Meet the Samsung Z1, its second attempt at a first Tizen smartphone

Costing less than $100, the Tizen-powered Samsung Z1 has launched in India

Samsung has announced the Z1, its first Tizen powered smartphone. Well, technically it’s the second, but because the Samsung Z never actually went on sale, we suppose it doesn’t really count. The Samsung Z1 is destined for release in India, where it must do battle with Android One hardware, a mounting offensive from Xiaomi, and any number of popular local manufacturers.

Tizen is the primary difference between it and the Android-based competition. Version 2.3 is installed, and Samsung says it’s ready to go in a faster time than other phones, provides a faster web browsing experience, and has a simple user interface. To make the phone stand out, Samsung’s pushing something called the Joy Box, which is a free entertainment pack containing movies, TV, and music. There’s also access to Samsung’s own premium content through Club Samsung.

For the hardware, Samsung has chosen a 4-inch touchscreen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution, along with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, and 768MB of RAM. A feeble 4GB of internal memory can thankfully be increased by up to 64GB using a MicroSD card, and there is dual-SIM support too. The 1500mAh battery gets Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving Mode – a feature we like on Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones – and promises to deliver around eight hours of talktime.

The rear camera has 3.1 megapixels and an LED flash, while a basic VGA camera above the screen will churn out some pixelated selfies. There’s 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and GPS onboard. It’s all wrapped up in a 9mm thick, 112 gram body available in either white, black, or a rather fetching Wine Red.

The phone will go on sale January 14, and has been priced at around $95. That undercuts Android One hardware, but it’s not clear how many apps are available for Tizen at the moment, and the phone can’t run Android apps to make up for any gaping holes.

Will this be the first in a line of Tizen phones, including one available internationally, or are we in for another long wait before the next example arrives?


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