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Tizen-powered Samsung Z officially announced, a ‘premium smartphone’ with ‘unparalleled quality’

Samsung Z Tizen OS

Samsung has finally moved to launch a Tizen-powered smartphone. The Samsung Z will first hit Russia in Q3 in black and red, with “plan[s] to expand to other markets” later in the year.

The Z’s design resembles previous Samsung devices, but this Tizen-powered handset is what the Korean company is calling a “premium smartphone” with “unparalleled quality.” This is Samsung’s foray away from Android or Windows Phone in a smartphone, a move to bring everything in-house and create its own end-to-end ecosystem. The Samsung Z sports a 4.8-inch 1280×720 pixel Super AMOLED display, a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage, an 8MP camera, a 2.1MP front-facing camera, a 2600mAh battery. It weighs 136g and runs a very circular Tizen OS 2.2.1.

Packing itself into this LTE-enabled smartphone is “cutting-edge technology” that brings the same Ultra Power Saving Mode from the Galaxy S5. In addition, present on the Samsung Z is a built-in fingerprint sensor and S Health 3.0. From an app perspective, users will be able to download apps via the Tizen Store when the Samsung Z officially launches.

Samsung’s DJ Lee stated, “Samsung is committed to enhancing the mobile experience of consumers with innovation that is both personal and unique to their needs.”

Samsung-Z-Product-Specifications1

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

  • daftchemist

    Specs could be better. I guess this is just their first shot. I wouldn’t call it ‘premium’ or ‘unparalleled quality’ though…

    • shamerr

      more junk flooding the market from shamesung.

    • tittylomein

      more sh!tposting from a permavirgin aspie

    • thisiscjay

      Tizen powered S4 anyone?

    • marorun1982

      no thanks..

  • Mayoo

    When I see the screenshots, Google could so much sue them for 98% of Tizen. But Google ain’t Apple thus Samsung will live another day.

    Also, first version is 2.2.1 lulz.

    • It’s Me

      From the screenshots, what could google possibly sue them over? As in, the screenshots show some of the UI, but what parts of the Android UI does google own IP for?

    • Mayoo

      Good points. For the IP, well Google owns widgets, the back button design, the search bar, notification area, etc.. IP doesn’t require documentation, if you draw a sun on a napkin, you theoretically own IP for it. Although there is not a single court in this world that would give you IP, this is the theoretical IP.

      Your big question is very true. Samsung does own the majority of Android’s market. Personally, I’m more with Android than with Samsung. All Samsung devices I owned (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 10) and the ones from people I know (Galaxy Q, Nexus S again, S2, S3) were all very good at start and got quickly slow as hell, even without the bloats.

      What I think about it, people doesn’t even know what is Android. They will see a Tizen device and say “Hey look, this new samsung phone’s interface is nice.” or “The new Samsung’s android is much better” since it does looks like Android a lot.

    • It’s Me

      Agreed. I think a large percentage of Samsung customers are buying Samsung and not Android. And that should scare the sh!t out of google. And that may be the entire point of Tizen, to give Samsung leverage with Google. I am sure Samsung was none to happy to hear about google settling with Apple and playing nice now, while they are still having to deal with many lawsuits all over the world.

      But, if you show a Tizen phone to most people, I don’t think many would know or care what the underlying OS is, as long as the UI was mostly familiar and could run the same apps. From a user perspective, if they can ensure app compatibility, then all they’d need to do is encourage (pay) developers to submit their apps to their store and the transition to Tizen could be almost transparent.

    • FlamesFan89

      The apps are the key here. I don’t really agree with the idea that people are buying Samsung, and not Android. I don’t think it is that black and white.

      I think more people than you think, realize that Samsung, Sony, HTC, Nexus, etc, phones are all running Android, even if they have no clue about the name Android, they likely know that they all run the “same thing”, and then Apple runs “it’s own different thing”. I think that the portion of the people who are truly brand loyal to Samsung, and only Samsung, as in, even if it had a different OS, is really small. The bulk of the people who you are classifying as buying Samsung, and not Android, I think realize there are two main systems, or groups, Apple, and Android, again, even if they don’t know Android by name. From that second system, they might choose Samsung, and might even be loyal to Samsung within that group, but they are aware that they are buying from the “non-Apple” group which contains many other players such as Sony, HTC, etc.

      But again, it all comes down to the apps. If Android apps work in Tizen, then Samsung could do alright with it. If they don’t, then Tizen is likely sunk. *cough* Blackberry *cough* Apps, and the content ecosystem mean far more than the OS.

      If Samsung broke off and said, we are only making Tizen devices, and none of the Android apps work on it, it would be a terrible terrible marketing play. Even the people who are “buying Samsung, and not Android”, would likely just turn to HTC or Sony or other, if it meant they got to keep all their apps and purchases that would no longer work on this new thing from Samsung. Samsung, as a company doesn’t have anywhere near the loyalty that Apple does. If Apple tomorrow announced that they completely re-made iOS, and zero past app or content purchases would work in the new devices, including music from iTunes, they would likely just sell more devices than ever because those loyal to Apple would just want the NEW thing and would revel in the joy of re-buying all their favourite apps and music, etc. That is absolutely NOT true for Samsung.

    • It’s Me

      A agree with most of what you say here, especially that apps will determine the outcome.

      If not for Samsung taking over, would BB, Symbian and Windows have all failed so miserably? I am not at all saying that all or even most Samsung buyers are buying Samsung and not necessarily Android, but I think the number is significant. Just my gut feeling, but it certain what Samsung said they were aiming for and marketing toward.

    • FlamesFan89

      I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. It sort of becomes a chicken and egg scenario. My gut feeling is that people either want an Apple device, or they want an Android device (or for those who don’t know what Android is, they want something non-Apple). Of the Android devices Samsung is the most easily recognizable company name, and the most marketed, so that’s where they lean. I don’t think it is a case of choosing Samsung ahead of all competition (including Apple) because they are choosing Samsung.

      Also, I give much more credit of the success of Android to Google and Android itself, and what it allows for, as opposed to a single manufacturer. The fact that Android is available on such a HUGE variety of devices, from cheapo’s, right up to flagships, all walks of tablets, soon/now smart watches, etc. It is this incredible choice, partnered with the backing of Google services (Search, Gmail, Maps, Calendar, etc.) that has made Android successful. This is where the chicken and the egg thing really comes in. I see it as Android has been successful, and Samsung has managed to appear as the top seller of this successful platform. You see it as Samsung has been successful which has led to the success of Android. There is no doubt that the two have assisted each other’s success, but I just put more weight on Android. Perhaps it is because I’ve personally always just viewed Samsung as just one option among many, and not even necessarily the best option.

    • It’s Me

      Again, not entirely disagreeing with you. I guess it is more the nuance of the discussion where we disagree. For example, you mention ” My gut feeling is that people either want an Apple device, or they want an Android device (or for those who don’t know what Android is, they want something non-Apple)” And that is likely correct. So, of those people that just want to buy “not Apple” they could have gone to any platform and any vendor, but they have, almost exclusively in the mid to high end lucrative range, gone with Android on Samsung, mainly because of Samsung marketing. But Tizen on Samsung is also “not Apple”.

      And yes, the plethora of options with Android may well have helped it’s growth, but Samsung offers so many choices that they have most of those differentiating options available from them.

      Samsung was very clear that they were investing heavily to create the same sort of recognition and loyalty that Apple has, and I think in large part they have done so.

      There was a video out last week of a guy showing off a mockup of the rumoured new large iPhone. A lot of people said “it looks like a Samsung” because of the size. That’s telling. It looks mostly like an HTC, but when people saw it, the first non-Apple brand they thought of to compare it to was Samsung.

    • marorun1982

      I will tell the truth to my client if they want thats phone.
      When they know its not android not thats much will be interested in this.

      Personally i dont buy Samsung product the Quality of build and software is about as worst as its get on almost all android handset.

    • FlamesFan89

      I disagree that Samsung is Android, or that Android’s eggs are almost all in the Samsung basket.

      Clearly Samsung is ridiculously ahead of the competition in sales in the Android world, but I think that is mostly a case of being the most marketed, and therefore winner of that race, but had it not been Samsung, the same thing would have happened for HTC, or Sony, or Other. Someone would be at the front of the pack, and Android would still be in the same place as it is in terms of market share, give or take a few percentage points.

      At this point, I don’t think Android/Google is as reliant on Samsung as you would like to believe. How many people use Google, and their services, especially Gmail, on a daily basis? How many already have Android phones and have made App purchases from the play store? Breaking that compatibility would be to the detriment of the manufacturer, i.e. Samsung, not to the provider, i.e. Google.

    • It’s Me

      I’m not sure you can assume that is Samsung didn’t exist that any of the other Android vendors would have replicated their success, even combined. Is Android responsible for Samsung’s gains or is Samsung responsible for Android’s gains? If Samsung hand’t achieved their dominance of the smartphone market, would symbian and BB and Windows have all cratered?

    • marorun1982

      Thats come down to the superior OS.
      Android is superior in mostly all aspect vs blackberry and windows..
      I also beleive another android Seller would had take the lead maybe HTC.

    • ciph3ro

      I think LG would have done well as well, especially seeing what they’ve done with the Nexus 4, 5 and LG G2 and now that sexy looking G3.

      HTC is another and Sony is another, even though it would be nice if they got rid of the square form factor and the big bezels.

    • It’s Me

      They might have done well without Samsung in the picture but there may be little reason to think they could have grown at the same rate, even together, that Samsung did. Only if we assume the same number of millions of phones would have sold with or without Samsung could we assume the others would have then taken all that growth for themselves. I don’t think that’s a given.

    • FlamesFan89

      But your opinion is just as equally speculation as the opinion that one or more other manufacturers would have filled the void left by Samsung. I don’t think it’s a given that one or more companies WOULDN’T have stepped up.

      An interesting thought, which could never be proven, is that, through the Streisand Effect, Apple may have actually helped Samsung grow as big as they did. The massive lawsuits have been heavily publicized, and even my non-techie friends know about them, and many (even iPhone owners) have shared their opinion with me that they feel like the litigious attitude of Apple either almost did, or did in fact, push them away from Apple and straight in to the arms of the ones Apple was attacking. Like I said, it can’t be proven, and it takes away from what Samsung has been able to accomplish in their own right, but it is an interesting concept nonetheless.

    • It’s Me

      Again, I actually agree that Apple helped Samsung by casting them as the “anti-Apple”.

      But generally, in business, with all else being equal, failure is always more likely than success. So, I just cannot take it as a given that the absence of Samsung would have meant everyone/anyone else would assume the growth they were able to generate, whatever the reasons. Samsung hit on all cylinders and created growth and I don’t see how it would be a safe assumption anyone else could have done the same. Others would have been more successful without Samsung but that doesn’t mean achieving the same levels as Samsung. It would in fact seem unlikely.

    • FlamesFan89

      Perhaps you are right, perhaps you are wrong, we will never know as we can’t turn back time.

      We can certainly attempt to make predictions for the future though, and personally, I don’t see Tizen, being limited to just one manufacturer, without an established App and content ecosystem, somehow convincing everyone to dump Android, and Google. BB10 is a VERY slick, and solid operating system. Blackberry is a very well known brand, and was once on the top of the heap. Look at how amazing they are doing at convincing people to come over to their new platform, even though it is actually really good. There is perhaps a lesson of caution there for Samsung.

    • It’s Me

      But BB as a whole was already on the decline and people were actively avoiding their product.

      If tizen provides a similar look and and feel to samsung’s Android offerings (it does) and can provide app and ecosystem compatibility (it can in large part) then to the average consumer the fact that it is Tizen would be transparent. People wouldnt have to be seeking tizen, they’d only have to be looking for a Samsung smartphone.

      Samsung absolutely would have to avoid the pitfalls that BB, Palm and other have faced, but they may not face all of the same obstacles that the others have faced. They’d almost certainly have some significant advantages that the others didn’t have.

    • FlamesFan89

      I just truly feel that you give Samsung far too much credit than is due in terms of consumer loyalty. My evidence is anecdotal, but I’m not sure I can name a single person who would be specific in wanting a Samsung phone, regardless of OS, and then would just get used to whatever new OS is on there once they got the phone, but it would be Samsung or nothing. I do however know many many people who prefer an Android phone, and happen to have chosen a Samsung from within the lineup of Android phones.

      It’s anecdotal evidence, it is a small sample size, but it is just as telling as the one or two people who in the video you mentioned earlier about people being shown the iPhone mockup, that refer to it as looking like a Samsung. Perhaps to Apple people such as yourself, since Samsung is the biggest competitor, it looks much more like “Samsung is Android” to paraphrase you, but to Android people, I don’t think anywhere even remotely close to as many people as you suggest feel that “Samsung is Android”. It is much much much much more a case of “Samsung is one company that sells Android phones”.

    • It’s Me

      Also anecdotal and a small sample, but almost every single person I know that has switched to another platform or jumped into smartphones for the first time has gone with Samsung or Apple. Only the true Android diehards have other brands, like HTC. Hell, one had to leave BB and hates apple, so he went first with a Samsung windows phone but will be going to a Samsung android for his next device.

      I think you’re underestimating how good a job Samsung has done in selling their brand, not just selling themselves as another android vendor. If it wasn’t so, then with all of the top notch phones from other vendors, we’d expect to see some of them improving in sales and marketshare, but few if any seem to really be moving the needle so far. Because people pick Samsung.

    • FlamesFan89

      Think about the average, or even the less than average consumer, in terms of tech knowledge. I’m talking the ones who you could hold up a Galaxy S5 in front of them and they’d say, oh, that’s an iPhone, or you hold up an iPhone, and they say oh, a cellphone, not even smartphone, or iPhone, just the generic “cellphone”.

      Ok, so take one of those people who has an Android, and has actually managed to learn that if they tap that button that looks like a “Play” button, they can put Angry Birds on their phone, and might even know that they can change the wallpaper, but they don’t know what a long-press is. Now a sales person tells them there is a new Samsung phone, but you can’t get apps from the Play Store, you will have to download them and install them through some other process. They are going to get a confused look on their face, wonder what the heck you talking about, and ask something like, “well, what ones can I just do it the same way I did with my current phone”. The Sales person shows them an HTC or a Nexus, and they say “OOO, it comes in that bright orangey-red colour? OOOo I like that. I’ll get that one.”

      Yeah, that’s what Samsung is facing with Tizen.

    • It’s Me

      The sales person would simply say “yes you can get angry birds from the app store”. Which would be true as long as Samsung convinces devs to simply submit their apps to their store too (easily achieved with enough $$).

      That’s one potential reason Samsung has been pushing their Samsung IDs. The spiffs Samsung pays for sales will help ensure the sales people understand what to say.

      “This is our newest Samsung model. It’s great. You can run all of your Android apps, the price is one of our better promos and it comes in gold. It’s even better than an iPhone.” They wouldn’t have to change their sales pitch at all.

    • FlamesFan89

      I think you underestimate how resistant to change humans really are.

    • It’s Me

      I guess that depends on what they objectively think is a greater change when buying a new phone given little knowledge. A Samsung running “a different android” or a whole new brand with their own skins and features.

      From there we can ask, for most people, what is Android? Is it Linux with a DALVIK layer for apps? Is it the UI shell? The apps and ecosystem? All of the above or some combination? Tizen, with enough money and effort, can replicate almost all of that.

    • J-Ro

      I like how you put that. Samsung is putting their market share to the ultimate test. Likely only a select few buy for the OS. Most people only know what is good by someone they trust. Since Tizen looks similar to touch wiz on their new line ups, they could get away with it.
      They also have the money to get all the apps needed out of gate to not have any issues there either.

  • dean

    Sorry but I think there’s a mistake in the text : “4.8-inch Super AMOLED display (resolution of 1280 x 7202)”

  • Balls O’Steele

    Will it run Android apps?
    If not, then this is a big chunk of phayle.

    • Jonathan Schmitt

      I am pretty sure it will be able to run Android apps, kinda like what Blackberry does.

    • Sam Wiggans

      Nope.

    • Kenny S. Zhang

      no android apps? then theyre dead in the water

  • Hail Eff

    I agree with what daftchemist here said: “Specs could be better. I guess this is just their first shot. I wouldn’t call it ‘premium’ or ‘unparalleled quality’ though…”

    Also, I don’t think it even looks all that great. It looks worse than their normal phone releases, and I’ve always felt Samsung released not-so-great-looking phones.

  • Theo

    Looks like the mid range device from 2 years ago LG L7. Icons look like from galaxy S1

    • Zed

      you’re right, it does look like some of the old LG phones.

  • Tuan Bui

    They’re taking a step backwards with this. Nothing about this device is “premium”.. Don’t they already in house majority of the parts of their Android devices? Nothing makes this stand out from the S line or Note. But then again this device probably won’t see the light in North America.

  • Jonathan Schmitt

    I find this really cool. People keep saying that its just ‘another phone on the market’, but I think its pretty neat. It will be fun to see how Samsung plays this out. It will also be interesting to see how consumers react. It looks and probably performs closely to Android phones, but may have slightly different features that will interest some people.

    Also, does anyone else find it looks like a bigger LG L3?

  • monsterduc1000

    Anyone remember Samsung’s other os foray, Bada? This will most likely fail just as quickly as that one did.

    • It’s Me

      Samsung back than was not Samsung today. Bada also didn’t have (or need at the time) android compatibility. Bada was also explicitly and intentionally not targeted as a smartphone OS.

      Total different situation.

    • monsterduc1000

      If you go to the Bada site, the tag line is “smatphone for everyone”. Kinda seems like a smartphone os to me…

    • It’s Me

      From their Vision for bada:
      “The vision of bada is “Smartphone for Everyone”. bada’s main goal is not to compete with other existing smartphone platforms. Instead, bada will turn Samsung’s conventional customers into smartphone users by providing cost-effective smartphones. This means that bada will open and extend a new smartphone market, which does not exist in the current mobile market. bada will create a new smartphone market, which will turn into a new blue ocean.”

      So, maybe I should have said it isn’t intended as for “premium” or competitive smartphones.

  • Hungrier

    A proprietary OS made by the people who brought us TouchWiz? Can’t wait for that, it really sounds premium. And of course there will be a thriving app ecosystem for it too.

    • Harold Mitchell

      Hope that’s sarcasm seeping through your comment!

    • Henry

      Let’s also mention Samsung Kies, unparalleled performance for syncing and backups.

  • OMFCody

    I’m assuming the OS needs less power? Otherwise it’s not too “premium”. And 720 is considered mid-range today.

    • It’s Me

      From what I’ve read it is more efficient for battery usage and can be faster as well. But that is really yet to be objectively confirmed.

    • ciph3ro

      1080p for a 5″ screen makes a decent difference. Nexus 4 to Nexus 5 is noticeable in sharpness.. not sure about 2K like the LG G3.

  • FlamesFan89

    App and content compatibility with the Play Store is the key here. If they break compatibility with Android, then this is a waste of time and resources. If they have compatibility, then it might work, but it will have to be seamless.

    Any hiccups that would make app compatibility a headache will drive people to just buy Android phones (from another manufacturer) so that they can keep using their apps and buy new ones in the system they know already.

    • marorun1982

      Even if compatible they wont have access to the playstore.
      They will follow same model as blackberry where each app need to be put in Samsung store 1 by 1.. Fail!!!

  • bigshynepo

    People are pretty happy with the 4 OS choices currently on the market, why do we need another that follows the same basic pattern? Unless there is some true innovation and this isn’t just to skirt android royalties, I’ll never look at a tizen phone.

    (Blackberry, Android, iOS and WP owner)

  • Claude

    As a samsung user with the S4, I would say I bought the phone because at the time the hardware was quite good and obviously because of Android and the ecosystem. As a former BB user and fan of BB 10, I can’t see this taking off because of the same problem BB has with their native apps (or lack thereof). This just seems like a mistake, and might be why their testing it in one area only.

    • FlamesFan89

      my thoughts, and actual experience exactly. I have the S4, but not due to any sort of loyalty to Samsung, but more because at the time of getting it, the specs checked the most boxes on my list for the Android phones on the market at the time. A “premium” phone, even one that fits my bill for what I am looking for specs-wise, and style wise, won’t get consideration from me if it isn’t an Android phone unless there is some seriously compelling reason why a whole new ecosystem would be worth leaving behind what works fantastically for me already.

    • cartfan88

      Interested to know which phones you would consider upgrading to now? Considering the S4 is still a strong phone in its own right. Gotta say the G3 is looking fine. But there’s a lot of solid phones to choose from so for for 2014.

    • FlamesFan89

      Caveat to the following is that I will not be replacing my phone any time soon unless it becomes broken or stolen.

      That said, the G3 would get serious consideration from me. I would also be considering the Sony Z2. To be honest, I likely wouldn’t go the route of the Galaxy S5. I don’t see it as being enough of a change to warrant the price. The other phone that would get very serious consideration is the Nexus 5, and if there happens to be one, the Nexus 6. We have a Nexus 7 at home, and my wife has the 5, and after using pure android, Touchwiz just seems sooooo clunky and bulky. I never understood the Touchwiz hate until I used pure Android.

    • ciph3ro

      I actually have a NExus 5 right now and I’m finding it extremely difficult to “upgrade” to anything else. The screen size, fluidity, soft-back feel, etc are amazing.

      Even the camera has been amazing lately.. takes such good photos that I feel someone should review it again. I’ve taken some photos that you would struggle to take with a point and shoot.

      The only drawback is that I’m a heavy user when I do use it and the battery sometimes dies just short of my 14-15 hour day. Most of the time it lasts the whole way but it would be nice to have more.

      The only thing that I can say that is bad about it is that it really needs a soft-textured metal band around the phone and the front camera kind of sucks.

      For the price I can’t think of anything better. I’ve looked at the Oppo Find 7a and the One+ One but they are SO big. The 5″ screen is the perfect size for me for one hand use and easy handling of the phone.

    • FlamesFan89

      I fully agree. I feel like Google and LG really hit it out of the park with the Nexus 5. The storage capacity has always been a sticking issue for me, as I have a large music collection that I like to have with me as I am basically listening to music whenever I can, so my current S4 with a 64GB microSD is very convenient, but after playing with my wife’s Nexus 5 and our Nexus 7, I feel like I would be ready to compromise, especially now that I have my full music library backed up to Google Music, and have All Access (Finally in Canada).

  • Stephen B Morris

    I think it will make them some money. I suspect the cost of them making this phone is very low to them and they did get a bunch of companies to commit to making apps for Tizen. That being said I don’t see them not using Android in markets that they are doing extremely well. It is somewhat free to use relatively speaking. Its the cheaper phones that make Samsung the most money, not the flagship ones.

  • AnotherBillJ

    Similar in specs to the BlackBerry Z30. I’ll just stick with my Z.

    Cheers.

  • Brian_Pelican

    So does this thing run android apps or is this a start from zero thing

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