Where were you when Samsung launched its first Tizen phone? That's debatable. The company proudly revealed the "Z" last year, but later scrapped the "high-end" model before it ever reached customers, instead choosing to refocus on creating budget devices. We're now seeing the first fruits of that effort, as Samsung has just announced the Z1, a low-end Tizen smartphone for India.
"Budget" is definitely the right word for this phone: priced at 5700 Rupees (a shade over $90), it has a 4-inch WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) display, a 1.2GHz processor, 3.1-megapixel camera (and a VGA front camera), 768MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD) and a 1500mAh battery good for 8 hours of talk time. Fitting for its intended market, the Z1 also comes with dual-SIM support, and is available from today in white, black and red.
Tizen, for those that don't know, is an operating system co-developed by Samsung, Intel and others in the TIzen Foundation. Once thought to be the company's plan to free itself from Google's Android, the OS has yet to make a massive impact despite years of development. As if the draw of a Samsung OS wasn't enough, the company is also promising Indian consumers access to "the wonderful world of the internet" through a deal with local carriers Reliance Communications and Aircel that'll gift Z1 owners with 500MB of free data for the first six months. The handset is highly unlikely to find its way to the US, where Tizen, for now at least, is restricted to Gear smartwatches and Samsung's new smart TVs.