Z1: ‘Frosty’ reception for Samsung’s first Tizen-powered phone

samsung z3 news version 1436193655 z1 front rear
Samsung’s hopes of a dream start for its Tizen-powered Z1 phone could be turning into a bit of a nightmare for the Korean company, if a report this week is anything to go by.

The phone, Samsung’s first released handset to run on its home-made Tizen operating system, launched in India just last week, but the early signs are that consumers there are showing little interest.

A Mumbai-based Reuters reporter said Tuesday that the new phone, which Samsung is hoping will help improve its market share in the enormous country as well as globally, has received something of a “frosty” welcome, with reviewers and consumers castigating it for its “low-resolution cameras and dearth of software applications.”

Considering the device only costs $95, the fact that it comes with a feeble 3.1-megapixel rear camera and a simple VGA front shooter shouldn’t surprise too many people, though it’s easy to understand why a lack of apps could be an issue.

Samsung has reportedly said Tizen currently offers more than 1,000 apps, which is of course a dismal figure when you compare it to the million or so available for Android handsets. Admittedly, it’s early days for Samsung’s platform, but try telling that to a consumer on the hunt for their very first smartphone.

Attractive alternatives

IDC analyst Karan Thakkar told Reuters that although the Z1 is priced very competitively compared to many of its Android alternatives – some of which are also made by Samsung – there are still lots of attractive options at the budget end of India’s mobile market.

Samsung will, however, be reassured to know that not all reviews have been critical. In a hands-on ‘early impressions’ piece in the widely read India Today, reviewer Javed Anwer said the phone had a “reassuringly good build quality” and functioned as smoothly as an Android device. He described his initial feelings toward the handset as “positive,” though suggested that as the OS was new, interested consumers should wait for more in-depth reviews.

Related: Google botches Android One launch in India

With only 10 percent of Indians owning a smartphone and more than half of sales coming from devices costing under $100, Samsung is desperate for its first Tizen handset to be a hit. Success in the fast-growing Indian market with the Z1 would pave the way for greater investment in Tizen by the Korean tech giant, allowing it to rely less heavily on Google and its Android mobile OS. But the early signs suggest the company has some work to do to convince consumers of the benefits of the phone and its operating system.

Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

Apple iPads and iPad Pros get price cuts up to $150 on Amazon

In the market for a new iPad? Now might be the time to buy -- Amazon has discounted a range of iPad models, including the 10.5-inch, 11-inch, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, plus the standard iPad.

Ultra Wideband is here, and you can use it with the 5G Moto Mod (and save $150)

5G is rolling out in the U.S., and Motorola’s Moto Z3 is one of the few phones that can use it. Select people can take advantage of Verizon’s 5G service and enjoy a $150 discount with the purchase of a Moto Z3 and 5G Moto Mod bundle.
Product Review

The Xperia 10 Plus feels great in your hand, but you'll still want to put it down

There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone with an unusual design, and one of the cheaper models out there vying for your attention is the Sony Xperia 10 Plus, with its 21:9 aspect ratio screen.

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.

The 15 most stylish iPhone docks and charging stands for your device

The right iPhone dock does more than just hold your phone. If you’re looking for the perfect dock for your bedroom, or one to sit discretely on your office desk, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here.

How to save yourself money by buying a refurbished iPhone

There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a new iPhone, and it can be very expensive. Save yourself some heartache and some money with our guide on how to buy a refurbished iPhone.

BlackBerry Messenger to shut down in May, be replaced by enterprise version

BlackBerry Messenger for consumers will shut down at the end of May, nearly six years after it was launched. The app is going back to its roots, in a way, as it is being replaced by the much simpler BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise.

Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 smartwatches get big price cuts

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 are at some of the lowest prices we've seen since so far this year. With discounts from Amazon and Walmart, now is a great time to find spring savings on wearables.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

These are the key settings to change on the LG G8 ThinQ smartphone

The LG G8 ThinQ is finally available. There are a lot of settings turned off by default that may be useful in improving the experience of using the phone. We've rounded up 11 key settings for you to change on the G8.