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The top 11 worst Android smartphones ever created

Sterling Keys (translation)
14

The versatility of the Android definitely has its downsides: between design miracles, hardware monsters, and software breakthroughs there have been a ton of complete losers in all aspects of a smartphone. In fact, some of these should have no right to even exist when we look at them a bit closer. In this article, we highlight the lows of the Android world and present to you our top 11 list of the worst Android smartphones ever to grace the market.

teaser worst smartphones
Phone-flops: some of the worst Android failiures.  © AndroidPIT/Hersteller

 

Note: taste and personal preference does come into play a bit in this list, but in most cases the verdict is quite clear: the candidates are either ugly, useless, or just downright bizarre.

Samsung Galaxy Ace

If you’re a masochist, the Galaxy Ace might be right up your alley. The middle-class smartphone from Samsung had no redeeming qualities about it: a small display with a bad resolution, a miserably camera, constant crashing, and just an all-around weird design. The Ace is one of the best examples that not everything Samsung touches turns to gold as this phone was a giant turd.

Samsung Galaxy Fit

Yet another example coming from Samsung? Here we go. It should also be noted that the Galaxy Fit was actually released in 2013. With Android 2.3 on board and a the display coming in at a measly 240x320, it couldn’t even break out in the beginner market. The name Fit was also a horrible play on words, or just a bad joke from Samsung: the smartphone itself was about as fit as a pensioner in a wheelchair and as useful as a rotary phone.

a
Galaxy Fit (left) and Galaxy Ace (right). Samsung didn't hit the mark with either phone. / © Samsung

HTC Wildfire

The best way to stop people from trying to use your smartphone, just give them your Wildfire. They will despair and swear off smartphones for the rest of their days. The device is indeed a smartphone though, but everything that makes Android a pleasure to use is turned into pure torture with this device. Anyone who has ever attempted to determine their location via GPS or browse the browser on their Wildfire knows exactly what I’m talking about.

htc wildfire
Smartphone or torture device? The HTC Wildfire. / © HTC

Sony Xperia Play

Did you want a smartphone? How about if we told you your smartphone could be a controller too? Taking notes from the Nokia NGAGE, Sony aimed for the gamer community with this one and missed the mark. A good idea that crashed and burned due to faulty controls, lack of processing power, and a small selection of games. Also, the voice quality was absolutely abysmal. At least the Xperia Play put a demise (for now) into the smartphone-controller hybrid.

play
An unsuccesful mixture of controller and smartphone, the Xperia Play. / © Sony

LG Optimus L3 II

Launched in the summer of 2013, the Optimus L3 II looks like it was pulled from the early days of smartphones. You might think it was a joke, but this thing was the real deal. With a display resolution that reminded you of playing with your first Game Boy back in the 1990s, the chassis of the phone was equally as thick and the hardware was on the same level. Even for the low, low price of $150 dollars, I don’t think you’d wish this smartphone on your worst enemy.

LG Optimus Vu

Once again, LG makes the list. This device cannot be taken seriously if only for it’s absolutely weird dimensions. LG tried to break the normal aspect ratios with this device and tried to bring a 4:3 device to the market. The result? A strange looking device that just doesn’t feel or look right.

optimus vu l3ii
Small or large, these two LG smartphones didn't make the cut. Optimus L3 II (left) and Optimus Vu (right). / © LG

Panasonic Eluga

Did you know that Panasonic tried to make a smartphone? Yeah, that was a fun time. The Eluga was a pretty desperate attempt by Panasonic to gain a foothold in the ever-growing smartphone market. The idea itself was good, the design was appealing, and it was one of the first waterproof smartphones that actually looked okay. In practice, however, the Eluga had poor hardware, a lousy camera, and an absolutely horrible battery. Plus, had you heard of it before now? As such, Panasonic retreated from the market and have yet to return.

eluga
A good idea followed by a bad implementation: Panasonic Eluga. / © Panasonic

HTC ChaCha / HTC First

The idea of a Facebook phone had been looming for some time and despite high hopes, there was never anything good that came out of the idea. The HTC ChaCha was probably the first to attempt the idea in practice and spawned a sad Blackberry wanna-be phone that failed terrifically. Then, in 2013, came the HTC First and despite initial sales being mediocre, it crashed and burned shortly afterwards. While the Facebook integration was seen as a step forward, it was in reality holding users back and the market quickly realized that: Facebook Home and Facebook phones have quietly gone back into hiding.

htc chacha first
Both Facebook phones, both flops by HTC. / © HTC

Motorola Flipout

A smartphone with a flip out physical keyboard was a nice idea, but not really practical. The Flipout offered a square (?!) smartphone with a low-resolution display and “twist up” keypad. Sure, it looked intriguing, but poor hardware combined with a lousy camera, a battery that could barely hold its own, and horrendous display made it so the Flipout flipped-flopped out of existence.

motorola flipout
Square and impractical: the Motorola Flipout. / © Motorola

HTC Evo 3D / LG Optimus 3D

Smartphones with 3D displays and 3D cameras were, for a period of time, the next big thing. However, they disappeared just about as quickly as they arrived on the scene. And so, the only two devices which managed to make it to the light of day were the HTC Evo 3D and LG Optimus 3D. Sure, they both had well intentions when it comes to creating the smartphone but the implementation was lackluster and the “great” 3D effects were, well, underwhelming. In the end, hey were gimmicky smartphones that didn’t produce what they promised.

htc evo lg optimus 3d
3D Smartphones came and went with these flops from HTC and LG. / © HTC / LG

Samsung Galaxy S Beam

You have to give it to Samsung. They’ve had to test out the waters with some absolutely failures before they gave rise to their extremely popular devices. Along the way, the smartphone/projector Galaxy S Beam made its appearance. This smartphone tried to incorporate two completely different products into one and it went about as well as you could imagine. The Galaxy S Beam was far too expensive for the average hardware it was sporting and the projector was nothing more than an interesting gimmick, not practical for anything else.

galaxy beam
Sure, it was an interesting idea, but that was about it.  © Samsung

Are there other smartphones that you think should grace this list? What is your own personal nightmare when it comes to smartphones?

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Comments

Write new comment:
  • Barry Padgett 2 months ago Link

    You totally forgot the abysmal product that was the GarminAsus Garminfone. Announced in February 2010 and released in June, it somehow shipped with Android 1.6, even though Android 2.2 was released in May. It only saw one updated (to 2.1) in June of 2011 right around the same time that Goggle released 2.3.4. It offered Snapdragon S1 CPU clocked at 600mhz, a paltry 256 MB of RAM and ROM and a 320 x 480 display.

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  • Chad_Higgins 2 months ago Link

    Worst smartphone, My EVO 3D is thee BEST! i don't care about the 3D i don't even use it. but at least my phone has it! and it works without glasses.

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  • Tim W. 2 months ago Link

    I would think that the Microsoft Kin phones would top this list - did anyone ever actually buy one?

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  • Anders Bagger 2 months ago Link

    Sony xperia play, is actually a great phone to play emulated games on.
    I would love to see this kind of sollution in more phones.

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  • CJ Brown 2 months ago Link

    actually, the repurposed HTC EVO 3D for the no contract market, were some of the best 4G Ice Cream Sandwich software included affordable Android Smart Phones (Boost, Virgin Mobile) ...

    How about the HTC Droid 2 (not good enough to be a 2nd gen HTC Droid), along with most of the crap Verizon tried to schill on everyone during 2012-2013 because they couldn't accept the HTC ONE X / HTC ONE S ...

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    • Chad_Higgins 2 months ago Link

      Right on' I am using my HTC Ego V 4G from Virgin Mobile which is a wonderful phone. I rarely even use the 3D, but it works nicely. I don't have 4G coverage either as all carriers abandoned 4g for the new 4g LTE but 3g is not bad.

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  • AJ STA ANA 2 months ago Link

    There is no S in Samsung Galaxy beam

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  • Mohamed Suleman 2 months ago Link

    I just bough myself a brand new smart phone running Android 2.3.5 for R499 (that's about $45 at today's exchange rate).
    As one would expect it is not blazingly fast, but because it is not really recognised (it only shows branding of the Network Carrier, MTN and a Qualcomm sign at the back). The model number is SP355AWG.
    It does have 512MB RAM, but it is not upgradeable to Android 4.. even though 4.4 should work with that.
    All in all it is not a TERRIBLE phone considering the price, but the fail part comes in with MTN pusing their ads, a banner takes up about 25% of the main home screen all the time, which is quite irritating when you take into consideration that the screen is only 3.5 inches, pretty small by today's standards.
    If anyone knows of a way to upgrade this and remove the Carrier branding - please let me know, I would actually consider this phone a win then.

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    • Lukashenko 2 months ago Link

      Just looked it up, and i have to say "Wow", thats the most generic china phone I've ever seen.Anyways, try finding the model of the chipset the phone has.Then maybe you might find some root options and make the phone worth something.

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    • soupflood 1 month ago Link

      Try installing Vroot on your PC . Change the settings in Applications: check ''Allow unknown sources'' and in Development, check ''USB debug''. Then, connect the phone to the PC via USB (the phone should appear as ''Android ADB interface'' or similar) and start Vroot - it should install Vroot on the phone too. Click the Root button, the phone will reboot. On the phone, when installing an application which asks for root permission, Vroot will popup with two buttons (in Chinese): the right one is the ''Allow'' button.

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  • Jeff Marlon 2 months ago Link

    I bought HTC Wildfire last year and I realized what you said Sterling. I have attempted to find out the location via GPS but I really disappointed that such a smartphone has no quality to find out the exact location.
    *admin edit: links are not allowed in this section*

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  • Jeff Majerek 2 months ago Link

    HTC Thunderbolt.......... HTC's in general.... the DNA seemed like a great phone, however, software updates are sort of a foriegn subject for HTC..... will never get another......

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  • Andrés Rodríguez 1 day ago Link

    I think you've forgotten The samsung galaxy S (shit) Duos, The WORST SMARTPHONE EVER. Always stuck, no running apps, it doesn't even let you take the calls. Is S*HT!

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