Review: Microsoft Kin One and Two
As you may have figured out at this point, the Kin is all about sharing - and that includes via normal channels such as text, email and picture messages.
Kin is all about social networking, and the emphasis there is obvious. Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are all incorporated into the Kin home screen experience. But beauty is only skin deep. Sure, you can see friends' status updates, update your own, and comment on Facebook and Twitter posts, but that's it. No retweeting, no direct messages to Twitter friends. This is just bare-bones social network integration, not full Facebook and Twitter clients. You can't access your own profile, can't accept/search for friends, can't access your chats or Facebook messages, events, etc. You can't interact with your social networking sites in the way you are used to at all. Smartphone platforms, such as BlackBerry, Android, and iPhone, all offer much, much richer Facebook and Twitter experiences. The skin-deep nature of Kin leaves me sorely, bitterly disappointed, and seriously scratching my head. It's hard to understand how a phone so laser-focused on social networking offers a list of social networking features that are years behind the competition, and almost worst-in-class. If you want the full Facebook and/or Twitter experience, look elsewhere.
Text messaging and picture messaging are handled just fine. Microsoft had the good sense to thread everything together, so texts and picture messages all appear in one long stream for any given contact. I think the client is a little clunky, but you get used to it after a few messages.
Email is actually pretty decent. Kin supports most of the major POP3/IMAP4 types, including Gmail, Hotmail, and of course Exchange. Setting up the accounts takes but a few steps, and email can be retrieved at regular intervals. The email software isn't the best I've used, but I suppose I should cut Kin some slack seeing as it isn't a true smartphone platform. It does let you attach pictures.
The Kin don't support any IM clients. Seriously. Not even Windows Live Messenger. Not Facebook chat, nothing.
|Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.|