When we talk about smart TV brands, Samsung is one of the first names that come to our minds. These TVs are not only stylish but offer a wide range of cool features, thanks to Tizen OS; the open-source operating system they run on.
However, Tizen is not only a smart TV-only OS. One can find it on several other devices, including smartphones, PCs, etc.
The following discussion is an attempt to provide you with a thorough idea of what Tizen OS is all about.
What is Tizen?
Tizen is a Linux-based, open-source operating system that works on multiple platforms. Its developer is Samsung, and it has quite a few versions depending on the device running on it.
While its open-source nature makes it freely usable and easy to develop, Samsung is the only brand that uses it on its devices. The most recent version of the OS got a rebranding and came to be known as the One UI.
Samsung built the OS on the Linux framework. Therefore, it is multipurpose and flexible. Tizen’s modular architecture increases its adaptability, bringing about lots of use cases, including smart televisions, smartphones, IoT devices, and fitness watches.
A brief history of the formation and journey of Tizen OS
Hosted by the Linux Foundation, the Tizen project came into being in 2011 as a successor to the MeeGo OS after MeeGo’s fate was sealed when Nokia backed out of its development for investing resources into its Lumia Series.
Nonetheless, Samsung developed and released its version 1.0 in January 2012. Since then, the operating system has undergone ups and downs.
In January and October of 2013, Samsung announced the release of several Tizen-run phones and introduced the first Tizen-based tablet, respectively.
In 2014, Samsung came with the Galaxy Gear 2 – a smartwatch running on Tizen OS. In May of the same year, Samsung decided to ship with Qt, but the company scrapped the project in 2017.
In November 2016, Samsung and Microsoft determined to join forces to offer .NET Core support to Tizen.
2018 saw Tizen’s triumphant rise as the most popular smart TV OS.
In 2021, Samsung and Google collaborated to develop the new Wear OS by integrating Tizen features with Wear OS on the new Galaxy Watch 4.
Samsung still continues using Tizen on smart TVs, though. The latest version of Tizen – Tizen 8.0 came out on May 31, 2023.
What kind of devices run on Tizen OS?
As we mentioned earlier, Tizen OS utilizes a Linux-based framework and modular architecture that makes it highly modifiable, versatile, and adaptable. Hence, many types of devices can run this OS. These include smart TVs, smartwatches, smartphones, smart speakers, home appliances, and more.
What devices still run Tizen OS?
Samsung has been known to stick with its proprietary resources be it the Exynos hardware or Tizen operating system. You can find a ton of devices that still run on Tizen. Some of them are:
#1. All of Samsung’s Smart TVs
If you are looking for a device that runs Tizen OS in its full glory, your search might just end in your living room. All Samsung Smart TVs run on Tizen OS and the latest iterations of the OS massively compliments the smart TV experience that Samsung boasts.
Tizen-based Samsung TVs have the perfect blend of Samsung’s phenomenal displays that offer a picture-perfect viewing experience and Tizen’s smart features such as multiple voice assistants, Smart Things, Wi-Fi Direct, and much more.
We’ve listed some of the best Samsung TVs running Tizen OS at the end of this article. Stay tuned📺!
Importance of Tizen in forming the current version of Wear OS
Tizen played a significant role in giving birth to the latest version of Wear OS – Wear OS 4. Samsung integrated Tizen’s features into Google’s Wear OS which helped eradicate the downsides of both of the operating systems and give rise to the best of both worlds.
Firstly, Samsung solved Wear OS’s rapid battery draining issue and increased its battery efficiency. Plus, Samsung has made the platform about 30% faster with better animations and fluidity.
Also, Wear is integrated with Samsung’s highly appreciated watch face designer tool that lets you customize and create your own watch faces.
The unification between Google and Samsung made Wear more flexible in terms of hardware and software, expanding its ecosystem and customizability.
Let us now look at some of the handiest features that make Tizen the OS giant that it is:
#1. Automatic source detection
Tizen OS eliminates the unwanted confusion that comes with multiple active connections to a single TV.
Be it a console, cable box, or some other device, its smart auto-source detection quickly identifies what device is connected to what port.
#2. Minimalistic UI
The user interface on Tizen TVs is so simplistic and intuitive that even those with little to no technical proficiency will find it easy to navigate.
Also, it is highly customizable and organized. Hence, users can effortlessly all the features and apps they are looking for.
#3. Abundance of entertainment options
Samsung Tizen smart TVs offer Smart Hub – your one-stop destination for all your entertainment needs.
Smart Hub arranges all your content, streaming services, settings, connected device list, and whatnot – in one place, boosting your convenience.
#4. Ease of sharing
Samsung’s Tizen-run televisions enable easy sharing between them and other devices like smartphones, laptops, PCs, etc., via the Smart View app.
Provided that your TV has Smart View installed, you can share images, videos, music, and more from any of your devices to the TV hassle-free.
The app also serves as a secondary remote for your phone/tablet and lets you control your TV with it.
#5. Smart searching
When it comes to searching for your favorite shows, apps, music, and so on – Tizen offers fantastic services.
The above-mentioned Smart Hub feature precisely categorizes your content for ease of finding. These include Recommended, Live TV, Apps, etc.
Such neat organization saves both your time and energy. Plus, such TVs have a universal search facility that empowers their users to look for content across various platforms.
How does Tizen work on modern TVs and apps?
Tizen has a quite chic design and is capable of matching the overall aesthetics of a device. That is why you will find that Tizen’s ecosystem is extensive and comprises all modern Samsung smart TVs and apps, including popular streaming apps like Apple TV, Netflix, Hotstar, Spotify, Vudu, Hulu, Samsung TV Plus, and more.
Besides possessing high flexibility, Tizen provides powerful support for convenient connectivity features, such as Wi-Fi, DLNA, Bluetooth, and so on.
All this has ensured Tizen’s relevancy on contemporary televisions and apps.
Tizen OS vs. WebOS vs. Android Smart TVs
Now, we will put Tizen against two other operating systems for smart TVs, namely WebOS and Android TV, and see how it performs:
#1. Technical architecture
Tizen OS and WebOS both utilize Linux kernel, while Android TV utilizes the same codebase as the typical Android system with some optimizations for bigger displays.
Tizen is compatible with various media types and ensures user privacy and security. WebOS and Android also support multiple media types.
But if we consider reconfigurability and flexibility, Tizen OS gets the upper hand and is the best option among the three.
#2. User Interface
Both Tizen OS and WebOS have intuitive, simplistic user interfaces that are different from Android TV.
The former two provide recommendations and recent activity from different apps when users move to those apps. And the best part? There is no need to launch the app for that. The sub-menu takes care of that along with offering an instant content playing facility. That is why Tizen OS and WebOS are way ahead of Android TV in terms of ease of use.
#3. App support
The app libraries of both Tizen OS and WebOS are ever-expanding with the operating systems providing support for new apps frequently. Currently, their libraries contain most of the popular streaming apps, such as YouTube, Disney+, HBO Go, Netflix, Prime Video, and more.
Nevertheless, Android TV leaves both behind with its Play Store access, allowing users to use a plethora of apps optimized for TVs. In addition, Android TV even lets you run apps that are incompatible with Android via side loading.
Although not originally meant for gaming, today’s smart TVs let users play games on them. Speaking of gaming, LG’s WebOS and Samsung’s Tizen do not have robust gaming features. Their app libraries have a pretty limited number of titles available to install. Plus, they lack the facility for third-party installation or emulation, making games from different platforms unavailable on these TVs.
Android TV, on the other hand, gives people Play Store access and sideloading facility. This empowers Android TV users to play a decent number of Android games. But you must remember that a lion’s share of Android TVs is low-end.
Thus, they are unable to run games that are graphically demanding. Only the costly Nvidia Shield TV which is based on Android TV allows high-end gaming.
All three of these TV operating systems receive infrequent updates. Both WebOS and Tizen OS seem to be reluctant to release major updates for their older models.
After the initial one or two years, your OS is pretty much stuck in a dead end.
As for Android TV, the situation is a bit better for the expensive, top models that get two to three years of updates. Even so, most Android TVs will stop getting firmware updates after the first year.
Best Tizen Smart TVs and Monitors to Buy
I am sure you are as thrilled as I am going through all the amazing Tizen OS features. If you want to get your hands on some of the best television tech running Tizen, we have got you covered. Here are the best Tizen Smart TVs and monitors that you should definitely check out:
Samsung 65” Crystal 4K UHD Smart TV – CU8000
Samsung’s CU8000 series has to be one of the best 4K TVs available at around the $600 mark. The TV comes with all the amazing Tizen features on top of Samsung’s PurColor technology which tries to replicate the natural colors of objects on display.
Moreover, Crystal Processing technology upscales lower resolution content to 4K for a better viewing experience.
Samsung 27” M80C Smart Monitor 4K UHD with Streaming TV
While you can use Samsung’s M80C as your TV, it shines the brightest when you use it as a smart monitor with your PC. One of its best features is that it comes with a Slimfit Camera out of the box which will surely save a couple of hundred bucks on the webcam front.
Moreover, this 4K smart monitor supports wireless remote PC access and built-in Alexa for quick and effective voice control. As the monitor runs Tizen OS, you can download and install your favorite streaming apps and enjoy them on the go.
Samsung 32” M70B Smart Monitor 4K UHD with Streaming TV
If you have budget constraints and the $600 for the M80C monitor seems like a hit on your pockets, you should check out the Samsung 32″ M70B Smart Monitor. As with the M80C, you get a 4K display but without the Slimfit webcam and half the price.
For close to $1100 you get a crisp looking 34″ curved OLED display with a 175 Hz refresh rate. Moreover, the monitor supports AMD’s Free Sync Premium Pro which automatically syncs the refresh rate according to your graphics card. The display comes with a Neo Quantum Processor with an astonishingly low latency of 0.03 ms which makes it ideal for competitive gaming too.
To conclude, Samsung’s brainchild – the Tizen OS can be a fabulous choice for anyone who wants more versatility, customizability, and ease of use.
While Samsung has disbanded its use in its latest smartwatch models from Galaxy Watch 4 onwards and shifted to Wear OS, its smart TVs are still Tizen-run.
That is good news, as Tizen TVs are packed with numerous smart features, such as an intuitive user interface, Smart Hub, smart and multi-platform content searching, auto-detection of sources, and easy sharing through the Smart View app.
Even with the rising public embracement of rival TV operating systems like WebOS and Android TV, these features ensure Tizen’s relevancy for the years to come.