This one took us a while. It's true that the KIN phones are excellent featurephones, but we're just not sure what the future holds for them. Microsoft recently shut down the KIN Studio, KIN Loop, and KIN Spot so, naturally, we're thinking that Verizon will eventually just shut down the phones all-together. However, for the time being, Verizon has accepted the KIN phones back into their retail stores and we just can't ignore their spot-on performance.
For those reasons, the KIN TWOm is now number one on our Top Messaging Phones list for Verizon, though we've kind of grouped both phones together as one. So the KIN TWOm is listed as number one, but the KIN ONEm is worth a look as well. They may be only a shadow of what they once were, but even considering that, these phones are simply excellent messaging phones.
Check out the full list below.
1. KIN TWOm
- Excellent QWERTY keyboard
- Fantastic 8 MP autofocus camera with a flash and HD video capture
- Zune music player built-in (worth $100 by itself)
- Impressive email client
- One of the best web browsers for a featurephone
- Capacitive touchscreen
- We're not sure what the deal is with these phones or how long Verizon plans to continue selling them. Most of the advertised features have been shut down so we're guessing the phones themselves will discontinued shortly. In short, buyer beware.
It's true that Microsoft shut down the KIN Studio, KIN Loop, and KIN Spot services, basically whittling the phone down to a simple featurephone; however, this may have been more of a positive than a negative. The social networking features were nice, but the overall performance of those features was simply not up to par with expectations and disappointing overall. Without those features, the phone is actually pretty good and contains other features that you simply won't find on other featurephones, at least not together. The capacitive touchscreen, excellent camera, WiFi support, Zune player, and impressive e-mail client make this one a no-brainer. Proceed without caution though and consider that con we brought out.
2. LG Octane
- Same great design and physical keyboard that was so popular with the enV series
- 3.2 MP camera with autofocus and a flash
- Solid build quality with stylish design
- 2.5mm headphone jack
- The lack of a touchscreen may bother some
The enV line of phones were some of the best in the business. They may appear to be gone, but the Octane retains the same great design, the same amazing keyboard, and the same great camera. Not only that, but it's cheaper!
3. LG Cosmos Touch
- Cool touchscreen display
- Decent physical keyboard
- 3.5mm headphone jack with a music player and an external microSD card slot come together for a great music listening experience
- 1.3 MP camera could have (and should have) been better
- The device is a little small so typing on the keyboard may be hard for some
The Cosmos Touch delivers as a mid-range messaging phone and even has some perks for music listeners. Because of this, we're willing to make an exception for it's mediocre camera.