Hands on: Microsoft Kin Two review

Hands on with the Kin Two
Hands on with the Kin Two

While the Kin One from Microsoft is unquestionably dinky, the Kin Two is designed to be a much more powerful beast.

Featuring a more traditional rectangular design, the Kin Two is larger and designed to be used two handed, thanks to a keyboard that slides out from the side, rather than the bottom, of the screen.

The headline specs are also improved - an 8MP camera with 720p HD video recording as well as doubling the memory onboard to 8GB.

The same style of keyboard is used on the Kin Two as the Kin One - similar in the fact the keys are the same rounded plastic options, but with a wider spacing thanks to more of a chassis to stick them into.

Kin two

The slider mechanism is also a little plusher than the Kin One - it feels a little more premium with little plastic grating.

The Kin Two isn't too thick either given the full QWERTY keyboard on offer - something that's going to appeal to the more stylish social networker (but we hope we never meet such a person - they sound hideous).

Kin two

The chassis is well stocked with buttons - there's a the volume up/down key, a camera shutter button as well as the microUSB cable and 3.5mm headphone jack in a recess at the top of the phone.

The main thing though is the Kin Two feels pleasant to hold in the hand - in both two- and one-handed operation it's an easy phone to pick up and use.

Kin two

The hardware only tells part of the story though - the Kin Two is far from a dumb feature phone with limited purpose.

The new operating system, which is built on a similar core to that of Windows Phone 7, is all about interaction - specifically offering direct and easy links to social networking and email.

Kin two

You can synchronise the likes of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter with the phone, downloading friends from each into the contact list.

From there you're able to link them together, with the Kin Two featuring some decent software to give some (usually accurate) suggested links).

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.