Reviews

32

Review: HTC HD2

 

One of the more anticipated Windows phones of the past year has been the HTC HD2. Unlike it's predecessor, the Touch HD, which never made it to the U.S. market, the HD2 is scheduled for release on an as-yet-unannounced U.S. carrier in early 2010, and T-Mobile appears to be the leading candidate.

We've done a hands-on video of the HD2, now here comes the full review of the non-U.S. version. While it's possible the U.S. version of the HD2 won't be much different than the overseas model, we can't rule out that carriers or HTC won't tweak it a little. Keep in mind the version we're reviewing here won't work on U.S. 3G bands.

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Review: SPB Time v3.0

SPB Software recently released an updated version of Time. Time is a one-stop shop for all your time-keeping needs, and the updated version (v3.0) is packed full of analog and digital modes, a world clock, timers, stopwatches and alarms. It may very well be all you'd ever need in a time application.

So what's new with v3.0? Here are the highlights:

  • Online skin catalog
  • Three alarms: Classic, Paranoid, and Bio
  • Improved touch UI
  • Scrollable Calendar
  • Moon Phases
  • Mobile Shell Widgets
  • New alarm sounds

We took SPB Time v3.0 out for a test drive. More after the break.

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32

Review: The HP Glisten

HP has produced several Windows Mobile products over the years. From the iPAQ and Jornada PDA's to the iPAQ Windows Mobile phones they have created a bit of history with the Microsoft operating system. HP hopes to continue its strong history with Windows Mobile with the Glisten

Announced a few weeks ago, the Glisten is a front-facing QWERTY keyboard, touch screen Windows phone is available through AT&T as well as directly from HP.  We had an opportunity to take a pre-production model of the Glisten out for a test drive and found it to a nice phone.

To see how nice it is, follow the break.

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56

Review: HTC Imagio from Verizon

While the HTC Touch Pro 2 releases took center stage last month, HTC quietly released another Windows Phone running Windows Mobile 6.5. Way back on October 6, 2009 Verizon and HTC announced the release of the Imagio, also known as the Whitestone.

The Imagio is a "black slab" phone designed very similar to the Touch HD but unique enough to stand on its own. The Imagio is a Verizon "exclusive" and we found it to be an interesting Windows phone.

Follow the break to what type of impression the HTC Imagio left.

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Review: Namco Galaga

If you think about it, our Windows Phones have more raw computing power than the computer systems that many of us were raised on. It stands to reason that many of the computing classics would be ported to the miniaturized hardware that we tote around every day. We’ve already looked at Tetris Mania by Electronic Arts, but it’s not the only old kid on the new block.

Namco has been in the arcade game business since the beginning. The folks that brought you legendary games such as Pac-Man have begun to bring their classics to the Windows Mobile platform. One such game, Galaga, is the subject of this review. For the uninitiated, Galaga is one of the original fixed- shooter game that were (and still are) very popular in arcades. This style of game lends itself particularly well to a small device like a Windows Phone.

Hit the break for my full review.

 

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Review: Smartphone Experts TopPouch Case

The choice of a case is about as unique as the Windows phone itself. Some prefer horizontal cases, some side cases, some hard cases, and some just prefer skins. For the vertical case crowd, Smartphone Experts offers the TopPouch Case for a wide variety of Windows phones, and we recently took one out for a test drive with the AT&T Tilt2 (a.k.a. Touch Pro 2).

Follow the break to read about our impressions on this case.

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Review: Motorola H17 Bluetooth Headset

With Christmas just around the corner, you may be looking for a headset for someone on your shopping list. If you haven’t checked it out already, take a look at the WMExperts Store Holiday Gift Guide. One of the products on the wish list of the illustrious Dieter Bohn is Motorola’s H17 Bluetooth Headset.

Motorola has been making headsets for a long time, and its product line includes some pretty impressive options. The H790 and the H15 are both solid headsets that we’ve reviewed in the past. The H17 takes a lot of design cues from the H15, most obviously the hinged boom microphone that doubles as a power switch.

Hit the link for my thoughts on the H17.

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8

Review: OtterBox 2000 Series

We’ve reviewed cases in all shapes and sizes. Nothing that I’ve seen comes anywhere close to what OtterBox brings to the table with its cases. An OtterBox case is the kind of thing that you see in the movies that is used to house the super-secret multibillion-dollar thingamajig.

For the details on what an OtterBox case gives you, click through for the review.

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6

Review: Tetris Mania

I would be hard pressed to come up with another video game that is more of a classic than Tetris. That statement is partially based on my unabashed addiction to the game that is the standard for puzzle-based games. Various iterations and knockoffs have navigated the Windows Mobile space, with varied success. This review will focus on Tetris Mania, offered by EA Mobile in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Electronic Arts is one of the major game developers on all platforms, which is good news for Windows Mobile as a platform. Any time you have an industry heavyweight like EA devoting resources to develop software for your product; that is a big boost.

How well does EA accomplish the Tetris experience? Hit the jump for my opinion.

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3

Review: LG HBS-250 Bluetooth Stereo Headset

Want a wireless stereo solution for your Windows phone? Don't like that your Windows phone is missing the 3.5mm headphone jack and want an alternative to using adapters? LG might have the solution you're looking for in their HBS-250 Bluetooth Stereo Headset.

Uniquely designed, the LG headset provides you a wireless alternative not only to listen to your favorite tunes from your Windows phone but also a wireless headset to answer calls from. Follow the break for our short take on the LG HBS-250 Bluetooth Stereo Headset.

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5

Review: Nite Ize Leather Cargo Case (Vertical)

Looking for a vertical case that will hold just about everything but the kitchen sink?  Something with pockets to handle cash/credit cards, Bluetooth headsets, or maybe a house key?

Nite Ize may have just what your looking for with their Leather Cargo Clip Case (vertical).  We have already looked at Nite Ize's horizontal cargo case and we recently had the opportunity to take the vertical Cargo Case out for a test drive with the AT&T Tilt 2. 

Follow the break to see what lasting impression the Nite Ize leather cargo case of the vertical variety left with us.

 

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13

Review: Weatherbug Mobile

Weatherbug has been cranking out weather apps for years ranging from desktop widgets to mobile applications. They have recently released a Windows Mobile Professional version of their weather app, Weatherbug Mobile.

The application puts a good bit of weather information at your fingertips. Features include:

  • Live local weather from over 8,000 tracking stations
  • Severe Weather Alerts in real time
  • Animated local radar
  • Live and time-lapse images from over 1,000 weather cameras
  • International weather information

For our impressions of Weatherbug Mobile follow the break.

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5

Review: iGrip Universal Fit Flexible Mount

If you are anything like me, you are either addicted to your Windows Phone or you’re in denial about it. A side effect of this addiction is that you don’t want to put your phone down any more than you have to, which can sometimes lead to problems. One example would be the fact that using your phone while driving can be dangerous and even illegal. There are however some legitimate reasons to have your phone where you can see it while driving. Being able to see the caller id when a call comes in or using traffic or navigation software are both valid uses of your cell phone while driving. To be able to accomplish this safely you really should have a mount, such as the Universal Fit Flexible Mount from iGrip.

We’ve reviewed iGrip products here before. I use their Sturdy Swivel Mount and have loved it ever since I got it. The Flexible Mount gives you some additional options for use. For one thing it holds the phone farther away from the glass, making it more practical for vehicles with a deeper dashboard.

For the full review of the iGrip Universal Fit Flexible Mount, hit the jump.

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2

Review: Covertec Vertical Premium Case

The Touch Pro 2 is still only a few months fresh and cases for the Windows phone are slowly trickling to market. Covertec offers a premium leather, vertical case that is sized to fit the Touch Pro 2 and Tilt 2 phones.

We took the Covertec Vertical Premium Case out for a test drive with the AT&T Tilt 2 and found it to be a good case for those who prefer to carry their phones in the upright position.  The case can also pull double duty as a pouch case by removing the clip.

Ease on past the break to read more about the Covertec Vertical Premium case.

 

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14

Review: Manbolo Meon

A major factor that game developers must consider when working with a platform such as Windows Phones is the interface. The fact that Windows phones come in all shapes and sizes is one of the strengths of the platform, but in this case it can be a challenge. Developers must take into account things like the fact that the device hardware may not include hardware buttons and the screen resolution could be any of a number of configurations. One solution to this problem is to use the old K.I.S.S. design rule; Keep It Simple Stupid. One game that practices this rule to perfection is Meon from Manbolo.

One of the first Games to appear on Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Meon is a puzzle based game that requires you to use strategy in order to direct light into different areas of the puzzle. A Lite version featuring about 30 levels is available for free, with the full version setting you back $2.99.

This game is highly addicting. If that sounds good to you, click on through. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

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9

Touch Pro 2 Case Alternatives

So, you are now the proud owner of an HTC Touch Pro 2 (or Tilt 2 for AT&T customers) and are in need of a case. As with any new item just hitting the market, accessories can be hard to find at first.

While there are a few cases on the market sized for the new HTC Touch Pro 2/Tilt 2, the selection is thin. We took a look at some of the cases in the WMExperts Store that are large enough for the Touch Pro 2 and came up with four recommendations that might hold you over until other cases hit the shelves.

Follow the break to see what we've come up with.

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8

Review: Jabra Stone

Jabra has been making headsets, wired and wireless, for a very long time. Every now and then they come up with a design or feature that really makes their headset stand out. The new Jabra Stone not only stands out among Bluetooth headsets -- in many ways it rises above them. The headset was officially released on Nov. 8, 2009, and currently is an exclusive through AT&T.

Its unique style is an eye-catcher, and Jabra does a good job with introducing new features to the Bluetooth headset market. While the Jabra Stone is in a way groundbreaking, does the performance match the innovations? Does style meet substance?

Ease on past the break to read more on the Jabra Stone to see if it's worth the trip to your local AT&T store.

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I’m one of those people that made sure I hit my local AT&T store on October 18th to make sure I got my AT&T Tilt 2. There are so many things that make HTC’s Touch Pro2 devices great that I had to have one. One of those things is the screen. It’s just amazing, especially coming from the original AT&T Tilt. The downside of having that 3.6” WVGA flush mounted screen is that it gets scratched very easily, even through normal daily use. The answer to this problem is of course a screen protector such as the ones offered by Smartphone Experts.

Get the review after the jump.

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37

Review: Copilot Live 8

There are some pretty cool technologies involved in the hardware that is being crammed into our Windows Phones these days. WiFi, various cellular technologies, GPS, et al. My vote for the coolest of these is GPS. The fact that some very intelligent person somewhere came up with the idea of putting machines into orbit around the globe and then using these to navigate is extremely impressive to me.

Harnessing the full power of the GPS on a Windows Phone can be a difficult proposition. Free tools such as Google Maps and Bing/Live Search are capable of utilizing a GPS receiver, but they don’t give you all of the benefits that we have come to expect from a full featured GPS.

Copilot Live is one of the premier GPS applications for Windows Phones. Now in version 8, ALK Solutions has re-worked their pricing to make this amazing software accessible to just about anyone with a Windows Phone. (See my review of Copilot 7 here.)

To see the new features that Copilot Live 8 offers, check out the review after the jump.

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6

Review: Seidio Holster for AT&T Tilt

Cases come in all shapes and sizes. Different styles of case tend to cater to certain phones. For example, a form fitting leather case wouldn’t work very well with my Tilt. I’ve used a Seidio holster in the past with a Samsung Blackjack (and loved it), but I was a little unsure how well one of their holsters would work with a phone as bulky as the Tilt.

Stick around to see how well the Seidio holster for the Tilt handles the age old question; does this case make my phone look fat?

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8

Upgrading the Samsung Jack to 6.5

The other day Samsung released the Windows Mobile 6.5 Standard update for the AT&T Jack. We downloaded the update file and with a little effort, updated the Jack to 6.5.

With very few exceptions, had I not performed the upgrade, it would be tough to tell the difference between the old Jack running WM 6.1 and the Jack running WM 6.5.

Ease on past the break for a few screen shots to see if you can tell the difference and our initial thoughts on the Jack's updated OS. 

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Review: Ecolife Element Top Case

Generally, I think that we are all looking for the same thing when considering a case for our Windows phone. How the case fits, how it looks, the protection and durability it offers are the keys to finding the perfect case. Often, though, there are several cases that meet all of those qualities. Cases that set themselves apart by offering unique features are often the best option when you are shopping for that perfect holder for your phone.

Ecolife is one of those companies that make its living being fundamentally different than the rest of the market. The Element top case for HTC’s Touch Pro 2 line is made of 100 percent recycled fabric. Now I don’t know anyone who intentionally chooses to do things that are harmful to the planet -- most people just don’t think about it as much as they should. If you’re stuck looking for the best case for your new phone, let me introduce you to an option that will keep your new investment safe, while also investing in the long-term health of the planet that we call home.

Get the full review after the jump.

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1

Review: PointUI Home 2 Pro

It seems like any weakness in the Windows Mobile platform is an area in which third party developers spend a lot of time trying to create software that will fill in the gaps. This makes sense for business reasons, who wants to buy an application that the platform already does a good job of handling?

One of the most maligned facets of Windows Mobile in the past years is the interface itself. Consequently, multiple developers have been applying their expertise to building a product that consumers will flock to in order to make their powerful devices more user friendly and customizable. HTC’s TouchFLO and SPB’s Mobile Shell are the two major players in this market, with other options available from the likes of Vito Technologies (Winterface), SHBT (MyHome), and PointUI.

The subject of this review, PointUI Home 2, began its development as a free application. As is fairly common a Pro version is now available for $19.95, offering an increased feature set for a premium price.

For the full review of PointUI Home 2 and all that it offers, hit the jump.

 

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Review: Naztech Ultima H5 Case

Naztech produces quality leather phone cases and with the newness of the Touch Pro 2, we looked at the Naztech Ultima H5 Case for the AT&T Tilt/HTC TyTN II to see how well it adapted to the Tilt 2/Touch Pro 2.

Cases are slowly reaching the market for the Touch Pro 2/Tilt 2 and the Ultima H5 might give users an option to pursue while they wait.

Follow the break to see how well the Ultima H5 adapted to the Tilt 2/Touch Pro 2.

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