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article imageSamsung's latest smartphone shuns Android for Tizen

By James Walker     May 12, 2017 in Technology
Samsung has announced a new entry-level smartphone that runs the company's own Tizen operating system instead of Google's Android. It joins a growing number of Tizen devices and is intended to appeal to first-time smartphone buyers.
Samsung unveiled the Z4 today, replacing the Z3 with a newer handset based on the same principles. Because the Z-series does not run Android, it lacks the "Galaxy" moniker found on Samsung's better known smartphones.
The Z4's low-end ambitions are evident from its design and form factor. Aesthetically, it's visually similar to Samsung Android phones of yesteryear, evoking the lines of the early Galaxy S handsets and mid-range Ace series.
Its 4.5-inch 480x800 screen also belongs to another era when compared to contemporary Android phones. This is part of the Z4's appeal though. Samsung's hoping to attract buyers sceptical of the large displays of modern handsets who instead want a portable phone that's easier to carry.
Samsung Z4
Samsung Z4
Samsung
A quad-core 1.5GHz processor is responsible for powering the phone. There's only 1GB of RAM but it should be sufficient for the relaxed hardware requirements of the Tizen platform. Connectivity options consist of 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE cellular data and a dual SIM option in some markets.
A 2,050mAh battery is included. Although a comparatively small unit, it should last around a day's usage. Tizen is less demanding than Android and the low number of display pixels will help to keep power consumption down.
Tizen also comes with a set of battery management features to help you stay informed on the causes of battery drain. You can set up alerts for when the remaining charge percentage falls below a set level and pick from three different power plans to maximise device efficiency.
Samsung Z4
Samsung Z4
Samsung
If you need your phone to last until you get home, you can set a desired runtime in Samsung's Power Planner software. The app will intelligently adjust the active device configuration in an attempt to let you make it to your door.
Samsung is pitching the Z4 to first-time smartphone buyers based on the accessibility features built into Tizen. You can set up key combinations and on-screen gestures to act as shortcuts to different areas of the operating system. The shortcuts work wherever you are on the phone, whether it's in app or on the home screen.
"We’re dedicated to providing our customers with devices that offer smarter mobile interactions," said DJ Koh, President of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business. "The Samsung Z4 brings a simplified mobile experience to first time smartphone users and represents our ongoing commitment to expanding the Tizen ecosystem."
Samsung Z4
Samsung Z4
Samsung
The launch of the Z4 comes as Samsung prepares to step up its use of Tizen as it seeks to reduce its reliance on Google's Android. It's been almost a year since a Samsung executive stated "if you don't have your own ecosystem, then you will have no future." A growing number of technology companies are trying to reduce their dependencies on third-parties to protect their business' future.
Over the next few years, Samsung is planning to integrate Tizen into all its products, ranging from connected home appliances to Galaxy-series smartphones. The platform is already seeing strong success in the wearables market.
The Z4 will help to affirm Tizen's presence in smartphones, launching later this month in black, gold and silver. As with previous Z-series devices, it's intended for developing regions in Asia. It will be available first India followed by other select countries later in the year.
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