Remember the Kin One and Kin Two? We don’t blame you if you have no idea what we’re talking about. Back in 2010, Microsoft (MSFT) released two home-built social-driven smartphones aimed at teenagers. Less than two months later, Microsoft axed the phones, presumably because they were so terrible. Wired has uncovered three never before seen focus group videos that reveal just how awful the phones were during testing — plagued with issues that Microsoft didn’t remedy when the devices launched on Verizon (VZ). In one video, a guy complains about the lag, the slowness of the camera, and the terrible touchscreen responsiveness and in another video, a user clearly has issues dialing phone numbers because the Kin Two’s touchscreen is so buggy. After watching these videos, you really can’t decide whether you should be laughing until your guts spill out or crying because Microsoft was so clueless. Thankfully, Microsoft saw the light and gave up on the Kin phones to work on Windows Phone.
Apparently Microsoft has come to the realization that, much like the hipsters it was targeting with the device, no one wants to be caught dead with a KIN. Microsoft has confirmed that the two devices are toast. Here is what their PR people said.
We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.”
Good riddance, we say. More →
Verizon Wireless customers in the market for a new handset may want to put the brakes on any purchases until next week. One of our insiders tipped us off to a sale on handsets that is slated to start on Monday, June 28th. The promotion extends to both smartphones and feature phones and includes the following handsets:
- LG enV Touch: $49.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate ($30 drop). Eligible for BOGO (buy one get, one same device).
- BlackBerry Storm 2: $149 after $100 mail-in-rebate ($30 drop). Eligible for BOGA (buy one, get any device of equal or lesser value).
- Nokia Twist: $49.99 after $50 mail-in-rebate ($50 drop).
- Kin ONE: $29.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate ($30 drop). Eligible for BOGA.
- Kin TWO: $49.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate ($30 drop). Eligible for BOGA.
With an average savings of $30, the sale is on the small side, especially for the singleton looking to score one phone; but a couple, with two phones in hand, can do well with the price drop and the BOGO combined.
We’ve heard that starting tomorrow, the Microsoft KIN 1 and KIN 2 will be selling for free and $49 respectively. More →
The fine folks iFixit have once again teamed up with Chipworks to tear down one of the greatest latest gadgets to hit the scene in the KIN TWO. Before you tune out and keep on scrolling, we should let you know that a lot of impressive stuff was uncovered after cracking the thing wide open. So without further ado, here’s a summary of what was found. The brains of the phone, a NVIDIA Tegra APX2600, are sandwiched together with memory in a four die, chip-on-chip package. The 8 megapixel IMX046 image sensor from Sony takes up only .5mm3 and has a pixel size of 1.4 micrometers. Other chips include a Qualcomm QSC8065 and a Texas Instruments WL1271A that takes care of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the FM Radio. The digitizer is a Clearpad made by Synaptics, and the USB 2.0 transceiver is an incredibly tiny 4mm2. Pretty crazy to think that there’s so much advanced technology in a cheap featurephone, right? More →
Life streamers should mark their calendars for May 6th as Microsoft’s socially-driven KIN ONE and KIN TWO handsets are slated to make their official debut on Verizon Wireless. With its 5MP camera and diminutive design, the clamshell KIN ONE will be available for a reasonable $49.99 after a $100 mail in rebate and 2-year contract. With is 8MP camera and HD capability, the KIN TWO is the premium of the pair and will sport a slightly higher $99.99 price tag after a $100 mail in rebate and a 2-year deal. The KIN ONE and the KIN TWO can be activated on a Nationwide Talk plan and due to the presumed copious data consumption of upload hungry tweens, both will require a minimum data plan of $29.99 per month. If you listen closely enough, you can hear the collective gasp of penny-pinching parents around the nation. More →
Not even a whole two months removed from their announcing Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft is back today with another event in which it is expected to reveal its Project Pink line-up including the handsets known as the “Pure” and “Turtle”. Whether or not they’ll run WP7 or something else entirely isn’t clear, but all of this will soon be clear. As the event carries on we’ll be updating this post with the latest information, so be sure to check often lest you be left out of the loop. All of the goodness is after the jump. More →