updated 06:52 am EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Tizen smartphone heading to Russia in Q3 2014, other markets to follow
Samsung has launched its first smartphone running on Tizen, following months of speculation and rumor. The Samsung Z eschews Android and the Galaxy name from its other smartphone launches in favor of the alternate mobile operating system, with the onboard Tizen 2.2.1 said to provide faster start-up times and improved multitasking compared to Android.
The specifications list of the Samsung Z is generous for the first commercial Tizen smartphone launch, with the device boasting a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED 720p display backed by a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of expandable storage. On the back is an 8-megapixel camera with a 2.1-megapixel front version, with the device also having Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, IR, and LTE connectivity. Just as with the Galaxy S5, it has a heart rate sensor and fingerprint reader, with a 2,600mAh battery providing power.
Samsung has done a lot to fill out Tizen with the typical array of smartphone features. The camera app includes modes for miniature photography, panoramas, "Quick Shot," "Best Photo," and dual-camera photographs, the Download Booster from the S5 makes an appearance, and S Health 3.0 for heart rate monitoring. The same Ultra Power Saving Mode from the S5 makes a reappearance, and while there are relatively few Tizen apps compared to Android, Samsung plans to host a number of "app challenges" to fill out the Tizen store.
The Samsung Z will initially ship in Russia sometime in the third quarter, with other markets expected to receive it in later months. Samsung has yet to provide a price for the device.