Lava Yuva 2 Pro Review: A Design-Focused Entry-Level Smartphone

The Lava Yuva 2 Pro is a relatively new smartphone priced under Rs. 10,000 in India. This is a rare launch in a once-crowded segment, as many companies have shifted their focus to higher price points. The Lava Yuva 2 Pro is aimed at anyone considering buying their first smartphone or upgrading to one from a feature phone. It also tries to look like an iPhone look from the back. Like the Lava Blaze 5G (Review), the Lava Yuva 2 Pro also features a glass rear panel. However, it is often said that one should not judge a book by its cover, and in this case, a phone by its looks.

If you want to buy a new smartphone for under Rs. 10,000 in India, is the Lava Yuva 2 Pro the one for you? Here is our full review to help you decide.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro price in India

The Lava Yuva 2 Pro has been launched in a single configuration in India. The phone has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, and is priced at Rs. 7,999. The device is available in three colours — Glass White, Glass Green, and Glass Lavender.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro design and display

The Lava Yuva 2 Pro features a premium glass rear panel, which is quite impressive considering its price. Its overall in-hand feel is similar to that of the more expensive Lava Blaze 5G — premium but slightly heavy at 204g. The plastic frame is flat, following the trend seen in most smartphones these days. The power and volume buttons are on the right, and are quite easy to reach. The 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille are on the bottom. While the top is blank, the left has a dual Nano-SIM tray.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro 5 Lava Yuva 2 Pro

Lava Yuva 2 Pro has a fairly thick chin

Design might be a selling point for the Lava Yuva 2 Pro. The camera module layout seems to have been inspired by the new iPhone 14 Pro (Review) and its recent predecessors. In Lava’s case though, there is close to no protrusion. The rear panel does attract some fingerprints and smudges, but they were not very visible on the white colour unit I have with me.

The waterdrop notch at the top of the display, along with the thick chin, give the Lava Yuva 2 Pro a budget phone look. It features a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with an HD+ resolution, which is quite common in this price range. Be it the outdoor brightness or the display sharpness, it is a pretty average display. The single bottom-firing speaker is loud enough to fill a room, though.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro 2 Lava Yuva 2 Pro

Lava Yuva 2 Pro’s display is not bright enough for outdoor use.

The screen refreshes at a standard 60Hz, and it’s not likely that people who buy the Lava Yuva 2 Pro would care much about that or find it insufficient.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro specifications and software

The Lava Yuva 2 Pro features the new octa-core MediaTek Hello G37 SoC, which has a peak clock speed of 2.3GHz. It packs a 5000mAh battery and comes with a 10W charger in the box. The phone supports 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.1, and GPS. It has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and support for face recognition. You can expand the memory by up to 256GB using a microSD card.

In terms of software, the Lava Yuva 2 Pro ships with last year’s Android 12. Even at this price point, Lava should have offered the current Android 13 experience for its customers. On the plus side, this phone does not come with a lot of preinstalled third-party apps. The app drawer shows some Lava apps such as Lava Care and Lava Guide, along with a third-party app called Doubtnut.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro 4 Lava Yuva 2 Pro

Lava Yuva 2 Pro offers a clean software experience

Apart from that, you get a stock Android experience. I didn’t notice any spam from the preinstalled apps. The phone also has the Android privacy dashboard feature, along with indicators in the status bar whenever an app is using the camera, location, or microphone.

Despite being relatively clean, the user experience is not all that good. I noticed stutters across the user interface (UI) while switching between apps and even simply opening the app drawer. Apps take a while to load, and even switching between various camera modes takes a second or two. This is what  one might expect from an entry-level smartphone.

Lava has not confirmed whether the Yuva 2 Pro will get the new Android 13 update, let alone the upcoming Android 14. At the time of writing this review, my review unit was running the December 2022 security patch.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro performance and battery life

The MediaTek Helio G37 is an entry-level SoC good enough for basic, routine tasks. I would not recommend playing any heavy games such as Call of Duty: Mobile or Asphalt 9 Legends on this phone. I tried them and the former loaded at the low graphics and medium frame rate settings. You can raise these, but there were frequent frame drops and stutters while playing. Something lighter like Subway Surfer was much more manageable.

I did run some benchmark tests on the Lava Yuva 2 Pro to see the SoC’s potential. In AnTuTu, it scored 1,25,832 points. In Geekbench 6’s single-core and multi-core tests, the Lava Yuva 2 Pro got 204 and 891 points, respectively. The similarly priced Moto E13 (Review), which features a Unisoc T606 SoC, scored 1,82,498 points in AnTuTu, and 376 and 1,354 points in Geekbench 6 respectively.

There is a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is very responsive and quick to unlock the phone. Alternatively, you can use the AI-based face recognition for biometric authentication.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro 7 Lava Yuva 2 Pro

Lava Yuva 2 Pro features a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB Type-C port.

Since the hardware on offer is not very resource-hungry, you can expect the Yuva 2 Pro to offer up to two days’ worth of battery life on a single charge. In our HD video battery loop test, this phone lasted for 15 hours and 4 minutes before requiring a charge. It comes with a 10W adapter in the box, which takes about two hours to charge the phone completely.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro cameras

The Lava Yuva 2 Pro has a 13-megapixel main rear camera plus what the company describes as two “VGA sensors” that do not appear to serve any purpose. For selfies, the front camera has a 5-megapixel sensor.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro 1 Lava Yuva 2 Pro

The rear camera layout is similar to the iPhone 14 Pro series

Daylight performance is okay when it comes to colours and detail. The dynamic range is also quite acceptable at this price level. However, the camera does not expose shadows well enough in some shots. In low light, it is best to avoid using the camera. Unless the scene is well-lit, you will see poor exposure and a lot of noise in the darker areas of photos. The two VGA sensors do not provide any value and are simply there to make the phone look premium. Therefore, while the phone is marketed as having a triple-camera setup on the back, it actually only has one usable sensor.

The front camera is surprisingly good for the price when there’s decent lighting. It manages to get the skin tone right. Portrait mode images, in most cases, offer good blur and edge detection.

Lava Yuva 2 Pro camera samples (Top to bottom: Rear camera, rear camera, rear camera night mode, front camera). Tap to see full size

The Lava Yuva 2 Pro shoots up to 1080p 30fps video. You get shaky, average-quality footage with poor dynamic range and sharpness.

Verdict

The Lava Yuva 2 Pro is one of the most affordable smartphones in India. For its price, it offers a premium design, decent camera performance in daylight, and good battery life. If these parameters check your requirements, the Lava Yuva 2 Pro could be considered for Rs. 7,999.

However, performance is where this phone struggles, and where its rival, the Moto E13 (Review), has an edge. The Motorola option features the better optimised Unisoc T606 SoC, and more current Android 13 software.

Leave a Comment