We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Windows phones Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Microsoft Kin One smartphone review

Price depends on contract

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Microsoft Kin One social-networking mobile phone has a slick and intuitive user interface, but the hardware is mediocre and unattractive. Additionally, advanced users might be disappointed with some limitations within the operating system.

The Microsoft Kin One social-networking mobile phone has a slick and intuitive user interface, but the hardware is mediocre and unattractive. Additionally, advanced users might be disappointed with some limitations within the operating system.

Microsoft Kin One: Decent, but Unattractive Hardware

The Microsoft Kin One isn't the most stylish little thing: short and squat, it looks a bit dated. That said, the Kin One does feel solid in hand and fits easily in a trouser pocket. The display is a bit on the small side as is its vertically sliding keyboard.

The keyboard's keys are spacious and boldly labeled, but they don't feel as comfortable as those on the Sidekick phones (the design team behind the Sidekick phones played a big part in the Microsoft Kin One and Two's designs). We also noticed a bit of lag between what we typed and what actually appeared on the screen. We'll need to spend more time with the Microsoft Kin One, however, to fully assess its keyboard.

We were impressed with the Microsoft Kin One's 5-megapixel camera. We took a few snapshots at the launch event, which took place in a dimly lit nightclub, and was impressed with how powerful the flash was. Faces were nicely highlighted without being completely blown out. We can see the Kin One being an ideal companion for concerts as you can snap quality pictures and easily share them with your friends or social networks.

The photos are automatically geotagged and uploaded to the Kin Studio (more on that on the next page), but there's no photo or video editing software on the phone. Additionally, video clips are automatically capped at one minute, which is a bit disappointing.

Kin OS: Pretty and Intuitive

While it's a bit overwhelming at first, Kin OS is visually pleasing and incredibly easy to navigate. The main screen, called Loop, displays your selected friends' status updates and messages as well as your favourite RSS feeds in a colourful collage of text and images. Flick to the left, and you'll see a panel of all your applications; flick right, and you'll see your contacts.

We also liked how easy it was to share photos with your friends via the Kin "Spot". The Spot is a green circle that sits at the bottom of the user interface. If you want to share a photo, video or news story from your RSS feed, you simply drag and drop it into the Spot. You can then tap the Spot and decide whether you want to send it to your friends or upload it to one of your social networks.

Another highlight: the Microsoft Kin One ships with the Zune HD media player for video and music playback. There's also an FM radio.

The OS was a bit sluggish while we were navigating through various menus, but this might be due to the fact that our test units were preproduction devices.

NEXT: Kin Studio >>

See also: Microsoft Kin Two review

Compare mobile phone deals

Microsoft Kin One Expert Verdict »

Form factor: Vertical slide, QWERTY
2.6in TFT, QVGA (320x240), capacitive touchscreen
5Mp CMOS anti-shake, autofocus, dual LED flash
mono speakers
256MB DDR RAM, 4GB storage
1240 mAh battery
EV-DO Rev A, Bluetooth 2.1 w/A2DP, Hi-speed USB, 802.11b/g
Assisted GPS, FM radio, accelerometer
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Right now, it is hard to estimate how well the Microsoft Kin One will do without a price attached to it. While it has some "smart" features, this isn't a smartphone. For the Kin One to succeed on the network, it should be priced to shift.

  • Microsoft Kin Two smartphone review

    Microsoft Kin Two smartphone

    With a better design and stronger specs, the Microsoft Kin Two social-networking mobile phone outshines its sibling, the Kin One.

  • Avanquest Photo Explosion Deluxe 4.0 review

    Avanquest Photo Explosion Deluxe 4.0

    If you haven't got the cash to splash on Adobe's Photoshop, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives when it comes to photo editing and manipulation software. One such option is Avanquest Photo Explosion Deluxe 4.0.

  • Shozufor BlackBerry review

    Shozufor BlackBerry

    In return for £2, BlackBerry App Shozu offers to connect to a spectacularly long list of social networking sites.

  • Rendezvous for Android review

    Rendezvous for Android

    Rendezvous is an Android client app for the Meetup event-oriented social network.

  • Microsoft Windows Phone 7 review

    Microsoft Windows Phone 7

    Windows Phone 7 is a mobile phone operating system that Microsoft hopes will lead the fight back against Google Android and the Apple iOs. But is Microsoft's mobile OS any good? Read our Windows Phone 7 review to find out. Updated October 21 2010

IDG UK Sites

What is Google Photos? How to back up and share all of your photos for free

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Swatch launches a colourful smartwatch

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV 2015 release date rumours: TV streaming service delayed, hand gesture interface being...