Samsung today launched its first Tizen OS based smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Z1 in India. With Android and iOS dominating the market, and with Windows Phone, Firefox, etc trailing far behind, is there room for a new OS in today’s market? Samsung offers its Tizen OS smartphone in Entry level segment and perhaps users won’t mind a Samsung branded device that suits their needs at ultra low prices. Here are our first impressions of Samsung Z1.

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Samsung Z1 Quick Specs

  • Display Size: 4 Inch  PLS LCD, 800 X 480 WVGA resolution,  233 PPI
  • Processor: 1.2  GHz Dual Core Spreadtrum SC7727S Cortex A7 processor with Mali 400 GPU
  • RAM: 768 MB
  • Software Version: Tizen OS 2.3
  • Camera: 3.1 MP
  • Secondary Camera: VGA
  • Internal Storage:  4 GB
  • External Storage: 64 GB using MicroSD card
  • Battery: 1500 mAh (Removable)
  • Connectivity:  HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS,  Micro USB 2.0

Samsung Z1 Tizen OS Phone Hands on Review, Camera and Features Overview[Video]

Design, Build and Display

The design is very simple and minimalistic. It is definitely not a slim device at 9.7 mm thickness, but doesn’t feel very chunky either. Chrome finished plastic runs around the edges. Like all Samsung phones, the display is lined by a hard home button and 2 soft capacitive keys for navigation.

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The rear side is again quite simple and follows Samsung traditions by including a camera sensor flanked by LED flash and speaker grill. Considering the low cost factor, we don’t mind the simple sober build and design for Samsung Z1.

The 4 Inch PLS LCD Display is again a mediocre offering. Viewing angles are good, brightness is ok and color reproduction is average. It is not the sharpest or brightest display in this price range. Samsung has included an outdoor visibility mode to render it usable in sunlight, but we didn’t get to test it in our initial time with the device.

Processor and RAM

The processor used is 1.2 GHz dual core Spreadtrum SC7727S with Cortex A7 cores and Mali 400 GPU. This lesser known 28 nm process based SoC coupled with 768 MB RAM was good enough to smoothly run Tizen OS 2.3 in our initial time with the device. This might change in longer run.

Camera and Internal Storage

The 3.1 MP Camera is again a decent performer. It’s hard to be impressed by camera on entry level smartphones and Samsung Z1 won’t be changing that thumb rule either. The camera app is again quite similar and android like.

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Internal storage is 4 GB out of which 2 GB is available at user end. You can further expand this by another 64 GB using MicroSD card support. This should be good enough for consuming entertainment content, which seems to be the primary focus for this device.

User Interface and Battery

User Interface for Tizen OS is quite different from Touch Wiz. You can download and run ACL Open Mobile app from Tizen Store and then side load android apps. WhatsApp and YouTube were installed on our review unit. The OS has vibrant colors and feels quite light. We didn’t observe any UI lag in our initial time with Samsung Z1.

Basically, Samsung plans to use Tizen for all other smart devices including cameras, TVs, Wearables etc. Thus in larger scheme of things, Tizen will find its place.

“Tizen constitutes a large and important part of our Internet of Things (IoT) strategy that encompasses all device categories across the company.”

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Battery capacity is 1500 mAh, and Samsung claims 8 hours of talk time and 7 hours of video playback, which if true is above average

Samsung Z1 Photo Gallery

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Conclusion

Samsung Z1 is not here to compete with hardcore Android smartphones. Samsung has perhaps introduced its new OS on a very basic entry level smartphone, because it wishes to demonstrate the power of its light weight and resource efficient OS. Samsung Z1 is meant for basic users who wish to engage with basic apps and those who value Samsung branding.

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The Author spent a significant chunk of his formative years resisting technology. He now keeps an eye on where the world is heading to, and drives a passive pleasure from this indulgence. His passion to write, learn and improve drives him each day. When his day ends, he enjoys the pleasant languor and detoxifies with family. You can connect with him on and Twitter