The smartphone market is as interesting as it is over-crowded these days. It’s crammed with devices designed for just about any customer on any budget looking for almost any feature they want. Plus, with so many smartphones available, customers on any carrier can readily find a suitable device that matches their desire. But the smartphone space is currently dominated by a handful of devices, led by Apple’s iPhone, the Motorola Droid X and the Motorola Droid 2.
The year 2010 has been witness to several big ticket smartphone launches, including the Apple iPhone 4. The year also saw Apple’s iconic iPhone and Research in Motion’s Blackberry phones face rising competition from smartphones based on Google’s open source mobile operating system (OS) Android.
However, most of the other phones currently available have failed to find the limelight as those major releases have cast huge shadows. It’s that group—the devices that haven’t been able to attract buyers as well as their vendors had hoped—that are highlighted here. The following smartphones failed to do their part to appeal to consumers and enterprise customers during 2010. Five of these models, however, have not been launched in India. At least, not yet. Here is the list of 10 most discussed smartphones from popular brands that didn’t click:
1. RIM BlackBerry Torch:
RIM’s first device with both a touchscreen and a slide-out Qwerty keyboard and running on its newest OS, BlackBerry Torch, tops the list of failed smartphones in 2010. The phone’s sale paled in front of hot frontrunners like iPhone and Motorola Droid X. Featuring a poor 3.2-inch touchscreen display with 360 x 480 pixels resolution, the phone weighs 5.8 ounces. It sports an optical trackpad. Torch is RIM’s first smartphone to sport the company’s BlackBerry 6 operating system and has recently been launched in India. It’s a shame that this most discusses smartphone failed to shine despite of the new OS that is robust, offers improved interface, slicker menus, universal search and social networking integration.
2. Palm Pre Plus:
At No. 2 is Palm Pre Plus. The phone failed to impress on new features and was passed on just like its predecessor. Featuring a 3.1-inch multitouch screen with a 24-bit color, 320×480 resolution HVGA display, the phone has a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard. The phone comes with 3 megapixel camera with LED flash, geo-tagging and video capture.
3. T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide:
At No. 3 is myTouch 3G Slide which got dumped by users as the iconic iPhone 4 made its debut this year in June. Also, the phone fell short in front of the growing Android smartphone population. To made matters worse, the phone’s camera quality was only average.
4. Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro:
Next on the list of smartphones which failed to take off in 2010 is Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 Mini Pro. The phone which was touted as the company’s flagship model got mixed reviews on looks, features and pricing. In India, the phone was launched at a price of Rs 16,000. The phone’s thicker body also didn’t go well with the users. Many users and reviewers were also critical of Mini Pro’s petite 2.6-inch touchscreen vis-a-vis its rivals.
5. Motorola i1:
Motorola’s 5 megapixel shooter i1 is at No. 5 on the list of failed smartphones. The phone running on older version on Android 1.5 got poor response when compared to its alternatives running higher version of Android 2.1. Also, its 3.1-inch touchscreen display felt short in front of Droid X’s big 4.3-inch screen. However, Motorola i1 was praised for a responsive touchscreen and rugged look.
6. HTC HD2:
At No.6 is HTC HD2 running an older Windows Mobile 6.5. The phone got criticised for its bigger size and data connection issues. The phone’s operating system too reported some issues. According to reviewers, many users complained of OS issues, especially while listening to music and messagiing. The phone’s battery also performed poorly when compared to its rivals. The phone comes with a 4.3-inch HD touch-sensitive screen with 480 x 800 WVGA resolution.
7. RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330:
Next on the list is BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330. The phone showed only a few cosmetic changes over its predecessor and got poor response for its photo quality. The phone is a capable, nice smartphone; but for the average enterprise customer. The phone comes with responsive optical touchpad, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, GPS and a 2 megapixel camera.
8. Dell Aero:
Dell’s smartphone Aero runs on a 624MHz processor compared to most smartphones running on a 1GHz processor. Powered by an older version of Android 1.5, the phone got thumbs down on user interface, software keyboard, live wallpapers and voice commands. Featuring a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 360 by 640 pixels, the phone has 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash.
9. Palm Pixi Plus:
Though the phone boasts off improved features over its successor, the phone failed to take off amid growing smartphone competition. The smartphone’s camera lacked editing options and picture quality too was unimpressive. Moreover, The phone has no expansion slot.
10. Motorola Defy:
Though endowed with reasonable features, Motorola’s Android-powered Defy too is among the list of failed smartphones of 2010. Yet to be launched in India, this phone which can withstand accidents like dropping in water or hard surfaces, surprisingly failed to take off in the US. According to some reviews, despite its 5 megapixel camera, the picture quality is not top of the line and its rough design doesn’t seem impressive.