As you are probably aware, Samsung has been slowly improving its home-grown Tizen operating system over the past year or two, releasing a couple of affordable smartphones targeted at emerging markets like India and Bangladesh. The company’s latest device, the Z3, recently made it into GSMArena’s Top 10 Trending Phones of Week 46 rankings at number four, proving that there’s certainly a market for the Tizen-based device – at that customers are open to trying something other than Android and iOS.
Tizen powered Z3 breaks into the top 10
The Z3 (running Tizen 2.3) was launched in India in late October and managed to enter the top ten rankings less than a month later. The first version of the Z-series smartphones, the Z1, made the top 10 rankings a little over 6 weeks after launch, with Samsung going on to sell more than a million devices in India alone. No doubt the attractive price helped – the Z3 cost the equivalent of $130 at launch: a very competitive price but by no means the cheapest smartphone in India.
In much of the western world however it’s a different story for Tizen, which has mainly seen adoption on Samsung’s smart television sets (like the JU6500 4K TV). But strong sales of the Z3 helped Tizen reach fourth place in the global OS popularity stakes, beating BlackBerry OS to the punch in Q3 this year. Samsung will be hoping to capitalise on the success of Tizen in countries like India, Russia and perhaps even Europe in future.
Unfortunately for many people, the main reason not to buy a Tizen-powered device may be the current lack of apps on the platform – something that Samsung no doubt hopes to rectify given time. For those people who aren’t too concerned with having the widest choice of apps (or who are happy with the web versions), Tizen will no doubt suffice just fine.
So what of the Z3 itself? Here’s a brief overview of the Samsung’s latest Tizen phone…
In terms of the design, Samsung has revamped its entire lineup (especially its high-end Galaxy models) with more premium materials and a fresh new design in the wake of past criticism. Even more budget models like the Z3 have had a welcome revamp giving a rather premium feel while remaining good value for money.
The Z3’s display is fairly comparable to older screens found on phones like the Galaxy S3 in the past. The resolution is just 720p (the same as an iPhone 6s), which is perhaps low for a 5-inch phone, but with a 300 pixels-per-inch rating it should be fairly crisp and clear, while helping to extend battery life. Samsung has also thankfully endowed the Z3 with a Super AMOLED display.
The Z3’s camera isn’t much to write home about – an 8 megapixel model with fairly standard features such as autofocus and an LED flash, but it does provide 1080p video recording. The front camera is a 5 megapixel model, which is more than sufficient for selfies.
While most high-end Android phones pack multi-core CPUs with several GB of RAM, the Z3 isn’t far behind with a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1 GB of system memory. If Samsung’s engineering teams are anything like Apple’s, they will have heavily optimised Tizen to be as efficient as possible and tailored for the specific hardware it runs on. For $130, buyers of the Z3 probably aren’t expecting to play the latest processor-intesive 3D games, but it’s likely to be more than capable for the majority of tasks and apps on the Tizen store.
We’re looking forward to more Tizen-based phones from Samsung, and its great to see the company forging ahead with new models and improvements to the operating system.