After years of delay and belated promises, Samsung finally bit the bullet and released its first ever smartphone that runs the company’s own Tizen operating system.
Launched earlier this week, the Samsung Z1’s entry into the marketplace was in the works since last year, with an initial planned launch in Russia that was ultimately scrapped after Samsung decided to pull the plug to “further enhance the Tizen ecosystem”.
The Z1’s launch as an entry level device for first time buyers is clearly a cautious move meant to test the appeal and robustness of the company’s inaugural mobile OS. Still, the upside is tremendous given the market demand in India for affordable smartphones.
With the launch out of the way, however, and much like Microsoft, Samsung’s greatest challenge will be to compensate for Tizen’s lack of apps (which nears 1,000). When compared to the millions of apps currently available on Google and Apple devices, the Samsung Z1 is going to face an uphill battle in its quest to entice consumers to try the Tizen OS experience.
Apps aside, the OS does include several promising features.
For starters, Tizen places significant emphasis on HTML5, which Samsung hopes will allow for shorter development time, lead to better web applications and minimize (if not eliminate) the need for plug-ins. In addition, Tizen is a Linux-based, open source platform, allowing the Z1 to integrate easily with other peripherals like cars, home appliances and Samsung’s many televisions. Read, IoT compatability.
Although the Z1 is an entry level device with hardly the best specs, Samsung is betting it’s good enough for users looking for a solid phone at a bargain price.
“The Z1 comes with a 4-inch WVGA TFT display, 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, 768MB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, microSD card slot up to 64 GB, 3.1 MP camera at the back, VGA front shooter, dual-SIM connectivity, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and a 1,500 mAh battery.” – Android Central
The Samsung Z1 is available now in India and comes in wine red, black, and white and retails for 5700 Indian rupees, roughly equivalent to $92.