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First Look: The Kin One and Kin Two

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First Look: The Kin One and Kin Two

3:13 /

The Kin One and Kin Two are new Windows Phones that center on social networking. See the Verizon handsets in action at their launch event in San Francisco.

[ Background music ] >> Kent German: Hi I'm Kent German Senior Editor here at CNET.com. I'm here at a Microsoft event in San Francisco to show you two new phones the company is debuting. These are the Kin phones. Now these phones are based all around social media and the whole idea behind that is you're sharing everything that's going on in your life, any kind of your status updates. It's very into social media, Facebook, Twitter. These devices are really designed for people who are really into those things and text a lot, email a lot, so it's what I want to show you. So the first one is the Kin 1, that's the one I have right here, that's the smaller one. Sort of a round design. It is interesting. I've never seen a design quite like this. We were expecting this sort of to be a follow up to the Side Kick and it's basically what it is. Over here we have the Kin 2. It's just more spacious key board, little higher end features. The Kin 1 has a 5 megapixel camera; the Kin 2 has a megapixel. Kin 2 also has more internal memory, so just a little higher end. Both phones are Verizon and both phones are made by Sharp so of course Microsoft doesn't make hardware, but what they did make is they put everything that went on board. So what I want to show you is a couple things about Kin and the experience will be basically the same on both phones you just have a larger screen on one than you do on the other. First is the Kin Loop. What Loop does it's a little similar to maybe what we saw with Motoblur, it just gives you quick updates on everyone that's going on, it's a totally different layout. So you can see there are almost tiles of people's faces, you can see what their status update is, you can respond to them if you want to do that, you take one, you hold down and you drag it down here to this green spot. What this is is this is called the Kin Spot. Drag things down there and then it allows you to reply to them, it allows you to put your own update, just interacts with them. You swipe over like that you can see this is your favorites menu. These are also your favorite contacts but it's a different list than that Kin Loop so this is just a way to contact people, if you want to call someone, you want to initiate a text message. That's where you'd go from this screen. You swipe one more time and you go to almost the main menu, sort of a tile interface, very graphic, very visual, there's not just a list of features. It's really a design so make it kind of big in your face. Both phones do have full physical keyboards. One is just a lot bigger than the other. They felt pretty comfortable. The keys are slightly raised above the surface of the phone so it felt pretty tactile; it felt like you could type on them mostly easy. Also the displays on both phones; pretty colorful, pretty bright, pretty vibrant. Course this one, the Kin 2 does have a lot bigger screen, but the thing about the Kin 1 it is a lot more compact, it slips easily in the pocket, great for carrying around in a bag, so if you don't care about size, certainly the Kin 1 could be for you. Just remember it doesn't have quite as sharp features, lower resolution camera and not as much memory as well. Last hardware feature I want to show you on both is the home button, that's these controls just down below. Whatever screen you're in you can press that, it'll take you back to this main screen, course it is the main screen with the settings, with the loop and then with your favorites. Last important thing about these phones is their media plays are powered by Zune. [ Background music ] Now we've heard a lot about a Zune phone. We thought it would look like the Zune player just with the phone attached, this is actually what this is, also called Project Pink for a long time. Basically it's a media player on the phone it is powered by Zune but we wouldn't really call it a Zune phone. Again these phones are all about social media, about interacting, about sharing like Microsoft said. I'm Kent German with CNET.com with the Kin 1 and the Kin 2.

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