They aged poorly - 10 former Android hero phones that seem barely usable today

They aged poorly - 10 former Android hero phones that seem barely usable today
As we sauntered the web in search of inspiration and interesting smartphone content, we discovered an awesome Reddit thread in which senior, battle-worn Android users reflected upon their first smartphones and how do they hold up from today's perspective. The conversation sparked a trip down nostalgia lane in us, too, for we happen to know each of these 10 Android relics intimately.

Thus, we collected the Redditors' user opinions and juxtaposed them against the final impressions from PhoneArena reviews, just to emphasize the contrast between the then and now. Some of those barely usable handsets used to be true "hero phones" from a time in which HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and LG played their part in building the foundation for Android's massive success. We're kind of sad to see them go the route of disposable, dated electronics, but then again, mobile technology's headlong progress simply leaves no other option. Two years is already too long in the smartphone world, and six years is basically considered prehistoric!

Enough ramblings. Enjoy the selection and have fun reading our reviews-turned-historical-accounts of these very special smartphones that came out guns blazing, but inevitably ended up aging like milk, rather than fine wine.

source: /r/Android

There's more what that came from:



1. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Man, Android has come a long way... Look at all those little ugly ducklings... Yikes!!! Marshmallow is like a SWAN in comparison... But then again, Android since Lollipop is looking way better than all Mobile OS (including The Mighty iOS) IMHO... LONG LIVE THE MATERIAL INTERFACE...

5. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Yes, I believe the Palm Pre, iPhone, and Nokia devices of the time certainly had a leg up in the competition when it came to design. It's just too bad that the only survivor was the iPhone. I thought the Palm Pre was a fantastic device and Nokia built some great stuff with Symbian OS.

2. adecvat

Posts: 639; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Small factor so nice

3. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I'd normally agree with you... Smaller = Better... But these little 'critters' are way too small for my aging eyes... Barely bigger than my 2.6" Nokia C2-03 Slider... I've said this before, and shall say it again: 4.7" to 5.2" is the HOLY GRAIL of Smartphones Displays... Anything small is too small, and big is just too big... But feel free to disagree, as I'd respect that... G'Day!

20. vijay.alapati

Posts: 181; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

That's not what she said

4. bucky

Posts: 3778; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

PA, you get that nexus one out of this list right now! I loved that phone!

6. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

i still have the original galaxy note 1 and let me say this device still very good for this day especially when you consider it is 5 years old

7. barcas

Posts: 58; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

I had the HTC Desire, it was my jump to Android (via the Sony Xperia X1) after a lifetime of nokia & i absolutely loved it

8. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

I see a lot of complaints about how slow many of these phones are compared to "modern" smartphones but much of it is down to updates and slowing with clutter and use (like the short battery lives too). I took out an aunt's iPhone 3G a couple of months back (was unsused but wife needed a phone while hers was in for repair) and it was smooth and slick, really surprised me how good it was... Until my wife used it and added all the updates to apps and iOS then it behaved like a 6 year old phone...

15. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yup, thats the point some miss when it comes to iOS. Leave older iPhones on older OS versions and yeah they run great. Try to catch up with the world and their true colors show. This is why I say I appreciate the way Google does it with OS updates: all or nothing. The way MS and Apple do it....sometimes it best to just let old phones stay old.

17. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Depends My Nexus 5 on Marshmallow is faster than it was with KitKat I've heard Nexus 4 saying the same Can't say the same for my iPad Mini 2, same age as my Nexus 5 yet its so laggy with iOS 9.2.1, hopefully iOS 9.3 fixes it

9. csoulr666

Posts: 116; Member since: Nov 04, 2013

Wildfire S owner here. Love the phone to bits, but the internal memory really is an issue for the device, I just switched from it about an year ago, it ran CM11 with a Mount2SD or Data2SD script which slowed it down more than usual. It's funny how far things have gone since it was released. Anyone who saw the phone at the time commented on how "big" the phone was.

10. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I had a one year contract on the LG Revolution years ago and by the time the contract was up I was ready smash the phone and leave Android. Around that time I found the Nexus line and got the Galaxy Nexus. That phone kept me from leaving Android.

11. JMartin22

Posts: 2369; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

I might take this list seriously if it was phones from 2013 or 3 years ago to be exact. Of course phones that are 5-8 years old aren't going to stand the test of time, they need to be replaced at that point.

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Agreed. I doubt there are phones from any platform that are 5 years old and still running great.

13. Eclectech

Posts: 346; Member since: May 01, 2013

Back when the HTC Evo 4G phone was released (2010), it was the best Android phone, period, no contest. Of course the phone would seem lousy now. All the phones, including the 3.5" (no 4G anywhere to be found) iPhone from that era would seem crappy by today's standard. I still have fond memories of that HTC phone. Sprint couldn't keep them in stock. It took months to get one lol.

14. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I can agree with this list. The Droid 1 was a nice phone in its time. But as Android started getting better it got left behind. Root n ROMs can help most of these phones, but functionality is lost for the ones that cant run a specific OS version. That hurt the Droid 1 alot. I think the last decent OS version for it is 2.3....and thats from a ROM. 2.2 for the last official version.

26. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Yup, I fired up the Droid 1 a week ago and despite it running a custom GB ROM the RAM and processor speed held it back from being fluid and the updated google apps really lagged. oCing the processor helped but RAM was still an issue. I also fired up the HTC Droid Incredible 1 and Motorola Droid X. Both actually performed quite well (both ran smooth wih GB) with the Droid X edging it even though both were running GB. Probably because I am so used to a larger display that the Droid X was easier to deal with.

16. Hitokage

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

Holy crap, I was not expecting that thread to blow up. My inbox has been exploding since yesterday, did not expect PA to be the source. Thanks

18. vijaysivakula

Posts: 229; Member since: Aug 17, 2011

6 of those 10 mobiles are made by HTC. Some hint there?

19. rwolf1984

Posts: 536; Member since: Jun 06, 2009

is it any wonder or surprise that the majority of these devices are HTC products?

21. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

I love the landscape slider keyboard on my Desire Z. It may be the best Android phone with a keyboard at the time, but that's not much of a compliment. Manufacturers always put keyboards on crappy phones. You never see a physical keyboard on a good phone. The Desire HD came out at the exact same time as the Desire Z. Compare specs between the two and you see why keyboard phones died off. They sucked compared to their non-keyboard counterparts.

22. 48Chevy

Posts: 71; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

That LG Optimus S (T, V, One) was a great little phone. I wish one of today's flagships had such nice, clicky hardware buttons.

23. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea I miss this about the Droid X. For some time on screen, capacitive buttons were an issue because they didnt disappear and got hit by mistake too many times for me. Its better now. I still miss hard buttons.


Posts: 926; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

The Galaxy Ace needs to be there. Worst phone ever!

25. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

is there any 2009-2010 phone still usable right now? (except feature phone of course)

28. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

iphone 4 maybe. Still runs like s**t compared to modern phones.

27. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

You should do a followup article that mentions devices like the Droid X, Thunderbolt, and Captivate.

29. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Android started to be usable with 4.1. But it depends on a phone more than OS version. Older versions were not so good even back in a day, but there were practically no alternatives, only iphone, which was very expensive

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Where's the HTC Thunderbolt?

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