Last week, Samsung announced the Samsung Z4, the latest Tizen-based smartphone to join Samsung’s portfolio of Tizen mobiles. The Z4 obviously runs the same operating System (OS) as its predecessors, the Samsung Z1, Z2, and Z3, but now the new kid on the block comes with Tizen 3.0 out of the box. The new OS benefits from Vulkan graphics support, Wayland, Crosswalk, Latest Linux LTS (Long Term Support), 64-bit support, Multi-user support, Improved security, Improved Multimedia and User Interface, and more. Now, whilst we go through the hands on, remember this is a mid/budget handset so let’s not start comparing it to any flagship devices that cost 10 times as much.
Under the hood, we have a Spreadtrum Quad Core 1.5 GHz SC9830 CPU with 1 GB of RAM and MALI 400 MP2 GPU. Compared to the previous Tizen mobiles the Z4 benefits from being powered by Tizen 3.0, which is a 64-bit OS, and that can take advantage of the quad-core processor. This is a dual SIM mobile SM-Z400F/DS but we do also expect a single SIM version to be offered in select markets. We have support for CAT 4 LTE connectivity with a download and upload speeds of up to 150/50 MBps. The smartphone are also equipped with VoLTE feature, which is popular in India thanks to Reliance Jio.
When using the User Interface (UI), you can access the apps by swiping up on the screen, a feature that has been also Introduced on Samsung’s Android smartphones, starting with the Galaxy S8, remember not to compare too much. I found everything to run reasonably smoothly, again probably due to the marriage of 64-bit hardware and a 64-bit OS. The Z4 has some unique features like (covered in the video below):-
- Quick Talk – Lets you use voice commands to launch comm apps. Press the volume down + power buttons.
- Quick Torch – Press the volume up + power to toggle the read dual-LED light on or off.
- Quick Launch – Quick launch the camera by double pressing the middle button. The app does launch really quickly. Seeing is believing.
- Quick Switch – Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to switch between the last two apps that were launched.
- Quick Reads – Swipe to the left of the screen to enter your news feed.
Of all the features listed above, the easy and speed of switching between apps using Quick switch was excellent. You can also long press the centre button and all your running apps will appear, but for a fast switch, you really can’t beat Quick switch.
The Z4 has some nice ergonomics as it fits comfortably in the hand thanks to the 2.5D curved display on the front with a curved back. The screen resolution is 480×800 on a TFT Panel, which was obviously a decision to keep costs down, but the display isn’t bad by any means. Initially, the battery life on the Samsung Z4 seems terrific, just like the previous Tizen handhelds, but we will need a bit more time to access this fully. You will be able to read about it in our full review.
On both the front and back we have a 5 MP camera with a F/2.2 aperture. We get good clear pictures when there is ample lighting, but when lighting is failing us, we can get some good results with the dual-rear LED flash and single front facing LED flash. Initially, this might seem a bit gimmicky, but remember there are lots of LED cases on sale at the moment and also apps like Snap chat that switch on the full brightness no the screen in an attempt to illuminate you, so this might be a bit of a hit. Macro shots are quite detailed but we need to explore these a bit more with a full hands-on review.
The camera modes include Auto, Pro, Panorama, Beauty face, Dream Shot, Night, Continuous, Picture Collage, Fast motion and Video flip. There is no dedicated Macro shots mode, which we wouldn’t expect on a cheaper handset, but close-ups are quite detailed and we need to explore these a bit more with a full hands-on review.
The Z4 is scheduled to come to India first on May 19 priced at INR 5,790 and then possibly to others countries, we are assuming the same markets that the Z2 was on-sale in. Today, we have seen the device unveiled at the Tizen Developer Conference.(TDC).
You can check out the full comparison of the Z1, Z2, Z3 and Z4 here.