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Samsung Z Offers First Tizen Smartphone

Tizen, Samsung's homegrown mobile operating system, has already been a part of Samsung cameras and smartwatches, but never its smartphones. The Samsung Z will change that by being the first smartphone to run on a Tizen OS.

The information comes by way of Samsung Tomorrow, Samsung's official electronics blog. The Samsung Z is a rectangular black phone with rounded edges and a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display. The unique OS, which is a versatile, customizable program based on Linux architecture, sets it apart from the competition. (This is not to be confused with the Android OS on other Samsung phones which, by contrast, is a versatile, customizable program based on Linux architecture.)

MORE: Tizen OS: 10 Things to Know About Samsung’s New Android

The Samsung Z also promises a "differentiated user experience" and faster startup times than a comparable Android phone. The device also sports a 2.3-GHz quad core processor, an 8 MP rear camera, a 2.1 MP front camera, 2 GB RAM and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Size-wise, the Samsung Z will be 5.44 x 2.74 x 0.33 inches and weigh 4.80 ounces.

Touting the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner, Samsung also promises that the Samsung Z will be a very secure smartphone. This is probably true, as Tizen's relatively short time on the market means that malefactors have not yet developed many harmful programs that target it.

Users in the West will have to wait awhile to get their hands on the Samsung Z, though. The phone will be available in Russia in Q3 2014, followed by "other markets" sometime later. Whether North America and Western Europe will be part of these markets is yet to be seen.

Samsung theoretically has a lot to gain by using its own OS on its smartphones rather than licensing Android from Google. Whether Tizen proves to be a viable choice for smartphones and tablets is something that the Samsung Z will help evaluate.