Microsoft Kin phone targets connected teens

13 Apr 2010

Two brand new smart phones designed especially for the power social networker – Kin One and Two – have been unveiled by Microsoft.

The Kin smart phone has social networking baked into the functionality of the phone itself with the homescreen – dubbed Kin Loop – constantly updating and pushing live information from the user’s social web services, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

The two versions of the phone have both touch interface and a slide-out QWERTY keypad. One is small, compact and square in shape while the second is larger with a bigger keyboard and an 8-megapixel camera as opposed to the former’s 5-megapixel model, plus it has the ability to record high-definition video.

The Kin will be available from Verizon Wireless in the US beginning in May and is coming to Vodafone in the autumn to Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, making it the first-ever Zune device to ship outside the US.

It is in fact the first Windows Phone to feature a Zune experience and this includes music, video, FM radio and podcast playback. Users can get the Zune Pass subscription and use it with their Zune PC software.

Another unique feature is Kin Studio – a storage in the cloud service exclusively for the handset: photos and videos are presented in an online visual timeline so they are easy to view and share and text messages, phone-call history, photos, video and contacts are automatically backed up online and populate a personalised digital journal.

“Working closely with our partners, we saw an opportunity to design a mobile experience just for this social generation — a phone that makes it easy to share your life moment to moment,” said Robbie Bach, president of the entertainment and devices division at Microsoft.

“We built Kin for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. Kin is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most.”

By Marie Boran

Photo: Microsoft’s Kin One and Two