Kin TwoM: Review, FAQ, Q&A, troubleshooting, etc.
fisharefriends
Contributor - Level 3

I bought the kin twom 3 days ago. We qualified for the new every 2 free phone, contract renewal deal, so i've been looking around for a few weeks, doing my research on forums here and there. So, i already knew most of the quirks by the time i bought it. To those who have made detailed reviews, thank you. It helped me decide whether to buy this phone or not. So to contribute back and perhaps help others searching for answers to the Kin twom, I am making a review/FAQ/Q&A to hopefully help answer questions, add my own insight, as well as information that i've found from scouring this and other forums. I  also have a few questions of my own that i will ask. It will cover many questions that i have seen asked around, questions i  had in mind before i bought the phone, as well as questions and observations i now have.

***and i am hoping somewhere a verizon/microsoft rep is reading this and passes the message along..that this is one of the  best feature phones out there, all it needs a a few minor firmware/software fixes, and really is as close to the 'perfect'  feature phone that i and many others have been looking for***

This is a very long review, so I will post it in separate posts (apologies for the double.. 10x post).

Contents:
**1 Overview, pro's and cons
**2 Physical quality
**3 Wifi
**4 Phone: calls, messaging, etc
**5 Camera
**6 Zune
**7 Secondary apps: alarm, calculator, calendar
**8 Cases

**9 Sensors

**10 Questions

 

Background: my old phone was a razr v3m, back to the stone ages. It was a free phone when i bought it, and i was looking for a free phone upon upgrade too. This phone is $50, but for a one-time charge, that was within budget for me. I also used the new every 2 $100 towards purchase offer to get it free. That being said, this could be why i love this phone, because in nearly every way, it was a HUGE improvement. The type of things i was looking for in a phone: good call quality, qwerty keyboard,

good camera. I mainly use my phone..as a phone. Call, text, and because i don't carry a camera around with me,

having an 8 mp with me and HD video was a huge bonus. I don't mind touchscreens, as long as it has a separate keyboard with it (i can't stand just having a touch keyboard, because you can't really do anything unless you are looking at it, and even  then, you can miss keys). Looking online and finding this phone and that it had the great camera and full keyboard as a feature phone (no data) at a low cost, i was instantly drawn towards it.

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163 Replies
v793jt0
Newbie

the motoralo h700 bluetooth works with the kin

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erk1092
Newbie

OK, so I got the phone about two weeks ago and have loved it.

But I have this one problem. I can't send or receive picture/video/sound messages. I was able to when I first got the phone, but now I can't. I don't have a data plan, but then again the phone description said I don't need one. When I try to send a picture message it says that I need to have an internet connection. And when I try to receive a picture message it says so-and-so sent me a message but it couldn't be recieved. It's really starting to get annoying. If it turns out that I need a data plan, I'm going to really be upset and probably go off and get a different phone and I don't want to do that cause I really like this phone.

Please tell me there is a way to fix this without me having to get a data plan.

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SydneyK
Master - Level 3

Erk1092, there is a way to fix this without having to get a data plan. Whoever put the block on your account blocked all data, including MMS. Call customer service and tell the rep you want to allow picture/video messages to come through. Even though this is technically data, this will count toward your text/pic/vid package if you have one, and will not incur per-MB charges.

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erk1092
Newbie

SydneyK, I just checked online to see if we have picture messaging blocked and it says we don't. It says we have unlimited picture/video messaging. Is MMS different? What is MMS?

Tanks for the help! :smileyhappy:

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SydneyK
Master - Level 3

MMS (multimedia service) is the same as picture/video messaging. Hmm,may still think you may need to call, because it has to be set up just right to block data but allow MMS. This is further complicated if you have an old plan, but it can be done. Good luck!

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jbratten
Newbie

Feeling stupid.  How would you remove a wallpaper?  Deleting the picture that was used doesn't work.

 

First impressions of my Kin TwoM are good. I'm very impressed with the sensitivity and accuracy of the touch screen.  Way to go Sharp.

 

Thanks.

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fisharefriends
Contributor - Level 3

No, there is no photo editing on the phone. While you can edit them for the wallpaper, you can't for 'regular' photos. However..with the Kin, being a microsoft phone, I find it very easy to edit them on the computer, then save them back onto the phone. I have pictures on the phone that weren't originally taken from it either..its as simple as drag and drop. The album organization is very good in my mind, with the ability to sort things in folders, even subfolders. Think of the camera as you would a normal camera; can't edit on the device, but its easy to transfer to the computer, edit them, and copy them back to the phone.

 

To remove the wallpaper...the best i can tell you, is overwrite it. Just create a new one over it. If you want a blank screen...take a picture of a blank screen.

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kibbles35
Newbie

This post has been tremendously valuable.  A few notes to add:

 

You can lock/unlock your phone anytime by briefly pressing the power button.  I use my Twom as a music player much more than as a phone,   When left unlocked it is very easy to accidentally skip ahead/back, so I use this frequently.

 

Don't expect much in the way of firmware upgrades or additional features... this phone is what it is.  MS burned Verizon by turning it's attention to the Mobile7 phones and gutting the development program on this phone - that's why there are so many obvious/curious flaws, and why it's doubtful anyone inside MS or Verizon will likely do anything except maybe patch the Backup Assistant.  The greatest weakness in this phone is the inadequate user manual... over-and-over I had moments where I thought, "why can't I do this?" or "how do I do that?" only to later discover by trial and error that often I could.

 

That said, the KIN is a terrible smartphone, but a pretty cool feature phone: a great music player, Wi-Fi, browser, email on demand, nice camera and video.  I have my email set up for manual downloading, only 1-day at a time so I can tightly control email use.  While email is handy to have, I only occasionally need it on the road.  I've downloaded email several times this month and am still well under 1 MB ($1.99 is much cheaper than $9.99 a month).

 

If you haven't done so, go to "Device" in your "My Verizon" account and click "About My Device".  There's an interactive program about the (original) Kin Two.  The info on the Loop page and Spot are out of date, but I learned a lot watching this and just simply playing with every page on the phone.  (I just tried to open it and couldn't - it might be down temporarily or maybe Verizon is re-writing it?).

 

OK., my question...  if I only want to download email manually and download ringers, what would be the correct data settings for me?

 

Finally, instead of a case I used self-adhesive velcro to attached a belt clip to the back of my KIN.  Very convenient and no extra bulk from a case.  So far, no issue accidentally changing the volume while listening to music 🙂 

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fisharefriends
Contributor - Level 3

I'm not quite sure what you mean by data settings..what i can tell you is that you can't directly download ringtones to your phone from its browser. You have to either transfer it from another phone via MMS to your phone, send it from a ringtone website to your phone, or download it to your comp, and hten email it to your number (###@vzwpix.com) and save the ringtone from that multimedia message. And as far as ringtones go, you can't delete them. But you can overwrite them, so in other words, its more important to make sure you name it how you want than make sure the ringtone is the perfect 'cut' or quality first-time through (you can always do it again and name it the same as the one on your phone to get rid of the bad version).

 

Another link regarding ringtones, here is a site for editing your own custom ringtones. Its one of the best ones ive seen out there with many custom settings, but it has no ringtone downloads, just editing your own sound files. One thing, if you have some ringtone from another site that you like, just download that to your comp, and then upload it to this site for all of its customizations for your phone.

http://makeownringtone.com/

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cky
Newbie
can be videos be shared when already saved? i noticed that videos can only be shared when a text message is first created, then video is selected. thanks
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seebonbon
Newbie
Have you downloaded the Zune software (it's free) from online yet? The computer will only recognize the phone via Zune. So get Zune downloaded first, open Zune, connect your Kin, go to "device" and your comp will see your Kin.

As for data block, go to your account online and block everything but pics & vid messaging. If you want to double make sure your wifi usage, call #DATA and verizon will send a free text with your data usage. I've used this phone for a month now and only incurred 1mb of data (that was before I manually blocked data via online). Been using wi-fi, even without airplane mode (some like to use that mode for an extra layer of data blocking).
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gooseberries
Newbie

In the browser, I can't get any websites up, like facebook, google, etc.  Online I blocked all data except pic and vid..  I have my wi-fi on and it recognizes my wireless.  Have I blocked too much?  on the phone, should i have bluetooth and data roaming on or off?  I'm pretty clueless to all this stuff...but this forum has been tremendously helpful!

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gooseberries
Newbie

i may have found answer after I posted this...the way I intrepeted an earlier post, it had said to go online and block everything except pics and vids, including "block all data"....but then a later post said to block everything BUT "block all data" and pics and vids... so once I unblocked "block all data" I was able to go to browser and get websites up.  Now I just have to figure out if I am getting charged for that!

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fisharefriends
Contributor - Level 3

gooseberries, I'm pretty sure you've done it right (blcok all but pics, and 'all data'). There are some ways to quickly check if data is blocked:

1. Go into your browser, and try opening up web pages with wifi turned OFF. If pages don't open, that that means you successfully blocked data. Do note though, that certain 'simple' pages are saved in the cache, and will still 'open' regardless. They aren't actually loading from the internet, the page layout was just simply saved to your phone and it just pulls up that same stored site. So simple sites like google, and whatnot will open. Just make sure you try a site that is a little more complex (or just a new site you've never visited), and not just Google's search page.

 

2. Go online to your My Verizon account, and check the data usage from there. If you successfully blocked data, it will come up with an error message (in the screenshot).

verizon_data.JPG

 

3. Finally, check your bills. I would be conservative about your use the first month, just in case, but in theory, if (1) trying to open a webpage with wifi turned off doesn't work, then you should be safe.

 

I'm just providing you with ways of making sure data is blocked, but really only doing one of them is enough of a check. Its just safe measure to make sure all 3 are functioning like they would with data successfully blocked. And lastly, if you're trying to send MMS, just test them after you apply the blocks to make sure they still work.

 

As for bluetooth and data roaming, these settings have no effect on the wifi/data usage. Bluetooth, is used for bluetooth devices. The data roaming setting means that your phone can 'roam' on other networks, like say, in an emergency, you can 'bootleg' off AT&T's networks, but do remember that roaming has an extra charge, on top of the data charges. I perma-leave this one off, cause i can't think of any time i need it.

 

As far as the hidden menu goes, i haven't done much in there. The contacts can be imported and exported from within, but the problem is the file that is saved from exporting them is locked somewhere within the phone that you can't access. And importing works if you went into a Verizon store and had them import your contacts into the phone, what it does is saves a file onto your phone. When you import the contacts, it loads that file into your contacts. Just beware, if you've already imported your contacts and you push the import button again, it will import them again, and you will have duplicates of every contact. I unknowingly, accidentally did this, and spend the next hour going through and deleting the doubles.

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gooseberries
Newbie

thanks for your comments.  Once again, I don't have it figured out!  In service blocks, I had checked everything BUT "block all data services" and "block pic and vid messaging".  Apparently I was using data services as when I went into my data usage online, it said i had used 3.2mb.  So now I went in and checked "block all data services" and left pic and vid as unchecked.  I turned my wi-fi on and cannot get any websites up in browser.  I'm still doing something wrong...seems to only let me use my browser if I leave "block all data services" as unchecked, but then it seems that i get charged for it?  Any ideas ?  

 

Also, one more question, when I synch photos into phone from my mac, they get stored in photo albums on phone...can't figure out how to delete those photo albums, or pictures within those albums. Is there a way?  

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gooseberries
Newbie

well now it seems to be working with "block all data services" checked.  I will keep my fingers crossed that nothing shows up on my bill after this point!

 

Still can't figure out how to delete the photos  on phone that were synched from computer.  I can delete captured photos, but not synched photos.

 

My thoughts on this phone so far:

I have had this phone for about 10 days and really like it so far.  Although I have done ALOT of studying on it between you tube videos, discussion forums and manual, so it was a big learning curve for me.  I have never had a smartphone, and bought this phone as a feature phone with wi-fi.  There are some quirks for me...but sure I will get use to it.  Really like the music player which I never intended to use, but now that I got my itunes songs synched on it, I'm sure I will.  I worry that the touchtone screen may breakdown on me sooner rather than later, but who knows....will take it one day at a time!  Couldn't talk my college daughter into this phone because it had no lanyard and the verizon rep she was dealing with really had nothing good to say about this phone (but I think that was because the rep wasn't educated on the phone at all). 

 

Some people complained about camera button and getting shaky photos.  I just use the touchscreen button and my photos have been turning out fine.

 

Another complaint was not being able to use backup assist.  Which is bad, but I figured I will just manually put in each contact and add lot's of other stuff to each contact card when I do that (like emails, bdays, etc).  My old phone only stored phone numbers for each contact.

 

2 biggest complaints for me:

I don't like the keyboard at all...it's more spread out than I'm use to, so can't type as fast.  Plus really hate that there is no number keypad, always have to remember to use green function key before doing numbers.  And I'm constanly hitting the "o" button for zero (and getting a 9), when I should be hitting the "p" button to get zero. Very annoying for me.  Other pet peeve is not being able to enlarge font for messaging.  I don't always wear my glasses, so font is very small to read for someone whose eyesight is not what it use to be!  

 

Other than that, I like this phone and would buy it again....compared to other feature phones.

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SydneyK
Master - Level 3

MasterX, you can only use Zune to sync with the Kin, not Windows Media Player. But when you install Zune, you can have all your WMP stuff automatically added to Zune.

 

Gooseberries, I've read you have to remove photos from the Kin using Zune. As you mentioned, this does not apply to photos you take with the phone, but the ones you put on it. I've not tried this, so I'm not sure how it's done in Zune.

 

Just a comment on the data and Wi-Fi. A data block should not prevent you from using Wi-Fi. However, it seems the Kin Wi-Fi cards are very "picky" in which networks they'll connect to. Even if you have an N router that is backwards-capable to b/g, it just won't connect sometimes. Or if it does say it's connected, sometimes the browser and e-mail won't load, for whatever reason. There are quite a few threads on this issue somewhere in this forum, maybe back a page or two. 

 

Good luck to both of you.

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fisharefriends
Contributor - Level 3

Gooseberries, just a heads-up, it appears there is a lanyard hole, but it apparently got lost somewhere between iterations of the physical phone, and it is now just covered up.

KIN Twom Lanyard Holes Do Exist?!

 

I actually did end up cutting mine out, and have a wriststrap on the way. I cut it out using a dremel and small files to make it look nice. I tested it out w/ another camera strap i have, and the strength of the loop feels secure enough for me, where i actually do think that was what it was designed for.

 

the wriststrap i ordered (the biggest pro for me was that it had the adjustable strap)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TKYMTA/ref=oss_product

Note on that wriststrap though, it seems it is quite backordered, and most sites are out of stock. I managed to pick one up for $10 off a lucky amazon check, but their retail appears it is actually $5. a place called J&R Music and Computers sells it for $5, free shipping, and originally i had one ordered from them (and it said in-stock, too). After a month and quite a few emails with them, they said that it was back-ordered and they probably won't get anymore till May. So a few more times of checking amazon (and google, for that matter), and i found that $9.99+$3 shipping that i mentioned above. A little pricey for a wriststrap in my mind, but i ironically just dropped my phone yesterday and there's a little dent on the side of the screen. Nothing that compromises its structural strength, or interferes with teh screen in any way, but its still a little ugly. Carpeted drops are pretty much damage-free, but this was a hard-ground drop, and it left that. I should be getting that order within 2 days...so hopefully that prevents any future drops. It is also a must in my mind, to use the camera as a camera (most the time you're not holding it in a position where you can have a firm grip on it).

 

THere are other straps out there (that are in stock, too..so you won't have to leap on a double-price gouged one), but this is the only one i could find with an adjustable strap.

 

edit: i just checked, and apparently those straps are at $2-$3+shipping (even from teh same source i ordered mine from!). I would jump on them while they're available if you have any need for a wriststrap. Man, do i have bad luck. I just placed the new order a week ago after giving up hope that the actual retail price would come back any time soon, and then 4 days later, they are re-stocked. now i will go through the process of contacting Amazon and Ace Photo Digital (the reseller that hte actual product i purchased came from) to get that $8 back without a big hassle. Hope they have a supportive customer support.

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MasterX
Newbie

New Kin Twom owner, I came from a Droid which I miss but anyways :smileytongue:

 

Can you upload pics on facebook from the Kin Twom?

 

 

 

Thanks

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fisharefriends
Contributor - Level 3

if you mean something like a facebook app, no there isn't a dedicated app. But, you can upload them through the browser, i think. As long as you can access your files through the browser, then you will be able to. I don't know if you can access your photos though. Also, i am 95% certain facebook has its own service that allows you to upload photos through MMS. You register for it through facebook, and then i think you send it to an email address, where it then re-directs to your facebook account. Just know, many larger websites, like facebook, and google/gmail, have their own dedicated text messaging services, where you can forward email to your phone, send google calendar notifications to the phone, upload and post stuff on facebook, etc. But other than that, the browser is the only way to access facebook.

 

I am with you though, a down-grade at any stage with technology will be a bit of an adjustment. There will be many things that you miss, and features that worked better (or at all) with the better phone that your downgraded phone didn't. All i can say to you is, just think of the extra $30/month you're saving.

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MasterX
Newbie

Thanks, I was just use to hitting share and then picking upload to facebook, but ill try that tho.

 

 

 

 

 

I also have some more questions :smileytongue:

 

 

I cant get my Kin to connect to Windows Media player or anything at all. When I go to my computer it doesnt show a device is connected but when I use the Zune software, zune shows my Kin Twom and lets me sync it to it. Anyway to sync it to other things besides Zune?

When im on Zune, it added all my music with no problem and it said it added my photos but I dont use them on the phone anywhere, I checked Camera and Zune and I found nothing. Any advice?

The Wifi scans sometimes and sometimes it doesnt, at my house it will never connect but it worked my friends house, both dont have a password but it also didnt connect at the local mall and another place.  Anyway to fix this?

Any help would be nice.

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