Review: Microsoft Kin One and Two
The Kin One and Kin Two are the first phones that I can think of that don't allow users to make a phone call from the home screen. The main home screen has no phone-related apps, but a social networking poster board of info instead. Want to make a phone call? You have to swipe to the left first, to get at the phone tools. Adding extra steps to get to the phone is not a good plan in my book. What happens in an emergency and someone unfamiliar with the device needs to make a phone call? They'll have no idea how to do it. That's dangerous.
Once you figure out how to swipe to the main menu, press the big picture of a phone, and you'll be taken to the software dial pad. Once there, dial numbers as normal. If you want to see recent calls, swipe to the right (from the dialer screen). Calls are listed there, and offer options such as dialing missed calls, sending text messages, checking voicemail, etc.
Enter confusion. There's a little software button in the bottom left corner of the screen. It is marked "Recent." This does not mean recent calls. It means recently used apps. It brings up an app switcher that looks very much the same as the one found in Android. It took me all day to stop pressing this button when I wanted to see my recent calls list. Renaming this button would help a lot.
AD article continues below...
The dial pad is for dummies who don't have any real friends. The Kin One and Two are all about social networks, didn't you know? That means Microsoft expects you to have friends. Hence the contacts app, which is much better for making phone calls.
Kin can pull in all the contacts you have stored in various online accounts, including Facebook, MySpace, Gmail, Exchange, etc. That's no problem at all. A few simple steps during set-up and you're good to go. Microsoft expects you to populate the "Favorites" page (which is the third home screen) with all your, er, favorite people. The screen can hold up to 51 faves for the show-offs in the crowd. (Seriously, if 51 people are your "fave" you have problems.)
Interacting with the faves isn't half bad. Press on the little picture of the fave — and a pop-up menu appears. The menu lets you call the contact, text the contact, email the contact or jump in and see all the contact's info. Tools like this are great, especially when you want to contact the same people regularly.
Both Kins can handle a nearly unlimited number of contacts, and the data that can be deposited into each contact includes multiple phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Review: Microsoft Lumia 735 for Verizon Wireless
This mid-range Windows Phone is a solid addition to Verizon's smartphone lineup. It boasts a 4.7-inch screen, 6.7-megapixel camera, and quad-core Snapdragon processor.
Latest Windows 10 Preview from Microsoft Fixes Bugs
Microsoft today released another technical preview of Windows 10 Mobile. Rather than stuff the release with new features, Microsoft said it focused on cleaning up bugs and improving performance.
Microsoft Downsizes, Kills off Nokia X
Microsoft today announced a sweeping company-wide re-organization that includes major changes to the mobile device business acquired from Nokia. Of Microsoft's 18,000 layoffs today, 12,500 are within the former Nokia units.
Windows 10 Won't Reach Phones Until the Fall
Microsoft has shied away from saying exactly when Windows 10 will launch other than to say "this summer." Speaking at Microsoft's Build developer conference this week, executive Joe Belfiore said the phone-specific version of Windows 10 won't arrive until after Windows 10 launches for PCs and tablets. "Our phone builds have not been as far as long as our PC builds," said Belfiore.
Microsoft Delivers New Preview of Windows 10 for Phones
Microsoft today released build 10080 of the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones. The updated operating system adds a number of features and resolves a wide number of known bugs.
Sharp Kin One
2.6" display 320 x 240 pixels
Tegra APX2600 processor 0 GB RAM
1,240 mAh battery
Text Keyboard, Hardware, Headphone Jack (3.5mm)