Sharp has delivered wonderful hardware to Microsoft at an affordable starting price, but the software and pricing plans hold the Kin One back. While it is just $50 to buy the device, it requires a 2-year service agreement with at least a $39.99 voice plan and $29.99 data plan. Text messaging plans could easily add $20 and a Zune Pass is another $14.99, leaving users paying almost $105 a month for the Kin One, before taxes and fees are factored in.
That’s a high price to pay for a device that just barely edges out other feature phones, particularly since it grossly under-performs other similarly positioned “social phones” like the Motorola MotoBlur line, which not only offers better social networking integration but also basic functionality including maps and instant messaging.
- Wonderfully designed hardware that’s both fun and comfortable to use.
- A sneak peak at the future of the Windows Phone line
- Access to tens of thousands of streaming songs via Zune Pass integration
- An operating system that doesn’t try to do much, and still under-delivers
- A monthly bill that dwarfs the initial investment
- Spotty network performance even in strong coverage areas