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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Unboxing the Kin Two

Reading about itself

A Web-eye view of the phone

On the grid

Back on the bus

Zune built-in

Taking the Kin Two from its unique round packaging, I was excited to get my hands on the thing and put it through its paces.

Although it was fun at times, it also proved quirky, and not always in a good way.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Among the first photos I took with the Kin was this shot of my initial blog on using the Microsoft phone, which goes on sale May 13 (May 6 online) and is exclusive to Verizon Wireless. The lower-end, squarish Kin One sells for $49 after rebate, while the Kin Two I tried out sells for $99 after rebate.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
The Kin Studio is one of the coolest features of the Kin, allowing one to see all of their photos, text messages and call logs from the Web in a timeline view.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
The geotagging feature, when enabled, allows one to view all of their photos on a map, as seen here.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
The Kin Studio also provides a nice view for looking at individual shots, such as this image taken from the crowded Mission bus on my way to work on Wednesday.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
Another selling point for the Kin is its built in Zune player which lets one listen to music or videos they have bought from the Zune Marketplace. An added feature, only on the Kin, is the ability to listen to music not on their device but streamed over the 3G cellular network.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
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