Reviews

Voice navigation has landed on your Windows Phone by way of apps such as GPS Voice Navigation, Silver Navigator, aSpass and Turn by Turn Navigation. These navigation apps bring the spoken word to your travel directions, But which is better?  Prices range from $2.99 to $6.99 but which are worth the price of admission and which aren't?

We decided to do a head to head comparison of the various voice navigation apps available for your Windows Phone.  First up, we take a look at GPS Voice Navigation and Turn by Turn Navigation.  They are the heavy weights of the group (both in price and features) and we'll turn our sights on Silver Navigator and aSpass next.

We recently took both GPS Voice and Turn by Turn out for a road trip to see how well both performed. Did GPS Voice Navigation out perform Turn by Turn or did it land us in the middle of nowhere? Did Turn by Turn steer us into a cow pasture or did was it the shiny coin between the two?

You know the drill. To find out how these two navigation apps shook out, navigate your way past the break.

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Verizon HTC Trophy - Review

Verizon Customers may say, "It's about time" with regards to the release of the HTC Trophy but I think they will be very pleased with their first Windows Phone 7 device. The Trophy completes the Windows Phone coverage for the major U.S. Wireless Carriers and isn't a shabby addition to the Windows Phone line up.

We had the opportunity to get our hands on an HTC Trophy for a few days and the Windows Phone made a nice first impression. The phone felt good in the hand, had a nice design to it, and the 3.8" screen looked good. To see if our first impression was changed much after using the Trophy for a few days, make the jump past the break.

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Seidio vs. Mobi: Hard Shell head to head

If you want to give your Windows Phone a little protection, a hard shell case is one option that won't weight you down. Mobi Products and Seidio both offer a hard shell case for various Windows Phones. These cases offer an extra layer of protection to the back and sides of the phone while adding very little overall bulk to your Windows Phone.

But does one stand out from the other? Is the Mobi case a better deal than the Seidio? Or is the higher priced Seidio hard case worth every penny?

Make the jump past the break and see how these two cases perform when used with the HTC HD7s.

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Doodle Jump - Review

Slowly but surely, all of the major iPhone gaming hits are finding their way to Windows Phone. It’s important that Microsoft’s young platform has the games that people like and want to play. The latest game to make the jump to Xbox Live is Doodle Jump, originally developed by Lima Sky. The Windows Phone version was ported by Mr. Goodliving (who were shut down by owner RealNetworks prior to the game’s actual release) and Game-Lion Studios. Doodle Jump has been a huge success on other platforms due to its unique, appealing art style, precise accelerometer-based controls, and easy-to-learn, hard-to-master game play.

Is Doodle Jump just as much of a standout on Windows Phone? Step, no, jump past the break to find out.

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Qmadix BoostPac - Review

While Windows Phones have noticeably improved power management to get the most of your battery, every now and again you might need a boost of power. You could use a car charger or carry around an extra wall charger/USB cord but what about the times you don't have a charging source? Enter the Qmadix BoostPac.

This little one inch square cube is a 1000mah Lithium Ion battery that will give your Windows Phone enough power to get you to that electrical outlet or car charger. The battery has a built in shutoff to protect your phone from over-charging and LED indicators to show you how much power is left and when re-charging is complete.

Continued after the break.

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Quadrata and Triangula - Double Header Review

Remember the line game squares? Some may have called it "Dots and Boxes".  You know the game.  Where you drew a grid of dots on a piece of paper and took turns connecting them to build squares? Arkady Elterman has developed two games built around the old paper and pencil game.

These two Windows Phone games are so close, they could have been game modes under the same title. So similar that a double header of a review can cover both under the same headline.

To read more on Quadrata and Triangula, move on past the break.

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Armored Drive - Review

Elbert Perez has developed his fair share of Windows Phone games. From Steam Castle to Impossible Shoota to Traffic Cop, his efforts have produced some interesting, entertaining games. One of his latest titles, Armored Drive, continues in this tradition.

It's a road race, dodge traffic and balls falling from the sky type game. It reminds me of a Spy Hunter game or Steel Avenger but unique enough not to feel like "just another road game where you have to dodge traffic and fight off the enemy".

To read more on Armored Drive, zip on past the break.

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Ecolife Hydro Side Case - Review

Ecolife has a new case out for the HD7/HD7S. The Ecolife Hydro Side Case utilizes the same recyled material that Ecolife cases have become known for but also adds rubber edging.

The Hydro Side Case is a welcome addition to the WPCentral Store line-up and to see how well it matches with the HD7 (as well as the Samsung Focus), ease on past the break.

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Bubble Twist - Review

Looking for a simply, yet entertaining game for your Windows Phone? Like the Bubble Burst styled games but wish they did more? Check out Bubble Twist over at the Marketplace.

Bubble Twist puts a twist on your traditional lined, bubble bursting games. The object remains the same; grouping three or more of the same colored bubbles. But the playing field rotates.

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when Bubble Twist was downloaded. To see if I was pleasantly surprised, follow the break.

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Wordrix - Review

Okay... here's a cool, addictive game for your Windows Phone. Wordrix is a Boggle styles game for your Windows Phone that has you finding words amongst an assortment of letters.

As you create words, you earn points and the letters are replenished. You have two game modes, Local and Online with settings to allow you to customize the appearance of the game.

To read more on Wordrix, follow the break.

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Slice and Throw - Review

In the spirit of Fruit Ninja and Juice Factory, Slice and Throw is being offered over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Slice and Throw is more in line with Fruit Ninja but without the fruit.

The game objective is to slice threw scrolls that are tossed in the air and throw shuriken stars at moving objects in the background. Yep... ninja stars!

Move on past the break to read more on Slice and Throw.

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Guitar Hero 5 Mobile - Review

If you play music games on consoles and also have friends who play real instruments, then you probably know at least one who won’t be bothered to play said games because he’d rather be doing the real thing. It’s a snooty perspective in which the musician is actually bothered by the idea of people pretending to do what he (or she) does without going through years of practice. You can try to tell them how the singing in Rock Band and Guitar Hero is real singing (karaoke-style), but by that time they’re probably outside smoking a cigarette while thinking of how much cooler they are than you.

Just as music snobs don’t get music games, as a music gamer, I don’t quite get Guitar Hero 5 Mobile. The real Guitar Hero is a simplified simulation of the complex act of making music that uses plastic instruments. The mobile version is a simplified simulation of that simulation, sans plastic instruments. It helps if you think about it that way – this version in no way recreates the act of making music. But it is kind of like playing the console game on a touch screen. Perhaps that’s reason enough for it to exist?

Plug in your amp and follow the jump for our full review.

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Super Monkey Ball - Review

Back in elementary school, I once bit into a piece of fried okra thinking it was a Tater Tot. What should have been a delicious, tiny hash brown actually tasted like green death, forever ruining okra for me.

Super Monkey Ball on Windows Phone is a lot like that. On the outside, it has all the makings of a quality game – cute characters, a fun premise, fairly good graphics, and catchy music. I was really looking forward to it before it came out. Beneath Super Monkey Ball’s tasty exterior, however, lies an unpleasant surprise: utterly abhorrent tilt controls.

The Super Monkey Ball series has made quite a name for itself since its debut in Japanese arcades and subsequent release as a GameCube launch title. Players guide one of four monkeys (each inside of a clear ball) across one or more floating platforms and through a goal, avoiding hazards and collecting bananas along the way. The only significant difference between the monkeys is the annoyingness of their voices – I found GonGon to be the most tolerable. Anyway, instead of directly controlling the monkey, you tilt the maze itself and try to steer the monkey where it needs to go. It’s a fun and unique concept.

Roll past the break for our full review.

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Shuriken Ninja - Review

Shuriken Ninja has been sitting in the top five Windows Phone apps for some time now and it's about time we took a look at this popular gaming title. Shuriken Ninja is an ad-supported, free game for your Windows Phone where you play the role of a ninja.

Continued after the break.

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Hydro Thunder GO - Review

One of the latest XBox Live games to hit the Windows Phone Marketplace is Hydro Thunder Go from PixelBite. The racing game has sentimental value to me in that I can remember playing it in arcades and eagerly waiting for its release on the Nintendo 64 platform over a decade ago.

It has since been released in some shape, form or fashion on multiple gaming systems and has now landed on your Windows Phone. It's a pricey game but if you like racing games, especially boat racing games, it's well worth the price of admission.

We've spent some time with the PixelBite developers and after the break you can find out more on Hydro Thunder Go.

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AT&T HTC HD7S - Review

T-Mobile customers have been enjoying the HTC HD7 for some time now. The large screen Windows Phone is now headed to AT&T as the HD7S. The "S" is for the Super LCD WVGA screen. Personally, I would have liked to have seen AT&T go with something more creative like the HTC Slate. HTC HD7S is fitting but it can be somewhat of a tongue twister.

We ran a first impression video earlier and was impressed with what we saw. Over the past few days we've used the HD7S exclusively and while it still makes a good impression, there is some room for improvement.

Move on past the break to see how well that first impression lasted.

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Pac-Man Championship Edition DX - Review

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX papercraft

A long time ago, Pac-Man was king of the arcades. If you were a gamer, you were either playing Pac-Man or wishing you were playing it, and you never failed to ask asked your mom to make Pac-Man pancakes in the morning. Over the years, the yellow guy’s popularity has waned despite the occasional (and generally mediocre) sequel.

Fortune turned back in Pac-Man’s favor with 2007’s downloadable console title, Pac-Man Championship Edition. Critics and gamers alike praised CE’s return to classic-style game play and looks. Three years later, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX improved on CE’s foundations, creating the perfect Pac-Man game for the modern era. Now DX comes to Windows Phone with a few less features than the console version but just as much retro modern charm.

Turn a corner, watch out for ghosts, and head past the break for our full review.

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PhotoSafe - Review

Need a secure area on your Windows Phone to store photos? PhotoSafe is a Windows Phone app that will allow you to store photos and is password secure. PhotoSafe won't password protect the galleries in your Photo Hub but it will provide a safe harbor for sensitive images.

PhotoSafe features include:

  • Import photos from your existing Photo Hub
  • Take pictures with your Windows Phone camera directly from PhotoShare
  • Integration with Photo Hub Extras
  • Slideshow creator

Move on past the break to read more on PhotoSafe.

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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - Review

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when thinking about Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Chris Tarrent perhaps, or possibly the background music?

Either way, the game is on the Marketplace and it’s a great resemblance of the TV quiz show when it was a relatively successful hit a good decade ago, originating in 1998. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on Windows Phone 7 is an Xbox Live (achievements enabled) general quiz game which sports an easy-on-the-eye interface and features the classic music present in the shows on TV.

Continued after the break.

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Prime TV - Review

One of the benefits of a Windows Phone is the amount of information it can pull up. If you need to find out information on your favorite television shows, Prime TV is one resource that will bring plenty of television information to your Windows Phone.

Remember the TV Guides your mom used to buy in the grocery store checkout? Prime TV is a lot like TV Guide but on steroids. To find out all the information Prime TV will bring to your Windows Phone, slide on past the break.

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LazyWormApp's Youtube apps - Review

Some time ago we first mentioned LazyWormApps YouTube app for Windows Phone after it was recently updated. The YouTube client made a very good first impression and after tinkering with the app for a few days, that impression hasn't faded.

The app comes in two versions, Youtube and Lazytube. LazyWorm's Youtube app is a free, ad-free, app that gives you access to YouTube. LazyTube is a paid app ($.99) that also gives you ad-free access to YouTube as well as HD Streaming and a chameleon live tile that adapts to the phone theme.

Oh, before you make the jump to read more about LazyWormApps Youtube apps, you might be interested that the developer is running a fully featured free trail of LazyTube. Not sure how long this offer will last but you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Pirates Assault - Review

Pirates Assault is available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace and put's a swash buckling twist on the tower defense games. The goal with Pirates' Assault is to protect your treasure chest from raiding pirates.

You do so by strategically placing canons along the coastline in hopes of blasting the pirates out of the water before they can sail off with the loot. Pirates' Assault is a little more than your typical tower defense game and to find out how it keeps you on your toes, sail on past the break.

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The Onion 7 - Review

The Onion has come to your Windows Phone. The Onion is a news website that covers news, sports, politics, and other issues of the day. But with an interesting, humorist twist much along the lines of The Daily Show and SNL's Weekend Update. The Onion 7 is an unofficial companion app that brings the Onion news stories to your Windows Phone.

On the Onion you can read about HP's new non-computer for those who don't need a computer. Or sports stories such as how every MLB player begins hitting home runs after copying Albert Pujols' batting stance. The Onion 7 brings the lighter side of the news to Windows Phone 7.  There are audio casts reporting where McDonalds stock tumbles as consumers turn to food and videos reports on how an internet outage forced people into the streets to voice their opinions.

Continued after the break

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Manhattan 2020 - Review

Manhattan 2020 is an unique sort of game for your Windows Phone. It has a retro look to it with plenty of pixels and a very simple objective.

You play the role of a jetpack hero who is flying through a futuristic Manhattan. To help make your travels interesting, angry birds (that really look like bat - probably because of the pixels), helicopters and evil jetpackers try to mess you up.

While the game's objective sounds easy, Manhattan 2020 is a surprisingly challenging game. Jump on past the break to read more.

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