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Samsung Announces First Tizen Smartphone – Uh Oh?

Last night, Samsung made its first major step toward leaving Android behind. OK, that’s a load of bullsh*t, but I am sure you will read headlines that say as much all day today. The fuel for this sensationalized journalism is the Korean company’s announcement of their first smartphone running Tizen, a mobile operating system that is certainly not Android. The phone is called the Samsung Z and it is headed for Russia in Q3, with more markets planned thereafter.

Tizen is the operating system that powers Samsung’s wearable devices, but it has also been built to work with smartphones. Some eye it as a direct competitor to Android and a way for Samsung to ditch Android completely, while others, including our own Ron Offringa, think Samsung would be shooting themselves in the foot if they plan to ditch Android for it at any point in the near future. I would have to agree; Android has a firm grasp on the world’s smartphone market and Tizen has little going for it at this point (think app ecosystem). But hey, I guess in 5 years, things could look a lot different. 

The Samsung Z, for those living in Russia, has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED displkay, 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 8MP rear camera, 2.1MP front shooter, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, micro SD slot, 2600mAh battery, and runs Tizen 2.2.1. It has has a handful of Samsung’s TouchWiz-like software features, including S Health 3.0, Download Booster, and Ultra Power Saving Mode. The phone features a fingerprint sensor as well.

Since Tizen has almost no app ecosystem at this point, Samsung is trying to provide incentive to developers who are willing to work on the platform by offering some sort of promotional program.

Samsung Z_Front_BlackSamsung Z_Back_Black


samsung tizen specs

Press Release

Samsung Launches Industry’s First Tizen Smartphone – the Samsung Z

June 2, 2014

Samsung Z offers a unique user experience with advanced web performance and usability

Seoul, Korea, June 2, 2014 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, today introduced the Samsung Z, the first commercially available smartphone powered by the Tizen platform. The Samsung Z will be on show at the Tizen Developer Conference, San Francisco from June 3rd.

Built on top of unparalleled quality and the cutting-edge technology of Samsung’s latest premium smartphone, the Samsung Z is optimized with a Tizen platform that offers fast and powerful software performance. Complete with a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and a 2.3 GHz Quad-core processor, the Samsung Z makes the perfect choice for consumers who want a differentiated user experience in an efficient and light-weight smartphone.

“Samsung is committed to enhancing the mobile experience of consumers with innovation that is both personal and unique to their needs,” said DJ Lee, President and Head of Global Sales & Marketing Office, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “The Samsung Z integrates the power and adaptability of the Tizen platform, enabling users to browse the web faster and utilize applications more effectively.”

Quick and Efficient
The Tizen platform delivers a fast, optimal performance with improved memory management. The Tizen-based Samsung Z offers a faster startup time and immediate multi-tasking capabilities, The Samsung Z fully supports superb 2D and 3D graphic qualities, smoother scrolling and an improved rendering performance for web browsing. Users will also be able to enjoy safe and secure privacy protection using the built-in fingerprint sensor.

An Ultra Power Saving Mode lets the phone stay operational even at minimal battery levels in emergencies.

Tailored For Smarter Living
The Samsung Z features a distinctive home and application layout, for easy access to favorite features and apps. Using Dynamic Box and Color Theme settings, users can tailor their device to what suits them best.

The external design of the Samsung Z also offers a completely new look. The device features a slim, angular design with sophisticated lines, providing a differentiated look and feel while maintaining Samsung’s overall design identity. The Samsung Z will be available in two refined colors: Black and Gold.

The Samsung Z will be available in Q3 in Russia and is planned to expand to other markets. Users will be offered to access additional applications through the Tizen Store at the launch of the Samsung Z. In order to celebrate the launch the world’s first Tizen smartphone and to encourage more developers to join, the Tizen Store will provide a special promotional program to all developers for one year. Furthermore, Samsung plans to host a Tizen local app challenges in Russia and CIS countries to enrich the Tizen eco-system at the launch of the device.

  • Pete

    This smells like Bada: The Sequel..

  • Eduardo Ortiz

    Samsung dropping android wouldn’t be so bad. Samsung dropping the name Galaxy WOULD be bad, very bad.

  • Kree Terry

    My worry isn’t that they’ll abandon android. My worry is that they will try to do too much. I mean look at the software on the s5 how many of those “features” are just bloat bs crappy parlor tricks, nothing really valuable. If they want to get my (and others) money they really need to focus on the things that matter. Moto gets it, HTC is starting to understand, and as much as I hate to say it Apple gets it. I know that no matter what they do they’ll sell many phone for at least another generation or two but that won’t last forever. Tizen isn’t the future Samsung should be pursuing in whatever form, a cleaner more focuses android should be their main priority.

  • BodomSlayer

    That is one ugly looking phone.

  • John Clausen

    Wow! A TouchWiz operating system?! Sign me up!!

  • Alexander Munnerlyn

    Never heard of it

  • hfoster52

    Digging this article out from the grave.

    “A Phone Threat to South Korea”

    Give you an idea of the S. Korean Government over S. Korean tech companies.

  • Shashwat Black

    I have a dream.. that one day you could just run any app on any platform. 😀

    • hfoster52

      Oracle sues you for that Dream since that’s Java’s line.

      • Shashwat Black

        haha.. 😀

  • Tres Waters

    I don’t think they have any plans of ditching Android anytime soon, but I think that based on the success of Tizen in the next couple years or so, they’re looking as it being a viable replacement. If not, why would Samsung have put in all of the R&D, time, and energy to make it as capable as it already is? If they can get a decent app ecosystem in a couple years I don’t see why they wouldn’t want as much independence as they could get.

  • Gr8Ray

    But… I thought Tizen runs Android apps?

  • Jeremy Martin

    Time for Google to back out of that deal with Lenovo now.

  • hoosiercub88

    So.. a “nice” phone for developing markets.

  • Mordecaidrake

    I honestly think this will be a wasted effort for Samsung. The benefit of android is that while it’s still android, it can be so customized that the manufacture makes it their own without having to switch the basic OS and lose every single developer.

  • mustbepbs

    “Since Tizen has almost no app ecosystem at this point, Samsung is trying to provide incentive to developers who are willing to work on the platform by offering some sort of promotional program.”

    Samsung, if Microsoft of all companies can’t get people on board to develop on Windows of all platforms, you’ve got no hope.

    • michael arazan

      The incentives they have already offered has not done anything to lure devs to develop for Tizen yet. And i doubt Samsung can afford to pay all the Dev’s out of their own pocket to develop for them, just for the popular apps.

    • TheDrizzle

      True. But they are in a great position. They start getting developers on board with Tizen all the while being successful with Android. Then, after a few years of building the Tizen app store, they eventually make the switch from Android. It will suck to lose the biggest Android OEM, but it seems like a smart business plan.

  • Captain Spaulding
  • Mark Aaron Collado

    Hmmm I think the Google Silver program will be replacing Samsung. Good for Samsung for getting large enough to do whatever they want to. Lets all hope LG HTC and Moto can carry Android.

  • LosttsoL

    The 7″ poorly spec’d Galaxy W came out today also. Lots of meh coming out of them lately.

  • J1787

    I remember when I thought blackberry could never be beat……competition is great for us all.

    • Mark Aaron Collado

      even Apple too

      • J1787


      • hfoster52

        yes. Think of where iOS would be without Android? Multitasking, notifications, ….. the list goes on. Its forced them to deliver a better product.

        • J1787

          yes and in my opinion iOS fluid feel was the reason for “project butter.” Which has been one of the best things to happen to Android in my opinion.

          • Tres Waters

            Unless you ask Apple, in which case they’ll claim that Android developers used a time machine to go into the future to copy iOS’s features, and brought them back to the past and placed them in Android before they got the chance to pioneer those features.

    • hfoster52

      What’s a blackberry?? 😉

  • Big EZ

    They will sucker some unknowing consumers, but I think it’ll turn south when those people realize they can’t access their paid apps on Google Play.

  • 213ninja

    hatefest 2014.

  • Robert Macri

    More competition, the better.

  • Wow that’s a ugly phone

  • Ryan N

    Just no… No.

    • sc0rch3d

      hell yes, let Sammy go for it. they are ruining Android’s reputation with TouchWhizz

      • Ryan N

        True. I’m all for sammy pulling out some of its focus which had diluted the android ecosystem. I was more or less just saying no from a business perspective. Poor decision… Not their first, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

      • 213ninja

        no they aren’t.

  • DJyoSNOW

    What ever happened to: Bada

    Also Samsung is known for “jank”… Long live the jank??

    • hfoster52

      Last I read they shut it down and moved some the “good” stuff to Tizen.

  • Sean Lally

    Hopefully they’re forking themselves out of the mobile market. Can’t stand the wiz….

  • Buur

    Looks to come complete with TizenWhiz. Going to have to root it to get stock Tizen.

    • Ray

      TizWiz sounds better 🙂 hey bro looks like you got some TizWiz on your phone there clean that up!

      • Bryan Mills


        Here’s a tissue.

        • No.

        • michael arazan

          Tizen, sounds like a new STD.

          “Dam, that B&tch gave me Tizen.”

        • Mark Mann

          A tizzue?

    • Sean Lally


    • T4rd

      Can’t wait to see Tizen ROMs hitting the Nexus 5 on XDA! /s

    • Shhh 1

      Will Tizen invade my privacy less than google? If so, sign me up. Samsung should push that angle, they only care about hardware $ anyway.

      • hfoster52

        I see it as the other way around. Samsung using this as way to suck you into their eco system and they will use your information to try and see you more of their stuff.

        • Blue Sun

          I’m holding out for the Samsung refrigerator, washing machine & dryer integration.

      • creed

        If they only care about hardware money, why create their own mobile platform? Obviously they see an opportunity on the software side.

  • Ray

    I see this going south real fast

  • Shane Redman

    There’s no “uh oh” here, silly Kellen…

  • litobirdy

    But it seems to look EXACTLY like Android is on there. lawsuit coming?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Samsung can’t sue themselves for making Tizen look like TouchWiz.

      • Bryan Mills

        But Apple can sue Samsung for it*

        • hfoster52

          Samsung can sue themselves now too.

      • hfoster52

        Yup still run touchwiz..

    • i’m thinking the point is so that the consumer cannot tell a difference at face value. but only after the buy it and get down into the apps and settings. that same trickery will help boost their analysis when they show how many Tizen devices they’ve sold in comparison to Android devices.

  • Bryan Mills

    So we’re looking at a mix of iOS and Android, and a super ugly device, cool.