Samsung has launched its first smartphone powered by its Tizen operating system, a long-delayed departure from the Google-owned Android software that typically powers the company’s mobile devices.
The Samsung Z1, released Wednesday, runs on Tizen 2.3 and is available only in India. The Z1 is a low-end device, with a 4-inch screen, 4GB of storage and a 3.1 megapixel camera for about $92.
While Tizen feels similar to Android, the Z1 launch is a major step in Samsung’s attempt to lessen its dependence on the Google-controlled software as both companies look to connect devices beyond smartphones. Samsung previously promised Tizen-powered smartphones in early 2013 and then again last year, but neither plan panned out.
Before the Z1, Samsung’s only device running Tizen was its Gear S smartwatch and some of its new smart TVs, which the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month.