Samsung Z1 first impressions: brand new software, time-tested design

“The light and zippy operating system makes the device easy to use while offering a nice new alternative to Android”

Samsung Z101

Being at the forefront of development with Tizen, Samsung has been offering newer and innovative products to users from time to time based on the Tizen OS. However, a smartphone based on its new OS was long overdue and got delayed as the Korean brand was fine-tuning it to match the advancements of Android. Better late then never, as today it has launched India’s first Tizen smartphone, the Samsung Z1. The handset carries a budget price tag and offers yet another option to feature phone users to move ahead, if they are not too keen on going the Android way and that too without breaking the bank on the smartphones available based on other operating systems, including Windows Phone and BlackBerry. We got to experience the new smartphone at the launch event that took place in Delhi and here’s what have to say about this new league of smartphone from Samsung.

Samsung Z104 Samsung Z103

Staying with its tried-and-tested design, Samsung hasn’t made any drastic changes to the Z1’s looks. At first look itself, the device looks quite similar to the older Galaxy Ace smartphone that the company had launched a long time back, but that’s where the similarities come to an end. To that a splash of newness has been added by use of interesting colours and a tinge of premiumness thanks to the use of chrome trimming around the edges of the device. The front features a nice glossy finish around a 4-inch display, underneath which the colour scheme continues, unlike many other budget smartphones that feature a black finish at the front.

Samsung Z107

At the back, the phone features a nice frosted finish which doubles up as a barrier against smudges and scratches. The colour finish provided on the device is good and offers a nice look and feel as well. The smartphone features the standard, Samsung-esque placement with the use of three hardware buttons on the front for UI navigation. Out of them, two are of the capacitive type, while the third one which sits right at the middle is a physical hardware button. In addition, there are buttons on either sides with the volume rocker keys adorning the left side while the power / standby key is placed on the left side.

Samsung Z108

The 4-inch PLS display bears a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, and offers good colours and sharpness. In terms of the overall weight, with its 1,500mAh battery, the device feels pretty lightweight and owing to its smaller size makes single-handed utility a breeze.

The highlight of the smartphone isn’t its hardware though, it’s Tizen OS 2.3 which has been developed in house by the company. To it, the company has added a Tizen app store as well for access to more applications. While the operating system is new, the company has made a lot of effort to make it fluid and easy to use. 

Samsung Z109

The onus of the performance lies on the 1.2GHz dual core processor that powers the dual-SIM device, and to supplement it, there’s 768MB of RAM. That seems low, but the device feels light and zippy to use, though its real worth will only be known after a thorough review. The storage department comprise 4GB of internal storage which can be further augmented by an additional 32GB with the use of a microSD card.

For imagery, the device houses a 3.1 megapixel fixed-focus camera at the back that comes with an LED flash for illumination. On the front , there’s a VGA camera for selfies and video calling.

Samsung Z102

This pretty much sums up our first impressions of the new Tizen-powered Samsung Z1. The device has been priced at Rs 5,700 and will be available in the market starting today. While it faces stiff competition from the likes of Xiaomi and Motorola, we will bring an in-depth review of this device in the coming days to test out its true mettle.  

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