An awful lot of our customers don't realise that we have actually been in the mobile phone and electronics industry more than 15 years now. Naturally, with such a long period of time exposed to the various new handsets that have been released by a plethora of manufacturers across the globe, we have seen some truly awful designs.
We imagine that many of the companies were simply looking for something wacky enough that it might just work and help them to stand out in the crowd. Ultimately, all they achieved was some coverage on the Bozowi blog. Surely that alone was worth the millions spent on research and development, production and advertising – right guys?
Virgin are always flirting with ground-breaking technology but unfortunately, the only ground the Lobster 700 broke was the pavement, as it fell flat on its face. It's a real shame because it offered some fantastic features for its time; live television on a mobile and a camera that wasn't far off the quality of your average consumer camera's that were floating around the market. Those two features alone would have been enough to guarantee it a successful launch during 2006, prior to the real boom of the smartphone that would come with the emergence of the iPhone and Blackberry.
However, they turned what could have been a record breaking handset into a mirror shattering catastrophe. Poor form Virgin. Poor form.
This is a wheely good phone, it wheely is! Ok, maybe it's not. While it was sure to get you noticed, with its quirky design and stand out colours, the experience a typical user would have was one of utter frustration. It looks more like a TiVO remote control than a mobile and quite frankly, a TiVO box is easier to navigate!
Just to confirm, the phone is the one on the left!
One of these “beauties” would typically set you back about £150, which isn't really that expensive when you consider the price of your typical handset in today’s market. Nonetheless, the handset saw no real commercial success – especially outside of Japan.
Nokia makes its first appearance on the list with its 7600 model that was released in early 2004. While the handset was a moderate success, boasting some of the best spec's around at the time, its appeal was certainly limited by the fact that Three (a relatively new network at the time) had the exclusive rights to it in the UK. As an owner of this particular handset, I can say – with great conviction – that it wasn't that easy to use. The “trackpad” looking navigation button just below the screen had a mind of its own and dialling a number was a tedious chore.
Visually, it was less than pleasing and wouldn't even have hit the shelves had it not been for its high end spec's and relatively low pricing, which fell in the region of £100.
The Vertu Cobra cost a staggering £300,000... yet it looked like this. These phones are usually targeted at the wealthy, particularly as their actual hardware and features are normally below the typical market standard. Their key selling points are the use of precious metals and stones within the handset. Unfortunately, precious stones don't belong on mobile phones. Period. Absolutely hideous.
However, If you have silly amounts of money and just want a conversation piece, I guess you could do worse.
If a Blackberry had a love child with Golem from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we imagine that it would look something like the Compulab Exeda; Extremely tiny but packed full of awesomeness. Unfortunately, the Exceda would get it's looks from Papa Golem. Which is probably why it never really took off.
The handset has the ability to run an old version of Windows Mobile, as well as android – simultaneously. This obviously appeals to a lot of people and will no doubt have been the key selling point to a lot of those that did decide to pick up this hideous little beast.
There is a fundamental flaw with this handset. The Panasonic G70 is designed to look like a ladies powder compact, which is bad enough as it is. However that suggests that it's aimed at the type of lady that would care about their appearance, so why on earth would they be seen in public with this monstrosity?!
Don't even get us started on the button placement and the screen. It's circular but the hefty majority of it is just black, with a small colour square in the middle. Part of me wishes this was #1 on this list but unfortunately, it gets worse.
It's like all the manufacturers just got together shortly after the turn of the century and decided that each of them had to try and release a phone with the most hideous button configuation that they could possibly muster. Nokia, being the biggest brand at the time, clearly felt that they should be leading the charge – releasing two models that were rather uneasy on the eyes.
On the plus side though, it did contain Snake in the game section, which is always awesome for those that are looking for a bit of Nostalgia. Other than that, this handset was doomed to fail before it even launched.
The F88 Wrist was essentially the worlds first fully functional smart watch. While there are now plenty of smart watches on the market, many of them would struggle to deliver all of the features that this device managed to pack into its rather hideous self.
While we always appreciate innovation and love it when people try something different, even when the likelihood is failure, we simply can't expose ourselves to this.
Oh my. Where to even begin with this. It's like a cross between an old iPod with it's navigation wheel and a laptop, without all the functionality. Basically, it's useless and a complete eye sore. If we had to use one of these on a daily basis, we would probably just revert back to a cave with some flint and a club. It'd be an easier way of life and if we did have to make a phone call, at least there would be nobody around to see us using the Serene.
This one really takes the biscuit and so naturally it has to take the #1 spot on our list of ugliest phones. The Hong Jeong Dual LCD, which is a mouthful in itself, was shown off at the 2006 Seoul International Invention Fair. The biggest problem with it was that they seemed to have just snapped a fairly standard flip phone in half and then slapped two screens on top – with a big old bolt through the middle to hold it all together and screws on show all over the place.
It's absolutely dreadful and barely usable from what we heard, although (unsurprisingly) very few people ever got their hands on the device as not many of them were ever actually produced. Shocking.