Tizen vs Android: What’s the difference?

Tizen operating system

You may or may not have heard of the Tizen operating system, depending upon how closely you follow the tech scene, so today we are going to take a look at Tizen versus Android and uncover the differences.

But, first let’s take a quick look at the background of Tizen to put the whole story into context.

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Tizen Background 

Tizen is a Linux-based operating system whose development is guided by the Technical Steering Group, which is an organisation that includes both Samsung and Intel.

In 2013 Samsung merged it’s Bada project into Tizen and a base program was developed upon which sits device specific operating systems such as Tizen Mobile and Tizen Wearable.

So far Samsung has launched a smart camera and the Gear 2 smartwatch whilst Systena has launched a 10 inch tablet, all running on Tizen.

Samsung Gear 2

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Why Tizen?

The Tizen OS is clearly being developed to compete with both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

At this point in time most of the benefits of Tizen are designed to make life easier for the developer, but of course every such benefit will result in a better user experience and end product.

Some of the key developer benefits include:

  • Flexibility - Mobile operators will enjoy greater flexibility to customise the OS and user experience and this can be wisely used to develop products that target specific demographics.
  • Compatibility - Developers will be attracted to the open source flexibility of Tizen. Applications made using the Tizen OS will still be compatible and may be launched in other operating systems like iOS and Android.
  • Support - Tizen supports JavaScript, CSS and HTML5.

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Tizen vs Android: What’s the difference?

Now we have the techy bit out of the way let’s take a look at our original question and discover the similarities and differences between Android and Tizen.

  • Start-up - Tizen is lightweight and offers a faster start-up compared to Android.
  • Smoother scrolling - Tizen offers improved scrolling and rendering performance for web browsing.
  • Notification bar - Just like devices running Samsung’s TouchWiz UI there will be a swipe down notification bar on Tizen devices.
  • 3D - Tizen will offer 3D window effects with support for apps and games that require advanced 3D graphics.
  • Multi-tasking and multi-touch - Multi-taking and multi-touch gestures are supported just like on Android devices.
  • Dynamic boxes - Tizen’s dynamic box icons can be resized to show more or less information.
  • 64-bit processors - Tizen version 3 will support 64-bit processors, which is something that Google is working on for its next Android update.

An initial Samsung Mobile trial of the Tizen OS on a smartphone received comments that there was nothing different from Android and iOS. 

We could suggest that this was a negative piece of news but instead we should think of this as a positive step that confirms that the base model is running successfully and on a par with Android and iOS. 

Tizen 2.2 beta

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Since then Tizen has promised that its operating system’s uniqueness will change by the end of the year so we should expect new and exciting developments within the Tizen v3 release.

The Tizen challenge

So, we have taken a look at the differences between Android and Tizen but now it is time to think about the challenge ahead if Tizen is to become a success.

The first challenge will be to reproduce alternatives to all of the Google services which are integrated within the Android OS.

The second challenge will be to develop the Tizen App Store as mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets live or die based upon the wealth of apps available to them. 

We only need to look at BlackBerry and their recent announcement that their phones in the future will now have access to Amazon’s Appstore as a quick example of how important this is.

Tizen App Challenge

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To tackle this element an app challenge for developers has been run with a $4m prize fund. A $200,000 grand prize for game app developers and $50,000 for each of the top 10 rated HTML5 apps shows that both Samsung and Tizen understand the importance of this.

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Tizen Products

So far, Tizen has struggled to stake a claim on the smartphone market - with only the Samsung Z1 sporting the system so far.

Smartwatches have been another point of call which hasn't been too strong for the system either, even though it's been included on more hardware. The likes of the Samsung Gear lineup have long used the mobile system, but due to their low uptake the software hasn't been widely recognised.

Will your next TV be running Tizen?

Thinking of grabbing a Tizen device? Samsung has already launched the first Tizen phone - check it out here...

One area which has looked most promising for Tizen is that of Smart TVs, which until now have been a user experience nightmare thanks to navigation issues and poor features. However, Samsung has now introduced the mobile system onto its Smart TV line-up - offering a much more effective method to bring the internet to our big screens.


In my opinion it will be no easy task to compete with Android in a world that is already dominated by Google services.

However Samsung’s and Intel’s involvement is a clear sign that success will be demanded and we should expect them to deliver.

The question I now ask is do we really need another operating system thrown into the mix? 

And, will this spur on new and exciting features or simply water-down the focus of developers as they try to cater for yet another operating system?

Written by: Michael Brown

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