I think these guys hit the nail on the head
When we first saw the Kin phones, the editors at Engadget (and lots of other folks in the industry) said that price would be the big question when it came to these phones. If they really were destined for the hands of tweens and teens, then they would have to be offered at a price that was attractive to their parents, which means something decidedly below the standard smartphone deal: a device for $100 or $200, plus a pricey data plan. There seemed to be a general sentiment that if Verizon and Microsoft could partner on something that hit a lower price point for the devices coupled with a bargain-rate data package, they just might have a foot in the door, despite the obvious limitations of the device.
Even if that were true -- if a great price could cancel out the faults of these phones (which it can't) -- Microsoft and Verizon have failed there as well. The One and Two are being offered for $49.99 and $99.99 respectively after a $100 mail-in rebate... and they must be coupled with a standard Verizon smartphone plan, which clocks in at $29.99 a month. We were frankly shocked when we heard the pricing schemes (you also need a voice plan, of course, which will set you back another $39.99 monthly). To offer what is clearly so much less than a smartphone with a smartphone data plan is insulting to consumers, and doubly insulting considering who it looks like these phones are aimed at. If you're going to shell out this kind of money each month, it would be foolish to even consider these devices given the much, much better options out there. Even counting out the iPhone or similar devices on other carriers (many of which are rather attractive), just take a look at the offerings on Verizon right now. You could get a Pre Plus -- an immeasurably better phone with much of the social networking integration of the Kin devices -- for $29 coupled with a smartphone and voice plan. Or you could spend a little more upfront and get a BlackBerry Tour 9630, Droid, Incredible, or Droid Eris -- all much, much better phones with excellent social networking options. The list really goes on -- and again, if you were a teenager or young adult with all of these great options laid out before you, the idea of choosing this severely limited device which doesn't do a single thing better than even the most basic Android device is kind of crazy. Microsoft has hinted that it wants to shake up the text-centric featurephone market with Kin, but guess what? You categorically cannot even fathom to do that when you're charging for smartphone data. It's insulting to suggest otherwise.
And that about sums it up -- there are much better choices for much less money on the market, and Microsoft hasn't demonstrated to us why you would choose this phone over those. You could argue that the 720p video recording is a hook, but our results weren't that outstanding, and we don't know anyone who needs HD video on a phone so desperately that they're willing to overlook all of these faults. In the end, we're left with two orphan devices -- phones that feel like they should have been killed before they made it to market, but somehow slipped through. It's clear to us from conversations we've had with Microsoft that there are people at the company with good ideas about what phones should and shouldn't do, but we don't feel the Kin is representative of those ideas. The execution (or lack thereof) on these products makes us legitimately concerned about what the company will do with Windows Phone 7. We can only hope that the similarities between those devices and the Kin handsets don't stretch much further than the "Windows Phone" label, because in our estimation, Kin is one side of the family that needs to be disowned... quickly.
Kin one and two are definitely an unique introduction to the cellular word. The Kin offers a new mobile experience for users between ages 16-30 that heavily rely on staying connected to social networking sites and sharing media all in one application. Yes, you could get a Android or Smartphone and spend time on the market searching for multiple applications to download to do one job, that the Kin is built to do.
Kin service syncs information with both your phone and Studio. All synced data is stored on the Kin Service using secure Microsoft servers. You can access your information on your Kin or on any computer. The Kin Service saves Settings, Themes, Sounds, Date & Time, Location Services, Messages, Camera, Feeds, Social Networking Site data, and Contacts. The actual content of what you sent in text message is saved in the Studio, in a time line format.
The Social Media user interface is one of a kind. A user can update their status on all major Social Media sites in one click. They can send text, picture, and video and select recipient contacts all in a couple swipes of their finger. Also, they can choose who status updates show on their loop screen.
I do understand how the data package could cause second thoughts about getting a Kin, especially when it comes to teens. Like any 3G Phone, the 3G network is a always on data network. The basic concept of it all, is to always keep users connected while on the go without needing a laptop. Our data plan allows an Unlimited data connection. No worries about how much data being used or how much data being used by a teen to avoid overages.
Any customer that needs a good Social Media device, the Kin would be the way to go.
So the KIN can do the job of multiple applications on the android/blackberry/windows phone 7. You get a bad browser and lose access to all the other applications? Droid does remember? I agree that KIN is easy to use but you are going to lose a great deal of versatility and for what? Look at the community surrounding the android and even Palm and all the great applications that surround those platforms.
If verizon finds a way to get the cost of data down for the Kin to some of it's feature phone brothers then go ahead and go for it but the cost of the device shouldn't be the primary concern. Verizon is practically giving away Pre's and when you are looking at spending ($30/month x 24 months) $720 on data if you can stomach that price for data then don't hamper yourself with a feature phone, get a smart phone, one that does everything.
I will use my droid eris as an example, a great phone but running an older version of the android software, newer phones can do even more (Moto Droid or HTC incredible)
Droid eris comes with built in social networking. Facebook, Twitter and Flickr updates automatically come straight to your phone. Zero time spent on the market. Just put in your information and go. Android syncs your information to your Google account. All synced data is store on Google's secure servers. You can access your information on your phone or any computer. Google will back up your contacts and you can edit those online and they will be updated on your phone. You can use flickr and/or picasa to upload pictures and access them from anywhere. With Facebook and twitter applications you can upload your pictures directly to those sites. Of course you still have the ability to send pictures directly to your friends as a picture message or email.
I agree that the user interface is slick. If you like the way the phone looks then wait for windows phone 7 to be release later this year, perhaps this summer. You know what else has a slick user interface? The Apple iPhone.
Android does everything the Kin can do and does it on faster hardware but don't limit yourself to just the social aspects of what a phone can do. Check out some of the neat apps available on the droid:
I think what everyone is missing even the Engadget review, is the fact that this phone has a specific target audience. I'm a tech person myself and everyone’s points are valid but when looking at this phone, I feel that it needs to be based on the target audience’s point of view. It's not meant to compete with the IPhone or Google phone, that’s what the Windows 7 Phones are meant for, the Kin is meant to compete with feature phones. So I will use my daughter as an example, as she is part of that target audience: She does not care about all the apps's that's available for the iPhone nor the Google phones, she just wants internet access, to be able to keep in touch with her friend’s via Facebook "she doesn't use tweeter", texting is huge for her, music, camera "she loves to be able to take pictures with her phone because she does not always have her camera handy" and email access. She could care less about calendar, that's something that I would care about so for me this phone would not meet my needs but again this phone is not targeted for me. I pick up this phone yesterday for my daughter and she actually moved away from a droid to this phone and she absolutely loves it so far “day 2 into the phone”. She loves how easy it is for her to stay in touch with her friends on Facebook, she really loves the Zune integration “the ability for her to play songs directly from the Marketplace blew her mind, she cannot stop playing Justin Barber L” . My daughter also loves the Studio, she can take a picture with her camera and have access to all her information when she’s on her computer without having to do anything, such as send it to herself via email. She stated to me that the Droid was just too much for her to deal with, she had no use for all what it did. So for her this phone hit the mark.
Now for me “as a parent, I wish we had a cheaper data plan and in my mind I think like the Engadet reviewer…. If I’m going to spend the same amount as I would for a smartphone then why not get a smartphone. If I think like my daughter, why bother with all that when I’m simply not going to use it, give me something that I will use and make my life a little easier.