Kin One

Kin Two
Kin phones are priced like smartphones but lack smart features

Rumblings about Microsoft's new mobile phones started a while back when what was first dubbed "Project Pink" was unveiled as the Kin One and Kin Two handsets.

Both of the Kin devices are now available on the Verizon network. Microsoft claims the devices blend phone, online services, and the PC experience into one device. Both Kin handsets have slide-out QWERTY keyboards and touch screens. The Kin devices are designed for easy social networking and other features. The Kin One has a 5-megapixel camera and the Kin Two has an 8-megapixel camera that can shoot HD video in low light and post that video online with a single touch.

The Kin devices are also the first Windows Phones to offer a Zune experience with music, video, FM Tuners, and Zune Pass subscription capability. Bing offers local and web search on the devices and they support all popular email services. The Kin One will sell for $49.99 and the Ken Two sells for $99.99. Both of those prices are after a new contract and a $100 mail-in rebate.

Engadget went hands on with both of the devices for a review and found the camera was better on paper than the real world. Engadget wrote, "Once we could get the phones to snap a picture, the results were mixed at best. With the flash on or set to auto, the pictures ended up almost universally blown out, sometimes just revealing themselves on review as a white blur."

In the end 
Engadget says, "If a great price could cancel out the faults of these phones (which it can't) -- Microsoft and Verizon have failed there as well. The One and Two are being offered for $49.99 and $99.99 respectively after a $100 mail-in rebate... and they must be coupled with a standard Verizon smartphone plan, which clocks in at $29.99 a month."

Gizmodo also reviewed the devices and liked them a bit more, but still thinks they are overpriced putting them in the same realm as a smartphone without the smart capabilities. Gizmodo wrote, "This bizarre pricing will make potential Kin buyers' minds jump from messaging phones, which the Kin compares favorably to, to thoughts of smartphones, with app stores and full mapping and real browsers... The stuff that you might not consider if you were considering a phone like the Kin in the first place—overkill!—but which Verizon has made you consider by not giving these handsets the pricing they deserve, instead opting to pit them against monstrous foes, endangering the Kin concept, and slowing our inevitable progress toward cloud services like Studio."

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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