On Monday, Verizon Wireless introduced their two newest Microsoft phones called the Kin One and the Kin Two. The first and most important thing to note about the Kin phones is that they are not smartphones. On first glance they may seem very smartphone-like, but they do not feature apps or games.
The Kin One and Kin Two are aimed more towards customers in their teens and twenties. They are both sliding phones that feature fantastic keyboards for easy texting. These are classified as “quick messaging” phones, and they are perfect for those who spend most of their time messaging on their phone.
The phones are both Windows phones. They are made by Sharp and run a new operating system that is very similar to the Windows Phone 7 OS that is coming out soon. The Kin phones share the heart of the Windows Phone 7’s design but are more geared towards the social networking side of things.
As I mentioned previously, the Kin phones are not smartphones. They cannot download apps or games. They are not expandable like smartphones. They are simply cool, fun, easy to use messaging phones.
The Kin phones feature the “Loop” home screen that brings any possible social networking information that you might want straight to your attention. It feeds any social networking information or messages from your friends directly to your home screen for easy viewing. You are even able to prioritize your friends and come up with a top friends list. By creating this list, all of your top friends updates will show up in a larger font than your other friends. Derek Snyder, the senior product manager at Microsoft says, “We're the only phone that actually keeps your close friends close and treats them differently.”
The Kin One and Two feature the ability to sync music with any PCs running Zune software. Snyder says that they are, “the first Windows phones to ship with Zune.” The phones have built-in FM radios, and Zune Pass owners can listen to unlimited subscription music. Both Kin phones also feature either 5- or 8- megapixel cameras with a LumiLED flash that is much brighter than the usual cameraphone flash.
One of the only criticisms of the Kin phones would be the size of their screens. The Kin One features a 320 x 240 screen, while the Kin Two features a 320 x 480 screen. These can both be a little difficult to navigate when viewing Web pages, but they aren’t horrible.
The Kin phones are great phones for anyone that likes to use them mostly for messaging purposes, and honestly, I think that they’re just awesome looking. Their unique shape, cool sliding keyboard, and amazing features make this family of phones quite appealing. The Kin One is now available from Verizon for $49.99, and the Kin Two is listed at $99.99. These are two great phones to consider from a great service provider that are at the same pricepoint as the LG EnV line.
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