Samsung releases first Tizen smartphone in India

Samsung's long-awaited Tizen-powered smartphone, the Samsung Z1, will finally see the light of day in India.

Samsung has announced the release of its first Tizen smartphone in India, two years after the company said it had plans to sell handsets that would feature the Tizen operating system.

The release of the Samsung Z1 will be the first smartphone operating on Tizen, even though Samsung unveiled the Samsung Z mid last year, which was planned for release in Russia to be the first Tizen smartphone on the market.

Samsung had initially promised that it was going to launch the first Tizen smartphone in 2013, but it never arrived after the company failed to get support from carriers.

The South Korean handset manufacturer then hinted last April that it had plans to launch at least two handsets operating with Tizen, but three months later, Samsung said it was going to put on hold any launches until it drummed up enough support for its developer platform.

Tizen is an open-source operating system based on Linux, and was born after Intel and the Linux Foundation decided it was going to abandon the MeeGo platform.

Samsung said the decision to launch the Samsung Z1 will appeal to the millions of potential users in India.

"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," said Hyun Chil Hong, Samsung India Electronics president and CEO.

Hong said the smartphone has been customised to meet the entertainment-focused needs of local Indian consumers.

The Samsung Z1 boasts a 4-inch display screen and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM, and a 4GB internal memory expandable up to 64GB with a microSD card. It is also equipped with a 1500mAh battery and a 3.1-megapixel rear camera.

In addition, the Samsung Z1 will offer consumers free access to content available on Club Samsung. At the same time, the company has partnered with Hungama.com to deliver a selection of music streaming and download.

Users will also have access to TV shows and over 7,000 Bollywood and Hollywood movies as part of a partnership deal between Samsung and mobile live TV service nexGTv and BoxTV for a fee of 1,750 rupees per year.

Despite all of the content that Samsung Z1 users will have access to, Samsung has recently been shutting down a lot of its other content service hubs, including its Movie Hub, Music Hub, and Readers Hub.

The Samsung Z1 is priced at 5,700 rupees, and will be available in India from January 14, 2015, in white, black, and wine red.

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