Top 10 worst phones of all time

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

The history of widespread mobile phone use may only be a decade old, but this hasn't stopped our favourite phone makers from releasing a doozy or two in this time. So clip a peg to your nose as we take you through a rogue's gallery of our worst phones of all time.

Our criteria was pretty simple; we cast our minds back, and remembered the phones that made us laugh or made us cry out in frustration, or the ones that had us scratching our heads and wondering, "who gets paid to think up these terrible concepts?".

These phones are all taken from our archive of reviews, but if you had a stinker of a mobile phone and it hasn't been listed here, tell us about it in the comments below.

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pgaskin posted a comment   

You missed the early ZTE model phones - as used by Telstra to try to encourage users to use mopbile broadband. What a joke this phoen was. If you tried to look art any vide via braodband, the phoen soon died as the battery ran out!


StuartT posted a comment   

the iphone 4s. nothing that we haven't seen already in a phone with bad battery life.


Telcoman posted a comment   

This list could just go on and on, some more recent additions include the nokia n97 (i dont care if you had a good one this phone was an absolute piece), The Motorola Quench (words cannot describe), also the Nokia 7700 (I dont even know what to say) the 5510 ....actually come to think about it, nokia have a habit with these disgusting semi circle phones, but the winnwer has to be................the SCI PHONE!!!!!! Look it up if you have not had the pleasure of seeing one of the most blatant knock offs of all time and an absolutely horrible phone to use, got my hands on one last week through a customer who had one and thought it was a real i phone, it now lives with me as my favourite lil peice of so bad its good technology!!


EvanN posted a comment   

The N-gage was awesome, but yes it did look like a cyber-taco!


gregory.opera posted a reply   


THe N-Gage was a brilliant piece of hardware and if there was more support behind it - including suitable data plans (which were incredibly expensive at the time) - it's possible that I may not even have a Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable)!

Unfortunately, telecommunications stores were reluctant to stock it, electrical/department stores generally didn't carry it (if they'd even heard of it!) and games stores refused to even acknowledge the N-Gage existed...

All this combined meant that even if you DID get your hands on an N-Gage, games were incredibly difficult to come across (and usually stores only carried 3-4 of "the most popular games", which were often the same between stores!).

I was actually hopeful that Nokia would release a 3G version of the N-Gage, which was rumored right up until the N-Gage and N-Gage QD were canceled... Though it never came.

Nokia had a winning solution in their hands, but with poor marketing, poor data pricing, poor plans and poor availability, it was always doomed to die a slow, painful death...


goclingan posted a comment   

I still have my Gen 1 N-Gage (won in a competition many years ago). The games were terrible and you looked like a fool talking into a taco but it it was the most reliable (and had the best reception) of any phones I've ever owned.


gregory.opera posted a reply   

I agree... On some points - I thought the games were - for the time - pretty impressive, especially considering they were run on a smartphone!

The worst games were roughly the quality of Sony PlayStation/PSOne games, and the best were pretty close to Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable) quality.

I do agree with you on the reception/reliability thing though - I wouldn't go as far as saying it was THE most reliable/best reception phone I've ever had, but it'd definately be in my top three...


DominicC posted a comment   

Motorola Rokr E1

The reason why Motorola Mobility sold themselves to Google :P

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