The tersely-named Samsung Z (not the Samsung Galaxy Z) is Samsung's first Tizen smartphone, although the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo were actually Samsung's first Tizen devices.
If you haven't heard of Tizen then you're not alone. First announced in 2011 partly out of the ashes of Nokia's failed MeeGo project (that eventually produced the Nokia N9), it eventually subsumed Samsung's Bada platform after which there was pretty much a stony silence from Samsung's Tizen development team when it came to new products.
Well, here it is. But you might well be wondering if the world really needs another mobile phone OS, and the answer is.. perhaps. Samsung and its partners are keen to break Google's stranglehold over the smartphone market and Tizen offers pretty much everything that Android does, but it could well be a much slicker environment. Because Tizen is based on Linux (as is Android) then application development shouldn't be too difficult.
The hardware on the Samsung Z is in pretty familiar smartphone territory. There's a 4.8" 720 x 1280 pixel Super AMOLED display, a 2.3 GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage plus a microSD slot, on the back is an 8 megapixel camera with a 2.1 megapixel one on the front. The Samsung Z supports GPS and GLONASS positioning systems, has NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi and Cat 4 LTE. It also comes with an infra-red remote controller, a fingerprint scanner and a heart rate monitor plus the usual array of smartphone sensors.
Samsung Z Of course, Tizen doesn't have as many applications as Android or iOS.. or probably even Windows, but Samsung are making a big push to get developers. It isn't exactly clear what applications are built in though.
Design-wise, the Samsung Z has an angular design that looks a little like a Nokia, but with the textured back effect that is distinctive to recent Samsungs. Available colours will be black and gold, and Samsung say that it will ship to Russia and CIS countries during Q3 with other markets to follow.
Will the Samsung Z and Tizen make a dent in the market? It's hard to say, but Android certainly does have its faults and Nokia have demonstrated that there's just about room in the market for more than two players. We will probably have to wait and see.
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
UMTS + LTE (cat 4)
GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA +
LTE + WiFi
4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels
8 megapixels (main)
2.1 megapixels (sub)
138 x 70 x 8.5mm / 136 grams
Yes (plus GLONASS)
Not specified (2600 mAh cell)