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KIN Two M Review Update
KinUser
Member

UPDATE:

When I went to the original thread today, I saw that it had kind of become a gripe thread against Verizon. All of that aside, I wanted to give an update on how the KIN is working for me after 2 or 3 weeks. I posted this exact write up on that thread but then thought that a lot of folks might not get past all of the other stuff. So I started a new thread too.

My first comment is : It's a free ZUNE player! That's my number 1 comment. I love it. I watch videos on it. I listen to audio books, podcasts and of course music. It's awesome and it was free!

Also, it's a pretty cool camera. I like the way you can zoom in and out with 2 fingers. Quality-wise, well, it's a cell phone after all. Pretty good but I have a good camera for when I need better. But I always have this one on me.

I really like it's ability to go on the web. On a device this small, it's mostly a time filler. Like if I'm waiting somewhere I might log on to the local network and check out the news or something. I did some ordering via Amazon and could check the status. I also followed my fantasy football team from time to time. The best results come from sites that have mobil pages.

And I can check my email. Although it doesn't like emails that include images. And I have yet to find an attachment that it will open. But I haven't been trying that hard. I have my laptop with me most of the time.

And as to the phone: it is not the most intuitive phone. Answering involves unlocking it. That works ok. But hanging up is a little strange if you try to do something before you actually hang up. You have to go back into the phone app and press End Call. So, REMEMBER! Press End Call before you do anything else. I like the dialer. The Favorite Contacts is pretty good because you get a direct link to it from the main screen. But looking up contacts is not the most straight forward. Mostly just a learning curve thing.

Text messaging: This phone is not good for text messaging for a couple reasons. First, I don't like the way you have to go to the contacts list to find the person you want to message to and then to choose to call or text them. With a normal phone you go to messaging and then add the person or a number. Seem more intuitive to me. But maybe that's 'cause I've been doing it that way for so many years. I'll be patient on this one. The fact that you can't erase a single text message without erasing ALL texts from that person might be annoying. I'm still undecided about this. Normal phones have a memory limit for texts. This one probably does too but with 8GB on board it's got to be A TON of texts so why erase? I dunno. I guess I haven't made up my mind about this yet.

But another reason I don't love texting on this phone, and it's a general complaint, this phone is ergonomically one of the worst devices I've ever used. It is hard to hold, hard to open and hard to close. The sides slope inwards giving your fingers little to no purchase. Weird! Did anyone at Verizon/ Microsoft actually try using this phone before they produced it?! It's not a deal breaker but it's a poor design. Too bad we can't find out the engineer's name so we could avoid his designs in the future. 

Settings: classic Microsoft! You have one menu for volume and one menu for sounds on and off. Way too complicated for a simple function. 

I could go on and on about lots of little details. After all, this is a pretty versatile device that spends most of it's time in my pocket. People have a relationship with their cellphones. 

But after all is said and done, if I could change one thing and one thing only it would be the RECENT tab. This should be a HOME tab that gets you back to the main screen. A RECENT function saves you ZERO keystrokes! ZERO! As a matter of fact, it creates keystrokes because if you check to see if a function was recent and it WASN'T then you have to keep hitting the back key to get to the main menu. It would add at least 2 keystrokes. This was not well thought out. If the firmware ever was to be upgraded (my money says it won't EVER be upgraded) this is what I would change first.

So, overall, I like the phone. I don't make a lot of phone calls on my phone. Even if I did, the KIN works ok. As a texter, it's pretty well below average. Usable but far from ideal. But as a device to have in your pocket that does lots of different things, even if it doesn't do some of them very well... I'd do it again. I can't help but like this phone. I'm keeping it!

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
KeepOnSingin
Member

 


KinUser wrote:

UPDATE:

When I went to the original thread today, I saw that it had kind of become a gripe thread against Verizon. All of that aside, I wanted to give an update on how the KIN is working for me after 2 or 3 weeks. I posted this exact write up on that thread but then thought that a lot of folks might not get past all of the other stuff. So I started a new thread too.

My first comment is : It's a free ZUNE player! That's my number 1 comment. I love it. I watch videos on it. I listen to audio books, podcasts and of course music. It's awesome and it was free!

Also, it's a pretty cool camera. I like the way you can zoom in and out with 2 fingers. Quality-wise, well, it's a cell phone after all. Pretty good but I have a good camera for when I need better. But I always have this one on me.

I really like it's ability to go on the web. On a device this small, it's mostly a time filler. Like if I'm waiting somewhere I might log on to the local network and check out the news or something. I did some ordering via Amazon and could check the status. I also followed my fantasy football team from time to time. The best results come from sites that have mobil pages.

And I can check my email. Although it doesn't like emails that include images. And I have yet to find an attachment that it will open. But I haven't been trying that hard. I have my laptop with me most of the time.

And as to the phone: it is not the most intuitive phone. Answering involves unlocking it. That works ok. But hanging up is a little strange if you try to do something before you actually hang up. You have to go back into the phone app and press End Call. So, REMEMBER! Press End Call before you do anything else. I like the dialer. The Favorite Contacts is pretty good because you get a direct link to it from the main screen. But looking up contacts is not the most straight forward. Mostly just a learning curve thing.

Text messaging: This phone is not good for text messaging for a couple reasons. First, I don't like the way you have to go to the contacts list to find the person you want to message to and then to choose to call or text them. With a normal phone you go to messaging and then add the person or a number. Seem more intuitive to me. But maybe that's 'cause I've been doing it that way for so many years. I'll be patient on this one. The fact that you can't erase a single text message without erasing ALL texts from that person might be annoying. I'm still undecided about this. Normal phones have a memory limit for texts. This one probably does too but with 8GB on board it's got to be A TON of texts so why erase? I dunno. I guess I haven't made up my mind about this yet.

But another reason I don't love texting on this phone, and it's a general complaint, this phone is ergonomically one of the worst devices I've ever used. It is hard to hold, hard to open and hard to close. The sides slope inwards giving your fingers little to no purchase. Weird! Did anyone at Verizon/ Microsoft actually try using this phone before they produced it?! It's not a deal breaker but it's a poor design. Too bad we can't find out the engineer's name so we could avoid his designs in the future. 

Settings: classic Microsoft! You have one menu for volume and one menu for sounds on and off. Way too complicated for a simple function. 

I could go on and on about lots of little details. After all, this is a pretty versatile device that spends most of it's time in my pocket. People have a relationship with their cellphones. 

But after all is said and done, if I could change one thing and one thing only it would be the RECENT tab. This should be a HOME tab that gets you back to the main screen. A RECENT function saves you ZERO keystrokes! ZERO! As a matter of fact, it creates keystrokes because if you check to see if a function was recent and it WASN'T then you have to keep hitting the back key to get to the main menu. It would add at least 2 keystrokes. This was not well thought out. If the firmware ever was to be upgraded (my money says it won't EVER be upgraded) this is what I would change first.

So, overall, I like the phone. I don't make a lot of phone calls on my phone. Even if I did, the KIN works ok. As a texter, it's pretty well below average. Usable but far from ideal. But as a device to have in your pocket that does lots of different things, even if it doesn't do some of them very well... I'd do it again. I can't help but like this phone. I'm keeping it!


 

 

The points I am addressing are bolded...

 

1) You can add people to message the normal way: Hit messages, hit new, then search your contacts and tap to add them. You don't have to search through, your contact list then decide if you want to text or call.

 

2) As a person who texts much more than she calls, I will just disagree with this completely! I think this phone is awesome to text on! I hold it with my pointer fingers hugging the sides, my other fingers curled around, and of course, my thumbs on the keyboard itself. I find it easy and comfortable....in fact, that's the exact same way I held my Alias to text! Hard to open and close? Not really! Open with both hands, and close that way, or with one hand grasping the middle of the top and bottom. No problem!

 

3) You can go to the home screen by pressing and holding the back button.

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
dstor
Member

I'm with you. Even with all of the quirky little things that we may like to change..I really am liking this phone alot. Thanks for posting your thoughts.

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
KinUser
Member

To KeepOnSingin:

Thanks! Great tips! I wish I was giving out kudos. You'd get one!

But, there's not much you can say that will convince me it fits my hands well. I don't have really big hands but size may be the difference here.

As to the texting: they did away with the pictocons (emoticons?). If you are at the HOME and you want to see who has sent you a message, how do you do that? If you hit MESSAGE it goes back to the last person you texted. Then if you hit back, it goes to the contacts list. A normal phone would show you all of your unread messages. Got a tip for that?

You have to open the phone to send any kind of return message. While I don't text while driving, I usually make some sort of response like "k" or "l8r" or " Smiley Happy " . Impossible to do with one hand with this phone. As an avid texter, I miss this feature. 

I'm glad you like the phone. I do too. But I've had lots of phones and I love to text. As a texting device this is the worst one (aside from that pos Samsung Omni) I've had. Doesn't mean I don't like the phone. I do. But it is in my opinion not the best texting phone I've had. 

Thanks again for your response. Awesome tip about holding the BACK key to get HOME. How'd I miss that?! Smiley Happy

 

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
KeepOnSingin
Member

It might be a hands thing...I've got really small hands with super skinny fingers..so the phone fits quite comfortably for me. 

 

What do you mean they did away with emoticons? There's a dedicated button to them on the keyboard! (The smiley face button by the space bar).

 

To avoid going to the last person you texted when you hit messages from the home screen, after sending a text, press back so all of your conversations show up, then go all the way back to the home screen using the press and hold technique. The next time you press messages, it will go to the main messaging screen.

 

I agree that having to open the phone to reply to a message is a bit of a pain, but it's something I can live with. 

 

I'm still interested as to exactly how the phone disappoints as a texting device, but I mean, everyone has preferences. I for one would absolutely never want a phone that is exclusively touch screen, and I would never want an LG Cosmos Touch (I think that is a horrid keyboard)...but some people are happy with both of these types!

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
KinUser
Member

They did away with the emoticons that are the little pictures. Like a picture of a smiley face instead of Smiley Happy . When other people try to send one, you get a message saying your phone is not compatible and the sender ALSO gets a message saying that the phone they are sending to is not compatible. Again, this a is not SUCH a big thing but I was trying to get across features that I like and this phone doesn't have it. That's a minus not a plus. As a texter I would rather have than to have not.

 

I had a Voyager. I also would not want a text screen only device (iPhone for example). But it was a good texting device and you could do simple basic things easily with the touch screen instead of having to open it 1 handed). It was also easier to send pictures to other people as part of a text message... or audio files.

 

Sorry, but feature for feature, the Kin is IMO not as good of a texting device when measured up head to head. I'm not saying I don't like it but I've had better. Easier to open, 4 rows of keys (less shifting for alternate characters), easier to include attachments, etc.

 

Different strokes as they say!

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
KeepOnSingin
Member

 


KinUser wrote:

They did away with the emoticons that are the little pictures. Like a picture of a smiley face instead of Smiley Happy . When other people try to send one, you get a message saying your phone is not compatible and the sender ALSO gets a message saying that the phone they are sending to is not compatible. Again, this a is not SUCH a big thing but I was trying to get across features that I like and this phone doesn't have it. That's a minus not a plus. As a texter I would rather have than to have not.

 

I had a Voyager. I also would not want a text screen only device (iPhone for example). But it was a good texting device and you could do simple basic things easily with the touch screen instead of having to open it 1 handed). It was also easier to send pictures to other people as part of a text message... or audio files.

 

Sorry, but feature for feature, the Kin is IMO not as good of a texting device when measured up head to head. I'm not saying I don't like it but I've had better. Easier to open, 4 rows of keys (less shifting for alternate characters), easier to include attachments, etc.

 

Different strokes as they say!


 

Ohh...I didn't know that the old Kins had the actual pictures. I never like using those anyway, so to me it doesn't matter.

 

I only send basic texts (usually just text and occasionally a smiley face and very rarely, pictures)...I also like the three row QWERTY keyboards with the space bar, shift etc. on the fourth row better than the four row ones. That's probably the biggest reason I love the Kin's keyboard and you don't think it's as good.

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
Pammy
Novice

Hi KinUser.  I also just switched from a Voyager to the Kin TwoM.  I find the Kin Two
fits very comfortably in my hand BUT...I don't think it's easy to slide open because of the slippery
plastics they used and no texture anywhere on the phone.  In comparison, the Cosmos Touch slides open VERY
easily because they used a nice rubberized plastic.  The solution to that though on the Kin, is a case (not
to mention the protection the case gives if you're like me and drop your phone quite often). 
I have the Body Glove case on my Kin now, and the phone super easy to open with the Body Glove case because
the case is a nice texturized material. I took the case off after using it for a few days, and the Kin felt
even more slippery and hard to open after getting used to the feel of the case. 
You might also find the case makes the phone feel better in your hands.   It wasn't well thought out
when they chose the materials for the Kin. 

 

I've had my Kin for exactly a week now, and like you KinUser,
I feel the pluses greatly outweigh the annoyances. I find it almost impossible to find a phone that
isn't lacking in in some area. For instance, I love the size of the Cosmos Touch.  It's NICE and SMALL
compared to the Kin which is kind of bulky especially with a case...BUT... my main reason for not buying the
Cosmos Touch is the keyboard. They chose light blue letters on a silver background, and you have to hold
the phone different angles under certain lights to be able to see the letters on the keys well.  Now why on earth
they chose that color combo for the keyboard is beyond me.  Also, with the Cosmos Touch, the Keys are rather crowded.
I was playing with it in the Verizon store, and I was constantly mistyping words, which I rarely do on the Kin. 
The Kins keyboard is easy to read, with nicely spaced out keys that are easy to hit without accidentally hitting the
key next to the one you want.  I also love that they put such a nice big space bar, like on a real computer keyboard. 
The only think they could have done better with the keyboard on the Kin, is to add a 4th row for numbers instead
of having to use the function key, but then that would have made the phone larger or they would have had to crowd the
keys. Guess you can't have it all. You don't realize how often you use numbers until you have to use the
function key.  But I find that a minor annoyance, and it's something I'm getting used to.  I do like the emoticon
key.  I do know that the touch screen on my Voyager became useless after the phone aged, so I don't care that
I can't type on the front of the Kin.  I HATED trying to type on the front of my voyager.  I even hated having
to dial a phone number on the front of the Voyager.  The Kin put a nice BIG dialer on the touch screen so you don't
accidentally hit the wrong phone number when you have to manually dial a number.

 

KeepOnSingn...thanks for the tip of holding the key down to get to the home screen.  I hadn't stumbled across that
yet and haven't read the entire 100+ page manual.   I was wishing for a way to go all the way back to the home screen.

 

As for some other things I love about the Kin..   Some people do not like the home screen on this phone and say
it's messy and cluttered.  I LOVE how you don't have to go through several menus to get to something like in a lot of
phones including the voyager.  Almost everything is accessible from the home screen. And yes, all of the
"Apps" are on the home screen with no spaces between anything, but I like it like that because you have a much larger
area for your finger when opening an app. And they chose icons that are easy to recognize, which isn't the case
on all phones.   I have to say my favorite unexpected feature is the "favorites" contacts page
and how you can put photos of the people you text and call most.   Instead of hunting for a name, it's so easy to choose
the contact when you see their photo on the page, and I love how their photo pops up with a bubble when they text you. 
Might be the kid in me, but I find it really neat. :smileyhappy:  if you're busy and you see a photo of someone pop up and you
know it can way till later, you don't even have to read the text.

I can deal with the minor annoyances.  I thought I could care less about not being able to forward texts, but
I realize now, how often I do that. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe there's a way to text multiple people.
My son is having surgery next week and I had to type the same text to 5 different people yesterday.  Annoying,
but hey...I can deal with that too. They should have included a way to increase the size of the text in emails using the
pinch move like you can do on a website on this phone. The text is TINY in emails and also TINY in texts, especially
looking at the previous threaded texts.  Why did they not think of allowing you to change the size of the font on
the phone. In comparison, the text on the Octane is so much easier to read.  I'm not sure though why on any phone,
they don't include all of the normal features that are found on most cell phones that people have come to expect.
They got so much right on this phone...while missing some of the really basic things...like a notepad which I used to
use constantly.  Not being able to upload contacts and entering them manually was a pain, but not the end of the world,
but what concerns me, is not being able to back up everything on the phone.  I have spent a LOT of time setting this phone
up with contact photos, email address,IM screen names, birthdays, etc.  If the phone dies and I need
a replacement, I'm going to have to set it all up again??!!!  I dread that.  I'm hoping BitPim adds support so I can
back it up that way, which is how I backed up contacts, my calendar, notepad etc on my Voyager.

I think there is a learning curve with the Kin and you really need to give it a good chance.  I went back and forth
MANY times regarding keeping this phone or trading it in, but now after using it for a full week, I am 98% sure I'm
keeping it.  The free WiFi, the 8mp camera, the HD Video, the Zune player, all outweight the few annoyances, and make it a
winner for me over the other Feature phones.

Pam

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
KeepOnSingin
Member

Pammy -- 

 

Sending a text to multiple people is easy! Tap messages, then new, then select whoever you want to text before tapping type message :smileyhappy:

 

Many Verizon store now can transfer contacts onto the Kins (and I'm sure eventually all will be able to), so no worries about doing that if you get a new one!

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Re: KIN Two M Review Update
Pammy
Novice

Thanks KeepOnSingn.  I stunbled across adding another contact.  I'm not as concerned about just backing up my contacts,  I'm concerned about backing up everything on the phone like "Favorites" contacts page, calendar, etc.   Pam

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