Samsung has announced the first smartphone to use its home-grown Tizen operating system.
Tizen has been developed by Samsung and Intel as an alternative to Google’s Android mobile software for smartphones and tablets. Tizen is already used by Samsung in its Gear smartwatches, but this is the first time it has been seen powering a phone.
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Only a limited release for now, the Samsung Z, which has not yet been given a price, will go on sale in Russia in the July to September quarter, the South Korean company said.
To try and lure both consumers and developers away from the dominant Google and Android ecosystem, Samsung will be opening a Tizen application store, where developers will see their apps promoted by Samsung, free of charge, for one year.
The Samsung Z has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 and is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core processor. There’s an 8-megapixel camera on the back, a 2.1mp camera on the front, and the phone will be available in black and gold. There’s 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a microSD card which can accept cards of up to 64GB.
"Samsung is committed to enhancing the mobile experience of consumers with innovation that is both personal and unique to their needs," said DJ Lee, Samsung Electronics' president of mobile communications.