Microsoft just announced the pricing for the new KIN phones, the KIN ONE and KIN TWO, which are now known to be $49.99 and $99.99 respectively. Designed for the highly social “tween” and teen set, these phones will be available on Verizon Wireless here in the U.S. and will require a Nationwide Talk plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Verizon’s Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 with monthly access. Data plans for email and web start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.
Considering that these phones are somewhat of a new category of device – something a step up from a feature phone, but a step data from a smartphone, the price points seem appropriate. The phones themselves are certainly affordable and the data plan isn’t anywhere near the awful amount I pay now for a smartphone whose total bill is regularly over $100 every month. (In fact, my last bill was closer to $150. Ouch!).
The Wall St. Journal has posted an early review of the phones, which sounds promising, noting that the phone (the KIN ONE was reviewed) had “several fun features,” but the real “wow factor” is the KIN Studio service, the site where all your activities and media are backed up to and laid out in a timeline format. “The first time I opened Kin Studio felt like magic,” notes the reviewer, Katherine Boehret.
According to this review, “a flat fee that teens won’t have to worry about paying extra for going over a limit, and unlimited space on Studio to store everything is exactly what needed…to make this appealing enough for teens at the price.” As for the phones themselves, they “may not offer everything that can possibly be stuffed into a phone – but sometimes, the thing doesn’t do everything may just do exactly what the user – in this case, teenagers, want.”