Samsung’s Tizen-powered flagship may not be vaporware after all. The first Tizen phone may launch as soon as January, according to a leak from an online retailer. SamMobile reports that the phone is called the Samsung Z1, and it’s expected to launch in India first.
The Z1’s specifications are decidedly low-end: a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, a 3-megapixel front-facing camera with flash, and a 1500mAh battery pack. It will also come equipped with a 4-inch WVGA TFT display, which is a far cry from the vibrant and highly saturated AMOLED displays Samsung normally utilizes for both its mid-range and high-end smartphones.
The Z1 will feature Tizen OS and utilize non-Google services like Nokia's HERE maps. Indian customers who purchase the device through carriers like Reliance and Aircel will receive 500MB of free 3G data for the first six months.
Why this matters: We've heard a lot about Tizen throughout this year, though we haven’t actually seen any Tizen handsets hit the market. The Samsung Z, a more powerful mid-range device than the Z1, was supposed to go on sale in Russia earlier this year, though it's constantly being delayed.
It looks like Samsung shifted direction with its open-source operating system and is going after Android One’s territories instead. Low-end devices are a smart move for the company that reins supreme in Android device marketshare, especially given the slower sales of its high-end devices through the year. With so many manufacturers throwing their own low-end devices into the emerging-market pit, Samsung figured it might as well join the crowd.