Samsung introduces Tizen smartphone, with Tizen TV coming next year

The Samsung Z will be on display at the Tizen Developer Conference this week in San Francisco

Samsung today introduced its first smartphone built around the Tizen operating system, with a TV running the OS planned for next year.

Featuring a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and a 2.3GHz Quad-core application processor, the Samsung Z, described by the South Korean company as the first commercially available Tizen smartphone, will run Tizen 2.2.1.

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It has a built-in fingerprint sensor and a power-saving mode that lets the phone stay in operation even at minimal battery levels in emergencies. The device has 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, and a MicroSD slot that supports up to 64GB.

The Samsung Z will be on show at the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco, which starts Tuesday. It will be available in the third quarter in Russia with plans to expand to other markets.

Samsung said additional applications for the device can be accessed through the Tizen Store at the launch of the Samsung Z, with plans for an apps contest in Russia and some former Soviet countries and a one-year promotional program for developers.

The company, which has designed its Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches around Tizen, plans to launch TVs and other devices around the Linux-based operating system that it backs with Intel and some other vendors.

"We expect to launch Tizen-based TVs in 2015," a Samsung representative wrote today via email. "Samsung is continually working with Tizen to develop the most innovative technology and solidify its position as the leader in the TV market," the representative added. Samsung plans to release in July the software development kit for its Tizen TV, ahead of launching the TVs.

The company's long-term aim is to get the operating system into a variety of devices. "Samsung is committed to developing the Tizen ecosystem with a wide range of Tizen-based product categories, including mobile devices, wearable technology, and, of course, TVs," the representative said.

Developers can now virtually see all necessary TV functions without a physical TV, Samsung said in a post. "Developers can also remotely modify code on their PCs with the new debugging feature, whereas in the past they had to connect directly to the TV's software to correct application errors," it added.

The beta SDK also provides Smart Interaction, which allows users to control their TVs with simple hand gestures and voice commands, and a multiscreen feature, which can be used to link a TV with various devices including mobile and wearable gadgets.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for the IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com.

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