Hands on: Microsoft Kin One review

Your contacts are all synchronised to the phone, but the cool thing is that your favourite people are given their separate screen making it easy to keep in contact with those you actually care about, not the people that you follow on Twitter or are Facebook 'friends' with.

Kin one

The contacts list is a right jumble of information, with Facebook, Twitter and MySpace all synchronised up - we like the fact that the Kin One makes suggestions about the people you should be linking with and their online profiles automatically.

Kin one

We need a lot more time to play with this feature though, as the tiled view makes it very hard to see what's going on from the outset.

The rest of the phone is fairly light on features, accessed by swiping to the left from The Loop.

We're pretty annoyed there's no application portal on the phone - meaning updates and cool new things are going to be very hard to come by if Microsoft doesn't think we should have them.

The web browser is built on the mobile version of Internet Explorer (although we're not sure which) and while it looks pretty snazzy with elements like drop down bookmarks accessed from swiping down from the top, it's a little slow to load up and use.

Kin one

We like the fact that Exchange email is included as standard, making it much more like the Windows Phone 7 range we're familiar with.

The other main talking point is the addition of the Zune platform inside the phone for the media side of things - making it much more like the 'fabled Zune phone' than the WP7 lineup.

The interface is slick, which we'd come to expect from the Zune platform, and the amount of meta-data that comes with each track is pretty good too - with album art and track listing all ready and waiting.

Kin one

Zune Pass is included on the press versions, but we're not sure that this Spotify-a-like will come to the UK given there's no Zune infrastructure over here already.

Overall, we're still very unsure about the Kin One, and the Kin range in general. There's a lot of high end hardware in this phone - capacitive touchscreen with pinch and zoom functionality, a 5MP camera with flash, 4GB of internal storage (although sadly no memory card slot).

Kin one

This tells us that the price for this device could be a little high, and therefore price it out of the reach of most the target demographic.

Essentially, we think the success of the Kin One depends a lot on how much it sells for - if it's less than £200 then it's got a very real shot of being a massive phone.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.