Handset makers have been worried about the dominance of Android for a while. It’s not so much the quality of the service, but rather the fact that it’s Google-centric, and they would much rather you use their services instead of Google’s. Samsung’s effort to make that work will be Tizen… but Samsung isn’t showing a lot of faith in its would-be Android killer.

To Russia With Hope

Tizen will be debuting on the Samsung Z. Yeah, they’re not appending any “Galaxy” or other title to this. On paper, it’s actually pretty good, albeit with one glaring flaw: 2.3 GHz quad core CPU, 2GB RAM, 16 and 32 GB internal storage with the traditional microSD slot for more, 8 MP and 2.1 MP cameras (front and rear respectively), sensors that include an accelerometer, gyroscope, fingerprint scanner and heart rate sensor…and a 4.8-inch 1280 x 720 display.

Yes, you read that correctly. This phone is not HD.

Beautiful On The Inside

Which is a shame because Tizen actually has some virtues to go with that vice. The most obvious is that it’s designed to be HTML 5 friendly, so you’re better able to use various web gadgets and the like on the operating system. That will help make up the app gap that so often confounds new operating systems, and can even trip up the old ones: BlackBerry had an easy conversion system to put apps on their software, and few developers bothered.

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A Galaxy Killer?

This is going to be, at first, a budget smartphone. It’s largely designed to keep costs down, hence the unimpressive screen, and we suspect that when it inevitably arrives elsewhere, it’ll arrive with a lower price that Samsung’s high-end Galaxy phones. Still, we’ll be curious to try out Tizen and see how it stacks up to Android; if nothing else, it’ll show us what Samsung thinks Android should be.

Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.