When it comes to smartphones, a few names will immediately come to mind. You’ve got Apple, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony, LG, and most recently, young upstarts like Oppo, Xiami and ZTE.
There’s one thing that ties all those brands together, however, and that’s the fact that they are either American or South East Asian companies. Which makes this smartphone incredibly interesting.
This Baa smartphone is made by YaHalla which is the first Emirati-owned company to design smartphones in the country. That’s right, this Android smartphone was thought-up and designed right here in the UAE.
There’s a reason why this might be news to you. That’s because Yahalla – which launched in 2015 – has been mostly active in Africa. But after selling more than 80 thousand smartphones on the continent, it’s decided to set its sights back on home turf.
That’s where the Yahalla Baa comes in. It’s the flagship smartphone that Yahalla hopes will put it on the map next to the big boys of the tech world. And our initial impressions are positive.
The design is right on par with some of the best phones of this year. You get a sturdy metal back in this case, with a nice red hue, as well as a 5.5-inch screen which uses Dragontrail Glass – making it extra sturdy.
Under the hood lies a 2.6GHz processor, making it one of the few smartphones in the world that comes with ten – yes, ten – processors. That makes it pretty good when it comes to things like multitasking or gaming.
The phone also takes photography seriously. Both front and back-facing cameras rock thirteen megapixels, and both come with a flash. That makes taking selfies in dark places even easier and is something that rivals like Apple and Samsung have yet to implement.
It runs Android Marshmallow out of the box – which is not the most recent iteration of Google’s operating system – but it makes up for that by stuffing the phone full of local-centric apps, such as Dubai Police, Dubai Airports, Dubai Now and Smart Dubai.
There’s also a fingerprint reader under the home button.
All in all, this is a solidly-built smartphone with a good-sized screen and class-leading processor. The cameras are decent, and the front-facing camera comes with a rarely-seen flash. But the best bit is surely the price.
At just under a thousand dirhams, this phone is a bit of a bargain. Which means we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Dubai’s home-grown smartphone maker a lot more in future.