Review: LG Fathom
The LG Fathom has an appealing look, well suited for business class travelers. It seemed a bit thick, but the screen is also narrow, so this may be a matter of proportions. LG calls this slate blue, but I saw almost no blue in the phone's materials; it seemed much more black. The phone is mostly dark plastic. There's a speckled pattern on the back that's subtle and adds a textural look. The face gets some dark grey metal accents with a brushed texture, and these small strips are my favorite part of the phone's design.
Beneath the screen you'll find a trio of buttons. There are Send and End keys, but they look nearly identical. The phone icon on the Send key is tilted about 30 degrees up, otherwise it was tough to discern the two. In the middle there's a Windows key that opens up the Start menu. Of course, there's almost always a software Windows button on screen, but I'll get to that later.
On the right side of the phone you'll find a microSD slot with a nice groove, making it easy to pry open. There's also a two-stage camera button, and the stages are well defined, so focusing a shot then releasing the shutter is an easy action. Finally, a task manager button. Here's where I remembered why I don't miss Windows Mobile, an OS I haven't seen recently in an unadulterated form, especially since Windows Phone 7 was announced. Windows Phone needs that task manager so badly, LG should have made the button bigger.
AD article continues below...
On the left side you'll find a headphone jack, a poor placement for the 3.5mm port. My earbuds stuck out sideways, making the phone less comfortable to pocket with headphones attached. There's a good volume rocker on the left side. The microUSB port is also on the left, along with a reset button. I've hardly seen a reset button get its own labeled port on the phone's exterior before. Not a good sign.
On the back is the battery cover, easy enough to remove. If you want to gawk at a real Verizon Wireless / Vodafone SIM card - a rarity - it's hiding beneath the battery. That SIM lets you roam internationally and use the most common 3G radio band in Europe.
There's also a stylus. It's a small, thin, telescoping rod that hides itself near the back of the phone, stuck in sideways on the right side. There are two bumps that catch your finger, so it's easy to withdraw without looking. You'll be using it quite a bit if you buy this phone.
Google Adds Lyft and Gett to Google Maps
Sep 8, 2016
Google today boosted the number of ride-hailing services available within Google Maps to a total of nine. Moving forward, Lyft and Gett will display ride options in the U.S.
Google Adds Ride-Hailing Estimates to Maps
Mar 15, 2016
Google Maps can now tell users how quickly a taxi or Uber might take to get them from Point A to Point B, as well as offer an estimate of fares. When people search for directions from their phone, Maps will display a dedicated tab with info on ride-hailing services, such as Uber.
Google Rolling Out 'Fast Pair' Bluetooth for Android Devices
Oct 31, 2017
Google today announced a new feature headed to Android phones that should ease Bluetooth pairing pains. The tool, called Fast Pair, makes discovering and pairing with nearby Bluetooth devices much simpler.
New Yorkers Can Now Buy Train Tickets From Smartphones
Jul 5, 2016
Commuters who ride select Long Island Railroad or Metro-North routes can use the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's new eTix app to purchase, activate, and use train tickets. The MTA says mobile ticketing is available to those who ride LIRR's Port Washington branch or Metro-North's Hudson Line, with support for all branches/lines due by the end of August.
Sprint and Alcatel Debut Ride-Fi for In-Car Hotspot
Feb 12, 2016
Sprint and Alcatel today made the Ride-Fi available for purchase. This mobile hotspot, first announced last month, was made specifically for cars and plugs into vehicles' DC power port for in-car connectivity.