Welcome to the social. That was the slogan Microsoft used when they first introduced their Zune MP3 players a few years ago, but maybe they should have saved it for their new line of social networking phones instead. Introducing the Kin One and Kin Two, two phones developed by the now Microsoft owned Danger and their longtime hardware collaborator, Sharp (both are responsible for the Sidekick line of phones). The two Kins are sort of like the Mario Brothers of cell phones. Kin One features a curved, square slider design, 2.1 inch QVGA capacitive touch screen, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, 4GB of on board storage, and a full QWERTY slide out keyboard. Kin Two, on the other hand, has a more traditional landscape form factor, a large 3.5 inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen display, an 8 megapixel camera and 8GB of internal storage. Even if you were to run out of the included storage, though, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Every picture and video you take is uploaded to a far off server for safe keeping (theoretically until the end of time), And because things are off floating in the cloud, they can be accessed from any computer as well Both phones also get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G capabilities.
Under the hood both phones are running the hella snazzy new Windows Phone 7, although it’s been modified to give the Kins a flavor of their own. There are two services unique to the Kin phones: Loop and Spot. The Loop acts as the home screen and allows you to keep tabs on your various social networking feeds so you can…you know…stay in the loop (clever, Microsoft, clever). The Spot is exactly what it’s name implies, a dot at the bottom of the screen where you can drag virtually anything you find interesting to send off to your peeps via sms, mms, email, Facebook, or whatever. For music and movies, both phones will happily sync with your Zune account and, shockingly enough, iTunes (although only for those illegal music downloads you’ve got stored there).
Verizon will be getting the Kin family in May while our uppity neighbors over in Europe can snag theirs on Vodaphone in the fall.
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