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

You’re starting on page 2 of this, click here to start at the beginning.

Tizen fans are used to disappointment, after Samsung and Intel have failed to get a smartphone running the operating system out into the world during 2014. The Z1 failed to arrive on December 10, a date teased in local reports from South Korea, after which a new date in early 2015 was suggested. The phone eventually launched on January 14, but it had a difficult start in life.

Updated on 12-22-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added leaked specs and pictures from mobile phone retailer, as well as launch date estimate.

It may finally launch on January 18

Samsung has recently switched tactics, according to previous leaks, with Tizen. It’s now targeting India with the competitively priced Z1, that costs less than $100. In September, it was rumored the phone would go on sale during November, but as with everything Tizen-related, that launch date was abandoned, and another in December was supposedly set up.

In a report published by the Wall Street Journal, it’s confirmed Samsung didn’t hold an event anywhere on December 10, which was the last possible release date we’d heard, and the Z1 wasn’t officially announced. The company covered its back by saying it hadn’t circulated any invitations, or confirmed the phone would arrive. Even though there was considerable circumstantial evidence suggesting December 10 would be the day.

However, a leak from a mobile phone retailer in India hints that Samsung may still launch the Z1 imminently. SamMobile discovered a series of tweets, which show pictures of what the leaker claims is a presentation of pre-launch marketing materials for the Z1. Although none of these tweets state a specific release date, they do contain a full spec list and introduce a few of the phone’s features.

Shortly after the tweets leaked, a report from the Korea Economic Daily quoted a Samsung official as saying the company’s Z1 Tizen phone will launch on January 18, 2015 in India. The official reportedly added that the device won’t cost more than 100,000 Korean won, which amounts to about $90. noted Samsung imported $1.7 million worth of parts related to the Z1 to India in early December, indicating the company wasn’t quite finished building the handset at that time, which may explain yet another delay.

Low price means average specs

Although Samsung never confirmed the phone, a possible spec list leaked, and as you’d expect from a budget device, it’s relatively basic. A 4-inch, 480 x 800 pixel screen could be used to display the OS, and a 1.2GHz dual-core chip with 512MB of RAM may power the device. The chip could be from Spreadtrum, a Chinese manufacturer that’s not-entirely-coincidentally backed by Intel, Samsung’s partner on the Tizen project. Other specs could include a 3.2-megapixel camera, dual-SIM slots, and 3G connectivity.

A December leak from a mobile carrier in India confirms many of these specifications, but there are a few deviations. Based on the tweeted pictures of pre-launch meeting slides, the Z1 may indeed sport a 4-inch screen with the same WVGA resolution mentioned above. However, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 768GB of RAM are said to power the Tizen phone in these slides. Additionally, 4GB internal storage and a MicroSD card slot for expansion are mentioned, as is a 1,500 mAh battery with an ultra power saving mode. The slides show a 3-megapixel back camera with a fixed-focus lens and LED flash, as well as an automatic selfie-taking, VGA resolution front-facing camera. In terms of connectivity, dual SIM card slots, 3G, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, A-GPS, and FM Radio are mentioned.

The leaker also took pictures of what he claims is the Z1 phone itself. Pictures show a simple, white phone with Samsung’s design language, a home button, back touch key, and menu touch key. In one photo, you can clearly see the Tizen icons on the screen.

India is gradually being inundated with low-cost smartphones. Google signed up three local manufacturers to produce and sell Android One devices there, and Chinese brand Xiaomi is also releasing its well-regarded hardware in the country. Samsung doesn’t want to be left out of this rapidly growing market, but whether Tizen is the operating system to use remains to be seen, particularly because Google hasn’t seen much success with Android One yet.

Article originally published on 12-01-2014

Previous updates:

Updated on 12-11-2014 by Andy Boxall: Added in comments on the Z1’s failure to launch


Miss physical keyboards? Unihertz is creating a rugged phone that has one

Recently, only BlackBerry's phones have offered a physical keyboard. Not any more. Chinese manufacturer Unihertz is preparing to launch the Unihertz Titan -- a rugged phone with a built-in physical keyboard.

Amazon shaves $100 off Samsung Galaxy S9 ahead of Prime Day 2019

If you're looking for a deal on a high-end smartphone with a headphone jack, then your search might as well be over with the Samsung Galaxy S9. Amazon shaved $100 off its list price of $600 and is currently selling under $500.

Samsung may get rid of the headphone jack in the Galaxy Note 10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 range isn't exactly old, but Samsung is already working on the next big release. Details about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 are making their way online, and we've gathered them all for you.

Amazon shaves up to $135 off the Samsung Galaxy S10+ in time for Prime Day

Amazon cuts a deal on two Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus smartphones that slashes its list price of $900 by up to 13%. You can now get it in prism green for $785 or prism black for $780.

The best Prime Day smartphone deals: Samsung, Motorola, Google, and more

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here, and there are a ton of great deals on smartphones worth looking into. Whether you're looking for a new iPhone or an Android device, there should be a Prime Day 2019 deal for you.

Apple Watch Series 4 smartwatch now just $360 in Amazon Prime Day deal

Amazon Prime Day is a fine time to buy a new smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 4 is the cream of the smartwatch crop, and now in an Amazon Prime Day deal, the 44mm model can be yours for just $354, down from its original $429.
Product Review

Samsung's $99 fitness tracker takes on Fitbit. Can it keep pace?

Samsung’s going toe-to-toe against Fitbit’s Inspire HR with its own $99 fitness tracker -- the Galaxy Fit. It also has a heart rate monitor, can automatically detect six workouts, and has a battery that can last for days.

The futuristic Samsung Galaxy S10 5G just got a price cut on Best Buy

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is finally here, bringing with it some of the best smartphone deals you're likely to see all year. In particular, there are some amazing deals on Samsung Galaxy phones, including the much-loved Samsung Galaxy S10.

Missed out on Amazon’s Prime Day Apple Watch deal? Walmart has you covered

Amazon's deal on the Apple Watch was pretty good, but it sold out within the first 24 hours of Prime Day. As an alternative, we'd suggest you shop Walmart, which has the Apple Watch Series 3 available for $80 off its normal price.

Having issues with iOS 12? These fixes will help you get back on track

Apple's iOS 12 has a lot going for it, but it's not perfect and several issues have cropped to annoy people. Here are some of the most common iOS 12 problems we've heard about, with some advice on how to fix them or work around them.

Amazon cuts up to 40% off on Moto G and Z smartphones on Prime Day

Today at Prime Day, Amazon is exclusively offering selected items on the Moto G and Z family at a discounted price of up to 40%. Take this chance and check them out as we’ve gathered them all here.

There’s still time for Prime Day iPad deals, even without a Prime membership

Prime Day ends soon but there’s still time to score before the clock runs out. Shoppers looking for a new tablet should strike while the iron's still hot, and this might be your last chance before to snag an iPad deals before summer's…

HMD’s Nokia 2.2 is now available in the U.S., and it’s slated to get Android Q

HMD Global's Nokia 2.2 is yet another ultra-affordable phone from the company that's making its way to the U.S. The device offers a modern bezel-less design, and HMD Global said it will get Android Q.

AT&T accused of selling customers’ location data to bounty hunters and stalkers

AT&T was hit with a lawsuit Tuesday accusing it of selling customers’ real-time location data to third parties like credit agencies and bail guarantors, along with bounty hunters and stalkers, without having customer consent. 
2 of 2