The Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two will be released earlier than previously thought: Verizon Wireless is going to start offering these messaging-oriented phones tomorrow. As expected, these models are going debut with low prices.
The Kin One is going to sell for $50 with a $100 mail-in rebate and a two-year service contract, while the Kin Two will cost $100 under the same conditions.
Those making a purchase will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Voice plans start at $39.99 for monthly access while data plans start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.
Both these devices are going on sale tomorrow from Verizon’s website. They will be in Verizon stores on May 13.
An Overview of the Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two
The first two phones running the new platform will be the Kin One and Kin Two, which were designed by Microsoft and Sharp.
Both feature a Touchscreen and slide-out keyboard, but the One is going to more compact with a 5 megapixel camera and 4 GB of internal storage, while the Two will include a larger screen and keyboard, 8 GB of memory, and an 8 megapixel camera with the ability to record high-definition video.
Microsoft is calling these Windows Phones, but they won’t run Windows Phone 7. Instead, they will be based on the new Kin platform, which has a completely different user experience from anything the company has done before.
The home screen, called the Kin Loop, will be made up of images and posts made from social networking services like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Users will be able to select their favorite people, and Kin will automatically prioritize their status updates, messages, feeds and photos.
Kin will include a Web browser with pinch-to-zoom, local and Web search by Bing, and an RSS feed reader to pull down information from the Web.
In addition, the Kin-based devices will be the first Windows Phones to feature the Zune experience, including music, video, FM radio, and podcast playback. Users will be able to load their personal collection with the Zune desktop software, or a Zune Pass subscription will let them listen to millions of songs from Zune Marketplace while on the go.
All the information stored on the phones will be automatically backed up over the Internet, and a service called Kin Studio. If the device’s memory starts to fill up, older images, texts and other items will be removed from the device and saved in Studio.
A feature notably absent is a Kin Store, as there will be no way to add third-party software.