Evidence is mounting we’re about to get our first proper look at the Tizen OS running on a smartphone. The latest news comes from a Polish Tizen blog, which spotted a rundown of Tizen’s plans for Mobile World Congress 2014. Apparently, the Tizen Association will be demonstrating the new operating system at the show on the ZTE Geek smartphone.
The ZTE Geek has been employed as a test mule several times over the past year. It was first revealed in April 2013 at an Intel Developer Forum event, where it was running an Intel Clover Trail+ chip. Then, in September it popped up again. This time a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor was hiding inside. We still think the name is utterly ridiculous, but like all the best geeks, ZTE’s phone is always there to try out the latest tech.
Now it looks like ZTE has adapted the Geek to run the Samsung and Intel-backed operating system. The TizenIndonesia blog claims the Geek being used for the demo will be the v975, which is the model number related to the phone with an Intel processor. Given Intel’s involvement with Tizen, this makes perfect sense. The Intel-powered Geek isn’t the most up-to-date piece of hardware. It has a 5-inch, 720p resolution screen, an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, 8GB of internal memory, and a basic 1-megapixel video call lens above the screen.
Just before Christmas, reports gathered that Samsung and Intel would be showing off hardware running Tizen on the weekend before Mobile World Congress. However, it’s not clear whether Tizen backers will get a look at phones other than the ZTE Geek. Regardless, if the Geek will be on the show floor for attendees to try out, it’ll be a considerable step forward for the endlessly delayed OS, which has rarely been seen outside of the developer community.
The Tizen Association has had a tough week, as the Japanese network NTT DoCoMo cancelled a planned Tizen phone launch in March. There’s still some doubt over the February demo too, as Tizen’s website no longer publicly lists its plans for MWC 2014, so something may have changed there too. We’ll find out on February 24, when the Barcelona show begins.