Samsung’s latest smartphone is called the Samsung Z, and unlike almost every other phone the manufacturer releases, it doesn’t run Google Android. Instead, it’s the very first smartphone to use Tizen, the software collaboration between the Korean firm and Intel. Designed to combat Android’s dominance, the OS has seen more than its fair share of delays, until making its mobile debut on the Gear 2 and Gear Fit wearable gadgets at MWC this year.
Updated on 7-11-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added Wall Street Journal report that Samsung will delay the launch of its first Tizen smartphone indefinitely.
Surprisingly, the phone doesn’t look like the Galaxy S5, or any other Galaxy phone at all, thanks to a flat rear panel, curved sides, and a rectangular shape. There is a nod towards the Galaxy Note 3 though, thanks to a fake leather rear panel and stitching down the sides.
Samsung often indicated the first Tizen phone would come with a high-end feature list, and it has almost got it right. The screen is a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED panel with a 720p resolution, while the processor is listed simply as a quad-core chip running at 2.3GHz. It’s not clear whether this is a Qualcomm, a Samsung, or even an Intel chip. If it’s the latter, the Samsung Z may be the first smartphone to use the new Atom Moorefield processor.
A fingerprint sensor is fitted underneath the 8-megapixel camera lens on the rear, there’s 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, a MicroSD card slot, 4G LTE connectivity, NFC, and a 2.1-megapixel front camera. Tizen is the Samsung Z’s biggest draw, and it’s version 2.2.1 installed. A selection of software features previously seen on Galaxy phones have also been added, including S Health, Download Booster, and the Ultra Power Saving Mode.
In early June, a press release stated that Russia was all set to be the Samsung Z’s debut market, with a launch date set between July and September, for an unknown price. The press release added that the Z will be released elsewhere in the future, but didn’t mention whether this will include America or the UK. During the Tizen Developer Conference in June 3 in San Francisco, Samsung promised that the Z would go on sale in Russia during the third quarter of this year.
One month later, on the day it was supposed to launch the Samsung Z, the Korean company issued a vague statement, saying that “the smartphone will appear on the Russian market later, when we can offer our users a fullest portfolio of applications.” The consensus is that Samsung delayed the launch due to a lack of apps. However, the company did not offer an explanation or a possible release date, leaving many to wonder if the project is completely sunk.
After all, this is not the first time Samsung has delayed a Tizen phone launch. Earlier this year, Samsung cancelled its Tizen event in Japan, citing a lack of interest in the market. It’s also delayed the launch of the Samsung Z several times.
Article originally published on 06-02-2014