The first Tizen smartphone is finally here – meet the Samsung Z

by: Bogdan PetrovanJune 2, 2014

samsung z tizen (6)

After repeated delays and rumors of the project’s death, today Samsung finally introduced the first smartphone running Tizen. So, is the Samsung Z a threat to Android or is it too little, too late?

The Samsung Z packs decent specifications and a Galaxy-inspired design, but, of course, what really matters is the phone’s operating system. Long in development, Tizen is a Linux-based operating system created by Samsung and Intel, in collaboration with an alliance of various other manufacturers, carriers, and software developers. Tizen is designed to provide a consistent experience across platforms, including smartphones, tablets, TVs, wearables, and even vehicles. Samsung has so far introduced a smart camera running the operating system, but the best known Tizen device so far has been the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch.

samsung z tizen (3)

The Samsung Z is a road opener and a demonstration of Samsung’s commitment to a project that, at one point in 2013, was rumored to be cancelled. As with any new platform, it’s vital for Tizen to attract developers, and the belated release of the Z gives developers a little more confidence that they are investing in a viable platform.

Back to the actual device, the Samsung Z comes with a 4.8-inch HD (1280 x 720) AMOLED display (306 ppi), that seems to be similar to the display of the 2012 Galaxy S3. There’s a 2.3GHz quad-core processor (Samsung did not offer more details), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot that allows the addition of another 64GB. The rear shooter is an 8MP model, while the battery is a respectable 2,600 mAh unit. Here are the full specs:

samsung z tizen specs

Somehow surprising is the presence of a fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor, both features that have been so far exclusive to the Galaxy S5.

Overall, the Samsung Z looks like a decent mid-ranger for 2014, and in line with what we’d expect from a device that Samsung will use to test the waters in a handful of developing markets.

samsung z tizen (4)

Design-wise, we’re looking at a “slim, angular design with sophisticated lines, providing a differentiated look and feel while maintaining Samsung’s overall design identity.” This is a Samsung-phone through and through, with the typical button arrangement and the distinctive faux leather texture (complete with faux stitching) that the Note 3 made popular.

Moving on Tizen, the user interface was styled to resemble Samsung’s TouchWiz, with the round icons serving as a differentiator. Samsung has not released a lot of details about the OS, but it promises optimization, fast startup times, and “immediate multi-tasking capabilities.” It’s not just the look of the launcher that Samsung borrowed from TouchWiz – there’s a bunch of features that were previously only found on Android, such as Download Booster and Ultra Power Saving Mode (both introduced with the Galaxy S5), S Health 3.0, and a variety of camera features.

The Samsung Z will launch in Russia in Q3 2014, and Samsung says it plans to bring it to other parts of the world after that. We don’t expect the Korean giant to throw its full weight behind it; again, the Z is probably just a way for Samsung to test the waters and to encourage developers to create apps for Tizen. The choice of initial market launch is telling – Russia favors its homegrown cloud services over Google’s, so Samsung could find it easier to launch a new platform that lacks Google’s apps.

Is the Samsung Z a threat to Android? No. For now, it’s just an experiment. If the device gets some decent traction, we may see Samsung pushing it, but it’s hard to say for now if users will find it attractive.

  • Fauzan Adhi Rachman

    Hmm nothing much different

  • Serotheo

    And it looks better than the S5.

  • JingleBerry

    Great design!

  • avyfa

    Hey, samsung, WTF? You release sgs 5 with ugly design, but release first Tizen device with one of the best design u ever had?

    • Tommy

      It’s the same “ugly fake leather” that you all dogged out when they put it on the note

      • avyfa

        But fake leather is better than glossy plastic.

  • Daniel D

    How the hell can you people call that ugly ass phone with pointy corners “best design”? Looks a lot like that old s2. I think s5 looks a lot better than this crap

    • Jake Wrigley

      I think the s5 looks awesome too but I always loved the s2’s design even though i never had one haha the main reason i got a note 3 because it seems loosely similar to the s2’s design and this makes the samsung z makes the s2’s design look underwhelming!

      • _X_

        That is why I took the black S5…the front looks like my S2 which is a good thing! the back on the S5 in black is actually classy and feels nice!

        • VivianTeasdalegyi

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          last month her paycheck was $15495 just working on the computer for a few
          hours. visit the site R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

          • Jayfeather787


          • _X_


          • wezi427

            Why was she fired?

    • Jesus

      the Xperia Z2 is the pointiest phone out there… It’s not a bad looking phone in my book. That is, the Bible.

  • John Zakaria

    Are you kidding me Samsung Z doesn’t sound good as the Xperia Z
    Seriously find a better name

    • namesib

      Samsung have been using letters for ages.

      • John Zakaria

        I don’t care about who was using letters more
        I care about how the letters sound together

  • Honestly, I think Tizen is a much better idea than Android.

    • wezi427


    • dalvik

      Tizen open source license is a mess, in the end it’s not any better than android

      • Guest

        I see now that they haven’t finalized their licensing. Hopefully it will all be cleared up soon.

    • Aditya Bhatt

      Just like Bada was better than Symbian ? Lol.

  • John

    Let’s rename this phone to SamSung Y or X

  • Jake Wrigley

    720p screen and 8 mp camera a bit of a let down but i guess it is the first tizen release… still if it comes to australia goodbye galaxy note 3

  • Muhammad Fathi Rauf

    This phone design is much better than Galaxy S5.

  • the same angular design of the z

  • WestFiasco

    I’m shocked at the amount of people who like the look of this.

  • Maranello Santiago

    This phone looks like a rip off of the LG Optimus L9

    • Maranello Santiago

      A blatant one of the older Optimus L design language.

      • _X_

        So Samsung copies a design of LG…LG copied the designs of Samsung….LG and Samsung are actually the same company….who cares…competition!

  • Roberto Tomás

    looks very yesteryear with those specs.
    • 8mp rear — very 3-years ago territory for samsung
    • 16GB nand — very old in terms of their production capacity (they are making 2 terrabit 32-layer 3d NAND chips right this moment!) but admittedly there are those sitting around probably in warehouses all over the world right now
    • 720p — I’m surprised Samsung still makes those. must be warehouse clearance

    • Adon

      Those mid range specs equal lower mid range price. And since this a new OS,the overall price should be lower similar phones,get the customers coming in.

      • Roberto Tomás

        I’m with you on the product placement :) But those specs in particular are really odd .. I’m not sure if the problem is that samsung is so big it has a bazillion leftovers to get rid of, or what … but They Went on from 8mp years ago. They are on 16mp .. and even 24mp (I think) today. A yesteryear part would still likely be 13mp (even no-name brands like Acer are on 13MP), so what are they doing, buying someone else’s leftover parts?
        And the NAND is just ridiculous. 16GB is insanely low. Coming to market now from Samsung are M.2 XP941’s with 128 gigabyte per NAND chips. Those are 16 layer VNAND. But they just started mass production of 32-layer .. and the previous gen in the production line was 24-layer. Obviously they are going to wait for premium products to introduce their VNANDs in the mobile space, but 16GB is low enough to ask “where are they getting these old parts from?”

        — and that’s all I’m saying. They are bizarre, not impossible.

    • systemupdate

      An 8mp camera is good if the camera itself is good. But i think they should boost up the min storage to 32gb min world wide. I mean the difference in cost is what 1$ (i dont think more, but not sure, but very low) and give good camera.
      Even S5 camera is 16mp and isocell but they got to improve low light performance.
      the 720p on a smaller screen and 1080p on a bigger screen is fine i think.
      i hope they do not go to 2560p (1440p) next year.

  • jamesinkorea

    Samsung does OK hardware, but their software is scatterbrained. Good luck Samsung.

  • Mr james bunt

    2.3GHZ Quad Core Intel CPU . Samsung and Intel are working together, so a Intel chip inside the phone is common sense

  • wezi427

    Tizen is a threat to Android. Most people that buy phones don’t know what makes their phones work, as long as it does. People won’t recognize until they don’t have access to the Play Store.

    • Noel Kelly

      And when they don’t have access to the Play Store, buyers remorse sets in, and then how will Tizen be a threat? Essentially, as of the moment, it may only be as much of a threat to Android as Windows phone. Tizen as of now is a *potential* threat to Android, but nothing more.

      • wezi427

        I’m talking about the average consumer that doesn’t know the difference between IOS, Android, Windows, and BB. As we all know Samsung offers apps and services that compete with Google. Other than Google apps, if the app support is there, then I can see people not making that huge of a deal. I personally prefer Android and Google.
        What if you eventually have the ability to side load Google apps to Tizen, what that be a threat?

  • Mike Bastable

    look like they have taken care to design a good quality launch handset (echos of the bada wave in the design ethos), will these challenge the Samsung Android line of products, not yet. This mainly because they are not intended to challenge, this is a toe in the water handset. If there is a small but appreciative group of initial consumers expect to seethe handset in India and the far east…then wait six months. The real test for TIZEN is the 1st European phone (if Samsungs has the balls to do it) if THAT sells any units at all then Samsung will have a good case to consider launching a range of TIZENS to take on Google and it’s increasing “walled garden” approach to Android.

  • Luka Mlinar

    Looks like s**t.

  • Tomen13

    the design just like xperia z… damn sammy copycat

    • Jesus

      If you’re confused about this and an Xperia Z… damn you have issues.

  • Adon

    Looks like the Samsung S5 and one of the Nokia Lumia girls,i think the 930,had a baby lol. Samsung why call the phone Z,Sony owns the Z to the t. Some like L (lol) or X woould be better. Or Maybe its one of the Sony Xperia girls,the Z1 Compact? OHHH ITS LG Optimus ,Ok,hmmm?
    The Galaxy Z looks awesome (BEST SAMMY SO FAR),the specs are really good to, nice screen size especially since many people are complaining about every smartphone being MAGNUM size,too big for hands lol. I would buy the Z. However i think that Samsung will have to take semi Oneplus One approaches with this one becuasde of the OS,much lower price,high quantity,get a large customer base,more quick on customer service (apps,etc). They can do it,they have the $$$$$$$$,a VERY large varying customer pool/base,just marketing and the extras.

  • Aditya Bhatt

    First fix your TouchWiz crap before trying to make an OS.

    • _X_

      What is wrong with TW? On my S5 it is very nice! I like the new menu setup…makes it look more modern than even stock Android!

      • Jayfeather787

        What’s wrong with TW? EVERYTHING

  • Aar0nC

    samsung, stop trying to make Tizen happen…i simply will not become catch popularity! it won’t happen, please focus on making touchwiz into a less bloated whale instead!

  • tech4life

    People are probably going to see this and think that’s its just another Samsung phone and buy it

  • Mvrcel Lgt

    wow, I didn’t know it could get more ugly. What’s with this fake-animalskin?! People want that still?!

  • apianist16

    I’m not going to cry if Samsung decides that they want to leave the Android landscape. If they want the low information customers that buy their product because it is a “Galaxy”, I say let them. I think HTC, Sony, and LG would be able to compete and succeed better in the Android world if Samsung did just go the Tizen route.

  • Sal

    Yawn…. this tizen based phone is just so-so. Good luck Samsung.

  • hyper0926

    Looks like old Nokia x6

  • Netwern

    Yes, please move away from Android. Good riddance. Sony all the way.

  • MasterMuffin

    Looks better than Touchwiz (which is sad)!

  • Rajit Roy

    Well i dont think it will be able to defeat android . Btw will it be able to run .apk apps?

  • adamhs

    Eww…why…just…why? Tizen?

  • jpd514

    After having read every news as soon as they are known about the Apple WWDC event, I can tell you, this Tizen smartphone from Samsung is the biggest evolution in the mobile world this year.

    Apple his competitor and Google his enemy can’t stop Samsung.

    I know that Tizen store may look like a problem but Samsung is having the MOJO! the MAGIC! the COOL way of doing things! so they have or will find the solution..

  • Dean Weaver

    If Samsung have ambitions to become the Microsoft of mobile phones – go ahead….

  • Adude

    Will be a decent phone once android is installed on it

  • Bryan Z

    yeah! finally .. now when is going live?

  • s2weden2000

    “After repeated delays and rumors” which usyally is started by the vEgetable company

  • Alphere

    Shouldn’t this article be in Tizen Authority?

    • eXcaL

      top kek

  • The Design of this phone is really good!

  • androidcat

    “we are your source for all things android..?”