After suffering a setback earlier this year with the last minute cancellation of the Asian and worldwide debut of Tizen after NTT DoCoMo canceled launch plans, Samsung has officially announced the forthcoming launch of its first Tizen 2.2 smartphone in the Z, an upper-mid range smartphone that borrows elements from the Android-powered Galaxy S5 while still retaining its own identity.
The phone features Samsung’s own software suite, including its S Health software, as well as its own native app store with a heavy emphasis on HTML5 and complete replacements for core Android apps and services, ironically found in previous versions of the Galaxy series previous to the release of the S5. Samsung has also developed a new user interface design around the OS that takes TouchWiz and makes it flatter.
The Samsung Z’s hardware consists of a 4.8-inch 720p display, a 2.3GHz quad-core processor that Samsung will not specify, along with an 8-megapixel main camera with dual-shot, panorama, best photo, and mini mode. Other hardware features include a fingerprint scanner, 2.1-megapixel user-facing camera, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and support for microSD cards up to 64GB. Additional wireless support includes Category 4 LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi, GPS/GLONASS, NFC, and an infrared port.
The phone will see a Russian launch first before being launched in additional markets throughout the year, but Tizen is expected to remain exclusive to select markets in Eastern Europe and Asia, with no immediate word on a US launch. Along with the launch of the phone, Samsung is also holding a developers conference this week in the shadow of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, ostensibly to drive development towards Tizen and to draw attention away from Apple’s conference.