Samsung has ended the long wait for the first Tizen-powered smartphone by revealing the Samsung Z ahead of the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco later this week.
The new device will be released in Russia during the third quarter of 2014 before expanding to other markets and is the first attempt by the Korean manufacturer to reduce its dependency on Android, which powers the majority of the firm’s existing smartphones and tablets.
The 4.8-inch Samsung Z actually includes many of the Galaxy S5’s features, including the S Health application, ultra power saving mode, finger print sensor and download booster, while the handset is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage that can be boosted by up to 64GB with a MicroSD card slot.
Samsung is touting Tizen’s improved memory management for faster startup times and multitasking, while it also promises smoother scrolling, web browsing and full support for 2D and 3D graphics. The company is also emphasising Tizen’s customisation options that allow for easy access to frequently used apps and features.
“Samsung is committed to enhancing the mobile experience of consumers with innovation that is both personal and unique to their needs,” says DJ Lee, Samsung Mobile’s head of global sales and marketing. “The Samsung Z integrates the power and adaptability of the Tizen platform, enabling users to browse the web faster and utilize applications more effectively.”
Samsung launched its first Tizen devices, the Samsung Gear 2 range of smartwatches, at Mobile World Congress in February and is the leading backer of the platform, which also has support from Intel, Huawei and several operators. However until now, no smartphone running the open source platform has yet materialised.
Some have been delayed, and Japanese manufacturer NTT DoCoMo abandoned a planned launch, weakening expectations for the platform, but Samsung hopes it can increase the amount of revenue it can generate from services on its devices.
The company is believed to be deliberately targeting emerging markets or countries in which it has a strong existing presence and claims that if Tizen accounts for 15 percent of its future smartphone shipments it will have been a success.
Tizen is one of a number of open source operating systems hoping to offer an alternative to the likes of iOS, Android and Windows Phone, with Firefox OS, Sailfish OS and Ubuntu Mobile all seeking to increase their share of the market.
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