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Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the Microsoft KIN ONE

Microsoft has discontinued the KIN series, but you never know....

On the eve of the release of Windows Mobile 7, Microsoft introduces two weird phone handsets targeted at teeny-boppers interested in multiplying their list of friends faster than anyone can predict. The KIN ONE and its brother version cannot be ignored, for their looks and features are attractive, but considering Verizon’s expensive prepaid plans, are they worth the money invested? It is a close call, for the college going crowd do not have that kind of money to spend. However, if you are saluted for your networking skills, then these phones will surely provide the technology to make you very productive.

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

Not crafted from an archetypal phone mould, the KIN ONE’s oval shaped design is attractive enough to turn heads. The front part of the vertical slider is smaller than the back part and overall the materials seem durable in the long haul. Measuring 3.25 X 2.5 X 0.75 inches in dimensions the handsets feels compact to hold and is relatively light, with a weight of 3.9 ounces. Though, with such a weird and small design (when closed), the phone feels pudgy during calls. A bar shaped QWERTY would have been more comfortable.

Below the 2.6” QVGA capacitive touch screen is just a single hardware button that takes us to the previous screen and when pressed again, to the LOOP screen. Other dedicated keys are aptly placed in comfortable locations. The camera key is at the rear, and the volume rocker and power button are at the right side of the phone. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is at the top of the phone. Locating the camera key at the back may seem beyond your understanding, as each time you have to take care not to move the screen while pressing the key.

The QWERTY keyboard shows up when the phone is slid open. Bearing in mind the headset’s size, one would assume the keyboard to be crowded. Thankfully this is not the case, The keys are raised with enough spacing to differentiate between letters. It is an ideal keyboard for nimble fingers but a nightmare for fat thumbs. Stiff keys are a sore eye for some period; you can overcome them if you divert your attention to shortcut keys at the bottom for apps, search, and emoticons.

Features (/10)

The user interface of the KIN ONE gives us a sneak peek of the upcoming Windows Mobile 7. KIN LOOP and its siblings use the same interface. Microsoft has kept much of the Windows 7 interface under wraps with only few features to be disclosed. . You have three panels to choose between for the homescreen: Apps, Loop & Favorites. The Apps panel is the regular one that we have seen earlier with shortcuts provided for messages, calls, email, browser, music, contacts and alarm.

Next in line is the KIN LOOP, one of the three focal points in the phone. It streams displays from popular social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Windows Live and subscribed news feeds. The data is updated every 15 minutes (not real time as assumed!) and you can tap on any tile of information to read the piece or comment on a status update. Facebook is tightly integrated in the phone rather than other SNS sites with the provision to reply to friend’s post. This facility is not available for Twitter, which is pretty unfortunate.

Taking online help, KIN pulls out contacts from social networking sites but is unable to combine and sort out the data to listed contacts on the phone. That has to be done manually, which is a boring job.

Another attention-grabbing feature is the KIN SPOT where you can share content with multiple contacts by just a drag and drop feature. The KIN SPOT is a green sphere at the bottom of the screen, which you have to drag and drop the content and then select a mass collection of contacts with whom you want to share the information. Adding contacts is similar to compiling the content. The possibilities with KIN SPOT are fruitful as you can share a simple message, a Facebook comment or a web page. It is not just an interesting concept in theory but also works remarkably in practice.

Last but not the least; the KIN STUDIO completes this impressive bundle of joy. At no additional cost, it backs up messages, pictures, multimedia files and contacts to a secure server. A Window Live ID will provide access to the Studio site where you will find your data and recent activities on the Loop screen. The Timeline feature is not to be forgotten where you can view all the photos, messages, and contacts within a chosen period, in a single view.

There is one more interesting facet to this phone, a fully integrated Zune HD media player and the first in any Windows phone. It is a good update from the Windows Media player available on the previous Windows OS. You could jive all night long with such great music playing in the background on Zune. The latest songs are a click away with Zune, pass through the endless choices and stream songs on 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Connectivity (/10)

The KIN ONE is a quad band phone with support provided by both 3G and Wi-Fi. In this phone, connectivity speed is very important as the Microsoft corners the KIN series within the social networking circle. Mercifully, web pages load swiftly, with the largest of sites not taking more than 30 seconds. Microsoft provides the regulars as well with a USB port for the transfer of files, Stereo Bluetooth, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack for the radio.

Performance (/10)

Microsoft has installed a 5-megapixel camera in the KIN ONE, a sufficiently good resolution for a cell phone. Yet it fails to deliver, offering faded photos and foggy videos. The camera key placement adds to its woes, as it is in a hard position for the handset to get a sharp and clear picture.

The call quality is respectable with no background noises or voice distortions on the end. However, it is not the same with the speakerphone. Voices are unclear especially when background noises fill the scene. Tuning up the volume does not provide any assistance either. One appreciates the battery life of the KIN ONE. After fully utilizing most of the phone’s functions, the KIN gives a good performance.

Value for Money (/10)

Microsoft has circled the KIN series of phones within the boundaries of social networking that work fabulously. The design of the phone is also unique and its hardware is suitable to operate within a given framework. Despite this, Verizon’s pre-paid plans play spoilsport, as there are only a few 20-somethings who can afford the pricing. It would be better if Microsoft + Verizon re-thought its pricing plans.

Pros

  • Good integration of social networking sites
  • Includes an excellent Zune multimedia experience
  • Back-up of data available on KIN STUDIO
  • Includes both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Good QWERTY keyboard
  • Excellent battery life

 

Cons

  • Placement of camera key
  • Small screen
  • Can't reply to Twitter posts
  • Poor speakerphone
  • Poor photo quality

 

Price

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Opinions

Microsoft KIN ONE: I Will be glard if iam amoun
2/27/2014 @ 7:03 PM
by 08026409558

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Rating

Style: 6.5
130
Technology: 7.1
141
Efficiency: 7.0
139

Total votes: 312 | Hits: 7504

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