Samsung Z1 Ends Long Wait For A Tizen-Powered Smartphone

After years of delays, false dawns and constant questions about the platform’s future, the first ever Tizen-powered smartphone, the Samsung Z1, has been released in India.

Tizen has long been touted as a way for Samsung, one of the main backers of the open source project, to target emerging markets and reduce its dependency on Android.

However despite the launch of a number of wearables running the platform, doubts had been growing about the operating system’s future after Samsung missed several launch windows and aborted a planned launch in Russia last year.

The Korean manufacturer will hope the Z1, along with the company’s recent pledge to use Tizen in all of its future smart televisions, will go some way to dampen speculation.

Samsung Z1

“The smartphone market in India is rapidly evolving, with many consumers using their device as their screen of choice for content including videos, television programs and video games, as well as a range of apps,” said Hyun Chil Hong, CEO of Samsung India. “We have customszed the Samsung Z1 to meet these unique, entertainment-focused needs of local Indian consumers for a personal and reliable mobile experience.”

Samsung claims the “lightweight” Tizen platform will boost loading times, speed up browsing and reduce data use, making the Z1 ideal for emerging markets and easy to use, even for first time smartphone buyers.

The handset is powered by a 1.2GHz dual core processor, 768MB of RAM and 4GB of expandable internal memory, while it also has a 1500mAh battery that promises to last for seven hours while watching videos on the four-inch display or for eight hours of calls.

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To supplement this, the Z1 has the ‘Ultra power saving mode’ included in many high-end Samsung smartphones, which shuts down all but the basic phone functions in order to maximse battery life.m Samsung is pre-loading the phone with exclusive entertainment content and has included a 3.1 megapixel rear facing camera and VGA front facing camera for photos and selfies.

Security is boosted by antivirus software, while there is also a ‘help’ feature which sends an SOS message and location data to a number of primary contacts if a user taps the power button four times.

The Samsung Z1 is available in India for 5,700 Rupees (£60) and comes with 500MB of free data a month for six months if customers sign up with operators Reliance or Aircel.

TechWeekEurope asked Samsung if there are any plans for the Z1 or any other Tizen smartphone to be released in the UK, but it appears Britain is not a target for the company at the moment.

“At this time, we will focus on the growth of the Indian market,” said a spokesperson.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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