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article imageSamsung's Z2 is a low-cost 4G smartphone running Tizen

By James Walker     Aug 23, 2016 in Technology
Samsung has officially announced the Z2, a budget smartphone aimed at the Indian market. To cut costs down, Samsung has used its own Tizen operating system instead of Android. The Z2 is the first Tizen phone to include 4G cellular connectivity.
Samsung is promoting Tizen as a platform to eventually rival Android. Before that can be achieved, it needs to launch some devices running the OS. The Z2 helps with this, targeting buyers in emerging markets who are more likely to give the little-known Tizen a try.
The phone has been designed with India in mind. Samsung says it has been customised to offer "unique value" to Indian consumers. It comes with several pre-loaded apps that are specially designed to increase smartphone adoption in the country, including Ultra Data Saving mode, S Bike mode and My Money Transfer.
Ultra Data Saving Mode will be of particular benefit to many consumers. In a country still widely reliant on 2G services and restricted cell plans, an aggressive data saving feature helps users save money and avoid downloading unnecessarily large webpages and images. Similarly, My Money Transfer fits the needs of the region. Many people do not have a bank card and find it difficult to send money to friends and family. My Money Transfer enables transactions to be made between smartphone users.
Samsung s Tizen-powered Z2  a 4G smartphone built for India
Samsung's Tizen-powered Z2, a 4G smartphone built for India
The phone itself is a competent budget device. It has a small four-inch screen but a relatively powerful 1.5GHz quad-core processor. It may not sound impressive for a modern Android device but it's sufficient for the less-intensive Tizen OS. There's 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. For many people, the limiting factor of this phone is likely to be the small 1,500mAh battery, a capacity unlikely to last a day's usage.
The rear camera has a five-megapixel sensor and LED flash. The front camera is a poor VGA unit, almost certainly capable of grainy selfies but nothing more. As with other budget Tizen handsets, Samsung has tried to build a device capable of doing everything a new smartphone owner could want to do. Features like cameras are present but they aren't the main selling points of the device.
More notable is the inclusion of 4G, the first time it has been present on a Tizen-powered handset. For Indian consumers used to 2G and 3G networks, 4G will be a significant improvement. With speeds far in excess of any previous technology, 4G makes online content such as videos and games accessible, eliminating lengthy buffering and download times.
Samsung s Tizen-powered Z2  a 4G smartphone built for India
Samsung's Tizen-powered Z2, a 4G smartphone built for India
"Samsung Z2 makes 4G accessible and relevant to the unique needs of feature phone users and first time smartphone buyers," said Manu Sharma, Vice President of Samsung Mobile India. "It brings consumers a fast and affordable mobile internet experience that will democratize 4G usage in the country."
The Samsung Z2 launched in India today priced at 4,590INR. It equates to just $68, making it accessible to the majority of Indian consumers. Most phones sold in the country are priced under $150 with many below $70.
Competitively priced and supportive of 4G and mobile payments, the Tizen-powered Z2 could prove to be a well-equipped rival to the more costly Android devices from other manufacturers. It's offered in three colours, Gold, Black and Wine Red. There's no word yet on whether versions of the phone will be available in other countries.
Samsung is using India as something of an international testing ground for Tizen. In June, reports emerged that it is using the market to establish consumer opinions on Tizen devices. If it proves popular, it may promote the OS more heavily in other regions and use it on high-end phones. The company is understood to be keen to develop its own platform to reduce its reliance on Google's Android.
More about Samsung, tizen, Smartphones, 4G, cellular networks
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