Today Microsoft held its mystery event, ‘It’s Time To Share’. It was there they announced two phones under the codename “pink” project, now called The Kin One and The Kin Two. It’s basically the Sidekick reborn as the Kin, which is being built by Sharp, and distributed by partners Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. Two seemingly new phones, but with features we’ve seen in other phones recently. This isn’t a knock on Microsoft, they are doing what they think they have to do to get back into the mobile platform game. But at first glance the new Kin phones look like Motorola’s MotoBLUR interface, that is found on a few of their Android powered phones. The new Kin phones are loaded with social-networking features they will appeal to social networking hungry teens and young adults. Loaded with features the phones are meant to be affordable to parents and other that don’t want to shell out big bucks for a fully loaded smartphone.
Microsoft has heavily integrated the Zune service, which looks just like the ZuneHD. Microsoft’s new homescreen is called Loop, which is the users social networking feed. Like I said they took a page from Mototrola. Next at the bottom of the homescreen, is where the user can drag content, pics, or whatever into something called the Spot. The Spot is the place where the user shares the content with his or hers circle of friends. The cool thing about this is all the users content can be synced and saved on a new webpage service called Kin Studio. There is shows the users timeline of events and media that has been uploaded. Personally I like the layout they created for this.
The Kin One features a QVGA 320 x 240 touchscreen display, 4GB built-in memory, a full sliding keyboard, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, 5-megapixel camera with flash and video recording capabilities. It is the smaller of the two models. The Kin Two features a HVGA 480 x 320 touchscreen display with multitouch, 8GB of built-in storage, sliding full QWERTY keyboard, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, and a 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording. Now both phones are powered by Nvidia Tegra chipset, but will not support any Zune Gaming. There isn’t much information about the phones web browsing capabilities, like if will have Flash or not. We we just have to wait for some reviews.
So far I am seeing more negatives than positives for the new Kin phones. They tried to build this specifically for a 15 year old, who lives on Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. “Their social life is their Priority No. 1,” said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division, who did most of the presentation. It really depends on the price, with the Kin Two looking like the all-star of the bunch. The Kin One and Two will be released by Verizon exclusively in May, and Vodafone in Europe in the fall. You can check out Microsoft’s interactive website for more info on the Kin. [via Kin.com]