Samsung today revealed its first Tizen-powered smartphone, dubbed the Z1. The phone was originally teased as the “Samsung Z” in June of last year, and was supposed to be available in Russia in Q3 2014, but faced delays that pushed the release back until the new year.
Rather than launching the Z1 in Russia, however, Samsung is instead opting to only make the device available in India for the time being. While the originally teased phone featured decent specs, the version that went to market today sports decidedly less advanced internals targeting the entry-level market.
For example, the “Samsung Z” was supposed to run on a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, but the shipping version contains a 1.2 GHz dual-core chip. It doesn’t support LTE (in fact it specifically lists cellular connectivity as 3G in the press release), and it ships with 768 MB of RAM (compared to the 2 GB that were supposed to appear in the Russian model).
With only 4 GB of built-in storage, an SD card seems like an absolute necessity, although if you don’t pick one up right away you’ll probably be OK, since the 3.1 MP camera isn’t going to need much space to store your photos.
All of these components are tucked away behind a “superior” 4-inch display with a resolution of 800×480, which Samsung optimistically attempts to market as an entertainment powerhouse.
The phone comes with a free offering called “Joy Box” as well as access to “Club Samsung,” which give users the ability to stream over 270,000 songs, 80 live TV channels, and an unspecified number of movies.
It’s all powered by a 1500 mAh battery. The Tizen operating system is said to boot quickly and run smoothly, even on this constrained hardware, though its lack of apps may be an issue.
So… this definitely isn’t the Android-killing flagship many users might have been hoping for, and the probability of this device launching in the U.S. or other markets seems like a long shot at this point, but it could certainly be positioned as a competitor to Google’s Android One program, which also targets entry-level smartphone buyers in India.
The Z1 goes on sale today for Rs 5,700 (that’s about $90). It comes in three colors: white, black, and “wine red.”
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