The social networking handset comes in a pipe-bomb-like tube and inside is the standard instruction manual, USB cable, charging port, headphones and the handset itself. The Kin One has a distinctly unique design – it’s a rounded vertical slider that kind of looks like a Pre but is much, much smaller at 3.25″ x 2.5″ x .75″. The handset’s size didn’t bother me at all but the 2.6-inch QVGA screen is a bit too small for my liking.
While it’s not as hardware rich as its older brother, the Kin One has a 5-megapixel camera, WiFi, 3G, GPS and deep integration with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. There’s a great feature that will automatically back up your photos and videos to a web-based gallery known as Kin Studio.
Setting up the device is fairly straight forward: you type in your name and then your Windows Live ID. If you don’t have one, you can use any e-mail and it will create a Live ID using that e-mail. This can be a little confusing because if you sign in with a Gmail address, it won’t pull in your Gmail contacts. But you can then also use your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Outlook to find other contacts and setting up the e-mail client is as simple as filling in a few lines. Microsoft said it can take up to 30 minutes to download all your contacts depending on how popular you are, but you can continue to use the phone while this information is being pulled down.
The Kin One will be available for order May 6 online and Verizon customers can get it for about $50 with a new, two-year contract and a $100 rebate.
Check out our coverage of the Kin One unveiling for more photos and video!