Samsung has finally announced its first ever Tizen-powered smartphone, though the Samsung Z1 is targeted specifically at the Indian market.
We’ve been reporting on Samsung’s plans to launch a smartphone running on its own OS for several years now, but all we’ve seen on the Tizen front are smartwatches, cameras, and just recently TVs.
Now the South Korean electronics giant has officially unveiled the Samsung Z1, which runs on Tizen rather than Android.
It’s a slightly low key debut for Samsung’s first Tizen phone, though. It’s been revealed over on Samsung’s official blog rather than at any swanky global event, and it will only see release in India for now.
As that might suggest, the Samsung Z1 is an entry-level phone at best. Many of our readers won’t have seen components such as a 4-inch 800 x 480 PLS display and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor since around the time Samsung first started threatening a Tizen phone.
This modest spec sheet continues with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage – though the latter is expandable through a microSD slot. The camera is a mere 3.1-megapixel example, and there’s no 4G network connectivity.
It’s not a particularly slim phone at 9.7mm thick, but the Samsung Z1 is otherwise pretty compact and light (just 112g).
Of course, given the target market, it’s difficult to criticise the Samsung Z1 too much. Samsung has produced a highly affordable phone that retails for just 5700 rupees in India – that’s just £60.
The main point of interest for us, as discussed, is that Tizen OS. The Samsung Z1 runs on version 2.3 of the Samsung-backed operating system, which Samsung claims makes for fast boot times, an intuitive interface, strong internet performance, and long-lasting battery life.
While it doesn’t mention Android directly, Samsung clearly angles Tizen as the lighter, more efficient OS of the two. “The user interface on the Samsung Z1 is simple and easy to use, offering faster and smoother device performance when combined with the lighter Tizen platform,” reads the blurb.
The question is, when will we see those claims put to the test in a mid or high-end device launched in the West?
The Samsung Z1 is available to buy in white, black and wine Red in India from today.