Samsung’s next big launch is the Galaxy S7, and the release date for it is rumored for around February 2016. Speculations about properties of the upcoming flagship are running rampant, but one rumor we just couldn’t shake was that the Galaxy S7 would be launched with Tizen instead of Android on board. Appalling and a bad idea, I’m sure many of you would agree. But is there even a possibility of Samsung launching a Tizen-powered flagship smartphone so early in the OS’ history?
Today, Tizen came into the spotlight after SamMobile published a report about Samsung’s mobile operating system getting featured on a “high-profile smartphone”. Although the Galaxy S7 should be the flagship the South Korean company is going to launch next, there will most likely be a couple of other releases in the meantime that the report could be referring to. The Galaxy A and Galaxy E line-ups are due for refreshed models, and they can be considered high-profile smartphones. The Galaxy Z3, launched last month, is a pretty successful release, too. So all signs are pointing towards a flagship device with Tizen on board, but would Samsung risk putting it on the Galaxy S7?
I think they would, but they won’t cut out Android. Since Samsung is already in the habit of launching multiple different variants of their flagships, it’s entirely possible that the Galaxy S7 release date will introduce quite a few new smartphones. There are already reports talking about how the Galaxy S7 processor will be both an in-house and a Snapdragon 820 variant, depending on market or model. So we’re pretty much convinced that the Galaxy S7 will be available with an Exynos 8890 CPU and a Snapdragon 820 one. Why wouldn’t the company raise awareness for Tizen in the same way? It worked with Exynos, which is now rapidly going after Qualcomm’s market.
With the current situation in the Android community involving a lot of bug reports, update delays, bloatware and security threats, maybe it’s time for a new OS. But will Tizen be any better than TouchWiz? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are people who like the OS and UX, but they seem unpolished and a bit limited. However, Tizen has been getting better and has been gathering a lot of support in the form of developers and third-party apps. Facebook has a dedicated app just for Tizen and the user experience at the end of the day is pretty similar to Android, if you don’t count Google services that is.
Android is a platform for Google services, if you think about it, and many many many Samsung users are fond of that ecosystem. Times are changing, however, and we should always try to be open to new things, even in technology. In my opinion, the Galaxy S7 has a distinct chance of running on Tizen, at least in one variant. I’ve no doubt that Samsung and Android still have a long collaborative future ahead of them, but there seems to be space for Tizen as well. The OS is popular in developing regions for its optimizations in battery and data saving, and Samsung is well-respected for its good quality hardware all around the world. It seems like a good combo.
How much people will actually like a Galaxy S7 running on Tizen is a bit of a gamble, though. The OS is a fledgling compared to Android, but the company has proven its mettle with the latest 2.4 version of the OS. With a good deal of customization available, it’s not that bad. I do think the majority of people coming from Android will miss Google services as much as I do, but Tizen has potential. You can even use third-party apps to actually get Android apps working on the OS, so if you’re a bit tech-savvy, you might end up being entirely comfortable with Tizen.
It’s an interesting idea, Tizen on the Galaxy S7, and it might even be possible if Samsung is working on improving the OS (they are). Hardware and software need to end up being compatible somehow, so Tizen will have to work with high-end hardware. The Galaxy Z3 is more of an entry-level smartphone than anything, so the in-house OS will have to do good on something much more powerful.
Galaxy S7 specs include two of the latest processors, the Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890, 3 GB RAM, 20 MP cameras on the rear and who knows what else. The company has already apparently released prototypes of the handset to AT&T for testing, so we should find out more soon enough. Until now, we could assume that the South Korean giant is planning a Tizen-running Galaxy S7 variant and maybe even a Galaxy S7 Edge variant with the same OS. With rumors that the two will be cheaper at launch than their predecessors and judging by the slightly short time that passed since those were released, it seems like a possibility.
The release date for the Galaxy S7 is pegged for February 21, after reports of the handset going into production early in December have emerged. The tight release window and seemingly rushed process are definitely interpretable, but can they point towards a new strategy? Apple is doing kind of a similar thing with the iPhone 6S. The phone is not that much better than its predecessor, but it improves in key areas. Maybe Samsung is running out of ideas and Tizen came-a-running, who knows. We’ll just have to wait until the company spills the beans, until then as always, take these rumors with a grain of salt.