M680
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Time to Buy a Phone? Smartly.Me Can Help

Time to Buy a Phone? Smartly.Me Can Help

Buying a new Android phone is tricky – everyone has a different opinion to share, and it’s rarely advice that is customised to your needs. The Smartly.Me app is another place to get suggestions for the phone you want to buy, along with news about mobiles and upcoming phones, and suggestions for apps and games you should install. We tried using this app for a couple of weeks, and found it to be fairly helpful.

The main interface is divided into sections for popular phones, the latest news and reviews, mobile comparisons, and popular apps and games. The popular mobiles section shows the top 20 handsets according to the Smartly.Me score rank. You’ll see a picture of the phone, along with details about availability and price, along with a list of unique features, and a buy button to quickly take you to a seller’s page.

It’s an easy enough way to get a look at the top new phones in the market, but of course, that’s something you’ll get from any number of apps or websites. The news and reviews section adds a little more value by aggregating information from various sites. This gives you a more comprehensive look at the pros and cons of a phone than a single review.

However, the app is not updated regularly enough, which can be a problem – for instance, the upcoming tab lists 15 phones which are to be launched soon; however, it stated that the Google Nexus 6P 128GB will be launched in November in India, whereas it is now December and the phone has not been launched.

smartly_recommends.jpgThe phone comparisons are a standard feature you can do in a number of places too, though the ability to do so quickly and then share with a friend via social media could be useful. However, the problem here is that the app doesn’t appear to allow you to compare phones, but rather shows you comparisons between popular phones.

One of the things that Smartly.Me does which is a little different is to assign a “persona” to the user based on the inputs you provide and by analysing your device; it will determine things about you, such as calling you a “networking guru” or a “power user”, and it uses this information to make recommendations. The apps and phones are recommended based on this persona, though we didn’t see much evidence of that.

Despite these complaints though, one feature of the Smartly.Me app makes it stand out and worth your time. The app allows you to interact with six experts, including an Android developer and a camera expert. You send in the questions as texts, and these experts were very quick in reverting with our answers – this could be useful for a number of different reasons, and really gives you that human touch and specialised wisdom that is otherwise missing.

In the discover tab, you can select the price, and the different aspects of the phone that matter to you – such as photography, or music, for example, and in the advanced section you can choose technical specifications as well. Combined with advice from the experts, this becomes a useful way to quickly get your questions answered and to help you decide what phone to buy.

There is still plenty of room for improvement – the news sections need to be updated more frequently, and the other offers are somewhat generic. But Smartly.Me is able to deliver on its core promise of helping you choose what phone to buy, and so it’s worth giving the app a try.

You can download Smartly.Me (free) on Android.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Gravity Rush Remastered Review

Gravity Rush Remastered Review

If it weren’t for the word “remastered” in its name, you wouldn’t think that Gravity Rush Remastered is an updated, high definition version of the 2012 open-world PS Vita action-adventure game as the two games look worlds apart. The original release of on Sony’s second handheld was beautiful in its own right, limited by the platform’s limitations. On the PlayStation 4 however, it looks good enough to be mistaken for a game natively developed for it.

Gravity Rush has you in the role of Kat, who is a “gravity shifter”. As the name implies, Kat specialises in turning Newtonian laws upside down. It’s an intriguing concept, so we were a little disappointed that the game used the well worn amnesiac hero trope; Kat has lost her memory, and doesn’t know how she ended up in the floating city of Heskeville.

(Also see: The Best PlayStation Vita Games March 2015)

Over the course of the game, you will re-discover who you are, while slaying monsters and foiling a grand conspiracy. Although the premise is a little tired, there’s enough going on to keep you invested till the very end. The missions are broken into chapters and are bookended by comic book panels, which offer a pleasing change from the usual in-game cut-scenes.

nevi_gravity_rush_remastered_sony.jpegThe comic panels go well with the rest of the game, which is steeped in anime-art stylings that translate well onto the bigger screen. Gravity Rush Remastered feels like something out of a wacky Japanese anime and sports pastel-laced environs that are a treat for the eyes. It might not have the visual complexity of games such as The Witcher 3, which are replete with non-playable characters going about their workaday lives, but the visual fidelity and enjoyable gameplay more than makes up for it.

Traversal in Gravity Rush involves traipsing through levels with wanton disregard for the laws of physics. Ever so often you’ll find yourself walking on building walls, floating towards roof tops or sliding across vast expanses of air.

On the Vita, executing these moves were painful at times due to the control scheme forcing you to use every input option available on the Vita. It didn’t help matters that sliding, a rather crucial move as the game progresses, required you to make use of the Vita’s accelerometer. With Gravity Rush Remastered, a press of the triggers on the Dual Shock 4 controller will suffice, and makes for a much more engaging experience.

nevi_2_gravity_rush_remastered_sony.jpeg(Also see: TGS 2015: Gravity Rush 2 Announced as PS4 Exclusive)

Sliding isn’t the only move that’s made easier with this remaster. Dodging, which demanded you swipe your Vita’s screen, is mapped to the controller trackpad, or simply tapping R2 and flicking the analog stick in the direction of your choice. Thanks to a conventional control scheme, Gravity Rush Remastered controls a lot more accurately now than it did the first time around.

Combat benefits from this as well. From split-second dodges to precise gravity-powered kicks, there’s very little you can’t accomplish. There’s no bigger proof of this than the many challenges and scenarios you face as the game progresses. Levels that required seemingly infinite tries on the Vita were easy to overcome on the PS4. Any potential frustration was negated by the sheer responsiveness of the controls. At the same time, if you’re curious to know how the game controlled on the Vita, you can make use of the Dual Shock 4’s gyroscope for motion controls. We’d recommend sticking with the new PS4 controls because the Vita style controls can get quite frustrating.

Apart from this, the game maintains a solid 60 frames per second even in its busiest sections, and the loading times are blisteringly fast, which is a much smoother experience than the original release. You also get all of Gravity Rush’s downloadable content in the form of challenges, missions, and costumes as well as a gallery that lets you view all of its comic illustrations, all bundled together with Gravity Rush Remastered.

traversal_gravity_rush_remastered_sony.jpeg(Also see: The Best Video Game Remasters You Can Play Now)

All of this works to amplify what was already, despite some issues, a solid game. Traversal never gets old thanks to Kat’s abilities – something we’re surprised that other games haven’t copied yet. And combat, while simple, is actually a whole lot more fun this time around.

Our only grouse is the lack of a photo mode – a feature that lets you pause the game and take photos of its breathtaking environments. It’s been a staple of Sony remasters including God of War III, The Last of Us, and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection all having it.

(Also see: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Review – Familiarity Breeds Contempt)

Nonetheless, Gravity Rush Remastered is an endearing piece of digital goodness that warrants your attention. You’ll want to spend as much time as possible in Heskeville long after you’re done with the main plot line. Sony might have laid it on a little thick with remasters to prop up a seemingly threadbare lineup of exclusives, but Gravity Rush on the PS4 is exemplary. There simply is no reason for you to miss out on it this time around.

Pros:

  • Looks fantastic
  • Responsive controls
  • Entertaining gameplay

Cons:

  • Could have a few more extra features

Rating (out of 10): 9

We played an import copy of Gravity Rush Remastered for the PS4. The game will be available from February 3 in India on the PS4 for Rs. 2,497.

[“Source-Gadgets”]