The first Tizen phone from Samsung has finally launched. Sales began today at a price of 5,700 Indian Rupees, which equates to $92 US dollars. Called Z1, this phone is backed by Samsung, Intel, and other vendors, while running on the open-source Tizen operating system. This operating system is the same one used by numerous companies in South Korea for televisions and wearable devices.
Last June, Samsung announced that a different Tizen smartphone was coming. However, the phone, which was set to launch first in Russia sometime during the third quarter of 2014, never showed up as promised. Some insiders also claim that the launch of the Tizen phone in India was delayed.
Compared to the planned Z phone, the Z1 has somewhat low-end specs. As indicated by Samsung, the Z was supposed to have a 4.8-inch high-definition Super AMOLED display, as well as 2.3 GHz quad-core application processor but apparently, the company’s focus changed. Instead, the Z1 was launched for the low-end of the market, which in India and various other countries is booming.
The Z1 will be in direct competition with Android phones in India, those designed with similar hardware capabilities and comparable pricing. As stated by Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner, it will probably take a little time for the Tizen phones to become popular simply because people do not know much about the operating system.
Specific features of the Z1 include running the Tizen 2.3, a 4-inch screen with 480×800 pixel, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, and expandable memory using a microSD card up to 64GB. Claims made by Samsung is that this new phone’s 1500mAh battery is capable of playing up to seven hours of video and providing up to eight hours of talk time.
The new Tizen phone comes in three colors, red, black, and white, boasts a VGA front-facing camera complete with software for face detection, and a 3.1 megapixel rear camera. However, based on the three free months of movies and songs from various Indian digital entertainment websites, it is apparent that Samsung focused a lot on entertainment value.
One of the most innovative features of the Z1 is geared toward women in India who face security risks to include rape. This phone is designed with a special SOS alert whereby if any user feels in danger, the power button can be pressed four times to send out a “help” message to the user’s primary contacts. This features is also capable of tracking the user’s location.