Reviews

One of the fantastic advancements with Windows Phone design development is wireless charging.  It eliminated the need to plug your Windows Phone up to a charging cord.  Plus you have the cool factor of simply laying your Windows Phone down on a charging pad to replenish the battery.

While Nokia offers a Qi-Enabled wireless charger (the DT-900), there are a few third party options out there.  RAVPower is one such alternative and the company offers their own Qi-Enabled wireless charger that may save you a few dollars at the checkout line without compromising quality or performance.

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The Viking's Revenge is an interesting Windows Phone battle game.  Instead of relying on combat sequences and action packed graphics, the game relies on your powers of concentration and speed.

The Viking's Revenge is a game of conquest where you are called upon to defeat your enemy strongholds and occupying all the islands on the gaming screen.  At the same time, your enemy is trying to do the same.

Battle is done solely by numbers in that you need more attacking forces than your enemy has defending forces.  Game play is rather simple but the pace of the game creates the challenge.  It may not be everyone's cup of tea but The Viking's Revenge makes a decent first impression and isn't a bad gaming option to consider.

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Following the full review of the forthcoming Lumia 1520, it seems appropriate to show the CP-623 cover in more detail.

The Protective Cover for the Lumia 1520 comes in Red or Yellow and it will cost around $40. Currently, the Microsoft Store has it listed as out of stock, but presumably the case should be available this Friday. It’s not clear if AT&T Stores will offer the cover, though AT&T sometimes passes on official Nokia accessories.

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Nokia Lumia 1520 Review

Nokia’s latest Lumia features a massive 1080P 6-inch display and a Quad-Core processor, making it the most powerful Windows Phone to date

Back in April, reports began circulating that the Windows Phone 8 operating system would receive support for large, high resolution displays later in the year. Android has had such support for a long time, and Samsung’s success with its Galaxy Note line suggests that consumers want big screens, no matter what the tradeoffs. This Friday, November 22nd, Nokia and AT&T are finally firing back with the first 1080P Windows Phone: the Lumia 1520.

Make no mistake, it’s a massive phone with a 6-inch display and support for a powerful new processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. The question is, is it too unwieldy to use for the average consumer? How good is it and perhaps more importantly, who’s it designed for?

Windows Phone Central answers these questions in more in our comprehensive look at the colossal Nokia Lumia 1520.

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Yes, we know it's a crowded field with regards to Windows Phone weather apps with plenty of quality apps to choose from.  However, we ran across a marvelous looking Windows Phone 8 weather app the other day and felt compelled to share.

MoWeather HD is a relatively new weather app and presents things in a very eye appealing fashion. From the weather backgrounds to the animated weather information, MoWeather HD is an attractive app making it stand out in a sea of weather apps.

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Console First-Person Shooter fans could be forgiven for having missed out on the Painkiller series thus far. The series’ last console appearance was Painkiller: Hell Wars for the original Xbox back in 2006. Otherwise the series primarily appears on PC.

Though the delivery method is somewhat unconventional, Xbox fans can finally play the latest Painkiller game. Nordic Games published the Xbox 360 version of Painkiller: Hell and Damnation at retail in Europe earlier this summer. In North America, the game recently popped up as a downloadable Games on Demand title for Xbox 360. The digital release does allow for a relatively low price of $29.99, and a downloadable version is certainly better than none at all.

We’ve played through Painkiller: Hell and Damnation and its downloadable expansions in order to bring you this detailed review.

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Star Wars: Tiny Death Star hit both the Windows Phone and Windows Store last week and is the result of a partnership between LucasArts and Nimblebit games.

The game, available for Windows Phone 8, plays much like Nimblebit's Tiny Tower just with a Star Wars twist. You're tasked with building a Death Star level by level, while maintaining economic stability, keeping your population happy and thwart the Rebel Alliance.

The retro styled graphics does have a certain level of appeal but the pace of the game may put some to sleep. However, if you like business simulation styled games Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is an attractive choice to consider.

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LockMix is a feature rich Windows Phone 8 app that allows you to customize your Windows Phone lockscreen to display everything from the weather to stock information to Chuck Norris quotes.

On top of delivering the information to your lockscreen, LockMix also gives you the ability to customize the layout.  You can have widgets of all sizes scattered about your lockscreen providing you with as much or as little information at a glance.

LockMix is an impressive lockscreen app for Windows Phone 8 in a growing faction of the Windows Phone Store.

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Not long ago, we covered a Sega Genesis emulator for Windows Phone 8 called EmiGens Plus. The Sega Genesis/Mega Drive was a terrific console, but many gamers would still love to play newer console games on their phones. Thanks to EmiGens’ developer Andre Botelho, now they can!

After months in beta, Andre’s Playstation One emulator EmiPSX is now live on the Windows Phone Store. The emulator has fairly limited compatibility and can’t run games at full speed on current Windows Phone 8 hardware, but it’s still a very promising release for Playstation emulation fans. Head past the break for full review with video!

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Huawei's second Windows Phone is a budget device with a ton of perks

When it comes to budget Windows Phones for emerging markets (or those with limited financial abilities), Nokia comes to mind. However, China-based Huawei knows a thing or two about low-cost smartphones and with the recently announced Ascend W2, they’re carving a nice niche for themselves in the East.

While many in the West will dismiss Huawei as “cheap” or not worth their time, our exposure with the Ascend W2 may change your mind. Sure, the device falls on the low-end for features but it’s a solid budget offering that Window Phone fans should be proud of. It represents the brand well and we think it’s an excellent choice for new and aspiring shoppers.

Head past the break for our video tour, high quality photos and thoughts of this phone.

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Crumble Zone is a new arcade game for Windows Phone 8 that calls upon you to save a tiny planet from impending doom.  You play the role of a tiny green alien who must protect a planet from wave upon wave of asteroids.  You also have a variety of comets and meteoroids that presents a serious concern as well.

As you destroy the various dangers hurtling from space the explosions generate gems and diamonds that can be collected to unlock special weapons that will give you a slight edge in protecting the planet.

Crumble Zone is the first game from the developer, Rebel Twins, to land in the Windows Phone Store.  It makes a very good first impression and hopefully this won’t be the last we see from Rebel Twins.

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We've covered Bear Motion cases for the Microsoft Surface before and now we turn our sights on the company's offerings for the smaller screen. Bear Motion offers a slim, shell case and a flip case with cover for the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Both cases are economically minded and comes in a wide selection of colors. The Bear Motion cases don't rise to the level of protection the Otterbox line of cases offer but will help defend your Lumia 1020 from minor scratches and scuffs.

While some may not see the need for a case with the Lumia 1020, those who do may want to consider the Bear Motion cases.

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Army Academy is a new Windows Phone 8 adventure from Moxy Games and the developer's first foray with the Windows Phone platform.  Army Academy is a multi-level, running-styled game that has you jumping, swimming and swinging through various boot camp styled courses.

Those courses have a wide range of obstacles and dangers to avoid that include lava pits and electric eels.  Along the way you can collect coins that can be used to purchase power-ups and as you progress through the levels, you can advance in rank.

Moxy Games has a nice portfolio of titles over on the Android and iOS platforms. First impressions are impressive with Army Academy and hopefully more games will be coming our way from Moxy Games.

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Lenovo's new Miix2 ($299) tablet is now available and here's what its' like

Last week we showed you the Venue 8 Pro, Dell’s first foray into the 8-inch tablet world running Windows 8.1. This week, we have Lenovo’s answer: the Miix2. Available at Amazon and costing $299 with 32GB of internal storage (64 GB optional available), these two devices have more in common than differences. Still, there are a few variances worth noting.

Head past the break for our unboxing and quick video tour of Lenovo’s 8-inch competitor. Want to see it against the Dell? Stay tuned as we’re testing them out now.

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During our coverage of Casual Connect a few months back, we interviewed Polish developer Artifex Mundi about some of their adventure titles. I also promised to start reviewing those titles, and now it’s time to do just that.

First up is our review of Nightmares from the Deep: the Cursed Heart for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Cursed Heart is the first game in the Nightmares from the Deep series of hidden object puzzle adventure games (HOPA). With a mix of gameplay styles and plenty of ghostly pirate adventure, Cursed Heart is a great introduction to Artifex Mundi’s games. Read on for our full review!

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If you have the need to track yours or a family member's medical information, take a look at myHealth for Windows Phone 8. It is a simple, nicely laid out Windows Phone 8 app that will help you manage everything from medical contacts to medications to doctor's appointments.

The app can be password protected and individual accounts can be set up for yourself and other family members or even friends.

myHealth is cleanly laid out, easy to navigate around and is fairly comprehensive on the information it manages.  It is an option worth considering if you need to keep medical information on you, friends or family handy.

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FlowDoku is a Sudoku styled Windows Phone 8 puzzle game. Instead of lining up numbers in a particular sequence, FlowDoku presents you with a series of colored squares, triangles, diamonds and circles that you'll need to sort out.

The game has over two hundred puzzles to solve that span five difficulty levels and four puzzle sizes.

FlowDoku has a simple design, easy user interface, and challenging puzzles. Even the easy puzzles can be on the challenging side. FlowDoku makes a nice first impression and is an appealing Windows Phone puzzle game.

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We go hands on with AT&T's latest Windows Phone, the ATIV S Neo

This past weekend, AT&T released the Samsung ATIV S Neo, their first Windows Phone 8 Samsung device. Released earlier this year on Sprint, the ATIV S Neo is a version 1.1 of the original ATIV S—more slight refinements than an overhaul.

Samsung was once again not interested in promoting their device so we had to go out and buy the phone ourselves, instead of a standard review unit. The phone runs for $99 on contract or $420 off and while many Lumia fans won’t find much to gawk over, the phone is a solid entry into the Windows Phone category.

We’ll be following up with a full review in a bit, but here are our quick impressions of the latest Windows Phone 8 device for AT&T. Check out our video tour and high resolution photos after the break!

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Windows Phone Central has brought you several accessory reviews for the Microsoft Surface over the past few months. We’ve covered cases from Bear Motion, MiniSuit, and more. One case manufacturer has been noticeably absent though: MoKo Cases. These cases came highly recommended by a few of our readers, which of course caused us to take notice…

At last, we’ve picked up both styles of MoKo Surface cases to review. Today’s review covers the MoKo Detachable Rotary Case for the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2. This particular case doesn’t come in a Surface RT-style, but Surface Pro owners should be impressed by its unique features and dignified appearance. Head past the break for our full review.

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The Xbox game Grand Theft Auto V has been on the shelves for a few months now and if you've hit a few snags building your criminal empire, check out GTA V: Maps for Windows Phone.

GTA V: Maps delivers all the Los Santos maps and locations to your Windows Phone to help guide you through the game.  Layout is simple with GTA V: Maps and includes optional integration with GTA V: Cheats. It may not be an official companion app for Grand Theft Auto but it may help you avoid making that wrong turn that could end your career.

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Toy Pirates is a naval combat game for our Windows Phones that has you controlling a small pirate ship that must navigate the high seas and battle an assortment of enemy ships.  Sounds simple, right?

Well the twist comes in the form of a floating maze that you have to sail through to get to your enemy.  Canon shots can ricochet off the walls, which can be rather hazardous, and charges can be set to blast the walls into tiny little pieces.  There is a bit of strategy involved with game play and overall Toy Pirates is a decent game for our Windows Phones.  However, while entertaining, I couldn't help but think something was missing.

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You can get pretty stellar battery life on Windows Phone. Variables like your specific phone, usage, and which apps you have installed (and whether they’re running in the background) all impact battery life. You might want to carry a portable charger for those times you find yourself away from an outlet or power source. There are plenty of third party options when it comes to selecting a portable charger for your smartphone, but if you’re rocking a Lumia why not get one to match it?

The Nokia DC-18 is a universal portable USB charger that you might want to check out. Here’s our quick hands-on with it.

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Flip Blox is a matching game for our Windows Phone that surprised us a little. The game's concept isn't new and calls for you to create combos of the same colored boxes for points.

You have a handful of gaming modes to keep things from getting stale and the animated faces on the boxes keeps things interesting.  Flip Blox comes across as an entertaining, casual game for our Windows Phones. Well suited for passing the time with.

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10Tons Ltd is a fantastic Windows Phone game developer and their latest offering doesn't disappoint. Trouserheart is a Windows Phone 8 game where you play the role of a King who has had his pants stolen.

Clad in heart print boxers, the King must travel the kingdom battling a wide variety of goons and bosses. All in an effort to find his stolen pants and restore order to the world.

Graphics are on par with all of 10Tons offerings (great), game play challenging and overall Trouserheart makes a very nice first impression.

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While the weather app collection for our Windows Phone is rather crowded, Just Weather is one of the latest offerings for Windows Phone 8. The simplistic, minimalistic weather app has potential but also has some room for improvement.

The intent is to deliver the basic weather information for two locations. Which is what you get but in using Just Weather, it felt like it was more of a work in progress than a finished product.

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