Reviews

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Body Glove Soft Shell Case for Samsung Focus review

For my money, Body Glove makes some of the best cell phone cases on the market. I’ve owned Body Glove cases for a number of the phones I’ve had over the years, and I’ve always been pleased with the products that they put out. When I got the opportunity to review Body Glove’s Soft Shell Case for the Samsung Focus, I jumped at the chance.

Get the complete review of the Body Glove Soft Shell Case after the break.

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Jabra Stone 2 Bluetooth Headset - Review

Traditionally noise cancellation and price have been the difference makers when shopping for a Bluetooth headset. High-end headsets like the Plantronics Voyager Pro and various Jawbone headsets have set the bar for business users requiring great sound quality. The average consumer tends to be more comfortable purchasing one of the myriad of headsets in the $30-$50 price range, sacrificing sound quality for value.

Product design in Bluetooth headsets is becoming one of the ways that manufacturers differentiate their products from competitors. Motorola added functionality and usability to the Oasis headset by focusing on the product design, while Jabra added both functionality and style in their Stone headset. With the second version of the Stone Jabra continues to improve on their design, as well as cleaning up some minor flaws with the original model.

For the full review of the Jabra Stone 2, keep reading.

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Body Glove Snap-On case for Samsung Focus - Review

One downside to Microsoft’s business model of licensing the Windows Phone 7 OS to device manufacturers is that you don’t get the quantity of accessories that a device like the iPhone does. Fortunately, the Samsung Focus is starting to get some love in the accessory department, though some of our favorite case-makers are a little slow to get on the bandwagon (looking at you Otter Box).

Body Glove makes some of the best cell phone cases that I’ve ever used. Their Snap-On case for the Focus is a perfect example of what they are capable of. For the full breakdown of what Body Glove’s Snap-On case offers, keep reading.

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Fruit Ninja - Review

It’s listed as the top game in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.  If you haven’t played it already chances are you’ve heard of it. Fruit Ninja is one of the most talked about mobile games this side of Angry Birds. Ridiculously simple to play and as addicting as all get-out, Fruit Ninja is a favorite of adults and kids alike.

There is a lot of hype around Fruit Ninja, and without a doubt it is one of the best all around games in the Marketplace, but what makes it stand out from the rest? Keep reading for the full review.

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Parachute Panic - Review

Parachute Panic dropped into the Marketplace a little while ago bringing a unique look to the Xbox Live gaming app line up. The Windows Phone 7 game offers a simple approach to the graphics and may have some of the best sound effects/music tracks of any Windows Phone game.

The object of the game is elementary. Guide your parachute stick figure to a safe landing on a boat that is drifting around at the bottom of the screen. Along your journey you'll avoid helicopters, U.F.O.'s and the stray thunderstorm. Oh and by the way, every now and then the the boats move with the currents giving you a moving target to contend with. Did I mention the man eating sharks?

To read more on this entertaining game from Microsoft Studios and ....., just jump on past the break.

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ScoreMobile - Review

Score Media Ventures has brought ScoreMobile to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. The free app brings sports scores, news, stats and videos to your Windows Phone. Fantastic, right?

ScoreMobile also allows you to tag teams as your favorites, making it easier to follow their progress as the season moves along. The app has a minor degree of customization and it ran very stable.

To find out the particulars of ScoreMobile, follow the break.

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Favorites Hub - Review

While Windows Phone 7 has a lot to offer, I often find myself missing a feature from Windows Mobile; a contacts or speed dialing page.  With Windows Phone 7 you could populate the Start Screen with dozens of tiles for more frequently used contacts or you could use Ryan Lee's Favorites Hub app.

The Favorites Hub is a central spot where you can put all your more frequently used phone numbers, email addresses and web links for quick access. Favorites Hub is a convienent, easy to use application that makes it easier to access large groups of those you call, email, message with regularity.

Skip on past the break to read more on the Favorites Hub.

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Wiki Bee - Review

Hekool is offering a Wikipedia app over at the Marketplace, Wiki Bee. Wiki Bee is a straight forward, simple to use, Wikipedia portal for Windows Phone 7.

The Windows Phone app comes in two flavors; a free version (Wiki Bee Free) and a paid version (Wiki Bee). Both versions allow you to search in 35 languages, auto-complete searches, quick navigation through a table of contents, and the means to immediately return to your most recent topic searched.

The differences rest with the paid version of Wiki Bee. With the pay version you add the ability to save topics as favorites, jump to any topic in your search history, and have offline access to your history and favorites.

For more on the Wiki Bee apps, buzz on past the break.

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Splash! - Review

The Windows Phone game Splash! puts a new twist on dodge ball. Similar to the Windows Phone 7 game Dodge These Balls, Splash! allows you to be more offensive in protecting your ball.

The premise of the game is that you control a white ball and try to avoid hitting the other balls that appear on the screen. You move your ball around by tilting your Windows Phone. The more severe the tilt, the faster the ball moves.

To help you protect your ball, Splash! allows you to splatter the colored balls for points. The balls sprout up from the gaming screen and while you can splat them as they grow, you get more points by splattering the full sized balls. The only ball you can't splat is the black balls (which you'll need to avoid). The longer you play, the quicker the colored balls are generated and the more black balls you'll have to dodge.  I have to admit it was challenging trying to move the white ball to safety while tapping the colored balls into oblivion.

Splash! is a fun game that ran smoothly and there is a slight addictive quality to the game.  Being able to squish the colored balls helps keep things from getting stale too quick.  There is a trial version available with the full version running $.99.

You can find Splash! here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace and after the break you can catch a video of the game in action.

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Bubble Burst - Review

Do you miss the Bubble Burst game that was pre-installed on just about every Windows Mobile phone? If so, Z Games has just what you need. Bubble Burst for Windows Phone 7 brings you the classic Windows Phone game and takes it a step further.  You've got a few new game modes and a challenge feature that helps add a little variety to the game.

To see what's new with this classic game, follow the break.

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Awesome Sheep - Review

Give or take a few, there are approximately 690 puzzle applications for Windows Phone 7. One of such is Awesome Sheep, a puzzle game for your Windows Phone that has you leading your sheep from the barn to pasture.

Sounds easy, right? It would be if the path was straight and narrow but Awesome Sheep has your tackling see-saws, diving from cliffs (the sheep are equipped with parachutes) and other hurdles to tackle. Awesome Sheep has moved up the popularity list for Windows Phone puzzle games and to see what all the excitement is about, just leap on past the break.

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AlphaJax vs Spell It! - A Head to Head Review

When we first mentioned AlphaJax, a scrabble-type word game for Windows Phone 7, there were a few comments suggesting we take a look at another word game, Spell It!. Well, who are we to shy away from a request.

Over the past few days, we took both out for a test drive to see if there was a clear cut choice between AlphaJax and Spell It! The game premise of both are virtually the same but are there enough differences that may give one an edge over the other? To find out what we thought, ease on past the break.

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SPB Brain Evolution 2 - Review

SPB Software isn't a stranger to Windows Phones. Offering a wide range of applications for Windows Mobile operating system, they have finally made the transition to Windows Phone 7. The software developers first venture with the new Windows Phone is to bring their bestselling game, SPB Brain Evolution 2 to WP7.

The popular puzzle, math, logic game offers 12 mini games that will test your concentration, speed and mental processing skills. It doesn't stray too far from the original SPB Brain Evolution we saw on Windows Mobile. If anything, the game seems to have become more challenging.

To read more on SPB's Brain Evolution, ease on past the break.

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SpeedGauge - Review

SpeedGauge is another Windows Mobile application that has made the transition to Windows Phone 7. The Windows Phone application is a speedometer that tracks your speed through your phone's location services.

You also have the ability to various travel statistics, change the color of the display and change the display to a heads up type. The only thing missing from the Windows Phone 7 version of SpeedGauge is an analog display.

To read more about SpeedGauge, zip on past the break.

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SoundEscape 7 - Review

Stressful day at work? Need some soothing sounds to ease the tension of the day? SoundEscape 7 is a Windows Phone 7 application that offers seven nature sounds to offer a relaxing atmosphere.

The seven sounds include: Ocean, Rain, Waterfall, Forest, River, Desert, City

I'm not sure if the sounds of the City qualify for relaxation sounds but it may work for some. The sound application has three timers (5, 15 and 30 minutes) and accompanying photos that reflect the mood. The timers come in handy if you need a little relaxation to go to sleep by.

It's an interesting application and while the photos are a nice touch, I would have liked to have seen a photo slide show used or the ability to use your own photos. Staring at the same old photo can get old.

SoundEscape 7 will run you $.99. There is not a trial version available. You can find your copy here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace.

Ease on past the break to see SoundEscape 7 in action.

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DioDict - Review

We've mentioned the Windows Phone application DioDict before. It is a dictionary application for Windows Phone 7 that is exclusive to the Samsung phones. The app taps into Collins Dictionary libary and includes multi-language support.

Recently updated to clean up some text formatting issues, DioDict offers more than definitions. It's a free application located in the Samsung App Zone and to read more about DioDict (plus see a video of it in action), just follow the break.

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Truecaller - Review

Need to look up a phone number that's appeared on your Windows Phone caller ID? Truecaller is a Windows Phone 7 app that will let you not only search by keyword but also by phone numbers.

Results are returned listing the name and address (if available), a link to show the location on TrueCaller's map, a link to search the result through Bing, as well as the ability to call the number or add it to a spam listing. While I like the ability to add a number to a spam list, there doesn't appear to be any way to manage such a list.

TrueCaller also gives you access to International numbers.  Just tap the Choose Country at the bottom of the main page and select the Country you would like to search.  For the most part, TrueCaller ran smoothly but from time to time, the app crashed while conducting the search.  It's not enough to drive you crazy and hopefully the next update will fix things.

There isn't a trial version available for TrueCaller but the full version is only $.99. If you need to search phone numbers, TrueCaller is worth a look at.

You can find the Windows Phone 7 app here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace and follow the break to see a video of TrueCaller in action.

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Kill the Duck - Review

Kill the Duck has been in the Top Ten list of Windows Phone 7 downloads for some time now. It's a free game for your Windows Phone with a simple gaming objective; shoot down as many ducks as you can without taking out any doves.

There is a little more to this hunting game. Each level is timed and you have scoring objectives to meet in order to advance to the next level.

Graphics have a classic gaming appearance and to take out a duck, simply tap the screen on the duck. For effect, cross-hairs appear on the screen. The doves are sneaky in that they often fly across the screen in between ducks making the shots more challenging.

The game ran smoothly with no glitches, bugs, or crashes experienced.  There is an addictive quality to the game and after playing if for a while, I'm not surprised Kill the Duck has stayed in the Top Ten Downloads for so long. 

You can find your free copy of Kill the Duck here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace and just past the break you can see a video of the gaming app in action.

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Zombies!!! - Review

Zombies seem to be invading our Windows Phones these days. At last count, there were about fifteen zombie themed games at the Marketplace.  One of the more anticipated zombie themed games for Windows Phone 7 has to be Zombies!!!.

A collaborative effort between Microsoft Game Studios, Babaroga, and Twilight Creations, Zombies!!! brings the popular board game to the small screen of your Windows Phone.  Graphically well presented, Zombies!!! represents the original board game extremely well.

The game premise is simple. Wipe out 25 zombies or make it to the helipad to escape the City. Along the way you compete with other players who'll do what they can to slow you down by playing action cards or positioning zombies in your way.

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Zombie Defense - Review

While Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst (see full review) has mutant freaks, Zombie Defense from Rush Forward has plain old zombies. The Windows Phone 7 game has you defending your neighborhood from a parade of the living dead.

The multi-level tower defense game offers ten types of zombies to defend against and three different tower weapons. Zombie Defense is an entertaining game for the Windows Phone but to see if it's worth the $.99 price tag, you'll have to follow the break.

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Wordish - Review

Like word games? Wordish is available for Windows Phone 7 that is a blend between scrabble and solitaire. It's an entertaining app for your Windows Phone that has you finding four words from stacks of letters.

Each letter is assigned a point value and the game ends when no more words can be created. No Springs Studios, the developer, has put together a nice package with Wordish and to find out more, hop on past the break.

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Apict - Review

Nostalgic over Polaroid styled pictures? If so, Olivier Payen has developed Apict for your Windows Phone that gives ordinary pictures that instant camera effect.

Apict can be applied to new photos, saved photos, and is accessible from your Windows Phone camera app through the "Extras" menu.

To read more on this $.99 Windows Phone 7 application, click on past the break.

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Putt in Golf - Review

7.1.M is offering a really nice looking putt-putt golf game for your Windows Phone. Putt in Golf is an 18 hole, miniature golf game for the Windows Phone 7 platform.

While not an XBox Live game, Putt in Golf will allow you to upload your scores to an online leader board to see how well you've done against other duffers.

Read more about Putt in Golf after the break.

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Reach Central - Review

The Halo series of Xbox games have been without question, hugely popular. Reach Central is a Windows Phone companion app that will allow you to keep tabs on your Halo Reach progression.  If you're a big Halo Reach gamer, this Windows Phone 7 app will let you brag about your accomplishments and progress in a graphically pleasing manner.

Reach Central lays things out nicely on a four page hub detailing your progress in the game. Just enter your Xbox Live Gamertag and Reach Central will pull the Halo Reach stats from your account.

Follow the break to read more on Reach Central.

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Blackjack by Panoramic - Review

Panoramic Software is offering BlackJack over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace and at $.99 it's a steal. The Windows Phone game is sharp looking, stable and entertaining.

Key features include card counting options, game achievements, and a learn to play mode. You know the drill, to see how well these features pan out just follow the break.

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