Samsung Launches First 4G Tizen Smartphone in India

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Samsung today launched its first 4G Tizen-powered smartphone in India.

The Samsung Z2 (below), featuring pre-loaded apps and "Make for India" functions, targets new smartphone users transitioning from a feature phone.

Powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and 1,500mAh battery, the 4-inch device boasts 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory (expandable up to 128GB with microSD card), a 5-megapixel rear camera, VGA front shooter, and dual SIM support.

Samsung Z2 4G Tizen smartphone"Samsung Z2 makes 4G accessible and relevant to the unique needs of feature phone users and first-time smartphone buyers," Manu Sharma, vice president of mobile business at Samsung India, said in a statement. "It brings consumers a fast and affordable mobile Internet experience that will democratize 4G usage in the country."

It also offers buyers the option to pick up a complimentary Reliance Jio SIM card for three months of unlimited data, calling, and text, plus access to premium applications like My Jio (manage accounts and service), Jio on Demand (video streaming), and Jio Beats (music streaming).

The handset is customized for Indian consumers, with Ultra Data Savings mode, S bike mode for two-wheeler users, and the new My Money Transfer, which enables easy transactions and generates mini bank statements.

Available in gold, black, or red, the Samsung Z2 launches in India on Aug. 29 for 4,590 rupees ($68). Consumers can find the low-end smartphone in retail stores and online via Paytm.

Samsung launched its first Tizen-powered device, the Z1, in India early last year. The second iteration, Z3 (above), hit shelves nine months later, sporting a 5-inch HD display, 8-megapixel rear camera, and a MyGalaxy app for entertainment content.

Like the Z2, its predecessors were designed exclusively for emerging markets. The devices are cheap and limit data usage in areas where accessing cellular networks can be pricey.

Tizen was initially designed to be an alternative to Google's Android, which Samsung relies on for its higher-end handsets. But after a series of delays, Samsung shifted the focus of its in-house Linux-based operating system.

India is among the world's largest emerging markets, and consumers there have a growing appetite for technology products. However, most are seeking budget-friendly devices, which has made cheaper products so popular.

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