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Samsung launches first Tizen-powered 4G smartphone for $68

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Samsung

Samsung's latest mobile — the Z2 — launches in India today, and it's a straightforward play to appeal to the country's growing number of smartphone users. The Z2 costs INR 4,590, or around $68 (just two dollars less than the average price of a mobile phone in India) and is powered by Tizen, Samsung's home-grown mobile OS. It's also the first Tizen device to support 4G.

The Z2 certainly isn't a powerhouse (there's a 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal memory), but it does provide a cheap way for consumers to get more out of their mobile. As well as its 4G connection, the Z2 comes with a 90-day free trial for various entertainment apps from Indian mobile operator Jio. Users get free access (including data) to video calling, on-demand movies and TV shows, and a music streaming service. Jio is presumably hoping that once customers are hooked on 4G content, they'll start paying for the network themselves.

The Z2 also comes with a number of Samsung features built specially for Indian users. These include an Ultra Data Saving mode, which compresses data by "up to 40 percent," and a bike mode, which makes it easier to field calls when the user is riding. Samsung is also releasing the handset alongside a $185,000 challenge for developers to build games for Tizen, with cash prizes paid out to the most popular apps.