With Samsung sitting high upon their throne as Android’s #1 manufacturer, it’s interesting to see them playing around with another open source mobile operating system. Although not specifically “Android” related, when we heard that Samsung was showing off and advertising Tizen — their rival mobile OS — at this year’s Mobile World Congress, we simply had to see it for ourselves.
What we found when we arrived were a variety of Tizen-based Samsung hardware, hidden behind the Korean manufacturer’s now infamous prototype cases. After receiving a brief rundown from one of the Tizen reps, we noticed how scarily similar Tizen was to Android. In fact, many of the same Android actions (long pressing, widgets, back/menu/home hardware buttons), along with notification pulldown, are also present on Tizen. If you didn’t know it wasn’t running Android, chances are you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference.
A few neat tricks were the way Tizen handles icons and widgets — making them essentially one and the same. Icons can be resized and when extended, open to reveal widgets inside. Further extending will reveal even more information, and swiping down on the widget will reveal specific actions and/or controls. Samsung’s customized Android experience has never been known for being snappy and unfortunately, the same problem applies to Tizen. Don’t get us wrong, everything was rendering smoothly, we just felt the overall experience was a bit laggy (something that could be fine tuned in future updates).
For those curious to see Tizen in action, feel free to check out our hands-on video below. With Tizen already coming equipped on the soon-to-be released Samsung Gear 2, it’s only a matter of time before it officially lands on other mobile devices — smartphones and tablets included.