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Worst smartphones of 2014 thus far

Posted: , by Florin T.

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Worst smartphones of 2014 thus far
Articles talking about the best product designs, the best value-for-money smartphones, the best dual-SIM smartphones, and so on, are usually very helpful. However, shifting our point of view can also lead to helpful, informative results. Therefore, we’re now presenting you a list of the worst smartphones released this year thus far, so that you know which ones to avoid.

We only picked smartphones made by well-known companies. Devices that we actually reviewed - thus spending enough time with them before deciding that they’re inferior to the majority of handsets out there. While devices that we recommend buying normally get ratings from 8 to 10 in our reviews, the smartphones seen below received ratings from 4 to 5.5. We ordered them from the highest rating to the lowest, so the worst of the worst is the last one on the list. This being said, check them all out, and let us know if there are other not-so-desirable handsets that you think we should've included here. 

07. Samsung Galaxy Ace Style

While Samsung launched a lot of great smartphones throughout the years, its portfolio is so vast that it also contains pretty bad offerings - and the Galaxy Ace Style is one of them. Yes, the Ace Style is an affordable handset, retailing for about $170, but it just doesn’t mange to offer what other similarly priced devices do. This Style isn’t really stylish, as its plastic case feels cheap. The 4-inch WVGA display is anything but great (most of its colors are off), while TouchWiz UI feels sluggish - likely because there’s only 512MB of RAM. On the plus side, the Galaxy Ace Style runs Android 4.4 KitKat.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Style Review.


06. Sony Xperia E1

Sony’s Xperia E1 could have been a very nice little smartphone, as it features a dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, a 100 dB loudspeaker, and a dedicated Walkman key. Unfortunately, the handset comes with a low-quality plastic build, a washed-out 4-inch WVGA display, a disappointing photo camera, only 512MB of RAM, and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The price that Sony is asking for the Xperia E1 ($160 - $200) isn’t justified, considering all the downsides of the device.

Sony Xperia E1 Review.


05. Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo 

Significantly larger than the Galaxy Ace Style mentioned above, the Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo is an affordable 5-inch smartphone. The problem is that, although its screen is quite large, its WVGA resolution translates into a 168 ppi density - so you’ll actually see each pixel on this display. If Motorola can offer a handset with a 720p display for less than $200, we don’t understand why Samsung is asking around $270 for the Grand Neo.

Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Review.


04. Sony Xperia M2

The Xperia M2 isn’t a terrible smartphone per se. In fact, it manages to offer a record-setting battery life, so it should be among your top choices if you care about battery life so much as to disregard the handset’s shortcomings. Though you’d better hear about these first. The M2 offers an unacceptable call quality, sub-par photo and video camera, Android Jelly Bean, and a mediocre 4.8-inch display with 540 x 960 pixels - all in a package that costs $330 - $400. Needless to say, you can find plenty of other better handsets in that price range.

Sony Xperia M2 Review


03. Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha

While previous Alcatel OneTouch Idol models are offering a lot of bang for the buck, that’s definitely not the case with the OneTouch Idol Alpha. Granted, this is a unique smartphone, featuring transparent layers of plastic at the top and bottom. However, that alone doesn’t justify the $400+ price that Alcatel is asking for the handset - not when Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and a pretty weak MediaTek processor are included.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha Review


02. Nokia X

Launched by Nokia in February as its very first Android-based smartphone, the Nokia X is an entry-level device made for emerging markets, so perhaps we shouldn't complain too much about it. But we have to, because i's disappointing in too many areas: there's no Google Play access, the display is weak, the camera won't let you truly enjoy your photos, and the overall performance is frustrating. Microsoft and Nokia indirectly acknowledged that the Nokia X isn't too appealing, thus releasing a successor to it - the Nokia X2 - four months after the X hit the market. 

Nokia X Review.


01. HTC Desire 310

The Desire 310 is one of HTC's latest affordable smartphones, and yet it's still way too expensive for what it's offering. The handset's 4.5-inch (480 x 854 pixels) is terrible in every of its aspects, the earpiece is shockingly bad, the camera produces weak results, and the interface is an odd blending of stock Android and Sense UI. Moreover, the Desire 310 feels chunky in the hand. All in all, this is certainly not what a $200 smartphone should be. 



68 Comments
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posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:37 23

1. Ashoaib (Posts: 2115; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


so there is a tie between samsung and sony for releasing more worst phones... I think samsung will win by the end of 2014 bcoz samsung release a phone every couple of weeks

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:03 3

16. ihavenoname (Posts: 1402; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


And Samsung seems to be releasing more and more 512mb RAM phones.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:29

25. UglyFrank (Posts: 398; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Is it fair that they just make a article that can only be viewed as an attempt to bash a company?

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 15:10 8

51. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


they never bashed a company, only a product.

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 05:46 1

65. sgodsell (Posts: 1249; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


The lumia 630 should be on the list.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:39 18

2. smallworld (Posts: 438; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


Nokia X should be first.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:10 3

17. Liveitup (Posts: 1252; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Why should Nokia X be first on the list?, tell us cause I don't think it should be first, the other phones are there for a reason.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:24 3

21. yahia_malka (Posts: 101; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


Nokia X is an entry level phone , not a gs5 !!!! What's wrong with PhoneArena guys

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 17:26 7

57. ph00ny (Posts: 602; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Um pretty much ever model on that list was an entry level

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:50

37. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Oh I see, you're a nokia fanboy not "MS/WP fan"....

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 12:30 2

42. Liveitup (Posts: 1252; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


You fail realize that I am a fan of technology in general, you one minute thinking that I am a WP/MS and then next thinking I am a Nokia fan shows that.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 15:12

52. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


well in the mobile space WP and Nokia are practically synonymous so that's more than understandable

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:42 20

3. Johnnokia (Posts: 522; Member since: 27 May 2012)


Where is iPhone 5C?

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:44 4

6. tech2 (Posts: 2075; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


It wasn't released in 2014.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:47 12

9. Manti123 (Posts: 119; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


If even was released in 2014, Phone arena will never talk badly about Apple

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:52 1

13. Scott93274 (Posts: 1067; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Not true... they talked about the rumored underwhelming battery life of the next iPhones.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:25 2

22. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Yeah they are getting as bad as BGR.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 13:20 1

49. moroninc (Posts: 179; Member since: 14 Jul 2012)


because it works... it may not have all the bells and whistles but Android is where it is because of the iPhone.. its still a solid device with a large ecosystem why would phonearena have to talk badly about it.. there is no S5 or any other flagship on this list these are mid range phones.. the iPhone was released last year.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 20:24

60. tedkord (Posts: 4810; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


While that's true, it's also true that iOS wouldn't be what it is in 2014 without Android.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:49 4

11. DEATHSTROKE9 (Posts: 399; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Still better than Nokia X BTW. Also iPhone 5C is better than any phone in this list.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:18 8

20. tech2 (Posts: 2075; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Yup. 5C is over-priced but far from being the worst phone.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 12:21 2

41. ManusImperceptus (Posts: 402; Member since: 10 Jun 2014)


"Worst phone at it's price" is the subject, of course... It's pretty ridiculous that you should be ignored for a list like this just because you don't release budget phones... Actually, it just shows that flagship phones generally get better reviews, without taking their price into account.

Perhaps a different poll about best smartphone company, with a huge negative score for NOT releasing a budget smartphone for those with limited means...?

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:48 5

10. Scott93274 (Posts: 1067; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


I don't think the iPhone 5C was bad, just lacking in features, grossly overpriced and ugly as sin. But yeah, it was released last year so it doesn't belong on this list.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:43 5

4. tech2 (Posts: 2075; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Samsung's and HTC's mid-low range devices is really dismal. People are waking up to the fact a smartphone with decent features really shouldn't cost so much thanks to the several chinese brands and Motorola.

Both of them should really stop milking customers with their Galaxy and Desire branding.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:44 2

5. Derekjeter (Posts: 240; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Where is the Nokia 928, 929, HTC 8X and all the other windows phones. Lol. Im kidding WP fans.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:32

27. yahia_malka (Posts: 101; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


U should be kidding

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:44 4

7. Scott93274 (Posts: 1067; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


So Apple gets away with not being on the list by releasing their phone later in the year? lol, j/k I'm just trolling, just keep scrolling...

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:47 4

8. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


TrollPlus troll, G3?

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:50

12. Derekjeter (Posts: 240; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Other than the GS2 and my GS5 all of the other Samsung phones are FUGLY!!

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 10:57 3

14. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Ahem OG Note, Note 3? Also S4 was not as ugly, the slim bezels, and the faux chrome gave it some character.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:11 2

18. Derekjeter (Posts: 240; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


All of the Notes are ugly and people look stupid holding on to something that covers 3/4 of their face. The GS5 could have had a bigger screen if they just do what LG is doing with the bezels. Theres no need for Phablets. People just made it ok for manufactures to not improve on the current flagships. Now they have Apple joining the phablet game and theres no need for it. All they had to do on the 4.7 verison was shrink the top bezel and the sides and it could have been bigger than 5.0. Theu should have kept to one phone every year and make the best looking phone.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:34 6

29. tedkord (Posts: 4810; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Well, that's it folks. Derekjeter has spoken. There is no need for phablets. All you people who have bought one are fools. All you people who are planning to buy one are idiots. Apple is stupid for following the trend.

Thank goodness we have geniuses like Derekjeter to tell us when we buy things we shouldn't.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:39

34. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


LOL. Time to leave the planet. :D

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 12:04 5

39. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2189; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


+1000. This guy is an ass clown to the highest degree.

Jeter, if you don't like "phablets", don't buy them. Plain & simple. However, don't ever presume to tell me or anyone else what we should or should not be buying with our own hard-earned money.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:46 5

35. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Lol that comment made no sense at all. Also Notes are not just about large screens, It will take another 3 years for apple to match half of Note 3's functionality. Also ultra thin bezels don't help ergonomics at all. Also Sorry about your girly hands :)

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:33

28. yahia_malka (Posts: 101; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


You're right , gs3 , gs4 lag so much , gs2 doesn't , I don't know about gs5 but I think its the same as gs2 :)

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:35 1

30. tedkord (Posts: 4810; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I have the GS3. No more lag than any device from that time, including the iPhone 4s.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:00 2

15. alexvv (Posts: 74; Member since: 16 Oct 2013)


perfect list :p we should see more samsungs, like the million cores, and thousands of aces

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:35

31. amats69 (Posts: 1051; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


oh even galaxies

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:15 1

19. LeBrownJames (Posts: 118; Member since: 17 Mar 2014)


If you look at Samsung's family tree, you could see that the phones at the top (S5, Note3, etc.) are one of the best. But try to look at the bottom and you'll see Samsung's mid and low end phones are one worst phones.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:27

23. b1acktiger (Posts: 207; Member since: 19 May 2012)


if worst and good phones are decided according to the list, then iPhone 5C should be on the list. Maybe it deserve 1st place here for its place.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 07:43 1

67. iampayne (Posts: 242; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


Why is there so much hate on the 5C. Its just an iP5 which was a good phone in a 3GS casing basically. Samsung and Nokia release nothing but plastic phones and I see the same people bashing the 5C not bashing those phones.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:29

24. anasnazeer (Posts: 11; Member since: 11 Jul 2014)


I'd be very happy to use anyone one of these mentioned phones as my side kick phone.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:29

26. yahia_malka (Posts: 101; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


PhoneArena. Guys , you like Samsung so u just put the ace style , where is core 2 ? , star 2 ,ace 3 ??? And there is more I'm sure , cuz I don't care about Samsung I don't know their handsets!

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:37 2

32. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


First, read the title, they said worst phones from 2014.
Second, You said you don't care about Samsung, yet you pointed about them here.
Third, you said you don't know about Samsung's handsets, yet you called out 4 galaxies in your comment.
EPIC FAIL comment bro. :)

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:37 1

33. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3078; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


TrollPlus? I guess this article is not "Top 10 Fake Phones of 2014".

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:47 1

36. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


LMAO. What about other 9 phones?

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 11:53 2

38. xperian (Posts: 55; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


Where is Galaxy S5?

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 12:06 3

40. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


On top of the world maybe, and atleast above Z2 :)

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 12:44 2

44. xperian (Posts: 55; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


How is it better than Z2?

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 12:53 1

45. jellmoo (Posts: 671; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


It's significantly shorter, slightly narrower and a fair bit lighter. I'm not saying it is in fact better than the Z2 overall, but it definitely has some advantages.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 13:06 1

47. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3321; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Same way, what makes you think S5 is among the worst phones?

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 11:17

66. xperian (Posts: 55; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


It may not be a very bad phone, but it's extremely overrated, and other flagships are better.

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 19:23

68. bur60 (Posts: 23; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


Sorry but PhoneArena and GsmArena gave Z2 a higher rating. S5 went for gimmicks instead of true innovation. If you look at the sales in the other hand, Samsung has an excellent department in sales and psychology. They know how simple and dull the average smartphone shopper is

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 12:43 1

43. sanyamjain75 (Posts: 14; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)


I dont agree with E1 its a good phone atleast build quality music are strengths of this phone..

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 13:00 1

46. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Where is GS5?

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 13:32 3

50. express77 (unregistered)


On the list of best smartphones of 2014 thus far.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 17:23 2

56. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Galcrap this and that... They all look the same to me.
Same crap over and over.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 20:36

61. tedkord (Posts: 4810; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


According to CNET, Laptopmag, TechRadar and Tom's Guide (those were all on the first page of the search "best smartphone"), it's perched on top of the iPhone 5s. According to most other sites its firmly in the top 5.

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 13:13

48. avyfa (Posts: 12; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)


Lol, you have never tried cheap chinese phablets, that usually have 6" full hd screen with dual core processor and 2000 mAh battery.

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