Today, Microsoft ushered in a duo of social-networking-centric multimedia phones, Microsoft Kin One and Microsoft Kin Two;
Microsoft Kin One - codenamed 'Turtle'
"Working closely with our partners, we saw an opportunity to design a mobile experience just for this social generation — a phone that makes it easy to share your life moment to moment. We built KIN for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most."
- Robbie Bach, President - Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft
Microsoft Kin Two - codenamed 'Pure'
Both devices are being marketing by Microsoft as Windows Phones. However, while we can see traces of the freshly released Windows Phone 7 operating system in their user interface, both phones offer something totally fresh. Their UI, which has been custom made just for Kin, is heavy on social media. It also features a Zune-based browser and supports multi-touch gestures via capacitive touchscreen.
Quoting the official press release:
KIN will be the first Windows Phone to feature a Zune experience — including music, video, FM radio and podcast playback. With a Zune Pass subscription, customers using Zune software on their PC can listen to millions of songs from Zune Marketplace on their KIN while on the go, or load their personal collection. KIN also has other features customers want in a phone including a rich browser with the ability to share pieces of the Web, local and Web search by Bing, and an RSS feed reader to pull down information on people and stories from the Web.
Microsoft Kin One
Microsoft Kin One, codenamed Turtle, is a pebble-like compact QWERTY slider that kind of channels the look of Palm Pre, only smaller. It features a 5 megapixel camera, a GPS receiver, 4GB of internal storage and amazingly, a Zune media player. Its interface and capacitive touchscreen supports multi-touch gestures.
Microsoft Kin Two
On the other hand, Microsoft Kin Two - codenamed Pure - is a full QWERTY side-slider. It has features similar to Turtle but it tops it with an 8 megapixel camera that supports HD video capture and has built-in flash. Also, Pink has a more sizable internal storage; 8GB vs. Turtle's 4GB.
The home screen of both Kin phones is called the KIN Loop, which is always up to date and always on. Kin Loop shows all the things happening in someone’s social world. It automatically brings together feeds from leading Microsoft and third-party services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all in one place, making it easier to stay connected.
Turtle + Pure = Pink
Microsoft Pink, the handset venture, is the product of Microsoft's acquisition of Danger - the US mobile company that used to partner with Sharp to create Sidekicks.
Watch the official Microsoft Kin One promo video:
Both Microsoft Kin One and Microsoft Kin Two lack memory card slots. Instead, the phones utilize an online sync service called Kin Studio to back up all files; from multi-media to call history.
Microsoft Kin - CDMA only. :(
Unfortunately, both Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two are limited to the CDMA network. They will be exclusively offered by Verizon in the US with a projected May release. Vodafone, another CDMA network, will sell the devices in Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK later this year.
Hopefully, Microsoft will consider releasing a GSM version of both devices for countries where GSM works best. The Philippines, for example, I'm sure will gladly welcome this device considering that it is the most gadget obsessed country according to Google Insights for Search.