Summary: Microsoft and Verizon are taking something of a chance with their new Kin duo of phones, what with their arrestingly different user interfaces, curious omission of features like calendars and IM clients, and smartphone-level monthly data pricing. Me? If I had to choose one Kin or the other I'd take Kin Two - I prefer its horizontal slider layout and two-thumb friendly keyboard, not to mention the extra memory and HD video capture not found on its little sister, Kin One.
Summary: The Kin One is a decent phone for documenting and sharing your life with friends, but it’s missing so many features that, even now that it’s offered for free, we don’t think it’s a great deal. It doesn’t have any games or access to third-party apps, and the fact that you’re forced to pony up $30 a month for an unlimited data plan is tough to stomach when the browsing experience is weak.
Pros: Unlimited cloud storage with Kin Studio, Small pocketable design, VGA camcorder,
Cons: Confusing and cumbersome interface, Social networking features make sharing tedious, Lacks third-party applications and games,
Summary: Sharp has delivered wonderful hardware to Microsoft at an affordable starting price, but the software and pricing plans hold the Kin One back. While it is just $50 to buy the device, it requires a 2-year service agreement with at least a $39.99 voice plan and $29.99 data plan. Text messaging plans could easily add $20 and a Zune Pass is another $14.99, leaving users paying almost $105 a month for the Kin One, before taxes and fees are factored in.
Pros: Wonderfully designed hardware that's both fun and comfortable to use., A sneak peak at the future of the Windows Phone line, Access to tens of thousands of streaming songs via Zune Pass integration
Cons: An operating system that doesn't try to do much, and still under-delivers, A monthly bill that dwarfs the initial investment, Spotty network performance even in strong coverage areas
Microsoft KIN ONE for Verizon Wireless review, Windows Phone 7's little cousin
14 May 2010
Summary: The KIN series of phones, which is currently made up of the KIN ONE and the KIN TWO, are Microsoft's attempt at building a feature phone platform that offers many of the capabilities of a smartphone, without all of the complications. The KIN ONE is the cheaper of the two KIN devices that Verizon Wireless is offering, and it features a very compact form factor, a full QWERTY keyboard, and a capacitive touchscreen display.
Pros: Good physical design, slick looking UI, nice camera, Zune music player, awesome web portal
Cons: Total lack of app support, high data costs, no IM, poor battery life, no email notifications
Conclusion: The Microsoft KIN One is certainly an intriguing and interesting little phone that does have some features that are very unique to it. Would I use this phone? No, probably not, but then again I’m not teenager or a twenty something either. I’m certainly not as into the whole social networking scene like the younger crowd is, but the KIN One is certainly a phone for social networking, and if that’s what your into more than anything then this might be the phone for you.
Pros: Nicely made with an interesting design, Fairly easy to use, Decent battery life, Zune interface built-in, Low price for the phone itself, Decent call quality
Cons: Poor picture quality, Typing on the keyboard can be tricky at times, Screen attracts fingerprints / smudges, Navigation can be frustrating, Screen is small, Web browsing can be slow
Conclusion: Microsoft’s Kin OS make the specialized Kins seem kind of alien, and it’s an acquired taste. It would be foolhardy for us to express an opinion on the look and feel, since some people will cozy right up to its unusual social network approach. You won’t take to the Kins if you’re more verbal and want a multi-function device – in other words, neither is a Droid alternative. Between the two, the Kin OS is too big and too cluttered for the cute Kin One.
Pros: Clever social-network-centric OS, Mirrors all activities and auto uploads photos to Kin Studio Web site, High-quality 5 MP (Kin One) and 8 MP (Kin Two) camera with flash, 4GB (Kin One) 8GB (Kin Two) built-in memory, Light, sleek, stylish uncluttered exterior
Cons: Cluttered, claustrophobic OS, No third-party apps, Slippery exterior, Unintuitive music player, Hard to get high-quality video off phone, No external memory card slot
Conclusion: If there is anything going for KIN, it has to be its tight integration of social networking that envelops users to take notice of its keen strengths in that department. First of all, the KIN ONE is quite a compelling piece of hardware which can be attributed to its hockey puck looks, but we feel it is more suitable for sending a plethora of messages thanks to its good QWERTY keyboard.