LYF C451 – Why???

Having the need to separate work and personal stuff, I felt the need to have a separate smart phone as an upgrade from my old backup phone, which is incompatible with the apps that we usually use these days like Whatsapp, Uber, etc… Thats when I heard of the LYF brand by Reliance Jio which is said to sell affordable yet powerful android based smart phones… So, having decided to use my Jio-Fi connected for it and as my work number, I went to the local Jio store and got the C451 model of LYF Smartphones…


According to the specs, it has a 1.3GHz Quad-core CPU with 1GB of RAM… Along with that, it has 8GB of internal storage which is “expandable” to 128GB by means of SD card slot… It has a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera and a 2800mAh battery… The phone can have two SIMs and it is a 4G phone with VoLTE support (which they call as “True 4G experience” 😛 ), which is what Jio connections work on… Another feature which they appear to highlight is the OTG support by which they mean that we can use pen drives (even though there are apps like ES which lets you use them anyway)…

The phone comes with a standard charger and headset just like any other phone and it has the Android 6.0 and with all the Jio apps preinstalled and it also comes with a 1 year warranty…

First of, the build quality appears to be nice and I would say incredibly nice considering the <5k price tag… Quite sturdy with no bendgate risk 🙂 The display looked incredibly bright and clear and even though its not a retina display, its still really good considering how much it costs… Regarding the speakers, well, its not as loud as my other phone, but still loud enough to be able to enjoy music and YouTube when in not so loud environments… The battery appeared to last for the good part of a day in my usage which I don’t consider being heavy… The specs say it will last for 12 talktime hours and 240 standby, which clearly doesn’t happen… However, it does last a standard work day usage 🙂 Of-course it can last a bit more if you turn on android’s battery saver… But then again, don’t expect it to last beyond 24 hours in any scenario… Regarding usage performance, I am reminded of the old Moto-G2 that I used to use years ago as it felt to be exactly the same and it is very similar when you compare the specs with the difference being the VoLTE support and LTE support in general…

Now, to borrow the words of Ramsay Bolton, if you think this review has a happy or positive ending, you clearly haven’t been paying attention… The reason I say that is because, no matter how many features you put in a phone and how well you build its body, there is absolutely zero meaning to all the effort if in the end, you can’t use the “smartphone” as a smartphone… Heres the problem… You get 8GB internal memory in this phone… But over 4GB of that gets used up by the Android OS… That leaves you with slightly less than 4GB, rt??? Nope… you don’t get slightly less than 4GB, because you have all these preinstalled apps from Jio that include all the Jio apps and a few others which they call as “LYF Recommends”… On top of that, as you boot the phone for the first time, they ask you to install an OS update.. All the apps together with the update takes up more than 2.7GB of storage space… So, as you can see, you are left with slightly more than 300MB of storage to work with as can be seen from the pic below…

A solution to this that they offer in the product is the capability to expand the storage by means of a Micro-SD card… So, I tried putting in my 16GB Micro-SD card… While formatting the card, it gave me the option of having it formatted as a peripheral or to be used as part of the internal storage itself… So, I chose the later… However, all that it does is that the phone ends up using the memory card to store files like documents, pictures, etc… I did try moving some of those apps to this memory card, but even the option to transfer doesn’t appear in 99% of the apps installed and in the few that it does, I get the “Not enough free space” error even though as can be seen from the screenshots above, I have more that 14GB free space in my memory card…

To make matters even more worse, I can’t even clear up space to install the apps that I want to… This is because its impossible to uninstall any of the preinstalled apps… What happens is that when I try, they get removed, but if I turn off the phone and back on, those apps come back as if they were never removed… I can understand that the the guys at Jio really want people to use their apps, but here it seems to be case that they want us to use only their apps with this phone… So, the only question I want to ask the Jio Management is, “Why???” Why create such an unusable smartphone???

Well, as I last resort I tried removing the apps and kept the phone on all the time after installing the apps that I use regularly and it felt fine to use, but one fine day, I forgot to charge and the battery ran out… When I turned it back on, all the Jio apps and LYF recommended apps were back and I was completely out of storage space in the phone that pretty much nothing could work as in apps won’t open saying that I don’t have enough storage space… So, having been fed up with this, I basically discarded this and got myself a Moto E4 to use, which has none of the problems of this one… 🙂

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