Microsoft Kin One and Two review
- Hardware keyboardUnique designKin Studio cloud-based syncing
- Horrible, uneven, and buggy UILack of applications, even IMData plan pricing too high for phone of this class
Make no mistake: the Kin One and Two are coming into the world as the black sheep of the phone industry, and Microsoft would have it no other way. Straddling the fence somewhere between a dedicated smartphone and high-spec featurephone, they've been tricky to understand since the day they were first leaked (even Microsoft seemed unsure of what the devices meant until very recently). Billed as a Gen-Y (the "upload generation") social networking tool -- and sold in advertisements as the gateway to the time of your young, freewheeling life -- the Kin phones have admittedly been something of head-scratcher to those of us in the gadget world. Built atop a core similar (but not identical) to the Windows Phone 7 devices coming later this year, manufactured by Sharp, and tied into partnerships with Verizon and Vodafone, the phones dangerously preempt Microsoft's reemergence into the smartphone market. Hell, they're even called Windows Phones. But the One and Two aren't like any Windows Phones you've ever seen. With stripped-down interfaces, deep social networking integration, and a focus on very particular type of user, Microsoft is aiming for something altogether different with Kin. So do these devices deliver on that unique, social experience that Redmond has been selling, or does this experiment fall flat? We've taken both handsets for a spin, and we've got all the answers in our full review... so read on to find out!