Samsung has finally taken the wraps of the first ever Tizen-powered smartphone, the Samsung Z.
It marks the first time Samsung has stepped away from the Android smartphone OS that has helped bring it so much success (and vice versa, to be fair).
While there are a number of manufacturers signed up to the open source Tizen platform, it is very much seen as Samsung’s own mobile operating system. Tizen marks an attempt to end the South Korean giant’s dependency on Google ammunition in the ongoing smartphone war.
After all that, the Samsung Z itself looks to be a fairly modest mid-range smartphone. It’s got a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display, but it’s only a 720p example. Back in Android-land, even 1080p looks like its days are numbered as a top-end spec.
Powering the Samsung Z is a respectable 2.3GHz quad-core CPU of unknown origin. We assume it’s one of Samsung’s own Exynos 5 chips, in keeping with the “doing it for ourselves” vibe, but we can’t say for certain.
That processor will be backed by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. A microSD slot will allow for that to be expanded by up to 64GB. Around back there’s an 8-megapixel camera, which doesn’t appear to approach the standard of Samsung’s last few Android flagships.
Samsung has included the fingerprint sensor that made its debut on the Samsung Galaxy S5.
On the design front Samsung has gone with another faux-leather stitched affect on the rear of the device, though it appears to be a lot more subtle than that of the recent Galaxy series.
As for Tizen itself, it looks remarkably similar to the current Android OS with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI layered on top, as featured on the Samsung Galaxy S5. The improvements, according to Samsung, lie under the surface.
“The Tizen platform delivers a fast, optimal performance with improved memory management,” claims Samsung. The company also mentions “a faster startup time,” “immediate multi-tasking capabilities,” “smoother scrolling” and “an improved rendering performance for web browsing.”
That latter point is related to the fact that Tizen is built around HTML5. This should also mean that developers will be able to produce quick and reliable web apps for the platform without too much fuss.
This could be essential in seeing the Tizen platform take off, as it inevitably lags some way behind Android and iOS on the all-important app front.
The Samsung Z will be available in either black or gold in Q3 of this year, but initially only in Russia. Samsung is intending to “expand to other markets” thereafter.
Read More: Samsung Tizen OS: 6 things you need to know