Worst smartphones of 2014 thus far

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. 



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69 Comments

1. Ashoaib

Posts: 3250; Member since: Nov 15, 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

16. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

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

25. UglyFrank

Posts: 2188; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

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

51. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

they never bashed a company, only a product.

65. sgodsell

Posts: 6700; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The lumia 630 should be on the list.

2. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Nokia X should be first.

17. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 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.

21. yahia_malka

Posts: 186; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

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

57. ph00ny

Posts: 1982; Member since: May 26, 2011

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

37. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

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

42. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 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.

52. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

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

3. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Where is iPhone 5C?

6. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

It wasn't released in 2014.

9. Manti123

Posts: 207; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

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

13. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

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

22. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Yeah they are getting as bad as BGR.

49. moroninc

Posts: 193; Member since: Jul 14, 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.

60. tedkord

Posts: 17076; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

11. DEATHSTROKE9

Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

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

20. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

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

41. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 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...?

10. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 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.

4. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 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.

5. Derekjeter

Posts: 1447; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

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

27. yahia_malka

Posts: 186; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

U should be kidding

7. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 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...

8. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

TrollPlus troll, G3?

12. Derekjeter

Posts: 1447; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

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

14. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

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

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