Samsung recently announced that it will release two special “Black Edition” models of its flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini. The devices will come with premium software and hardware features not available on the traditional models, according to a press release from the Korean electronics giant.

“These new editions are the latest in Samsung’s effort to build on its commitment to deliver innovative technologies with more premium design choices to consumers,” the company stated.

A faux leather-textured back cover begins the list of premium features. Special black packaging, a black power adapter, data cables, and headphones will be included. Customers will also receive eight new exclusive wallpapers and a set of ringtones pre-loaded on their phones. The manufacturer has yet to announce a specific release date, indicating only that these new models will be available in select markets at some point in February.

Release of the Galaxy S5

News of the Black Edition smartphones comes as anticipation peaks for the Mobile World Congress taking place this month in Barcelona, reports The New York Times. Samsung is expected to unveil its successor to the S4, a brand new S5 model, as part of an “Unpacked 5” display set to take place at the Congress. The Times states that the new model will target business professionals with a pre-installed version of Knox security software, and will reportedly do away with unnecessary features such as Air View, which allows users to answer calls on the S4 with a wave of the hand.

Although there has been speculation about the possibility of a retina scanner and ultra-high resolution Quad HD display on the S5, the Times shut down these rumors, claiming that sources with knowledge of the phone confirmed that these features will not be available. An improved camera and processor will be included, however.

The mobile manufacturer will also use the Congress to showcase the Tizen operating system, which it has been developing with partners Intel, Huawei, and Fujitsu. According to the Times, the new operating system could allow the manufacturer to remain competitive with Google in areas other than hardware. Currently, devices like the Galaxy use the Google-developed Android operating system, but the future could unveil a series of Tizen-operated phones.

One such phone is the ZEQ 9000. A leaked image of the phone has been circulating the Internet, reports AndroidPIT, which says the phone was supposed to debut in March with NTT Docomon, a Japanese provider. The release was canceled, however, reportedly due to Samsung believing that there isn’t yet room in the market for another major operating system. But leaked information about the phone does suggest that the manufacturer is serious about Tizen. The open-source, Linux-based OS would allow the company to get away from Google, which asserts more control over Android as the years pass. Samsung could begin to control its own fate with an operating system that the company can tailor to its own needs.

Are you excited to see development of Tizen, or should Samsung stick with Android?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons




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