Cell phones have seen fast-paced growth since their inception. According to a report from Flurry Insights, smartphones were adopted 10 times faster than the PC was, 2 times faster than the internet BOOM and 3 times faster than the recent social network adoption.
Much of this success is down to the cell phone manufacturers, who have pushed the envelope of smartphone designs and features right through the years.
There are a lot of cases when the engineers/ designers had it spot on, and then there are those cases when they tried to be too creative and in the process made some awful and sometimes very ugly looking smartphones.
Here is a rundown of the top five WTF phones of all time (Part 1).
#1. The Golden Buddha Cellphone
Ever wondered what happens when religion and tech meet at crossroads? Well, wonder no more as the Golden Buddha cell phone is here to put your mind at rest. Made with a 24 karat gold plating and comes with a genuine jade pearl powder lacquer (Though I have no idea what that is).
The design of the golden Buddha cell phone somewhat resembles a makeup usually found in women’s purses. If you love Buddha and interested in the idea of making virtual offerings to other Chinese gods (it has a virtual prayer hall), then this phone is the device for you though you’d have to shell out $1,750 to get one.
#2. The F88 Wrist Phone
There are times I would watch a Sci-Fi movie and see a wearable tech like the watches in the 007 movies which are sometimes equipped with laser beams able to cut through metal or the wrist projector wearables seen in the AFTER EARTH movie which enable the wearer to communicate via virtually projected interactive applications – and I’d almost always wished i had one.
The F88 Wrist phone was probably the very first trials in the design of wearable tech as it looks so much like a nerd-centric phone minus that pointy antenna; however, the execution was poor, wearing that thing would probably feel like having your phone taped to your wrist.
Not only did this phone mess with my childhood dream of ever wanting a wrist wearable, it is outright ugly and coming from a Chinese manufacturer (in the days when China had a rather poor reputation in electronics) says it all.
#3. Nokia N-Gage
Back then Nokia was amongst the biggest phone manufacturers, such great successes do come with a considerable amount of failures too. In 2003, Nokia tried to take advantage of the game craze by making a phone that had all the functionalities of a cell phone and could be used as a gaming device as well.
After being hyped by the company prior to its release, the N-Gage failed on both fronts. Not only was it difficult and awkward to handle as a phone, its lack of games due developers unwilling to take a chance with it (as it required cartridges like an N-64 would) didn’t encourage gamers to invest time in creating an ecosystem around it. Nokia was not easily outwitted though and kept N-Gage brand, merging it with other mobile gaming platforms. But after several unsuccessful games, the whole idea was abandoned and the device soon became obsolete.
#4. Samsung Galaxy Beam
On the back of the great success Samsung enjoyed after the release of its Galaxy S2, the Korean company tried to be too creative and brought the Galaxy Beam which was a phone with a small projector attached to its top but the device didn’t meet much success due its abysmal battery capacity and poor resolution of the HD projector. The phone failed to gain traction and after a second attempt to revive the Beam line, the idea was abandoned completely.
#5. Compulab Exeda
Meet the first phone (probably the only phone) that comes equipped with an Ethernet port. This is one of those phones you look at and think that the engineers behind it were out of their minds – but obviously someone up the chain thought it was a good idea to have a phone with an ethernet port.
The device is equipped with a 3.5-inch touch display, a QWERTY keyboard, a tiny touchpad and few other extra buttons and looked a lot like a bulky PDA. Despite its not so pleasant design, the phone is capable of booting different operating systems from Android to Windows Mobile 6.1, Windows CE 5 and Angstrom Linux.
That sums up our first list. What do you think? Do you have any other phone that possibly fits the title of this article? Let us know about it in the comments section.