Samsung’s very first smartphone device running the Tizen operating system, the Samsung Z1 released in India earlier this morning, and they’re slated for a handful of new devices running the Samsung baked OS as the year goes on. Long before Tizen had been seen by human eyes other than the folks at Samsung that were working on it, rumors had been floating around that Samsung was looking for a way to distance themselves from Android as the OS of choice for their handsets due to some of the constraints that come along with using it. The good news is that Samsung is clearly stating in their global blog post that they aren’t abandoning other operating systems, but rather using Tizen as a means to further their exploration into bringing great experiences and openness to the “billions of devices being used daily.”
This is probably noticeable to anyone of the general public by simply looking at the selection of devices that already run the Tizen operating system on it, as the Samsung Z1 was not the first, merely the first smartphone. All of Samsung’s smartwatches(minus the Gear Live)run Tizen although the original Galaxy Gear ran a hacked up version of Android at first, and a number of Samsung’s cameras now have Tizen baked in too and they’re going to be releasing a handful of TV’s this year that will also be powered by the in-home OS. What’s interesting is that Samsung states that “Tizen is “lighter” than any other OS. In other words, Tizen requires less processing power and memory, thereby ensuring faster device speeds while consuming less energy.” Since none of us can actually hold a Tizen based handset at the moment and play with it, we have no way of knowing exactly how true that statement is.
If Tizen is in fact as light as Samsung claims though, wouldn’t it be nice if they applied this same mindset to their Android based smartphones as well? Samsung also explains that Tizen has a shorter boot time than other operating systems, and it also offers seamless multitasking. For anyone that has used a Samsung Android device over the past few years, they can probably attest to the way that Samsung has deployed their UI overlay skin with their devices called TouchWiz. TouchWiz has gotten better with devices like the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 4, but it still takes up a hefty chunk of the internal storage compared to other OEM designed UI skins, and it’s famously berated for issues with lag and performance. Even Tizen isn’t going to pull you away from Android, here’s to hoping Samsung can take some of the “lightness” and apply it to TouchWiz in future releases.