After lots of delays, Samsung just unveiled its new budget Tizen smartphone. It’s called the ZI and it comes in white, black, and wine red.
The ZI was originally touted for sale in Russia in 2014 but the company pushed it to January 2015 and instead released it in India. The smartphone was made available on Wednesday and costs just Rs 5,700 ($US90 or £59).
The smartphone market in India is rapidly evolving, with many consumers using their device as their screen of choice for content including videos, television programs and video games, as well as a range of apps. We have customised the Samsung Z1 to meet these unique, entertainment-focused needs of local Indian consumers for a personal and reliable mobile experience.”
Rumblings of the new smartphone started circulating last year. Apparently it was originally going to be called the Samsung Z. It’s not just its name that’s been altered, though: 9to5google explains the phone’s specifications have changed too.
Here they are (below). The phone is a cheap, entry-level model and thus can’t fairly be compared to an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy. But it will be going up against the Chinese Android competitor Xiaomi M4 for example. which is hugely popular in India. Next to each other, the Z1 looks quite disappointing:
Tizen is Samsung’s move away from Android; a bid to step away from the Google-controlled operating system. The project has suffered some serious problems in development and has been a long time coming.
Last year was tough for Samsung. It saw its profits get demolished. Now, it appears the Z1 is the company’s bold move to compete with Xiaomi in Asia, which is completely smashing the market. However, as Reuters points out, Tizen doesn’t yet appear to be a substitute for Android.
“I have not yet seen anything to suggest that Samsung has become competitive in the software space,”
Lee Min-hee, an analyst at brokerage IM Investment and Securities, told the website.