Reviews

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Mobi Hard Shell Case - Review

Not a fan of leather cases for your Windows Phone? Prefer pocket carry but want some level of protection for your phone? Mobi Products may have just what you're looking for in the Hard Shell Case.

The case is being offered for a wide variety of Windows Phones and in an assortment of colors (black, blue, red, purple, and pink). We took the Mobi Hard Shell Case out for a spin with a Samsung Focus and it left a decent impression on us.

To see if this two piece, hard shell case is worth considering just hit the break.

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Currency Converter Pro - Review

Like to keep track of currency exchange rates? Curious what the latest price of aluminum is? BlackLight Mobile is offering Currency Converter Pro over at the Marketplace that puts a ton of currency exchange information on your Windows Phone.

From simply currency conversion (147 world currencies and 6 metals) to tracking the value of a currency or precious metal Currency Converter Pro is a handy travel application as well a nice travel app.  Currency Converter Pro will even provide you with a sample image of the bank note you are researching. Toss in recent currency news and Currency Converter Pro may be a total package.

Ease on past the break to read more on this Windows Phone travel/financial app.

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Daily Horoscope - Review

Tarot.com has put together a nice looking horoscope app for your Windows Phone. Daily Horoscope for Windows Phone 7 offers not only general horoscopes for a three day window but will also keep you up to date with moon phases.

Daily Horoscope does require registration (free) to pull up your horoscopes. Not sure why the need for registering exists but it gives you a chance to receive additional information about your horoscope via email. Unless you un-check that particular box.

Follow the break to read more on Daily Horoscope to see if it's an app for your future.

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Balloon Gunner - Review

Balloon Gunner is an interesting game for your Windows Phone. The Windows Phone 7 game is a 3D shooter that has you piloting an air balloon, conquering the skies over an island chain.

At your disposal, you have an assortment of weapons including a machine gun, rockets and bombs. You pilot your balloon with the Windows Phone's g-sensor and fire your weapons by tapping the screen. Sounds simple enough, right?

Follow the break to read more on Balloon Gunner and catch a video of the game in action.

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Shift2 - Review

Looking for a cool game for your Windows Phone? Something with a little twist? If so, check out the Windows Phone 7 game Shift2.

Shift2 is part platform game and part puzzle game. Your goal is to work your player from one side of the screen to a door that appears at various locations throughout the games levels. All in an effort to escape the experimental lab you're trapped inside.

The puzzle challenge comes into play because the route to the door is never direct. You have a shift button that will flip the screen, moving the floor to the roof. It turns towering obstacles into dangerous pits.

Follow the break to read more on Shift2 and to see a video of the game in action.

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National Geographic World Atlas - Review

We’ve looked at dictionaries before, but the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace offers other reference applications as well. National Geographic World Atlas is one such program aimed at geography students and enthusiasts. And who doesn’t like learning about far away lands or the shape of the world?

National Geographic is one of the largest educational institutions in the existence. Does the mobile World Atlas live up to their usual high standards? Read on past the break to find out.

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Pac-Man - Review

Pac-Man is one of the most-ported games ever, and now Namco brings it to Windows Phone 7 as an Xbox Live title. This version is faithful to the arcade original, but lacks any bells-and-whistles to get excited over and introduces a few new problems.

Everybody knows how Pac-Man works, so let’s focus on what’s changed for Windows Phone 7. The game is played from a vertical orientation. The actual play field takes up the top two-thirds of the screen, with a virtual joystick on a plain blue background at the bottom. Super bland menus that use an ugly font further contribute to a mediocre presentation.

To find out whether our circular arcade hero gets the ghosts or if they get him instead, chomp a power pellet and head past the break.

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DocMe - Review

Document scanners can be a useful utility for your Windows Phone. We've already looked at HandyScan and now turn our sites towards DocMe. DocMe is a simple, straightforward document scanner developed by Amberlabs.

As with similar applications, DocMe uses your Windows Phone camera to capture images of documents and converts them into various file types. Additional integration with your Windows Phone camera includes DocMe being added to your phone's Share Menu. This allows you to take advantage of the camera's quick picture and then worry about uploading the image for conversion.

To see how well DocMe performed, just ease on past the break.

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8

I Dig It - Review

Your Windows Phone is about to go underground. Microsoft Studios and InMotion Software has released I Dig It for Windows Phone 7 that will have you digging to the center of the Earth in search of treasure.

You pilot a modified bulldozer that is fitted with a heavy-duty drill bit. As you dig, you gain points and you can cash in by selling your buried treasures. Cash that can be used to upgrade your digger, buy specialty items, repair your digger and most importantly buy gas.

I Dig It has fantastic graphics, challenging game play and there's no telling what buried treasure you will find. To find out more on this Xbox Live game for your Windows Phone, dig on past the break.

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SkyMap - Review

Skymap is available over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace that should appeal to the stargazer in all of us. The Windows Phone app provides an interactive sky map that will help you plot, locate and identify stars, planets, constellations, and other astronomical points of interest.

The screen lays out what your view of the sky should be facing various directions. There is a compass setting to allow you to adjust your point of view accordingly and the map is gesture supported for zooming and panning. There is also a night mode that's is easier to see at night and helps preserve your night vision. If you see something of interest on the map, just tap it to pull up more information on the object.

It's an interesting app for your Windows Phone with enough information to get you started with star gazing as well as aiding the more seasoned star hunter. To find out more on SkyMap, follow the break.

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Bubble Birds - Review

XIM Inc. is no stranger to Windows Phone gaming. They produced a handful of popular gaming apps for Windows Mobile (AquaLines, Droplets, Tic-Tac-Toe 6x6, etc.) and now are setting their sites on Windows Phone 7. Bubble Birds is one of the developers first releases for the new Windows Phone and it shows a lot of promise.

The game premise is simple. You face rows of colored birds at the top of the screen and you shoot additional birds from a basket located at the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to create a combination of three similarly colored birds and watch the disappear. Nothing too complicated except the rows of birds continue to grow, working its way to the bottom of the screen. When it hits the bottom, game over.

It's an interesting twist on a classic game and to read more about Bubble Birds, ease on past the break.

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Twitter Hunter - Review

A reader suggested a rather interesting Windows Phone game the other day, Twitter Hunter.  It is a Windows Phone 7 game that pits you against a rather disruptive flock of birds.

The game is fast paced in that you are presented with a scene (power lines, tree limbs, clothes lines, etc.) where the pesky birds will appear. A countdown timer is displayed on each bird and when it reaches zero, the screen shakes, you loose a life and the bird flies off.

Your job is simply, blast them off the screen by tapping on them before the timer reaches zero. The quicker you take out the birds, the more points you earn.

More after the break.

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11

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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