Samsung Z1 at its release / Reuters

Samsung built its own operating system to move away from Android, but the long-promised phones have failed to arrive until today

Samsung has launched a new phone with its own Tizen operating system, the first as it moves away from Google Android.

While Samsung has been promising phones using its in-house operating system for some time, it has only so far appeared on its TVs and smartwatches.

Now the Z1 has been launched in India, and is low-end phone that sells for the equivalent of about £60. Its specs are suitably middle of the road — it has a 4-inch screen, 3G data, and only 4GB of storage.

But Samsung seems to be suggesting that the lightweight Tizen operating system will mean that it is still fast. It also has technology that will keep the battery alive for a long time, Samsung says. It claims the battery will last for about 8 hours of talk time.

The company said that the phone had been made especially for the Indian market, where people tend to use their phone as a central device for watching TV and listening to the radio as well as browsing the internet and listening to music.

“The smartphone market in India is rapidly evolving, with many consumers using their device as their screen of choice for content including videos, television programs and video games, as well as a range of apps,” said Hyun Chil Hong, president and CEO of Samsung India Electronics. “We have customized the Samsung Z1 to meet these unique, entertainment-focused needs of local Indian consumers for a personal and reliable mobile experience."

The phone also has features “that enable to users to quickly reach out for assistance in any emergency situation”, according to Samsung, such as an SOS alert that sends out a help message to contacts and tracks location.

The phone is available from today in white, black and red.