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7 biggest Android fails of 2015: what were they thinking?

2015 is drawing to a close and it's time we take a look at the year that was, with an eye to the more significant events and changes. The past year saw some massive changes, such as the creation of Alphabet Inc and Sundar Pichai taking the reigns as Google CEO, but it was also witness to some real WTF?! moments. These are the biggest Android fails of 2015.

1. The Snapdragon 810 fiasco

The problematic Snapdragon 810 has been one of those enduring fails of 2015, mostly because it's still being used (and still causing problems).

Despite getting a “revision” after the 810s from the earlier part of the year starting wreaking havoc with smartphone performance, flagship reputations and Qualcomm's chances of remaining a market leader, the Snapdragon 810 is going to go down in history as one of the worst chipsets ever.

Who would have thought such a small thing could dominate the 2015 fails list? / © Qualcomm

2. Samsung ditches microSD and removable batteries

This move was perhaps not entirely unpredictable, but it still came as a shock to most Samsung fans and industry veterans. With the Galaxy S6 series, Samsung removed two features that were widely regarded as critical to its previous success: microSD card expansion and a removable battery.

While the microSD card might make a comeback in the Galaxy S7, removable batteries have gone the way of the dodo.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge microSD card
This is the only place you can put a microSD card on the Galaxy S6 Edge. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. The non-evolution of the HTC One M9 design

HTC design has been legendary for a long time, but when the company took a stance of “it if ain't broke, don't fix it” with the HTC One M9, it didn't go down so well.

The change in appearance between the One M7 and HTC One M8 was a natural progression, but when the creator of those devices left the company, the One M9 felt like it got lost down the back of the design couch. It showed few changes, other than a different shaped camera lens and a slight ridge at the sides. Needless to say, its designer also promptly moved on...

IMG 1003
The HTC One M9 looks an awful lot like the HTC One M8. / © ANDRODIPIT

4. Everything about the Xperia Z3+

The Xperia Z3+ was a hot mess, literally. it was the first Snapdragon 810 device that we found to have serious performance issues (the LG G Flex 2 throttled a little and the One M9 got hot, but that was about it). The Xperia Z3+ went into full meltdown and force closed apps, limited performance and was otherwise unusable as an actual phone.

The Xperia Z3+ was such a mess that Verizon decided to ditch it entirely and it wasn't until recently that the Z3+ even made it to Sony's US web store. With the Xperia Z5 already out though, we don't expect anyone to even remember the Z3+ next year.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia Z3 plus water
The only way to continually use the Xperia Z3+ camera. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. No NFC in the OnePlus 2

For a company that prides itself on making waves and attracting attention, OnePlus certainly attracted the wrong kind of attention when it made the surprisingly controversial decision to omit NFC from the OnePlus 2. The phone also omitted wireless and fast charging, but it was NFC that really polarized its fanbase.

The time, effort and money that OnePlus has spent explaining the decision to leave out a component that would have only cost a few cents to include, will have surely taught it a lesson about when corporate opinions should come second to consumer demands. Who would have thought a feature that hardly anyone uses would suddenly become so significant?

AndroidPIT OnePlus 2 sandstone back camera
OnePlus admits it made a mistake by omitting NFC on the OnePlus 2. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Everyone is copying Apple again

Plenty of Android manufacturers have historically been guilty of “borrowing” from the Apple design book, but in recent years Android seemed to have grown into an independent and original platform, with original and independent manufacturers building its hardware.

The Android OS is way ahead of iOS, and iOS is continually adding features Android has had for years. But in 2015, suddenly everyone had iPhone envy again and we saw phone after phone copying Apple: the Galaxy S6, Dakele 3, the HTC One A9, Huawei's Mate S with Force Touch and the OnePlus X. Some call it progress, others call it backsliding.

androidpit htc one a9 vs iPhone 6 5
What was HTC thinking when it designed the HTC One A9? / © ANDROIDPIT

7. What happened with the Nexus 5X?

Despite impeccable previous form for building top-notch Nexus devices, LG managed to completely mess up the Nexus 5X somehow. A re-booted Nexus 5 was a dream phone for fans of the original, but when it finally came into being, it somehow flopped, despite being reasonably priced.

There is nothing wrong with the design of the 5X, and both the fingerprint scanner and camera sensor are lifted straight from the Nexus 6P. But the Nexus 5X only packs 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB or 32 GB of storage – exactly like the original Nexus 5, which is now two years old. That, my friends, simply doesn't cut it.

Somehow the Nexus 5X has been deemed a failure by the fanboys. / © ANDROIDPIT

What do you think the biggest Android fail was in 2015? What are you expecting in 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments. 


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  • Out of curiosity, is NFC actually used for anything in Android land?
    I've had NFC in my phones since my Samsung Galaxy S3, and I have never had any use for it. In the meanwhile, Apple users get to use NFC for actual useful stuff.
    Or is it just that the UK is such a backwards country that the future has not reached us yet?

  • Derek 10 months ago Link to comment

    Samsung had the best product then removed removable batteries and the SD and then started being more invasive like keep prompting you to sync your stuff with Samsung. If you using Android, most likely your already syncing your data so why keep teeing of your users prompting over and over to use your services with no way to turn it off. I know more people who won't buy Samsung over the invasive issues than anything else.

    • To be fair, it is Google that is driving this change by making SD cards all but unusable unless you root your phone, manufacturers are just doing as they are "told"...

      • Makes no sense. Never had an issue writing data to a microSD without root before, and Google can't impose a change in how the microSD is accessed if manufacturers are "forced" to remove it.

  • Is this Android Pit or Apple Pit?

  • "removable batteries have gone the way of the dodo". Thankfully LG have completely ignored that comment.

  • 5URV1V0R 10 months ago Link to comment

    Galaxy S6 copying the iPhone? By what standards?
    Ohhh because it has a glass display and a metal rim! Seriously?

  • Mark 10 months ago Link to comment

    I Think Samsung should be number 1. Giving us an I clone that is slippery and a finger print magnet was an epic fail. With the removal of the SD slot and non removable battery just added to the fail. They built a phone which was a downgrade from their predecessors except for processor speed. Now it looks like LG is making the same mistake with the G5. It breaks my heart to see what where once great phone go down the drain. I had really hoped LG would not take that route but it looks like they will. I will be stuck with buying old phone models because I will not buy a phone without a removable battery

  • Qualcomm, ****ing ar****** I hope they get sued for their business practice's, as for the 810 what a painful joke that turned out to be...

  • "we saw phone after phone copying Apple: the Galaxy S6, Dakele 3, the HTC One A9, Huawei's Mate S with Force Touch and the OnePlus X."
    what is this buddy?
    we know htc one a9 is exactly an iphone but what has huawei and oneplus has common with an iphone!!!?

  • An Droid 10 months ago Link to comment

    FUGLY phones! Nexus P6 with the huge and bulky glass camera lens that stands out like a festering boil, and LG V10 with its WTF! styling and nasty plastics that elicits the same nauseating response as a bucket of smashed crabs.

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