Microsoft Kin: What's cool, what's lame

Microsoft's Kin is aimed at young adults. So here is a look at whether the phone will be fly, ill, or just janky

If Microsoft's Kin phones are supposed be for a younger audience, then we're busting out the antiquated lingo to judge what's cool and lame about the not-quite-smartphone. The main feature of these social phones is the way they stream updates and messages from friends, but there's more to watch for beyond that central concept. Here are some key points to help decide whether you're truly stoked for the Kin. Dude:

Cool: The Cameras

At 5 megapixels in the Kin One and 8 megapixels in the Kin Two, the phones' cameras can go toe-to-toe with any smartphone. And they've both got flash, so you won't have any trouble snapping photos at the bar -- or school dance, if the target demographic indeed skews lower.

Lame: No Web Video

Apparently, Microsoft's vision of social networking doesn't involve YouTube, as Gizmodo reports that the phones can't play Web video. You can, at least, share photos and video on MySpace, Facebook and Windows Live.

Cool: Little Flourishes

A phone like this has to be fun to use, so it's good that Kin's operating system is filled with boxes that slide, fade and zoom, and the operation stays fairly smooth throughout.

Lame: Little Omissions

As my colleague Ginny Mies noted in her Kin coverage, the phones have no calendar, no ability to upload photos and video to Twitter and no universal e-mail inbox. None of these things sound like dealbreakers on their own, but they add up to a less attractive package.

Cool: The Search Button

When Windows Phone 7 arrives later this year, devices will be required to have three buttons, and one of them is "Search." I'm glad to see this feature on Kin phones, where pressing the search button lets users find contacts, Web links and nearby points of interest.

Lame: What We Don't Know

Namely, price and release date, but more specifically, what sort of data plan will be required with the device.

Cool and Lame: Kin Server

Loading all your photos and videos onto a server is great because you don't have to worry about storage space. Unless that server fails and everything you stored in the cloud disappears.Don't laugh, it happened with Microsoft and the T-Mobile Sidekick last year. I doubt Microsoft would let the same thing happen again, but I hope there's a way to back up important stuff just in case.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile phonesmicrosoft kin

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?