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Samsung keeps Tizen smartphone dreams alive with the Z3

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Tizen leads something of a quiet life. The open-source OS championed by Samsung has received extra attention of late, being the platform of choice for the company's sleek, new Gear S2 smartwatch. Tizen was originally expected to be a much bigger deal, though, reducing Samsung's reliance on Android for all of its many, many smartphones. But after several years of development, only one Tizen-powered smartphone has actually made it to market: the low-end Samsung Z1, which launched earlier this year in India. More were promised, and it seems Samsung isn't quite ready to send its Tizen mobile ambitions gently into that good night, today announcing the mid-range Z3.

"Designed specifically for the Indian market," where Samsung shifted one million Z1s in the first six months after it launched, the Z3 offers a much-improved spec sheet. Still, with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage, a 5-inch 720p Super AMOLED display and 8-/5-megapixel cameras, it's not a flagship that's going to put Tizen well and truly on the map. There's also little chance of the Z3, which goes on sale this month for 8490 Rupees (roughly $130), ever making it out India, which appears to have become Samsung's testbed for Tizen-based smartphones. Whether the company will ever make a serious case for Tizen smartphones remains to be seen, but for now the OS can take self-worth from all the other devices it's the backbone of, including smartwatches, smart TVs and the odd digital camera.

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