I don't think I've seen an answer to this question.
While you're talking to someone on the Kin or while you're listening to music or watching a video on the Kin, how many volume levels are there ?
On the other Verizon non-smartphones, there are usually seven or eight volume adjustments available.
To answer and comment on your post:
I did not know most feature phones had '7 or 8' volume levels for calls. My old phone only had 4. The good news for you, is that the Kin phones have 10 volume levels: from 0-20, counting by 2. It is that way for phone calls, as well as the zune player (videos/music). There are 3 different phone volume settings: master volume, phone call volume, and Zune player volume (for videos and music, including when on the browser).
For the phone master volume, there are only 5 settings: silent, vibrate, low, medium, and high. However, i find that as plenty. Really, any more than 3 volumes is excessive in my mind..but i guess that's just personal opinion. The low is very quiet, and with any ambient noise surrounding you, it will often be inaudible (there are times it could be useful, i guess..but when you want it to be quiet, i personally would just vibrate/silence it). The normal is audible, and is about the same level as the low on my old phone. I found my old phone to be too loud though, so i think normal isn't too quiet. The loud is fairly loud, definitely loud enough for me.
To my experience, you really only have 2 situations anyways: where you want to silence/vibrate the phone, or when you want to hear the volume and you just put it on loud then. And in many places, the loud on any phone is too quiet to get over the surrounding noises anyways, so i have the vibrate with sound option on always.
MojaveMoon, why don't you just buy the phone and try it out? I agree that you're locked into contract for 2 years so you wan the best thats out there..but you've done plenty of research. It isn't a smartphone (iPhone or Android, that is the question..), so there aren't too many features to be distracted about or whatnot, and there isn't going to be a better phone that you're going to regret buying this one over. Just buy it, and i think you will be satisfied I don't think the tiniest quirks will spoil the phone, nor will small details make your day, after all, it is just a phone. At worst, you have 30 days to try it out, and if dissatisfied beyond measure, it is a $35 restocking fee to return and get another one Not a terrible price, true it is one you don't want to pay, but it is do-able if the Kin ends up being a complete bust (i don't think it will be though).
Give it a try, Mojave Moon ... I know you want to. No one will fault you if you don't like it and return it.
At the same time, I think everyone appreciates that you're doing your homework, rather than getting it and complaining about the features it doesn't have.
Exactly what SydneyK said. Thank you for being practical about the phones It is very much appreciated that you have read around before asking questions, and even going out, testing them (not even being an owner yet), and giving your own feedback and helping others.
There are many people who buy this with false expectations, believing that it has the capabilities of a smartphone, and like the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But my input, it is the best feature phone out there. If you don't want a data plan, this is the phone to get. If you are expecting a high-use internet phone, my advice is get a smartphone. Yes it costs more money, but you aren't going to get superb performance comparable to a smartphone, without it.