4 Phone Designs We’d Prefer Not To Have Existed
We’ve all been taken in by those promising-looking mobile designs that sounded kind of good on paper, but don’t quite work out in practice. Whilst we continue to kid one another that we are not a species governed by appearances, we also continue to be mysteriously attracted to any phone that looks in any way different to the ones we’re used to seeing on TV, in shops, or primarily, the one that’s always in our hand.
It’s difficult to recollect what shade of tinted glasses made us choose these phones in the first place – maybe it was the attractive individual used in the ad campaign, or maybe we were just bored. The upshot of it is that we’re often left feeling cheated, let down, and painfully trapped with a phone that neither looks good, or does its job properly.
Why people wanted it: The Nokia 7280 was marketed as a ‘lipstick’ phone, presumably more towards the female market (in hindsight, it’s somewhat ridiculous that this magic buzzword was all that was needed to make sales). With the promise that it could fit discreetly and acutely into even the tiniest of clutch purses, the phone had the look more of a large USB pen.
Another enticing asset of this phone was that there was no keypad. “No keypad?” you (probably) said. “Maybe I can control this phone with my mind?!”
The reality: Unfortunately, the force was not with you, and the phone was reportedly a lot of hard work to use, operated solely by an iPod-like roller wheel. Whilst this turned out to be great for selecting songs, it was undoubtedly bad for laboriously spelling out text messages.
The Motorazr V3 (2005)
Why people wanted it: It was the thinnest phone to have been produced up until this point, being svelte and light enough to fit in your jeans’ back pocket (which according to its ad, seemed to be its only real selling point).
Oh, and it came in shockingly bright pink. Amazing how something so intrinsically basic can sell a phone.
The reality: The novelty of having a thin phone soon wore off quickly, after which the Razr V3 simply felt (and looked) cheap. The screen was also found to be too fragile – Motorola soon realised the mistake of featuring back-pocket compatibility in their ads when people returned them within a short space of time after they had sat down a little too hard.
There were also complaints of the keyboard – initially an impressive concept, made from a single metal wafer – being too annoyingly flat to dial properly. The phone’s front camera was also a waste of time, unless a skewed, poor-quality and consequentially unflattering mugshot had just become the new criteria for passport control. The Motorazr V3 is a clear case of aesthetic triumphing over performance. Man, let’s never let that happen again…
BlackBerry Porsche (2011)
Whoops, too late.
Why people wanted it: The BlackBerry Porsche was presented as an apparently ‘hot’ phone, probably due to its metallic, angular-edged style, which we can only guess was an attempt to look ‘sleek’. It was a rather niche phone of sorts, which rapidly in turn acclaimed a very ‘niche’ reputation (due to the rarity of the common user being able to comfortably afford this phone, it was probably misleadingly associated with all things unreachable, making anyone who did purchase it feel like “the man”). But this was because of its humongous pricetag first and foremost, and surely not because of its design…
The reality: As mentioned earlier, the angular, dull metallic style of the phone combined with the unfriendly-looking futuristic button lettering makes this phone more mean than hot. The ‘Call’ and ‘Hang Up’ buttons were open-edged, getting easily caught on hems of jeans when being pulled in and out, sometimes to the point of being ripped off entirely.
Accessories for the phone were also claimed to be hard to find; again, probably due to low demand. But if they were going to be anything like the phone they were being designed to serve, then no wonder BlackBerry didn’t try very hard.
Samsung Galaxy Mega (2013)
Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? No, it’s the Samsung Galaxy Mega!
Why people wanted it: The huge screen.
The reality: The huge screen.
A huge screen can, no doubt, be fantastic for reading websites up close…as well as the odd long email, or an important PDF document. However, it’s pretty damn useless when it comes to doing everything else.
This is a phone that seems literally designed just to confuse. People to this very day are still left wondering why Samsung ever made a phone so big. Were they trying to make a phone that performed like a tablet? Or a tablet which could also make calls and text? Or did two major Samsung employees have a disagreement and this was the compromise?
Whatever the reason Samsung decided that creating a phone which covered half of one’s face when making a call was a great idea even though holding it up to take photos was such an obstruction of vision it was just pure dangerous. Texting also required two hands, making it an unnecessary workout for the thumbs, and it failed to ditch the mechanical ‘Home’ and ‘Back’ buttons that Android had made totally redundant by that point.
Unlike the other phones in this list though, the Galaxy Mega is one that we’re kind of glad did exist…simply because we no longer have to imagine what a tablet and a smartphone’s lovechild would look like.