Samsung's experiments with the Linux-based Tizen operating system are continuing as the company has unveiled a second Tizen-equipped smartphone. This one will be sold in India.
The new handset, the Samsung Z3, was announced by the company on Oct. 14 on the Samsung Tomorrow blog. The Z3 will only be sold in India at this time and is expected to debut there sometime in October with a price tag of about $130.
The Z3 features a 5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of memory, 8GB of built-in storage and a microSD slot that accepts storage cards of up to 128GB. The smartphone also includes an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, a 5MP front-facing camera and a 2,600mAh battery.
In addition, the GSM phone features an Ultra Data Saving Mode that minimizes mobile data usage as well as an Ultra Power Saving Mode for increased battery life on a charge, according to Samsung. Plus, the Z3 has special "My Galaxy" customization features that let users localize their devices for easy access to nearby rewards and benefits in stores and restaurants.
"As a pioneer of the Tizen platform, we have continuously introduced Tizen-based mobile devices, including Samsung Z1 [smartphone] and Samsung Gear S2 [smartwatch], in our commitment to develop the Tizen ecosystem," J.K. Shin, the CEO and head of IT and mobile business at Samsung, said in a statement. "We developed the Samsung Z3 to provide the features that will help consumers capitalize on the growing Tizen ecosystem and make the most out of their personal mobile experience."
Samsung's earlier Tizen-based smartphone has sold well in India, which encouraged the company to unveil the latest model, according to an Oct. 14 report by Reuters. The new phone has a faster processor, a better display and improved cameras. Research firm Counterpoint reported that the predecessor Z1 smartphone was Samsung's best-selling smartphone in India during the second quarter, partly due to its low price, the Reuters report said.
The first Samsung Tizen-equipped smartphone was introduced in June 2014, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The device was the first commercially available smartphone running Tizen, which Samsung has helped to develop. That device was introduced in Russia, India and other markets.
The push to use Tizen on Samsung devices is aimed at helping the company lessen its reliance on Google's Android operating system.
In February 2014, Samsung introduced a refresh of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, alongside an alternative (camera-free) version and a fitness band, all three of which ran on Tizen.
The original Samsung Z featured a 4.8-inch, HD Super AMOLED (1,280-by-720) display; a 2.3GHz quad-core processor; 2GB of RAM; 16GB of internal memory; and a microSD slot for up to 64GB of additional memory. The front camera boasted 2.1 megapixels while the rear camera was an 8MP unit. It also included a fingerprint reader, heart-rate scanner, and accelerometer and proximity sensor, among other sensors.
Tizen is an Intel-backed, Linux-based operating system that has roots in the Nokia-backed MeeGo OS, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Intel and Nokia had worked together on MeeGo before Nokia turned its attention to Windows Phone. Samsung has said in the past that it would expand its Tizen lineup depending on market conditions.