Kin phones have new OS but no Studio

Second-generation, stripped-down Kin phones from Microsoft pop up again from Verizon

After an unsuccessful first outing, Microsoft's second-effort Kin phones are available from Verizon, this time with a different operating system, slightly different pricing options and without their most popular feature.

After launching the Kin phones on Verizon's network in April, Microsoft announced just two months later that it would stop developing the platform to focus on Windows Phone 7 instead. The Kin phones were designed to attract young consumers and have their roots in software from Danger, the company that made the Sidekick phones and was acquired by Microsoft.

The phones reportedly did not sell well and Verizon dropped the price of the phones shortly after launch.

Now Verizon has listed the phones online again, this time available without the need to buy any data plan. Their names have been altered to Kinm One and Kinm Two to reflect that these are "modified" from the originals.

The phones have a different operating system from the original Kin phones, a Verizon spokeswoman said. It's a closed OS also built by Microsoft but is not the Windows Phone software, she said. The phones will have a browser and e-mail but won't have software that came with the original Kins to support Kin Spot, Loop or Studio.

Kin Studio was one feature that was widely praised. It lets users log onto their accounts on a computer and see a timeline of activity on the phone, including photos, videos and text messages. The feature backs up all content on the phone.

The Kin One is now listed for $US20 with a two-year contract, instead of the earlier discounted $30, and the Kin Two is selling for $50, the same as previously.

Users can now choose to have no data plan or a variety of data plans, including a $15 monthly plan that comes with 150 MB of data. Previously Kin users had to pay for a $30 monthly data plan, a requirement that some people grumbled about since the phones lack some basic smartphone features.

Verizon sales representatives are offering conflicting details about the phones and Verizon's website doesn't appear ready to take orders. Two out of four sales people said that Kin Studio is available. A press spokeswoman said that's not so.

Also, after one selects the phone and service plans online, the website says that the phones aren't available. A phone sales representative said that he could fulfill an order for the phones, though.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftsmartphonesPhonesconsumer electronicsVerizon Wireless

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?