If you are a regular reader of this site, chances are that your Windows Phone isn’t the only gadget you keep around. For gadget lovers, getting your device battery charged is one of the few limitations that constrain our phones. On this site we’ve reviewed portable battery chargers, solar chargers, etc; but we’ve never seen anything quite like The Sanctuary from BlueLounge.
The AT&T Microcell went into test markets a little over a year ago and has been slowly rolling out the units nationwide earlier this year. In a nutshell, the Microcell uses your broadband/high speed internet access to connect your phone to the AT&T network. The result is having five bars of reception where you may have none.
There's been some criticism over AT&T Microcell polices that has overshadowed what the Microcell brings to the table. Some do not agree that AT&T should charge minutes and data used through the Microcell against your package minutes or data. There are also concerns that the hardware is priced too high.
While these concerns have merit, if you are in a location that has poor reception, the Microcell is a welcomed sight. The Microcell rolled out to my area recently and having poor signal coverage at the house, I jumped at the opportunity to get five bars of coverage.
Follow the break for more details on the installation of the Microcell and how it performs.
UPDATE: There is some relief for those concerned about the price. AT&T is currently offering a $100 mail-in rebate on the Microcell. The one catch (and you knew there would be a catch) is that you have to sign up for the unlimited voice package ($20 a month) to be eligible for the rebate.
You can never have too much power. As Windows Phones become more versatile, the need for power becomes more critical and sometimes the stock battery isn't enough.
We use our Windows Phones to surf the internet, text, email, watch videos, listen to music, play games on, and in between those activities we make a few calls. While power management has improved greatly with Windows Mobile sometimes the standard battery isn't enough.
For those needing a little more staying power with their Tilt2, the HTC Extended Battery and Cover may be just what you're looking for. You know the drill, to read more on HTC's extended battery and cover, follow the break.
F-Secure is now offering their Anti-Theft App as a free application. We shared the news with you some time ago and now we'll take a closer look at the anti-theft application and compare it to Lookout and GuardMobile, two other popular security applications.
To see how things stack up, follow the break.
SPB is a class act among Windows Mobile developers. Their applications such as SPB Mobile Shell and SPB Backup are some of the best selling and most well known applications available for Windows Mobile.
The Body Glove Snap-on Case for the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 is a hard shell wrapped with a textured, synthetic material. To add to this case's uniqueness, it comes with a kick-stand that allows you to prop up your Windows Phone.
As you can tell from the photos, the Snap-on Case is on an AT&T Tilt2. Not having a T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 handy when I received the case for review, I took a chance to see if it would fit on the Tilt2. While the Body Glove is being offered exclusively for the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 it will fit other Touch Pro models. The one big caveat in doing such is the cut-outs match up with the T-Mobile version. They may or may not match up with other Touch Pro 2 versions.
To see how well the Snap-on Case works out (at least on the Tilt2), follow the break.
The LG Fathom has surfaced from the depths at at time when some believe the Windows Mobile Windows Phones (we really have to work on these names) have all but dried up. The Fathom offers a Snapdragon processor along with Windows Mobile 6.5.3. It's being offered through Verizon Wireless for $379 without a contract or as low as $149 with a two year commitment.
The first impression from the Fathom is positive. The build quality feels solid and the phone rests comfortably in the hand. Beyond that, the Fathom is a little bit of a mixed bag lacking flavor in many areas.
For more on the LG Fathom, you know the drill, just ease on past the break.
Jabra has a long history in the hands free market. In the last few years, they have faced increasing competition from companies that are making a push to break into the top echelon of this electronics niche. Blueant, Jawbone and others are making headsets that are comfortable and stylish while offering a complete feature set. Jabra’s products such as the Stone headset and Halo headphones are a big part of Jabra’s effort to compete against the best that these companies have to offer.
The Jabra Extreme Bluetooth headset is part of Jabra’s “Smart Series” of Bluetooth headsets, which is aimed squarely at business users looking for a hands free device that fits all of their needs in a professional design. Hit the jump for the full review.
As was mentioned at the start, while the KIN is a Windows Phone I don't think it was ever intended to take the place of a Windows Phone running Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7. However, after using the KIN for some time now, it is a good alternative for someone wanting more than your standard feature phone but less than a Windows Phone running Windows Mobile.
After the break, we'll run down the KIN's software, camera, phone, and overall performance.
While the KIN is being marketed as a Windows Phone, it doesn't run Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7. The primary mission, if you will, of the KIN is to keep you in touch with your friends and social networks. While the KIN's OS is a dramatic departure from the traditional appearance of a Windows Phone, it does a decent job of keeping you in touch with your social networks.
The KIN may also give us a feel for the social networking abilities the upcoming Windows Phone 7 may have.
In Part One of this review we looked at the design of the KIN phones. While there are design differences between the KIN One and Two, with respects to the software, I can only think of one (the KIN Two has screen rotation).
Hit the break for more on the software, some screen shots and to find out what's missing.
Reviewing a single Windows Phone has its challenges and looking at two phones at the same time is really challenging. To help maintain sanity and break things down a little better, we'll separate things into three parts: design, software and performance.
The initial impression of the KIN (both One and Two) is that the phones were more like a feature phone with a little more "feature" thrown in. I don't believe either were designed to replace your Windows Phone running Windows Mobile but instead, to offer an alternative to those who don't need as much.
We start with looking at the KIN's design. While the KIN Two has more of a traditional design, the KIN One compactness stands out. Ease on past the break to read more on the design and what impression it left.
Remember the good old days passing the time with your Nokia candy-bar phone and playing Snake? It was surprising how mesmerizing the gray scale game could be.
Just as cell phones have come a long way, so has the game Snake. Snake Deluxe 2 takes the fundamental premise of the original game, adds a splash of color, a storyline and multiple games levels.
Follow the break to see if Snake Deluxe 2 is as addictive and enjoyable as the classic version.
Ever take a trip with friends and when all is said and done, you can't remember who paid for what? How about a party you're planning with friends and you need to track individual expenses and figure out who owes what? More times than not, you likely kept track of things with pencil and paper and more times than not, someone disputes the numbers.
Clevlab.com has developed a Windows Phone app that might help avoid disputes over accounting and do away with the pencil/paper method. Friendly Budget allows you to create events, track expenses and calculate reimbursements.
Friendly Budget takes into account what everyone contributes to the event, divides the cost evenly, subtracts each member's expense from their portion of the budget, and then reports who owes who to balance things out. Expense, event and party entries are straight forward while navigation takes a little getting used to. Friendly Budget does allow for you to add expense categories but there's no way to export the data to a spread sheet or other report (although these features may appear in future releases of the app).
If you need a fairly easy way to track expenses and divide things equally, Friendly Budget is worth considering. The app is available through Marketplace Mobile for $1.99 and you can find more information on the app here. After the break, you can see a video demonstration of Friendly Budget that may rival the World's Record for texting.