Here are 2014's weirdest (or just unusual) product launches and announcements

Here are 2014's weirdest (or just unusual) product launches and announcements
You'll probably have to agree that 2014 has been a great, and somewhat uncommon year when it comes to mobile technology.

While some of the products unveiled throughout the year didn’t surprise anyone (yet still being unusual), there are quite a few that not many would have thought about back in 2013. You may already know which ones are included here, but, if not, check out our list below. Besides actual products that have been introduced since the end of 2013, we're also mentioning an announcement that led to a shift in the top 5 smartphone vendors list. 

In chronological order:

Lenovo buys Motorola Mobility from Google

In 2011, Google announced that it would buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, closing the deal in May 2012. In January this year, Google surprised us by revealing that it would sell Motorola Mobility to China’s Lenovo (for $2.91 billion in cash and about 6% in Lenovo stock). Since then, the deal has been sealed, and now Motorola Mobility belongs to Lenovo - though it obviously remains based in the US, and is run as a separate company. With Motorola on its side, Lenovo is now the world’s third largest smartphone maker - in addition to being the world’s largest personal computer vendor (interestingly, this, too, was helped by the fact that Lenovo bought an American company: IBM’s PC division).


The Nokia X series

In February 2014, while in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, Nokia announced its very first Android smartphones: the Nokia X, Nokia X+, and Nokia XL. A Nokia X2 was introduced half a year later. The entire Nokia X line is considered by almost everyone to be a flop. The fact that the handsets are running a forked version of Android (with no access to Google Play) while including lots of Microsoft apps and services doesn’t provide the best of both worlds, but, rather, a limited and not-so-attractive experience.

After Nokia’s devices and services unit was completely acquired by Microsoft, the Redmond giant announced the cancellation of the Nokia X line. Still, many years from now, this will probably be remembered as one of 2014’s oddest series of devices.


The OnePlus One

One year ago, no one heard of OnePlus, and for a good reason: the company didn’t exist before December 2013. Formed by a former Oppo vice president, OnePlus this year tried to take the world by storm by announcing the OnePlus One smartphone in April, and releasing it several months later. Presented as the “2014 flagship killer”, the OnePlus One offers great value for money (high-end specs and a good build quality for only $299), but there’s one big problem about it: availability was, and still is limited - mostly by a weird invite system that doesn’t allow customers to directly buy the handset.


Amazon's Fire Phone

After several successful years in the tablet market, Amazon decided to also launch a smartphone. Called Amazon Fire Phone, the company’s very first handset was announced in June, and released one month later as an AT&T exclusive device. Amazon certainly wanted the Fire Phone to be a game changer, blessing it with unusual features like a 3D Dynamic Perspective UI (which relies on four front-facing cameras that track users’ movement), and Firefly - which can recognize items in real life, allowing you to buy them online. Overall, most people saw the Amazon Fire Phone as a weird product, one that was priced too high for what it was offering. Thus, this is another flop of 2014.


BlackBerry's Passport

With a very wide footprint (128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm), a 4.5-inch, 1440 x 1440 pixels touchscreen display, and a 3-row QWERTY keyboard, the Passport is certainly BlackBerry’s strangest smartphone ever, and one of the most unusual handsets we’ve seen in years. BlackBerry revealed the Passport in the summer, and released it in September as its new flagship device. Despite its atypical form factor (which sometimes limits one-hand usage), the Passport seems to be a successful product - at least when compared to other recently-released BlackBerry handsets.


Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

This September, when Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note 4, it also announced the Galaxy Note Edge - a unique smartphone with a curved display. While we’ve seen handsets with curved screens before, the Note Edge is different because its display wraps around one of it edges, giving it a one-of-a-kind asymmetrical look. Available in the US and other markets since last month, the Note Edge may be pioneering a brand new smartphone era. Our Galaxy Note Edge review explains everything you need to know about the handset.


iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch

This year’s iPhone announcement was special. Not only did Apple unveil the largest iPhones ever (6 and 6 Plus), but it also introduced its very first smartwatch, simply called the Apple Watch. As you probably already know, only the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available to buy, while the Watch is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2015. The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus are Apple’s way of telling us that it was wrong a couple of years ago, when it proudly affirmed that a perfect smartphone didn’t need a screen larger than 4 inches.


Windows 10

While everyone was expecting Microsoft to announce Windows 9, the company left us almost speechless when, on September 30, it unveiled Windows 10 as the sole and direct successor to Windows 8.1. Windows 9 doesn’t (and will never) exist - and the same can be said about Windows Phone 9, because Windows 10 is a platform that’s made to run on almost every Microsoft-endorsed device, regardless of screen size. Most, if not all current Windows Phone 8 handsets will be updated to Windows 10 - but this won’t happen before mid-2015.


HTC's RE Camera 

Since when does HTC make standalone cameras? Well, since this year! The Taiwanese company introduced the RE Camera in October, positioning it as a GoPro alternative. The camera has a unique design (for a camera, that is), and makes it simple for users to shoot both photos and video - while not needing a viewfinder. You can check out our HTC RE Camera review for more details.


Do you think there are other weird or unusual products / announcements of 2014 that we should have mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!

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16 Comments

1. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

Yes the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were so weird. Bigger screens, completely unique never been done before. Oh and the Apple Watch too. A square metal watch with an OLED display running an OS *cough cough Asus Zenwatch* Thank you iPhonearena.

2. Lememurilo

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 13, 2014

"A square metal watch with an OLED display running an OS' *cough cough Samsung Gear Live*

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7190; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The title is misleading. Using the words product launched. Well the Apple watch is not launched. Considering a number of things were never mentioned or intentionally left out on Apples part. Then we find out later that they still have to make the CPU for the upcoming Apple watch, and the CPU won't be ready until 2015. I would say that is a major blunder on Apples part. But with the Apple fans along with Apple always talk like its already here. They even compare it to existing smart watches. I always get a laugh out of that one. You mentioned oled well considering a number of smart watches already exist with oled like the Samsung Gear lineup or the LG G Watch R being the first to use P-OLED.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7190; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Since the Apple watch is considered a launch product. Then you may as well add project Ara in this list as well. The first modular smart phone where you can add or remove component modules. Oh and the great part about it. It should be available roughly the same time as the Apple Watch.

4. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

A square metal watch with an OLED display running an OS Which is not released yet

10. MIG31_FoxHound

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

" I watch" should not even be a contender. Sometimes i have a wondered did really apple developed a watch or just to increase their stock during the year end they had created a mythical device. Tag Heaur and apple will sell this for 700+ Dollars . " GOD SAVE AMERICA"

13. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

I love your enthusiasm for apple products, you almost sound like an eyes heep. Thumbs up for you my friend.

6. greenelektron

Posts: 537; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

Nexus 6. Weird and unusual because its so expensive.

14. fatpaws

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 27, 2014

*facepaw* It's not weird, it's a phablet, and it's expensive because it is the most powerful device on the market, and btw, not aimed for regular audiences, developers say hi

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple watch, come to Papa Jed.

8. Rager722 unregistered

I'm not even a fan of iPhone but I feel like they just added iPhone to calm down all of the android users.

9. MIG31_FoxHound

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

Hi Viewers Bigger screen iphone 6+ is wiered of all when compared to BB Passport Problems faced by me as a User : * how can apple global leader of innovation come with very poor ergonomics * My thumb pains so badly due to repetitive way of reaching the home button * As a device very good but should have named as " IPAD MICRO"

12. iOSLMFAO

Posts: 290; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

Apple is the king of "ME TOO!" product design/application. They let the true innovators develop and launch a new category of device/product, see if it has success, then they copy the idea and put out their own half-assed janky version for twice the price.

15. fatpaws

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 27, 2014

i know, right! I remember those old PDAs with "fingerprint shizzle", if i'm right, Motorola Atrix also had one of those, but WELL, SURPRISE SURPRISE, APPLE BOUGHT AUTHENTEC (which made pretty much all the smartphones' biometrics... f*** me, right?) and now it's "exclusive" and galaxy s5 shows it's middle finger.

11. iOSLMFAO

Posts: 290; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

The apple watch? Are you freaking kidding? It's not even out yet nor do we know anything about it other than it's ugly and overpriced. "Yo dawg, we heard you like ipods, so we shrunk one down and put a cheap strap on it. So now you can have an ipod on your wrist (iwatch), one in your pocket that makes calls (iphone), one for your man-purse for watching youtube (ipad) and one to keep in your other pocket....just cuz (ipod)! And stay tuned for our next magical and revolutionary product, the iNecklace! We took an ipod, shrunk it down again, and put a CHAIN ON IT! Also in 2016, be on the lookout for the iRings; we took two ipods and -you guessed it- shrunk 'em down and put studs on the back! Now you can have two -TWO- ipods attached right to your head!" Apple fans, LOL

16. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

plus +100 good sir

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