The worst mobile phones of all time – part 2

The worst mobile phones of all time – part 2Hello Mobotniks. Today we continue our look at some of the worst mobile phones ever to hit the market (and some that didn’t quite make it that far). If you missed it, check out part 1, in which we looked at – among others – an ill-fated dual-LCD effort, and two rather hideous handsets that pushed the £1,000 mark.

Part 2 is somewhat of an impromptu Nokia special. We feel kinda bad ‘cause they’re not doing so well at the moment, but hey – it’s all in good fun, and we're certainly not yet at the bottom of the rather unpleasant barrel of rubbish phones. So chin up, you crazy Finns.

Nokia 2115i Shorty

The worst mobile phones of all time – part 2# Go shorty
It’s your birthday
We gonna party
Like it’s yo’ birthday #

Truly inspired lyrics from Mobot’s favourite rapper, 50 Cent, there, and an equally dull offering from Nokia in the 2115i Shorty. This tiny little handset featured a two-tone grey screen, measuring a mere 1.25in diagonally. To give that figure some context, the HTC Desire HD’s 4.3in display is more than three times that size. We’ve come a long way, baby.

To be completely fair, the phone was incredibly compact (as intended) and sported a handy flashlight. Which is important when you're a shorty.

Nokia 3600/3650

The worst mobile phones of all time – part 2The Nokia 3600/3650 had the distinct honour of being the first phone with an integrated camera (a whopping 0.3MP - count 'em) to be delivered in North America.

It was also unique for its circular keypad, which divided users; some argued that it made text messaging more efficient, while others craved a more conventional keypad.

The Nokias 3600 and 3650 were eventually succeeded by the 3620 and 3660 respectively, both of which adopted regular keypads.

Nokia 7380

The worst mobile phones of all time – part 2I suppose you have to hand it to Nokia for trying to think outside the candybar box, but with the Nokia 7380 – part of the L’Amour Collection – they leapt outside said box, set it on fire, and danced around it like a drunken maniac.

The Nokia 7380 looked more like a high-tech TV remote than a mobile phone, and incurred much critical wrath by failing to include a physical keyboard, instead adopting a touch-sensitive wheel akin to the iPod. Messaging was notoriously difficult and, to make matters worse, the ridiculous screen (which also doubled as a mirror) was nigh on impossible to see in direct sunlight.

On the plus side, the Nokia 7380 did feature a 2MP camera and MP3 player, though users had a tough time trying to cram photos and songs into the monumentally useless 52MB of unexpandable storage. Oh dear.

Nokia N-Gage

The worst mobile phones of all time – part 22003’s Nokia N-Gage aimed to combine portable gaming with mobile communication, but failed categorically on both counts.

Though graphically similar to Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, the expensive N-Gage was hampered by poor software support, and boasted a ludicrously convoluted 21-button layout. Nintendo didn’t lose much sleep over the N-Gage.

Since the design was primarily tailored towards the gaming side of things, making calls on the N-Gage felt rather awkward, and made you look like a bit of a tool, really.

Nokia X5-01

The worst mobile phones of all time – part 2Rounding off the list of terrible Nokia handsets, we have the Nokia X5-01. Marketed predominantly at social networking-addicted teens, the handset was available in several striking colours and featured a squared-off design with sliding keyboard.

While the Nokia X5-01 initially looked quite intriguing, closer inspection revealed its design to be quite impractical. The screen, for example, was a mere 2.36in across with no touch capability.

The Nokia X5-01 also included a gimmicky “gesture recognition” feature. Shaking the unit displayed unread messages, while spinning it (no joke) played a random music track. Oh, and throwing it on the ground... er, broke it.

Continue reading: The worst mobile phones of all time part 1, part 3 and part 4.

Add a comment

Julias  Feb. 8, 2011 at 16:25

This article is a such a huge disappointment i honestly thought by seeing the introduction on the front page that this might be something worth reading and interesting?but looks like all i have done is waste 10 minutes of my life which i can never get back,could the writer do me a favour and give me my time back please?Why has the writer failed to mention the basics like why certain phones are on his list?The Nokia 2115i for example was a good handset for its period and got good reviews and actually sold quite well over a long period of time,does anyone really care if it was called shorty?In marketing terms "Shorty" is actually quite a good name as its sticks in minds of the buying public,Do you honestly think Wildfire is any better? and i do know what i'm talking about as i work in marketing and have done so for many years!

PaulCoia  Feb. 12, 2011 at 12:44

I have to agree with the commentator above.
I have read all three parts and I, too, feel a little cheated.
Ridiculing handsets because of their technical shortcomings is not big or clever - especially when some of the features mentioned were not available or mass marketed at the time.
eg. Touch screen capability, >0.3MP cameras, size of screen.

The tone of the article makes me feel that the author is quite young/immature and doesn't understand the genesis of the mobile phone over the last 15 years. Something of which, I'm sure a bit of background reading could have rectified via a bit of Googling. There's nothing wrong with a jovial and laid-back style, but don't make the whole item laboured with similar points and lose steam towards the end - ie Part 3's scant and shallow reviews in comparison to part 1.

It's not often that I read an article and feel I can do better, but on this occasion you have ticked all the boxes to justify just that.


gman4  Feb. 13, 2011 at 13:13

Completly agree with Julias. wasted 10 minutes of my time reading this garbage. i suggest the editor employs someone who knows what there talking about.

FireAndForget  Feb. 15, 2011 at 13:33

Oooohhhh your in trouble now Lewis, wait for the call from Emma to come to her office and get told off. I suggest you fake a illness for a few days & lie low at home.

aranjackson  Feb. 15, 2011 at 14:56

i have to agree with everyone above. those phones were actually alright when they came out 5-10 years ago. ofcourse any old phone is going to be rubbish compared to newer ones...

StuStu  Feb. 15, 2011 at 22:46

Isn't that an N-Gage 2?
I don't remember the original N-Gage looking like that (I have one round here somewhere....)

cherylalbertaelectronics  Mar. 5, 2011 at 15:22

The only time I've wasted was reading the comments above.Not a smidgen of irony in any of them.You sad humourless tw*ts!

Bauza_23  Mar. 6, 2011 at 10:40

Bit unfair on some of them, agree with the 7380 though, an utterly pointless fashion statement.

Others you could've popped in though - another where Nokia tried to be all different but made life a bit harder with the 7600 and the utterly stupid price tag of the 8800 series (not sure which one it was, but I'm pretty sure a handset in the 8800 series came with a grayscale screen too, fail.)

songanddance  Mar. 7, 2011 at 08:40

The 7380 is acquiring quite a fanbase these days and prices are rising. Its a useable phone for those willing to give a hour to get to know it and want something different. It might be have been a fashion statement at the time but it was well built with quality bits.


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