Saturday, June 7, 2014

Samsung Z Revealed: Why Samsung's Tizen OS is a Big Deal

Samsung and Google have been best buds for a while now. The Galaxy brand helped launch Android as a power player in the mobile OS wars and in 2014, Samsung continues to be the most popular Android phone brand. Since the Galaxy S3, Samsung has accumulated millions of loyal fans. Now Samsung is trying to use its power in the smartphone market to launch a mobile OS of their own; Tizen.
Backed by Intel and developed by Samsung, linux-based Tizen has been in development since 2011. Tizen maintains the look and feel of Android with Touchwiz (the software powering the Samsung Galaxy S5), but allows Samsung to break away from Google's ecosystem, making them an even bigger player in the smartphone game. (They hope!)

However, an actual Tizen smartphone hasn't existed until now. At Computex 2014, Samsung revealed the Samsung Z, the first smartphone to run Tizen OS. This announcement was coupled with a Tizen TV. Previously, the only device on the market to run Tizen was the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2. It is clear now that Samsung is building an entire Tizen ecosystem that will compete with not only Google, but other major tech brands as well such as Amazon, Apple, and even Roku. Samsung doesn't want Tizen to only dominate your phone, it envisions an entire home powered by Tizen.

Tizen has the look and feel of a Samsung Galaxy running Android,
but plays by Samsung's rules instead of Google's.
Samsung also seems to be aggressively pushing Tizen with the Samsung Z. This is not a budget or experimental device; the Z has a familiar premium design comparable to the S5, as well as nearly the same internal specs as the S5. The Z is a flagship quality device that should show off Tizen at its best. What gives Tizen and the Z a major edge is Samsung's exclusive features that they have brought over from the Galaxy series. The Z features a fingerprint scanner just like the S5, and Tizen supports Samsung's beloved split screen mode for viewing multiple windows at once. Samsung's suite of standard apps such as S-Voice, S-Health, etc. also are included in Tizen.

Despite all its fancy features, Tizen still has a long way to go before it can be a major competitor. There are very few popular apps available for the platform still, an issue that plagues every up and coming OS in the mobile market. Also, the Z's blocky design may turn a lot of potential customers off.  If Samsung can strengthen Tizen's software collection and continue to produce quality hardware, this fledgling linx-based mobile operating system may soon be a serious competitor with Android.

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