While Samsung’s success in the smartphone business has been almost entirely due to Android, the South Korean electronics giant is hedging its bets. Some of you might be aware of Tizen, their homegrown OS that’s supposed to compete with Android. Well, the Samsung Z was just announced, and it’s the first smartphone to run Tizen.

My impressions of Tizen when I first heard of it was that it would power midrange phones and be somewhere in between feature phones and Android smartphones when it came to functionality and performance. However, what I’m seeing in the Samsung Z specs is totally different. It features a 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display paired with a 2.3GHz quad core processor along with 2GB RAM. It packs 16GB of storage and can be expanded via micro SD up to 64GB.

Other key specs include an 8mp rear-facing autofocus camera, 2.1mp front camera, and a 2,600mAh battery. Rather than Android, the Samsung Z will run Tizen 2.2.1. No word on pricing yet, but it will launch in Russia first sometime in Q3 of this year and will roll out to other territories in the weeks to follow.

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