Samsung launches $92 Tizen smartphone in India

Samsung officially launched its first Tizen OS smartphone - named the Z1 - in India earlier this week.

The launch follows two years of work on the Tizen OS platform and one failed attempt at a mobile device in late 2013, postponed indefinitely due to manufacturing complications.

India will be the first and only market to receive the Z1 in January. Samsung will look towards more South-East Asian countries in the next few months, but the Z1 is unlikely to make it out of Asia.

Internally, the Z1 is not overly impressive, it features a four-inch WVGA (800 x 480) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 3.1MP camera. For the Indian market, Samsung has also added a microSD card for 64GB of external storage and dual-SIM support.

The Z1 will feature Tizen OS 2.3, and it will be the first time Samsung has shown this on a phone. Previously, Samsung added Tizen to its smartwatch range, and recently announced all smart TVs would feature Tizen.

Even though the Tizen OS marketplace is not stacked full of apps like Android and iOS, Samsung is offering 100 per cent of the revenue to developers in 2015, which will hopefully be enough to entice some ports.

Samsung has set itself in a prime position to hit the big time in India, the 5,700 INR ($92) price-tag should be extremely attractive to the Indian market, already picking up the $150 Xiaomi Redmi and Moto G in droves.

If that's not enough, Samsung is also pre-installing Hungama.com, nextGTv and Bot TV with trial accounts for Indian users, alongside 500MB free 3G data for the first 12 months, to keep users online.

The Z1 was meant to be a Russian exclusive, but mid-way through 2014 Samsung removed all plans to launch in Russia, after setting up various developer events with Russian studios. Samsung has not commented on the delayed Russian launch.