CNET First Look
Kin One and Kin TwoWhen Microsoft announced the Kin One and Two in April, a lot of folks wondered about their appeal and place in the crowded smartphone space. Well, CNET finally get the social networking phones in for review so check our First Look video for the answer.
>>Hey everyone, I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com and today I've got your first look at the Kin One and the Kin Two. These Verizon bound phones were introduced by Microsoft in April and unlike Windows Phone 7, which is designed for a very broad audience, the Kin devices are in into the very specific group. The group of people who are constantly on their social networking sites checking out whatever one else is up to and also updating their own status and whereabouts and both these phones are centered around that social experience. Obviously, the Kin One and Kin Two offer two different looks which I'll talk about a bit later but they are a lot more like than different. First off, they both offer the same user interface which consists of three home screens. The left most screen shows all the phones different apps such as e-mail, browser, music and video; meanwhile, the right pane is where you can add all your favorite contacts. The center pane is called the Loop screen and it's where all the action happens. You can sync both your phones with Facebook, MySpace and Twitter accounts and when you've done all that, the Kin will pull all your contacts, status updates, latest picture uploads and tweets to this Loop screen. But the Kins aren't just about seeing what other people are doing, it's also about sharing. Both devices have this Spot feature which is this little green dot that stays at the bottom of the screen. If there's a story or status or even a webpage or map you want to share with family and friends, you can simply do a long press and then drag it down to the spot, then you navigate to your contacts page and drag and drop everyone you want to share it with and then send that via Text/MMS or e-mail. There's more to the Kin One and Two than just social networking, though, these will be the first phones to ship with Zune support including Zune Pass so you'll be able to stream music over Verizon's 3G network. And the Kin One offers 4GB of internal storage while the Kin Two offers 8GB but neither have expansion slots. The phones also don't have any gaming capabilities or a calendar app which is kind of baffling to me. One other difference between the two models is that the Kin One has 5-megapixel camera while the Kin Two has a 8-megapixel camera and can also shoot HD video. Obviously, they differ in design too; the Kin One is more interesting of the two with its square shape but you lose a little bit in the screen and keyboard size since it's smaller. Meanwhile, the Kin Two has a more traditional design but has the advantage of a higher resolution screen and more spacious keyboard. The Microsoft Kin One and Two will be available for preorder starting May 6th and will be delivered within 48 hours and will be in all stores starting May 13th. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Kin One and Kin Two.