Microsoft finally announced KIN, a new Windows Phone designed specifically for people who are actively navigating their social lives. The phone is brought to life through partnerships with Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Sharp.
KIN supports Microsoft’s new cloud computing service with an optimized GUI. The hardware design was developed in partnership with Sharp. There are two models called KIN ONE and KIN TWO. Both phones feature a touch screen, slide-out keyboard and very simple interface.
ONE is small and compact; TWO has a larger screen and keyboard, in addition to more memory, a higher resolution camera, and the ability to record high-definition video. The 5 and 8 megapixel cameras in ONE and TWO, respectively, have image stabilization and a bright LumiLED flash.
KIN automatically brings together feeds from Microsoft and third-party services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The home screen of the phone is called the KIN Loop, which is always up to date and always on, showing all the things happening in someone’s social world.
Another new feature, the KIN Spot is a new way for people to share what’s going on in their world. It lets them focus first on the people and stuff they want to share rather than the specific application they want to use. Videos, photos, text messages, Web pages, location and status updates are shared by simply dragging them to a single place on the phone called the Spot. Once all the people and content are in the Spot to share, the consumer can choose how to share, and start broadcasting.
KIN Studio is a phone online. Almost everything created on the phone is available in the cloud from any Web browser. Photos and videos are freed from the confines of the phone and presented in an online visual timeline.
The KIN Studio automatically backs up texts, call history, photos, videos and contacts, and populates a personalized digital journal.
It also gives customers tons of storage to keep all those photos, videos, contacts and texts.
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, users using Zune software on their PC can listen to millions of songs from Zune Marketplace on their KIN while on the go.
KIN will be exclusively available from Verizon Wireless in the U.S. beginning in May and from Vodafone this autumn in Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.