Microsoft announces two Kin app phones

Microsoft has made its long-expected first foray into the handset market with two new app phones.

Microsoft has actually decided to market its duo of KIN handsets as 'social phones' saying, "We saw an opportunity to design a mobile experience just for this social generation - a phone that makes it easy to share your life moment to moment.

"We built KIN for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most."

The phones, which are being manufactured by Sharp, both feature touchscreens and slide-out keyboards and look a little on the portly side.

The KIN One is a wee pebble of a phone designed to fit in a pocket and be operated with one hand. It has a 5.0 megapixel camera with flash and 4 GB of onboard memory.

The KIN Two has a larger touchscreen and keyboard, can record hi def video with its 8 megapixel camera and has 8GB of storage. It's not clear whether the phones have card slots to expand the storage but we would hope so.

Both handsets include Zune media player functionality and we can only assume they run some kind of mutant version of the Winows 7 Mobile OS, though nothing on the launch site confirms this.

The home page of both phones, called KIN Loop, features something called the KIN spot, where you can drag emails, messages and video clips to be later distributed amongst your digital chums.

Our first impression? Well, as you can see, they're as ugly as hell and seem to fly directly in the face of the direction every other phone company on the planet is taking, which isn't always a bad thing (but probably is in this case).

But we have to conclude that once again, Microsoft is turning up to the party too late wearing last year's duds.

No prices or UK availability have been announced as yet but the handsets are expected to turn up on Verizon and Vodafone in the US this autumn

There is a ton of other pics and videos here.