Throughout its existence, the mobile phone industry has undergone enormous changes and continues to change today. Manufacturers are still conducting incredible experiments on the form and content of mobile devices. The lion’s share of prototypes never goes beyond design bureaus, but sometimes – either through oversight, or out of a desire to try out a new format on users – experiments pour into a real product.
We have compiled a rating of outwardly the most absurd, strange and even scary phones that are impossible to look at today without a smile or surprise. Do not take our top too seriously. Let’s just remember how rich the imagination was with large manufacturers of telephone sets, who were not afraid of experiments and who dared to produce models “from another universe”.
Some of them have become legendary, others have remained in oblivion, and some of their former owners probably remember now. So, let’s start from the tenth place in the rating.
Microsoft KIN ONE and Motorola FlipOut
In 2010, the world’s largest software maker decided to conquer young people focused on the use of social services. As a result, the world saw the two most disastrous slider phones in the history – KIN ONE and KIN TWO.
What KIN ONE designers thought about is now hard to say. During the presentation, comparisons were made with sea pebbles, but to many, the new phone was more like a tortoise shell or a powder box. Needless to say, such a device could not attract the attention of not only teenagers, but even anyone at all? Just a month and a half after the release, KIN sales ceased, both models sold a scanty lot (according to various estimates, from 500 to 9000 units).
Curiously, in the same 2010, Motorola announced a KIN ONE-like FlipOut phone. True, it became brutal, gaining square shapes. However, this could not make him handsome. The strange and uncomfortable form factor remained incomprehensible, users could not get rid of the FlipOut “toy” feeling, so Motorola had no choice but to quietly remove the freak from the shelves.
At the beginning of the 21st century, phone manufacturers were swept by a miniaturization fever. Mobile phones tried to do as little as possible, and sometimes good aspirations reached the point of absurdity. As, for example, in the case of the Panasonic GD55.
Significantly reduce the thickness of the phones then did not work. Some Japanese daredevils went the other way and began to reduce the length and width of the devices. As a result, miniature devices that could comfortably lie except in the baby’s hand saw the light.
The length of the GD55 is less than 8 centimeters, the width is a little more than 4. The phone literally drowned in the hand and could be lost after a sneeze (the weight of 65 grams contributed to this). However, the model was liked by girls and children, so it was quite popular, including ours. Well, the “Japanese” really was not so scary, but we could not ignore its awkward dimensions.
We don’t know why telephone vendors do not like the youth audience, but the fact remains: the strangest in most cases were precisely those new products that were aimed at young users. Nokia 3650 is an example.
During its heyday, the Finnish manufacturer did not get tired of experimenting with different forms of mobile phones. Not for nothing that in our rating the phones of this company took as many as three positions. As for the Nokia 3650, this device is shocking not so much with its pear-shaped contours, but with the terrible keyboard a la typed disk of an old phone.
By the time the model was released in 2003, people had already become accustomed to the traditional “square” arrangement of buttons on mobile phones. Finnish developers turned everything upside down, crossing two types of keyboards. The Nokia 3650 has a keypad keyboard, but all the keys are arranged in a circle, and in the reverse order to that of the disk phones. Dialing a number was inconvenient for everyone: those who had just bought their first cell phone, and those who had been using mobile communications for years.
For one of the most incorrect keyboards, the Nokia 3650 smartphone gets its well-deserved eighth place.
For the ugly design of phones you have to answer not only to youth, but also to the beautiful half of humanity. What manufacturers just do not come up with to attract the attention of girls! Just look at today’s unknown Chinese noone crafts. Or look back at the recent past and take a closer look at Samsung’s range.
The Cleo model was released five years ago and, thank God, was not widely used. It’s difficult to find out the phone in it, the device is most similar to a powder box with the function of a mobile phone. The glamorous pink monster was practically useless for communication. Right, in order to walk along the street and talk with powder, you have to be very brave.
The cautious Korean manufacturer did not use Cleo as a standard for their phones in the clamshell form factor. And he did it right.
The Finns did not see the perfect female phone like Samsung. Why draw inspiration from a powder box if the abyss of creativity is hidden in lipsticks and mascaras. In the first five years of the new century, Nokia, at its own peril and risk, released a lot of model-tearing models that claimed a new word in design.
Nokia 7280 and 7380 became such phones. Catastrophically non-ergonomic, they trumped various kinds of “glitter” like a mirror display, varnish coating, ceramic inserts, fabric label, etc. Fashion accessory? Stylish little thing? May be. Beautiful phone? In no case.
Nokia 7280 and 7380 models could be flaunted in hairdressing salons, clubs and trolleybuses. But as soon as you had to call, these phones turned into a torment. Only a very wealthy company like Nokia, which was not afraid to take risks, could produce a device without a keyboard in 2004. Dialing with the wheel was like death. Everything was even worse than in the case of Nokia 3650. The Finnish corporation surpassed itself by releasing a device that was completely not adapted for calls.
Fly Q200i Swivel
We could not pass by the triumph of Asian glamor in the face of the phone company Fly, which recently announced big plans for the Belarusian smartphone market. The Q200i Swivel is the latest in our ranking. She came out just a couple of years ago, replacing the less pretentious predecessor Q200 Swivel, and is still sold and pleases the eyes of admirers of everything shiny, pink and unnecessary.
Functionally, the device was weak even at the time of release. But he flaunts a key with a Swarovski inlay, a mother-of-pearl cover and an eerie form factor. Yes, this is cheap “agglomeration” in all its glory – for all the charms of the model they ask for only about $ 200.
Perhaps the potential audience of Q200i Swivel has their own ideas about the beautiful? Thank God, no: when we showed the photos of the phone to several girls, the reaction was adequate and was accompanied by exclamations like “GOD, WHAT IS THIS FOR HELL ?!”
Another representative of “talking powder boxes”, released already ten years ago. It seems that from time to time all the manufacturers of mobile phones are visited by the idea of making a female phone in the form of powder. However, a cosmetic accessory from the G70 would have come out extremely uncomfortable – too thick (almost 3 centimeters).
A minimum of features, poor technical specifications, blind displays, a sloppy design, a cheap pebble a la diamond, an ugly ledge with an antenna, a nightmarish keyboard like the one you could see in the Nokia 3650 … It seems that the G70 combines all the factors that can make his most terrible mobile phone of all time.
Counting on a female audience, Panasonic made a big mistake by mixing futuristic motifs with the subject of a women’s restroom. The G70 model attracts the attention of women only so that they squeamishly wrinkle their nose and choose a more sane device.
Surge protector or a strange control panel from a toy? Or is it an old MP3 player? Japanese designers are so carried away by their own fantasies that they completely forgot about the users. Toshiba G450 is a kind of thing in itself, ugly and useless to anyone.
Released in 2008, the phone received a modest single-line OLED display and as many as two circular keyboards. I wonder who thought the developers to split a single block with keys into two parts. In one – buttons from 1 to 6, in the second – from 7 to 0. The model did not save even the fact that it could be used as a 3G modem, because it was painfully difficult to master the device.
It is not clear how this monster even got outside of Japan, the eclectic inhabitants of which usually greet such freaks. Having earned tons of crushing reviews and hundreds of negative reviews from customers, Toshiba has since almost not shown itself in the mobile device market.
If not for the whole line of completely absurd devices from Siemens, the Nokia 7600 model could well claim to be the ugliest phone in the world. Look at this device, it’s even scary to take it in your hand!
In 2003, the shape of the pig’s ear was presented by the Finns as a new word in design. The keyboard surrounding the screen, if it was convenient, is only for representatives of alien civilizations. It was necessary to type the text or number with only two hands, and attempts to play “Snake” could lead to a broken fingers.
Surprisingly, for all its design flaws, the Nokia 7600 managed to become a cult phone. Firstly, it was one of the first Finnish devices with 3G support. Secondly, at that time everything that was called “Nokia” was a priori doomed to increased attention. Well, the attention of the Nokia 7600 attracts today. Only not with functionality and brand, but with its repulsive look.
We decided not to single out a separate Xelibri model, but to award first place to the entire line of German giant phones. All Xelibri devices were ugly.
Siemens has associated so many hopes with the new series of mobile phones that it even singled out the line as a separate brand. The goal, as always, was the best one – to release stylish, fashionable, youth-friendly phone accessories in different price categories. An entire subsidiary of Xelibri was created, and all in order to launch the most disastrous series of mobile devices.
Really backward in functionality, similar either to swollen electronic thermometers, or to a predator’s tooth, or, again, to a powder box, these devices, despite massive advertising, have not become popular. In total, eight freak models were released during the year, which sold a batch of several thousand pieces. Siemens lost tens of millions of dollars and, most importantly, could not find support from potential buyers. The Xelibri brand has gone down in history already in 2004. Siemens itself lasted only a little longer.
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