Kin reviews are out… and not so good.

Oh noes!
You’ve probably noticed on the ‘webz today that the floodgates known as “the Kin review embargo” have opened, spewing forth impressions, opinions, analysis, and reviews for the masses to bathe in.

There is a general trend emerging, too. Something along the lines of “What have Microsoft done?”

I’ve rounded up some of the highlights thus far, for your reading pleasure:


…we ran into frustrating timeouts and stalls that made us want to throw the phone across the room. Overall, it’s just a deeply, deeply frustrating and inconsistent experience… If you’re going to shell out this kind of money each month, it would be foolish to even consider these devices given the much, much better options out there.


Unfortunately, you can’t really do much other than read your feed and post updates. For example, in the Twitter “app” you can’t see your @replies in a separate field or search. And you can’t send direct messages or retweet. Seriously.


…its user interface has bogged me down a bit; the experience is a bit too much to handle at once.

The only positive reviews I could find came from Slashgear:

First, from Michael Gartenberg:

I spent the better part of today working through the devices and I mostly like what I saw.

and then from his “Gen upload” son, Chaim:

Loop is great – making the home screen of your phone your complete social network and news feed. Spot, the ever-present dot on the bottom of your screen, allows you to share everything to anyone – through MMS, Email, or Facebook/Twitter/Myspace.

Both the Slashgear reviews seem to contradict the other reviews on most points. Diff’rent strokes, I guess.

There is one seemingly universally liked feature, however: the online syncing software dubbed “The Studio”. Sadly, the software isn’t enough to save these doomed handsets.

Some of the biggest complaints stem from the inflated price. Verizon are basically charging smartphone prices for a featurephone experience.

The reviews all seem to point to a list of common faults, including:

  • The UI – unintuitive, busy, practically useless
  • The camera – poor light metering and a flash that blows the subject out
  • The storage – 4GB on the Kin One? No SD expansion? Isn’t this 2010?
  • No chat – the social angle apparently doesn’t involve instant communication anymore
  • No apps, no games, no fun, and no calendar to see what fun your missing out on

Faults are much easier to overlook when you’re not being charged a premium, but at this price, there are much better options out there.

If you find any glowing reviews, or particularly entertaining scathing ones, please post them in the comments.

While you’re there, what are your thoughts on the devices?