Testers complained about the Kin phones long before they were shipped off to store shelves.
Wired has gained access to three supposed internal videos from Microsoft that show testers handling the failed Kin One and Kin Two family of smartphones.
Based on the videos alone, it appears that the Redmond company may have known these devices would flop on the market, but launched the social phones anyway to see if they would have better luck with the consumer masses. That didn't happen of course, as the two Kin phones were pulled from the market 48 days after they were first initially released.
According to Wired, these videos were provided by a "person who worked on the [Kin] project". The source claims that the devices seen in the leaked footage were pre-production models that changed very little from the shipping product save for some performance improvements. The unnamed source didn't say anything positive about the phones, nor did the test subjects fondling the Microsoft gadgets in the videos.
In the first video provided to Wired, testers were given the opportunity to provide open-ended, overall feedback on their experience using the Kin phones. The other two videos show the testers having great difficulty in making simple calls, and trying to manage an extremely laggy interface. One tester even said that his daughter would likely give the device back, refusing to use it. despite its social appeal.
"The phone seems really slow in responding," said one tester, "and that makes it confused as to what it's doing. For instance, I was in the dialer – I'm trying to kit a key, it thinks I am trying to pan, so it doesn't do anything. Just bringing up the camera, it's useless for anything spontaneous. This phone would have gone back if I paid for it."
The Kin ONE and Kin TWO launched back in May 6, 2010, promoted as phones best suited for social network junkies. They put music, photos and social media at the forefront of the Kin experience. However in July 2010 Verizon Wireless stopped selling the devices due to poor sales and returned the unsold units back to Microsoft. The Redmond company halted production shortly after that, and the Kin team was assimilated into the Windows Phone division.
Given that they were phones aimed at young adults and social network users -- even packed with slide-out keypads -- the phones shipped without any kind of instant messaging system, nor could they support an IM client. They also didn't feature any kind of spelling correction or predictive text input, nor did they have a calendar or appointment app. Even more, contact lists could only be copied from other phones by a Verizon store employee.
To see the three leaked Microsoft videos, head here.