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printed November 21, 2014
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Review: LG Fathom

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The LG Fathom does not get everything wrong. Battery life was pretty good, as was call quality and signal strength; LG has nailed some of the basics for a cell phone. But if you're looking for a business smartphone, you want more than basics. Windows Mobile can offer plenty of great business features, especially to Exchange users and folks tied tightly to a Microsoft infrastructure for security and provisioning.

The problem is there are other phones on the market that offer the same features but look and perform much better. I'm thinking mainly of the HTC Touch Pro2, which is a better device in every way, and also offers the global roaming capabilities you'll find on the LG Fathom. The Touch Pro2 may be bigger, but the Fathom is already a chunky phone, so a little more bulk is worth the benefits. The Fathom has the vaunted 1GHz Snapdragon processor on board, but for what purpose? It didn't help make the phone any more responsive, it didn't improve Web browser or other processor intense features. The media features might have seen some benefit from this chip, but Windows Media Player is so bad that you won't notice performance improvements.

Worst of all, the touchscreen problems I found on the LG Fathom are a dealbreaker. Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is designed to be more touch friendly, but on the Fathom, the touchable features, like the new on screen buttons and the swiping system menus, were rendered nearly useless by a screen that wouldn't react properly without a stylus in hand, and even then was unreliable. The touchscreen is such a fundamental part of the Fathom experience that I can't imagine dealing with the frustration of using this phone as my primary device, so I could never recommend it.

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