Reviews

The Lumia 520 was in many ways just as iconic as the Lumia 920 but for very different reasons. The unassuming low-end device took the Windows Phone by storm, quickly becoming one of the top-selling devices ever for the fledgling OS. Fast forward to 2014 and low-end Windows Phones dominate the scene.

The Lumia 535 is the first Windows Phone with the Microsoft banner emblazoned across it instead of Nokia. The phone likely emerged during Nokia's tenure, but Microsoft is taking the credit on the packaging. Budget phones are tough to write about, but the Lumia 535 appears to get so much right when compared to the Lumia 530 and Lumia 635 it is hard to not get a little excited about it.

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Maaloo Outdoor is a feature rich Windows Phone app designed for hiking, biking, skiing, and any other outdoor activity where you want to keep track with where you are, where you've been and where you want to go.

The app will record your tracks, map them out, navigate to points of interest and supports import/export to Dropbox or OneDrive accounts. Maaloo Outdoor is a clean looking app and integrates with you are here maps for offline use. Maaloo Outdoor hopes to join the ranks of other Windows Phone outdoor tracking/mapping apps such as Outdoor Navigation and makes a nice first impression. If you are in the market for an outdoor mapping app, it is definitely worth a look.

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Lumsing Bluetooth NFC Speaker review

Not long ago, we reviewed an attractive little Splashproof Bluetooth Speaker from Lumsing. I loved the speaker's stylish design, sound, and resistance to water. On the other hand, its battery life could have been better.

If you're looking for a louder speaker with better battery life, the Lumsing Bluetooth NFC Speaker might just fit the bill. With two speakers and a bass diaphragm, this speaker can really pump out the sound. Plus you get Near Field Communication (NFC) pairing and microSD card support. The speaker includes some less-than-welcome voice prompts, but it's still a great buy for your phone or tablet at under $30.

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One can argue that you cannot have enough word games in the Windows Phone Store. There are plenty of addictive word games in the Store and Words! hopes to join the ranks of the must have titles.

At the core, Words! is a Find-a-Word type puzzle game where you are given a collection of words and you have to find those words in a field of jumbled up letters. What helps Words! stand out a little is two gaming modes, two theme styles and a boatload of puzzles. Available for low-memory devices, Words! may not be everyone's cup of tea but if you are in search for an appealing word game to add to your Windows Phone gaming library it is worth a try.

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Sniper Shooing is a mission based arcade game for Windows Phone that has you playing the role of a vigilante who is tasked with cleaning up the streets of the criminal element. Each mission has you searching for a criminal ranging from the simple street thug to kingpins of the underworld.

Available for low memory Windows Phones, the game includes 36 missions that are spread across six chapters. Game mechanics take a little time to get the hang of and Sniper Shooting but overall, Sniper Shooting isn't a bad time waster of a game.

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Bobo, an endless floater game for Windows Phone

Bobo is a simple time waster of a game for your Windows Phone where you have to help a mystical creature navigate its way through a mysterious forest. You guide Bobo up and down the screen to avoid various dangers as he floats endlessly through the forest.

The game's graphics are a little on the dark side, but matches nicely with the mood of the backstory. Game play with Bobo is simple but not without challenge. Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Bobo may not be a game to sit down and play for extended periods, but for short spurts, it might not be a bad title for your Windows Phone gaming library.

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Review – Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse

Often times it can be difficult for laptop and tablet users to adjust from working with their home setup to doing work on the road. Moving from a full-size external keyboard and mouse to the device's smaller keyboard and touchpad or a travel-size mouse can be uncomfortable.

As someone who works this way fairly often, I feel it is important to point out when I come across something that helps create a consistent computing experience whether I am at home using my Surface Pro 3 on its dock or working remotely at a coffee shop.

Microsoft's Wedge Touch Mouse is just such a device, though you wouldn't necessarily think so based on its design.

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My Friend Spooner is a Windows Phone game that fuses the storyline of a comic book with a platform video game. You join three amigos, Husk, Tent and Spooner, on an adventure searching for hidden treasure and avoid dangers along the way.

Graphics are nicely drawn up and reminds me a little of the popular Windows Phone game Dark Lands. Gaming controls consists of a series of screen gestures and each of the fifty-two levels of play are full of challenges to discover the path to get all your characters to the exit.

Available for low-memory devices, My Friend Spooner is another project supported by Microsoft's App Campus and an entertaining title to add to your Windows Phone gaming library.

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Biotix: Phage Genesis is a war game for our Windows Phone where you are battling for the survival of your species on the cellular level.

The game has a single player, multi-level gaming mode and an online multiplayer quick battle mode. Add the ability to upgrade your cells with over 100,000 upgrade combinations and Biotix is an appealing, addictive title to add to your Windows Phone gaming library. Biotix is available for low-memory devices as well as Windows 8 devices.

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On November 22, 2013 the Xbox One launched in the US and several other territories. The first new console from Microsoft in 8 years, the One was long overdue. But at launch, the Xbox One faced an uphill battle due to a series of PR blunders, poor pre-leadership from former Xbox chief Don Mattrick (who tellingly departed for Zynga in July that year), and a $100 price disadvantage against its competitor the Playstation 4.

In our comprehensive launch review, I praised the Xbox One as a games and entertainment machine, but criticized its underdeveloped user interface, social features, and other major and minor failings. Luckily, Microsoft has worked hard under new Xbox head Phil Spencer's leadership to improve the Xbox One in the first post-launch year. Now we're back with another massive review that looks at the console's many strides and areas that continue to need improvement.

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Zombies have invaded the Windows Phone Store once again. This time they are running amuck in the Windows Phone title Dead Hunt.

Dead Hunt has Zombies overwhelming the world, seeking out fresh human brains to dine upon. Your job, as you might guess, is to battle waves of Zombies and survive the apocalypse.

Available for low-memory devices and Windows 8 devices, Dead Hunt is full of character development, weapons and gear upgrades and fast action game play. Graphics are nice but weapons performance could be a bit better. Still, if you like action games Dead Hunt is worth a try.

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Pompei Apocalypse is a fast paced arcade styled game for Windows Phone where you race to save the ancient city of Pompeii from balls of fire that is spewing from the volcano Vesuvius.

Available for low-memory devices, Pompei Apocalypse has Facebook integration for sharing your scores and formidable game play. The only hold back to the game is that sometimes the screen isn't responsive that results in a building getting smashed. Otherwise, it has the potential of being a fun time waster of a Windows Phone game.

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Hero Forge, a puzzling RPG game for Windows Phone

Hero Forge is a RPG game for your Windows Phone that combines puzzle solving with combat rounds. The game is also a Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) mode where you not only can skip battling computer opponents and seek out other players globally to rough up.

Your gaming character will advance in experience, improving their skills with each battle and you'll have opportunities to customize your character with weapons, armor and more. Hero Forge is available for low-memory devices and after playing the game over the past couple of days, we can see why the game is pulling down a 4.5 Star rating in the Windows Phone Store.

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Last month, a unique little puzzle platformer called Chronology made its way to Windows Phone. Chronology wowed us with its time-traveling mechanics that allow players to travel back and forth between time and even stop it, all in the name of solving puzzles and saving the world. It also features beautiful art and music.

Denmark-based developer Osao Games recently released a Windows 8 version of Chronology, and has even been thoughtful enough to make it an in-app purchase. I took advantage of that and played the Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Steam versions of the game (the latter is a separate purchase), in order to bring you this in-depth review.

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Amazing Brick is a simple Windows Phone game that calls upon you to bounce a brick up through a maze of portals while avoiding obstacles that are placed along the way.

The game is another simple title in the Windows Phone Store that has plenty of challenge. Amazing Brick also requires a little patience and timing, otherwise the game could drive you crazy. Available for low-memory devices, Amazing Brick is a fun game to have in your library for those occasions you need a little help passing the time.

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The HTC One for Windows is on the loose across Verizon, AT&T and soon to T-Mobile. If there is one thing that we can almost guarantee besides the fact that you'll love it, it is the near-certainty that you will drop it.

That's because the sleek metal unibody of the HTC One is also a slick metal unibody. Therefore, when considering a case, you may want to think about one that not only stands up to its share of drops, but also matches the elegant design of the device it's protecting.

Enter Spigen's Slim Armor case for the HTC One.

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There are plenty of Windows Phone apps available to create custom wallpapers for your Start Screen or Lockscreen. Start Design is a relatively new offering in this genre of apps and hopes to catch everyone's creative eye.

Start Design not only allows you to create colorful background wallpapers but also has tools to create multi-column background images, blur photos for use and the ability to create advanced wallpapers to match custom backgrounds to specific transparent tiles. As our tipster notes, this app opens up a lot of possibilities for your Windows Phone wallpapers.

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Berry Hill, a smashing puzzle game for Windows Phone

Berry Hill is a Windows Phone puzzle game where you have to remove all the berries from the gaming screen by smashing them together. The concept may sound simple but the challenge comes into play with a limited number of moves and movement restrictions.

Available for low-memory devices, Berry Hill has over 100 levels of play and five game modes to keep you busy. It is a deceptively addictive game for your Windows Phone and not a bad time waster of a game.

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Some of the best things in life are the simplest. The same can be said of Windows Phone games and Brain Rush!!! may be the simplest game on Store shelves.

You are tasked with matching incoming shapes with the shape at the bottom of the screen. The longer you survive, the quicker the shapes move down the screen. Brain Rush!!! is available for low-memory devices and while the game presents itself in a simple manner, the game is a challenging title to have in your Windows Phone gaming library.

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Review – Toast wood cover for Surface Pro 3

When you spend $800 or more on a Surface Pro 3, you want take measures to protect it from harm. But often, a cover makes it heavier, reduces certain functionality or just takes away from the aesthetics of the beautifully-crafted device.

The Toast wood cover for the Surface Pro 3 does nothing of such. Not only does it protect the body while keeping it light and slim, but it also enhances the Surface's form by adding a skin of natural wood.

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Review - HTC Double Dip case for the HTC One

It's time once again to check out another case for the HTC One for Windows. Since making its ways from Verizon to AT&T and soon to T-Mobile, we've been giving you a small taste of the wealth of cases that are available for it.

This time around, we are reviewing the HTC Double Dip hard case. It's a lightweight, playful case that gives you the option to change the look of your phone in seconds.

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Bang Bang Monsters is a Windows Phone arcade game where you must protect your herd of sheep from an alien invasion. You play the role of a farm girl, who is armed to the hilt with an assortment of nasty weapons who must take out a wide assortment of alien monsters who are intent on devouring her sheep.

The game has five gaming modes, two mini-games, six bosses to smash, and over fifteen gaming achievements to reach. Graphics are good, game play challenging and Bang, Bang Monsters makes a nice first impression. The game is available for low-memory devices.

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Shoot-a Story is one of the more unique Windows Phone shooter games available in the Store. First, the game is composed completely out of text and second, the goal is to destroy some of history's greatest novels, word by word.

Every aspect of Shoot-a Story, from game play to the gaming menus, is text oriented. For example, the ship that you use to attack the novels is literally the word "SHIP".

Available for low memory devices, Shoot-a Story may not appeal to everyone but we have to give the developer credit for coming up with a unique approach to shooter games.

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