Samsung’s first Tizen phone is the Z

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Tizen has had a tough time finding a carrier willing to support it on a smartphone, but it looks like Samsung finally has the foothold they need to launch what they hope will be the first of many phones with the fledgling operating system. Meet the Samsung Z, and whatever you do don’t confuse it for Samsung’s other phones.

The HTML5 collaboration between Intel and Samsung had previously only existed on the Gear smartwatches until now, even though smartphones had been the goal from the beginning. Tizen has struggled to get the start Samsung feels it deserves, and the company had already set clear goals for how Tizen needs to perform in order to be considered successful. In theory, all it needs is decent hardware and a place to put it, and Samsung’s marketing budget should do the rest.

The Samsung Z has a 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display with a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor that Samsung didn’t feel the need to elaborate on. You can see the back of the phone features the same heart rate monitor as the Galaxy S5, and the same fingerprint sensor sits on the other side of the device. In the feature list for the phone Samsung was sure to include Ultra Power Save Mode and Download Booster, so it’s clear Samsung is trying to create a premium experience for their freshman attempt.

The design language for the Samsung Z is supposed to help distinguish it from the rest of their lineup, but what you get instead is a blocky Galaxy S5 with the faux leather backing that was present in the Galaxy Note line this past year. The leather backing comes in either black or gold, and the sides seem to curve around to the front instead of making the phone an actual box.

The 8MP rear camera and 2.1MP front camera should provide users with a capable camera, and Samsung’s Tizen camera app already has many of the same features the Android version does, so realistically there’s a good chance this phone will offer someone who isn’t already tied to Android or iOS something functional and enjoyable.

After the phone launches in Russia later this year Samsung plans to announce other markets, so we’ll just wait and see how Tizen does out in the wild.

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