Samsung has unveiled its first ever smartphone to be powered by its own operating system – known as Tizen. Here are five things you need to know about the phone and Tizen itself.
What is Tizen?
Tizen was introduced in January 2012 as a Linux-based operating system for devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and in-vehicle infotainment devices. It aims to create a consistent user experience across all types of devices, and the Tizen project is governed by a Technical Steering Group which is primarily made up of two tech firms, Samsung and Intel.
The Tizen OS itself is developed by Samsung engineers, and shares a lot of things in common with Android. However, unlike Android, which is run by Google, by using its own operating system, Samsung would get free reign over how it wants to use the operating system within the Samsung ecosystem. Every mobile that Samsung sells gives Google a little bit of revenue, and Google continues to haul that in every time a user spends money on Google Play.
Furthermore, by developing an OS originating in the Asian market, Samsung may do well in competing with Google a few years down the line in the Asian market itself, by offering an Android alternative on a majority of phones shipping in Asia.
Available in black and gold versions, the Samsung Z features a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and 8MP rear camera, and is powered by a 2.3 GHz Quad-core processor backed up with 2GB of RAM, alongside a 2600mAh battery.
It comes with 16GB internal memory, with support for a microSD card allowing up to 64GB extra storage, and also includes support for 4G LTE networks.
Taking cues from the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Samsung Z features biometrics like a fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone. It will also have a heart rate sensor and the S Health 3.0 app.
Tizen OS is optimized for HTML 5 websites and apps, putting the Samsung Z in direct competition with Firefox phones, which is also trying to breach emerging mobile markets.
DJ Lee, Executive VP at Samsung, said: "The Samsung Z integrates the power and adaptability of the Tizen platform, enabling users to browse the web faster and utilize applications more effectively."
Unlike more mature markets like the US and the UK, the Russian market isn’t so entirely dependent on carriers, certain ones of which have dropped support of Tizen in the past, airing concerns about Tizen’s future.
Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, which originally supported Tizen, stopped plans this January citing lack of consumer demand for an operating system that is not iOS or Android.
Bearing this in mind, Russia provides a fertile testing ground for the new operating system in a market that Samsung does particularly well in.