Samsung Z2 is Kenya’s First Tizen-Powered Smartphone


The Samsung Z2 has finally been officially unveiled in Kenya. The device which unlike all other Samsung smartphones available in the Kenyan market at the moment which run Android, runs on the Samsung-backed Tizen platform.

For those not in the know, Tizen has been, for a while now, Samsung’s alternative platform for its mobile devices and the main platform for most of its other consumer electronics like fridges, washing machines, digital cameras and television sets.

Samsung Electronics East Africa Mobile and IT Head Simon Kariithi and Product Manager Idda Rasanga pose with the device during the launch at Samsung's Nairobi offices
Samsung Electronics East Africa Mobile and IT Head Simon Kariithi and Product Manager Iddah Rasanga pose with the device during the launch at the company’s Nairobi offices

Tizen has been praised for being less resource intensive when compared to Android.

Samsung’s first smartphone running Tizen to be available in the open market, the Samsung Z1, was a hit in the countries where the company made it available. In the case of the phones that Samsung has managed to release so far on the platform, the major selling point has been the pricing. In Kenya, things won’t be any different from other markets where we’ve seen the Z2 pop up so far. It will be one of the cheapest LTE smartphones in the Kenyan market with its Kshs 6,000 pricing.

The Samsung Z2 is the first of Samsung’s Tizen smartphones to make it to Africa. It was launched in August in India where Tizen already has considerable market share thanks to the popularity of its predecessors the Z1 and the Z3 and has since been launched in South Africa. After Kenya, Nigeria is set to be the next African country to get the device.


Samsung Z2 specifications

Display4-inch WVGA (800 x 480 pixels)
ProcessorSpreadtrum chip clocked at 1.5GHz
Memory1GB RAM; 8GB internal storage (expandable via microSD up to 256GB)
Camera5MP rear with LED flash; 0.3MP front
Operating SystemTizen 2.4
Network3G, 4G LTE (Cat 4)
ConnectivitymicroUSB, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
OtherDual SIM

Tizen, like any other relatively new platform, has to contend with the issue of mobile applications that users may have been used to on other platforms probably not being available. That will likely ring true for some coming from Android but according to the local Samsung office, they have intensified their efforts to get Kenyan developers to develop apps for the platform. Tizen already has some of the more popular apps like WhatsApp, a stark contrast to the cumbersome process that users of the budget Orange Klif which ran on yet another new platform, Firefox OS, had to contend with.

The Samsung Z2 is available at all Safaricom shops countrywide in either gold or black colour.