Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
  • Review: Microsoft/Verizon Kin One m


    Next of Kin

    By No-Control (Mike M.)


    Microsoft took a big blow when the kin product was pulled after just a scant couple of months on the market. Being billed as a teen phone and the successor of the sidekick. I was interested in this as I have a child entering teenhood. He had been a good sport, using my wife's old feature phone, a pink Venus. So late this summer I wanted to find a replacement and took a look at the Kin. The phone was an awesome little device, but as has been well documented the mandatory data plan Verizon saddled it with, made it financially unattractive to say the least. While the sweet cloud service and included Zune service were great, it wasn’t enough to make up for the greedy data plan. Apparently everyone else thought so as well and it was pulled from the market. I was off to find him a cheap feature phone….sadly none exist! Since I rarely enter contracts for subsidized equipment the cost of these feature phones was a bit ridiculous. $350 for a basic QWERTY phone? Really?


    Reason enters the room. Microsoft and/or Verizon decided to re-release a neutered version of the Kin phone, bill it as a feature phone and give it reduced data plan. Unfortunately the primary victim of the neutering was one the awesome cloud service. But at $100, off contract, and a base optional data plan of only $10/mo the phone was a steal. The following is my 3 month experience with the little guy along with some input from it’s primary user, a 14 year old texting machine.

    A not so smart phone?

    My initial thoughts after the first week is that the hardware has a bit of a cheap feel to it, but not in a bad way. You can tell that material feel wasn’t one of the top priorities. The design is a bit small for my hands, but not complaints from the youngster. The touch screen is responsive and the menu is easy to navigate. Similar to windows phone 7 the tasks are broken down into separate tiles. Phone, text, email, contacts, Zune, browser, photos and settings. Some comments on each are below. While there are no apps for this, for all intensive purposes it is a smartphone in every other respect.

    • Phone – The primary interface for making phone calls simple and easy to use.
    • Text – The texting portion is MMS and easy to read fonts make it useable, but pics and video on it fall victim to the small screen size. Perhaps less of an issue on the Bigger TWOm version.
    • Email – Which can connect to web (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) or POP/IMAP accounts and exchange. Set up was easy and painless for both his Hotmail and our family domain.
    • Contacts – Contains listing of your contacts unfortunately this will not sync with outlook, Hotmail or web based lists. having to manually enter them is a pain, but thankfully he’s young and has patience. I have better things to do however.
    • Browser – It accesses the internet….not much else to say. Load web pages, and mobile versions of  pages just like most other smart phones. I haven’t tested for flash support.
    • Photos – Accessing the photo library is easy as is the camera functions.
    • Zune – As a media player this is an awesome setup, iTunes can suck it.
    • Settings – Accessing the phone’s settings. is pretty simple and painless. Nothing is buried deep, finding the desired setting toggle is intuitive and easy to find.

    3 months of heavy testing, an understatement

    The actual phone portion is pretty good. 3 months later I’m quite impressed with it durability and function. It’s primary function as a phone first is quite good. Reception has never been an issue. Sound is excellent on both ends, no tinny sound or bathroom special effects. The camera also takes excellent pictures which was a nice surprise. I found the smallish keyboard a bit crapped but like a well seasoned crackberry user the boy could tear it up. Keys have resisted wear and all look as they did on of the box. the slider mechanism is still tight, despite constant unnecessary use from teenage induced boredom. Zune is the so sweet as well the drag n drop sync works well and the small memory (4GB) doesn’t hold copious amounts of mp3’s, but it does hold just enough to get you through 4hr long car rides with minimal drama. Overall the unit has held up very well despite constant throwing, crushing blows and drops, from an active teen.

    KIN = FAIL well deserved?

    I don’t think so. Kept in perspective of what it is, a cheap cell for entry level users, it has a lot to offer. Great phone, QWERTY keyboard for pounding out texts with buddies, great media player for rockin out, great snapshot camera for capturing moments with friends. The email is solid as is the browser. Only things missing from that a budding teen would miss is gaming and social integration with Facebook and Twitter. He thinks its great little phone and it scores high among his friends.


    The KIN is a winner in my book.


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    I have to agree with your thoughts above. 1. Zune is a much better interface than iTunes 2. The Kin cloud service was reputed to be awesome 3. Paul Thurrott also heaped praise on the kin 4. The data price killed this phone. Did VZW do it on purpose to stick it to MS? 5. My wife had the pink Venus and loved it. However, she is in the 21st century now and has my old Droid Incredible. Thanks for another great article.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I'm hopefully getting a kin one and I was doing some research and checking out some reviews, they all had upsides to them and said that it was a good phone but this review has got me convinced of it
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • RT6600ax tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router   Provide ultrafast and secure wireless connectivity to your home or office with support for the expanded 5.9 GHz spectrum,* combined wireless throughput of 6.6 Gbps, and a secure network infrastructure backed by the intuitive Synology Router Manager (SRM).
      • 3 replies
    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
        • Like
      • 4 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 

      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!

      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
      or you can get it it via
      Here is the main design.

      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  

      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
      or you can get it it via
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
      Expandable Storage
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
  • Create New...