These are the worst smartphones we've ever used. What's yours?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
These are the worst smartphones we've ever used. What's yours?
Everyone's had a bad experience with a tech product. Maybe you bought a cheap smartphone and it stopped working weeks later, or even worse – you bought an expensive flagship phone that defected on you, or otherwise failed to meet your expectations.

Well, you're not alone. We've all had our share of disappointment with certain phones over the years. Below are some of the worst smartphones each of us has ever used, along with what made them disappointing to us.

Share your own story! Let us know in the comment section which smartphone is the worst you've ever used and why.

Alcatel Idol 4S

Radoslav Minkov: "Back in early 2016 I bought the flagship Alcatel Idol 4S, which seemed like a really fun phone to get, with then-impressive features. Such as – a large AMOLED display, stereo speakers, fast charging and it even came with a VR headset!

Well, the headset's two buttons worked for about a single day before defecting, the smartphone began overheating during 4K and even 1080p camera recordings, plus it never got the promised software update to Android 7 that I was really excited for. About the time I started noticing the phone's many problems, I realized Alcatel didn't even have proper tech support channels I could reach out to.

As an added bonus, after I sold the phone, the person I sold it to told me that it was constantly overheating and shutting down. Also, for some reason, the US version of the phone had a fingerprint scanner, while the European one did not, which I didn't know would be the case until I bought it (for a US price). Just a consistently disappointing experience."

Nokia 9 PureView

Georgi Zarkov: "The worst phone I've used has to be the Nokia 9 PureView that I got to review. It had a bunch of software issues that were probably due to it being an early unit but that doesn't change my experience. The camera crashed all time and the phone's five cameras were far from what they were hyped up to be, which was disappointing. The design of the phone was also quite underwhelming.

Maybe Nokia improved the software via updates later but at the time I couldn't wait to switch back to my daily driver. There’s a reason the successor to the Nokia 9 is yet to be released, there is plenty of work to be done for Nokia to make things right."

Experimental phone designs in general

Victor Hristov: "Quite honestly, phones have gotten pretty good these days and it’s hard to find a recently released phone that won’t get the basics right. And while you may read about disappointing phone encounters my co-workers have had, I’d like to point to a general trend that almost always leaves me disappointed, and that is experimental phone designs.

We all love something new and different, but such experiments with smartphones have almost always lead to disappointments: the cool-looking LG Wing is a phone that is just too big and bulky to be comfortable, experiment for the sake of experimenting; the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a futuristic new design with many advantages, but also way too heavy and impractical for most users; and back in the day, other phone experiments like modular phones (remember that?), phones with 3D screens, super thick and heavy devices, incredibly tiny phones, phones in the shape of a pencil, and all other sorts of weird ideas have just left people disappointed.

So my worst experience recently has not been with one particular smartphone, but with a general trend: experiments made just for the sake of releasing something a bit different than others, not fully tested or thought out."

BlackBerry Storm

Alan Friedman: "After buying the OG Apple iPhone, my next smartphone purchase was the BlackBerry Storm which I pre-ordered. The device launched half-baked and the clickable QWERTY, while a good idea in theory, was not built correctly. Nearly all models – including mine – had to be returned for a replacement.

Eventually a system update made the phone usable, but the Storm never lived up to its hype. It was, however, a huge money maker for Verizon whose customers were dying for a touchscreen phone to compete with the iPhone, then an AT&T exclusive."

Samsung Galaxy S III Mini

Iskra Petrova: "I used to have a Samsung Galaxy S III Mini. I remember being really happy and excited as this was my first true “smartphone”. However, my excitement quickly vanished when in the first month, I had to take it for repairs as its charging stopped working. Later, for some reason, its touchscreen stopped working. At the time, I was coming from a Nokia that never broke (not even when I accidentally dropped it in a hot cup of tea once).

The Galaxy S III Mini really disappointed me at the time, and I ended up giving up on it six months later, after taking it for repair two more times. For a couple of years after that, I just blindly hated everything ‘Samsung’ just because of that one faulty phone. It’s funny how sometimes people just assume something isn’t good because of one experience. For some reason, the Galaxy S III Mini stayed in a drawer for ages because I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, even though it sucked."

Sony Xperia Z2

Joshua Swingle: "Sony's 2014 Xperia Z2 had features like a 20.7-megapixel camera (unbelievable at the time) and water & dust resistance. It was painted as a masterpiece in the ads, and I fell into the trap.

The camera was so slow it was painful. It only offered 16GB of built-in storage, so I was constantly trying to free up space. This all got worse with updates, not that there were many of those. Nowadays Sony's known for fast updates, but back then it would take 7-8 months for new versions to roll out.

Oh, and remember the water & dust resistance I mentioned? Yeah, that came to an end after about 6 months when the rubber seals started to peel off the flaps. Eventually, I pulled the flaps off entirely because they wouldn't stay closed.

I held onto the phone for two years. Towards the end, I hated it so much that I swore I'd never buy a Sony phone again. In conclusion, I should have bought the HTC One (M8)."

Asus PadFone 2

Nick Todorov: "Six years ago I had an Asus PadFone 2 - a phone that attached to a tablet dock, for those who don't remember. It seemed like a cool concept, and many people asked me how they could get a dock like this for their phones.

But the hardware part of the product was flawed in many ways. The front of the phone slowly accumulated scratches from being put in and pulled out of the dock. The dock lost charge too quickly. The charging port didn't work well with third-party cables. Dust was getting inside the phone through the headphone jack which eventually crippled the camera. After some time, the plastic back of the phone which was glued to the frame with double-sided tape came off. Despite all this, I managed to sell the PadFone online to a guy who seemed like an Asus fan. Fun times!"

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