It’s obvious that we all want to focus on the best smartphones and gadgets, but sometimes we need to take a look at the less fortunate devices. It was a long road before smartphones evolved to today’s standards. Smartphones we once ran across and we thought: “what the hell is X manufacturer thinking?!” – those are the ones we are covering today.
Why? For starters, it’s fun and interesting to see and remember some of these. We can have a good laugh and remember when some of these were “cool” or interesting. Also, there is no better way to find appreciation in our awesome gadgets than by remembering how bad things used to be.
With that in mind, let’s have some fun and take a look at the most ridiculous smartphones of all time!
There is no doubt anyone who knows of this device would have guessed it would make it to this list. The Kyocera Echo was a mess! It promised both a smartphone and tablet experience, as it had a dual-screen configuration that allowed both displays to be merged into a single one.
While it sounded like a cool concept, its application proved that the phone wasn’t able to offer neither a good tablet experience, nor an acceptable smartphone experience. There was always a black bar dividing both screens, the mixed ratio was horrible and the cool dual-screen features it offered weren’t many. More dual-screen support never came, either, as the phone wasn’t even popular.
And while we are on the subject of dual-displays, let’s talk about the LG DoublePlay. This one also caught people’s eyes, but simply because it was gimmicky (which people often mistake for innovation). And while it is unique, that secondary screen simply had no purpose.
Like with the Kyocera Echo, the LG DoublePlay didn’t get much developer support, so its capabilities were limited. It pretty much became an over-hyped shortcut section for most users. And because it was an LCD screen, it was also a battery hog. Not to mention, it took precious space that the physical keyboard could have enjoyed.
Alright, so this one was cool at first, but lack of support (again) ruined it. I have compared the Continuum to the Galaxy Note Edge in the past. The Continuum had a thin secondary display below the capacitive buttons. This little section gave you key information on stocks, notifications, email and more.
It was cool if you didn’t want to keep turning on your large screen all the time, saving battery in the process. But no matter how functional it could have been, the phone looked very ugly and never quite evolved. It was just one of those cool Samsung ideas that they didn’t quite push.
The HTC ChaCha came during a time when we were all hoping for a good physical keyboard. Some melancholics were even looking to go back to BlackBerry, so HTC decided to offer a device that would give us a solid physical keyboard.
HTC’s response wasn’t the best, though. The keyboard was awesome, but the display had a weird ratio, and was pretty much always on landscape mode. This caused almost all applications to look wonky and out of proportion. Android simply isn’t made with this form factor in mind.
The phone also had a huge focus on social networking. More specifically, on Facebook. While some social butterflies may have enjoyed the shortcut, it simply wasn’t enough to make this an enticing phone.
Samsung Galaxy Beam
The Samsung Galaxy Beam was another smartphone that had a cool concept, but quickly became more gimmicky than useful. The phone literally has a projector build in. This means you could watch your movies and photos on any wall.
This may be great for gatherings and family reunions, but there was simply no demand for something like this. The phone’s killer feature quickly became a gimmick, it tanked and now there’s very little signs of its very existence.
I must tell you I never understood the idea of the Motorola Backflip. This weird contraption made no sense to me… at all. OK, let’s try to explain to you how this worked. Flip and slide physical keyboard phones were very popular at the time, and the Motorola Backflip differentiated itself by… well, flipping everything backwards.
When enclosed, the device had a screen on the front, while the back held the keyboard. There was no simple and clean back, like other phones – the keyboard was literally always showing, whether it be on the back or the front. When you flipped the device open, then the keyboard would face the same direction as the screen.
Motorola made it different simply for the sake of making it different. It served no purpose and looked ridiculous. Other than maybe saving space for the (also useless) track pad in the back.
Microsoft Kin One
I will be the first to say the Kin One looks awesome. It is cute, social, fun and came during a time when small devices were still appreciated by many. It also has a full physical keyboard, which was an oddity, especially in a device this size.
Now let’s move into the problems, which easily outweighed the phone’s benefits. Microsoft’s half-baked operating system simply wasn’t good enough. Application support was limited, creating a dead end for this smartphone.
We understand, it was targeted towards the young, social crowd. This would make it ok for a phone to be a bit limited, granted that it was given at a good price. There was really no lower price tag attached with this smartphone (if you can call it that), which made it a bust.
Which is the most ridiculous phone you have seen?
Undoubtedly, you have thought of some devices that should be in this list. These are simply my favorite choices, but tell us – which is the most ridiculous smartphone you have ever owned or learnt about?