Samsung Z3 First Impressions: A Pocket-Friendly Smartphone that aims at low-end Segment

Samsung-Z3-Price-IndiaSamsung on Wednesday held a surprise global launch of Samsung Z3 in India. Ten months ago, Samsung launched Z1. Samsung Z3 is a ‘Made in India’ smartphone and a pocket-friendly which aims to make a mark in the low-end segment with a price tag of Rs. 8, 490. By next week, the device will go on sale via offline retail channels as well as on Snapdeal.

The Samsung Z and Samsung Z1, the Z3 have the same plastic polycarbonate build profile as we’ve seen in many Galaxy smartphones over the years. It screams typical Samsung design from every angle even though there’s a new home button on the front and the front-facing camera and sensors are placed differently.

Like all the Galaxy devices, Z3 has a flat oval-shaped home button replacing the square one that Z1 had. The screen is as big as 5-inches and the volume buttons are placed on the left while the power button is on the right. But the back panel has no change. However, the new model is more slender than the Z1 which almost have 2mm and gives a good grip. It comes in Black, Silver and Gold.

Of course, the Z3 has updated innards that have all the specifications found in a typical low-end smartphone. Such as 5-inch HD (720×1280-pixel) resolution display; 1.3GHz quad-core Spreadtrum SC7730S SoC coupled with 1GB of RAM; 8GB of built-in storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB); 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash; 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and a replaceable 2600mAh battery. Although it’s an upgraded version, but it still lagged at few places while multitasking and heated up slightly when we played Asphalt Nitro for 10-15 mins.

The Z3 comes with two Micro-SIM slots and is the company’s first to run Tizen 2.4. The new version of the OS is very much similar to Tizen 2.3, which the Z1 shipped with. As the company says that UI will have a very basic and simple feel and it has a static interface with circular app icons. Under ‘settings’, all the usual options can be found and the notification tray features a single scrollable row of quick toggles for Bluetooth, torch, Wi-Fi and other functions. Users can change the handset theme or customise it via the ‘Styler’ option.

Samsung’s MixRadio app will give its users access to 30 million songs free for life. It features an ‘intelligent’ RECO engine that recommend songs based on users’ preferences. Samsung also introduced the My Galaxy app, which can be downloaded for Samsung devices via Google Play and the Tizen Store. The app provides deals, discounts, and device care services in four categories: Home, Services, Care, and My Page. Home shows offers and deals (from partners such as Pizza Hut, Paytm, Amazon, Bookmyshow, and Coupon Dunia); Services shows options for recharges, food, and travel; Care helps users locate Samsung stores and service centres, as well as services including the Samsung Smart Tutor; and finally My Page shows saved favourite offers, payback points which can be redeemed via Samsung Stores, and more. Both MixRadio and My Galaxy can be uninstalled.

Samsung Z3 has the super AMOLED display that is vibrant and shows deep saturated colour tones. At 5 inches diagonally, it is also easy for the users to reach all corners with one thumb. Although in our limited time with the device, we couldn’t able to fully test the processor capabilities, but we observed lags after opening five apps. Switching between two apps wasn’t smooth enough. However, on paper the Z3 features 1GB of RAM, quite a lot will be consumed by the operating system. As for the storage, only 4.9GB is available for media storage and apps. But, the device supports up to 128GB of expandable storage.

Moving on to the camera, the image quality was not up to the mark, as seen with other budget smartphones. It sports an 8MP rear camera with f/2.2 aperture that shoots HD resolution video, which again was not all that impressive. But the 5MP front-facing camera gives decent shots. The camera app features Auto, Pro, Panorama, Beauty Face, Dream Shot, HDR, Night, and Continuous Shot modes. A double-tap on the home screen fires up the camera application quickly. However, a test is needed on the smartphone to know how long its 2600mAh battery will last on each charge.

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