Samsung finally manages to push a Tizen phone out of the door like an unwanted stepchild


samsung z1

It was almost exactly half a year ago when Samsung announced the Tizen-based Z and I questioned whether it was the beginning of the end for their Android efforts. It seemed unlikely they’d stray from their hugely successful Galaxy line, sure, but we’ve always heard murmurings that they want to get away from Android. We’ve seen strong evidence of that in their hesitance to embrace Android Wear for their smart watches, or Android TV for their smart television sets.

But shortly after announcement the company decided to pull the plug on the first official Tizen phone, and it seemed all but sure they were going to retire it for mobile purposes and use it for other areas of smart technology. That changes today.

The company has officially announced the Samsung Z1, and on the same day it was announced it was put on sale in India. Folks in that country can grab one for Rs. 5,700 (about $91), and its specs sheet is every bit as disappointing as that price tag would make you assume:

  • 4-inch WVGA display
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 768MB of RAM
  • 3.1 megapixel camera, VGA front camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, WiFi and 3G
  • 1,500mAh battery
  • Did we mention it runs Tizen?

So that’s Samsung’s first Tizen phone. Their first attempt at breaking away from Android was much scarier, but if this is what Tizen has been relegated to in the early going we’d say there’s little reason to think Samsung is going to abandon their tried and true Android-driven formula anytime soon.

[via Samsung]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. They might surprise us. I’d like to try it out and see if there are major differences in performance and features.

    1. Either Tizen runs smooth as hell and needs less power on the hardware side or this thing will be beneath even entry level android phones. the specs fall short in every category, cant expect much from this. It even seems to have specs that dont meet windows phones either.

      1. Yeah I meant if they come out with tizen on a high end spec phone. Might be more optimized than android. This phone surely won’t be convincing anyone.

        1. It could be a Ferrari but without access to the massive ecosystem it will not work. Its essentially an independent effort, even if its Samsung backed.

          1. True. No Google play would be a no go for me.

  2. The article title :) is the phone called Z1nderella?

  3. Should of came out with a high-end phone to showcase capabilities… Now imma think of Tizen as a mid range phone line…at least until they put out a better speced phone…

    1. They’re planning on pushing the phone in emerging markets, so the specs line up with their plans.

      1. OKIC now…

  4. Guess you have to cover it because its a Samsung but its an irrelevant phone, just like their tizen powered wearables are irrelevant. Only a handful of people are going to buy a device that only works with select samsung devices.

    Samsung thought they were a big enough player to do something like this but it became apparent they are only a player because they were able to put top-knotch logistics behind Android. Without Android they are DOA. Its like HP trying to put out their own desktop OS, nobody wants to be a beta tested for a proprietary system.

    1. It’s a start. Everyone has to start somewhere. Why put all your effort into something and not know how it’s going to be. You start small then go big.

      1. Everyone starts somewhere, but starting with something proprietary in an already mature market is pretty bad business unless your product is really, really game-changing. Tizen isnt that. Its not bringing anything new to market and is behind all of the competitors. Not only that but it doesnt play well with the established leaders

    2. I think the only thing that is keeping them from totally up and leaving Android at the moment is the Google Play Store with its library of apps. However, it looks like Android apps can now run on Tizen with a minimal performance hit: http://www.tizenexperts.com/2015/01/samsung-z1-launching-android-apps-thanks-open-mobiles-acl-technology/

      1. There is still no google services or interoperability with non-samsung devices.

        1. What do you mean? Naturally, there won’t be any Google Play Services on Tizen. As for interoperability, the devices can still send SMS, MMS, and email. The same level of interoperability as an Android phone has with Windows Mobile.

          1. That is a great example, which is one reason nobody wants Windows Mobile. You basically proved my point.

  5. This phone is $90 off contract with really low end specs (lower than the worst Samsung android phone available). Maybe Tizen is very light weight and optimized for this kind of phone. Since it also runs on TVs and watches, maybe this is the real strength of Tizen.
    There is no way that Touchwiz could run on this phone…

  6. That thing is thicker than a snicker

  7. I would love to try Tizen out on phone like the a5 or a7

  8. I think this is proof that Samsung wants to get away from Android: http://www.tizenexperts.com/2015/01/samsung-z1-launching-android-apps-thanks-open-mobiles-acl-technology/

    If you can run Android apps on Tizen with a minimal performance hit, then all they need to do is swap out Android and replace it with Tizen. Aside from getting apps through a different app store, no one will really know the difference because they’ve ported TouchWiz. Samsung wants to control the whole show.

    In a way, there can be some good to come from this. Firstly, it may force Google to treat their developers more humanely. Tizen may also result in a performance refinement race with Android.

    However, I’m convinced that this is the beginning of the end of Samsung using Android.

    1. I seriously doubt that.

      1. Why invest in all this effort into Tizen? What’s the point?

        1. I couldn’t agree with you more. The only benefit I can come up with is that Tizen integrated into some of Samsung’s products like tvs could maybe offer some benefits. Other than that, I don’t seen the point.

          I think any manufacturer would be wise to stick with Android for obvious reasons.

  9. Oh man that home button …

  10. That is the saddest list of specs I’ve seen in a long time. I wouldn’t touch that phone with a ten foot pole.

  11. Microsoft Lumia 435 has just been announced. Nokia build quality, better specs, and an already established & loaded app store. Did I mention it’s apparently $10 cheaper than the rubbish Samsung is peddling above?

    1. Not sure which turd is better windows turd phone or tizen phone ..but a turd is turd.

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