We have been hearing about Samsung s home-grown Tizen for a very long time. In last couple of years, the company has launched a few devices including mobile phones, wearables and even smart TVs based on Tizen OS. The company does extensively talk about its focus on Tizen and its potential in the Internet of Things segment. But at this stage and a very few devices up its sleeve, Tizen looks far becoming mainstream. One of the easiest ways to expand Tizen s adoption is offer low-cost smartphones. So far, the company had launched the Z1 and Z3 budget smartphones with Tizen OS in the Indian market. And now, Samsung is looking to amplify its Tizen OS base with the new Samsung Z2. Priced at Rs 4,590, Samsung is focusing on entry-level smartphone segment, and first time smartphone users upgrading from feature phones. I briefly used the Samsung Z2 at the launch event today, and here are my first impressions. Also Read - Phones launching in India next week: Google Pixel 6, Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, OnePlus 9RT and moreAlso Read - Phones launched this week: Realme GT Neo 2, Moto E40, more
The Samsung Z2 looks very similar to the Galaxy On5 and Galaxy On7 but has a plastic build and gives you the feel of a low-cost smartphone. The front is dominated by the display with front camera on the top panel and non-backlit touch buttons with a physical home button at the bottom. The smartphone has a removable and textured back panel. Underneath are slots for microSD, and dual-SIM (micro + micro). Unlike the current crop of smartphones that have big 5-5.5-inch displays, the Z2 has a 4-inch display, making it quite compact. The smartphone is though little thick at 10.8mm, but looking at the price point, this can be overlooked. Overall, the Samsung Z2 does look like an entry-level but well-built smartphone. Also Read - Good news for iPhone loves! Apple beats Xiaomi to regain second position in global smartphone market
The 4-inch display of the Samsung Z2 comes with WVGA resolution (800 x 480 pixels). I wasn t really satisfied with the touch responsive on the display. Since it was a demo unit at the launch event, I can give it benefit of the doubt. Now, let s talk about the main highlight of the smartphone, Tizen OS. What I liked about Tizen was that Samsung has managed to keep the UI simple, and included a plethora of India-centric apps like Ultra Data saving mode and S bike mode. It was simple to use and fluid, and doesn t take a lot of time to get familiar with.
There s an option to add quick access to frequently web pages, which appear on the display as web apps. Samsung says users can save up to 40 percent mobile data by switching on the Ultra Data Saving mode. The mode basically blocks unnecessary background applications from data consumption and uses data compression technology for faster loading. Thanks to Reliance Jio s super-fast LTE network, browsing experience on the device was flawless. I believe extending the Jio Preview offer with the Z2 was a smart move on Samsung s part.
As pointed out by Samsung as well, the sub-Rs 5,000 smartphone segment doesn t have enough phones that offer 4G and VoLTE support. Right now, Reliance is offering is offering LYF smartphones like the LYF Flame 7 with VoLTE and LTE support for Rs 2,999 along with Jio preview offer. Samsung is likely cash in on its brand value and massive reach in offline segment to nail this segment. Samsung s Z2 comes with a slew of preloaded Jio apps like Jio Beats, Jio on Demand among others.
Samsung has also launched a new app called My Money Transfer. The app allows users to manage money transactions, and access other banking features like mini statements. Users can also use the app to transfer money to and from all popular private and public banks.
Overall, Tizen looked fine, and well built on the Z2. Had the OS offered popular apps like Twitter and Instagram, Tizen could see a much faster and wider adoption in the country. Microsoft s Windows Phone OS had suffered due to the same reason.
For performance, the Samsung Z2 relies on 1GB of RAM and a 1.5GHz Spreadtrum quad-core processor. It comes with 8GB of internal storage, and supports additional storage up to 128GB via microSD, which is huge for a smartphone under Rs 5,000. It also comes with the OTG support. During my brief usage, the smartphone appeared a good enough entry-level smartphone. I played a few preloaded games like Asphalt Nitro on the smartphone. For a Rs 4,590 smartphone, the Samsung Z2 offered pretty decent graphics.
For photography, the smartphone comes with 5-megapixel rear camera and VGA front camera. Connectivity options include dual-SIM card slots (micro+micro), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, micro-USB 2.0 and GPS. The smartphone is powered by a 1,500mAh battery.
As far as my first impressions go, the Samsung Z2 looks like a decent entry-level smartphone. With addition of Jio preview offer and Samsung s home-grown features like Ultra Data Saving and S-Bike, the Z2 looks like a good deal. Samsung claims to have been working extensively on the Tizen OS, and also been engaging with developers for a variety of Tizen based devices. I don t see Tizen OS as a threat to Android any time soon, but has the potential to be an efficient alternative.
Samsung s Gear S2 is a fine example where Tizen seems to have an upper hand over Google s Android Wear. But can be the same be done in the mobile phone segment? Well, we will have to wait and watch. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more and detailed analysis on the Z2.