- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
The Kin Twom is a revamped version of the discontinued KinTwo cell phone. The Kin Twom is a Windows phone, manufactured by Sharp, and uses Verizon's services. A few standout features of the phone are its amazing 8 megapixel camera, which also shoots HD video, its ability to pick up WiFi, and the built in Zune player! Plus, you don't need to pay for a monthly data package for this phone! In this article, I will discuss all the aspects of this phone with the experience that I have had with it since I bought it (which was a week after it first came out).
The Kin Twom isn't a feature-packed phone; however, it is pretty nice. Its camera is exceptional and the touchscreen is perfectly responsive. You also have the option to add a 4-digit pin code for security on the lockscreen. Overall, the phone is good and useful, but it lacks many features that most other phones have. For a more detailed review of each aspect of the phone, please read on.
Here I will provide a quick summary of all the physical aspects of the Kin Twom
- The Kin Twom is pretty durable. Considering that it has a touch screen and a slide-out keyboard, I would say that this phone is rather strong. I have dropped mine a few times, and it hasn't been damaged at all. All around, this phone has a durable feel to it.
- The touch screen on the Kin Twom is the same kind of screen that you would find on most smart phones. However, the responsiveness may not be as quick as an iPhone, for example. The responsiveness is not so bad that it is distracting, but it is less responsive than more popular devices.
- The external speaker on the Kin Twom is hidden behind the phone's battery. This does dampen the sound quality a little, but the phone is still plenty loud. If you're worried about being able to hear the phone ringing in a bustling environment, don't be: this speaker is loud enough.
- The battery is a lithium-ion battery that lasts for a few days without charge. The battery sits behind the phone's back cover and is easy to take out.
- The only buttons that exist on this phone is the back button and the sleep button. The back button is located below the screen and the sleep button is on the top of the phone; similar to the iPhone.
- The headphone jack is the standard size for media players; it is the same size as any iPod. It is stereo, by the way.
- The camera's flash is too bright for me. Any pictures I take seem to come out practically white when I use the flash. The flash is good, however, to use as a flashlight in the dark.
The camera on the Kin Twom is absolutely amazing! This is one of the main reasons why I bought this phone. With an 8 megapixel resolution for photos and High Definition video, I'd say this is a pretty darn good camera for a phone like this. Instead of carrying around your cell phone and a camera, just carry a cell phone! The camera is easy to use and packs some pretty nice features.
Pinch to Zoom: When you are using the camera, you can zoom in on your subject with a simple pinch gesture with two fingers.
Volume buttons to Zoom: In addition to being able to pinch to zoom, you can use the Kin Twom's volume buttons for nice, fluid zooms. This is especially helpful when videoing!
Camera Settings:In the camera's settings menu, you can easily change the resolution of the photo, the mode (three camera modes include auto, night, and burst), the flash (auto, off, or always on), and the lighting (auto, home, office, sunny, cloudy).
Video Settings: In the video settings, you can easily change the resolution (high quality or email quality) and the mode (auto and night).
Personally, I think the way the Kin Twom does texting is perfect. Unlike my old enV2 in the past where each text came as a separate message, the Kin Twom shows your texts as conversations with the person you are texting. Sending messages is easy; all you do is press the NEW button and type in the contact name or number. It is also really easy to send messages to multiple contacts all at once; you just add their contact in and send the message. The Voicemail button just takes you straight to your voicemail.
- Messages organized by conversations.
- Easy to send new messages through contacts.
- No forwarding messages
- No copy/paste (which probably isn't a huge deal for most people)
- No deleting individual messages, only whole conversations
Overall, the messaging on the KinTwom isn't as sophisticated as other phones (like the enV2), but it definitely gets the job done.
The Phone app is pretty basic. There are two different parts of the Phone app: the dialing part and the Call Log.
- Basic numeric keypad for dialing phone numbers.
- You can save numbers into your contacts after dialing them.
- Keeps track of all dialed, recieved, and missed calls.
- For every call logged, you have the option to save the contact (if its not already in your contacts) or to text the person (only for saved contacts).
- You can access your voicemail from the Call Log.
- From the More menu, you can clear all logs, or show only missed calls (missed calls aren't white like the received and dialed calls).
The Contacts app is pretty basic, but still has some cool features. When you open up the Contacts, you get an alphabetical list of all your contacts (by first name). Contacts that you have "Favorited" appear bigger than the others. When creating or editing contacts, there is a lot of information you can add to your contact such as birthdays and anniversaries. This is especially helpful because it automatically adds that date to the Calendar. Another cool feature is the ability to link contacts. Linking contacts together makes both contact information appear on each linked contact. All in all, the Contacts app is simple and gets the job done.
The Alarm app is pretty simple too. Make an alarm to sound on certain days, pick a sound to play, and turn alarms on/off. Its just your basic alarm; nothing fancy here.
This is where the Kin Twom earns some respect; this phone has a fully-featured Zune player built in. If you don't know what a Zune is, its the Microsoft equivalent of an iPod. You can play music, watch videos, listen to the radio, listen to podcasts, and more. The Zune app is by far one of the best features of the Kin Twom.
Here are some quick summaries of each part of the Zune app:
Here you have all your songs (that you have put on your phone via Zune software on a computer).
You have a few different subcategories in which the music is organized:
- Artists (one outstanding feature in the Artists section is that you can view pictures and a biography of the artist!)
Like the music, all the videos that have been put on the phone via a computer are stored here.
The videos are organized in the following groups:
The radio is a great feature to have on a phone. You can listen to your favorite FM radio station, as long as you have reception and headphones plugged into the phone (you must have headphones in to listen to the radio). One cool feature of the radio is that you can bookmark your favorite stations for easier navigation in the future.
From what I understand, a Zune Pass costs $14.99 a month and grants access to stream unlimited music and to download 10 songs (per month). I personally don't use Zune Pass, but if music is your life, Zune Pass could be the thing for you. Plus, you get the first 14 days free!
The Podcast player is almost the exact same as the music player. Nothing too fancy; it just plays the podcasts that have been put onto the phone.
In the Zune Player's settings, you can change a few things:
- Equalizer (None, Acoustic, Classical, Electronic, Hip Hop, Jazz, Pop, or Rock)
- Artists (Album Only or Song and Album)
- Region (North America, Europe, or Japan)
- Seek Mode (Seek or Presets)
- Tells you how much memory you are using for songs, pictures, and videos. It also displays the amount of memory used and the amount free (in GB)
Overall, I think that the Zune Player should be a major factor in deciding whether or not to get a Kin Twom. If you listen to music, or often carry around an mp3 player (like an iPod), I suggest you use this phone for both your phone needs and your multimedia needs. Its much better to carry around one device than two.
Basically, the Calendar app hosts any and all of the events that you need to remember. For each event you create, you can set what time you want a reminder (if any), the start and end time of the event, when to repeat the event (once, daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, or yearly), the location of the event, and a personal note. When browsing dates, you can either view dates one at a time (by sliding through each day), or by viewing an entire month's calendar. Another helpful feature is the ability to view all of your occasions, instead of having to find them yourself. Overall, the Calendar is a perfect event/reminder app.
The Settings app contains everything you would ever need to change on a Kin Twom. From brightness, to theme; Settings has it all! Here are the following settings:
- Airplane Mode (On/Off)
- WiFi (On/Off/Connect to Networks)
- Bluetooth (On/Off) Data Roaming (On/Off)
- Lazo (Blue) Wilson
- (Red) Holmes (Pink)
- Voss (Green)
- Vibrate (On/Off)
- Ringer (Pick Ringtone)
- Voicemail (Pick Ringtone)
- Messages (Pick Ringtone)
- Calendar (Pick Ringtone)
- System Sounds (On/Off)
- Auto Lock (1 min, 5 mins, 15 mins, or never)
- Pin & Security (On/Off)
- Auto Brightness (On/Off-If Off, set Brightness level)
- Wallpaper (Pick Picture)
- Security (delete temporary files, delete cookies, delete history)
- Allow Cookies (On/Off)
- Phone Shortcuts (On/Off)
- Voicemail Number (Set Number)
- Auto-Download MMS (On/Off)
- TTY (On/Off)
- Telecoil (On/Off)
- Emergency Tone (On/Off)
- System Select (Automatic or Home Only)
- Sync Frequency
- Ask Before Deleting (On/Off)
- Days to Sync
- Signature (Edit)
Date & Time
- 24-Hour Clock (On/Off)
- Auto-Set Date & Time (On/Off)
- Auto-Set Time Zone (On/Off)
- Spanish (Español)
About Your Phone
- Gives information such as software version, phone number, model, etc.
The internet browser on the Kin Twom is one of the outstanding features of this phone. If you have ever used a touch screen phone before, you probably know how internet browsers are. Its easy to navigate pages with the touchscreen and zooming in and out of a page is as simple as pinching with two fingers. Creating bookmarks of your favorite websites is easy, all you have to do is press the star button when you're on the website you want to bookmark. Also, another great feature is that you can create a bookmark "app" on the main screen of your phone. When you do this, you can have a bookmark straight on your home page that takes you directly to that website. Overall, the Kin Twom's browswer is a good browser, although it is not extremely feature packed.
***Warning: Using the internet when you don't have WiFi uses data, and if you don't have a data plan, it will cost you money. I suggest blocking 3G in order to avoid possible fees. To block 3G, go to MyVerizon.com and edit your account settings.
With the Email app, you can easily manage your email accounts. Whether it be Hotmail, Gmail, Aol Mail, Yahoo Mail, or another IMAP/POP Account, you can add any of these email accounts. Although each mail server is slightly different, they are all easy to manage. Everything you need in an Email app is here.
***Warning: Just like the internet browser, you can incur data fees if you use 3G.
The Calculator app is a quick and simple calculator. It has basic functions such as +, - , / , MC, MR, M-, and M+. You can either use the touch screen buttons or keyboard keys to input numbers and functions. There's nothing too amazing about the calculator; it is very basic.
In the search app, you can easily find any apps or contacts by simply typing in the search bar. Another way to easily access this search feature is to start typing on the home screen.
In addition to the app screen, the Kin Twom has a "Favorites" page where you can put your favorite contacts. This page allows quick access to the contact page, text, or call of the contacts on that page. I personally like the favorites page because it shows your contacts along with their contact picture; its an easy way to contact a person without having to go through the contacts app.