2015 has come to an end and we saw a myriad of developments in the world of smartphones during the year. Some were good, and some… not so much. We have already awarded the best phones of the year and have discussed the hits of 2015. But what about the flops? Things that made us cringe, things we hated, things that sucked? Here’s an ode to the pits of 2015… So sit back and sigh!
3,840 x 2,160 = frivolous?
Samsung lost its niche!
And then there were three... again?
Mi no likey India!
'Does anyone have a Type-C charger?' Nope!
There was a lot of innovation in terms of smartphone battery management this year. Fast charging became widespread, wireless charging is catching up, power saving modes became ubiquitous and newer iterations of mobile operating systems (the Doze feature in Marshmallow for instance) are now focussing on this vital aspect too.
But they are not yet tackling the elephant in the room… the battery life! All these gimmicks are cool, but most flagship smartphones still can't last longer than a day on a single charge. While we did have some relief with the likes of Moto X Play and Google Nexus 5X, the bitter truth is that most of the top flagships struggle to stretch even for ten hours!
While an HD display is sufficient, a full HD one does feel better. But while we were still struggling to figure out what 2K (Quad HD) screens could do, we got a 4K phone screen in 2015. Sony's Xperia Z5 Premium flaunted a 2160p display which seemed completely unnecessary. In fact, its display doesn’t go beyond full HD for the most part, due to the lack of compatible apps
There is still not much content even for 2K resolution, so moving on to 4K seems overkill. Plus, the manufacturers need to fix their insufficient batteries before upping the pixels on the screens - which brings us to our next point…
Samsung has produced some great-looking devices this year, specifically the Galaxys – S6, A8 and then Note5, which were all gorgeous. But there was one big trade-off, in lieu of looks Samsung ditched some of the popular features we used to love – removable batteries, microSD card slots and the IR Blaster.
With this move the top three most popular brands – Apple, Nexus and Samsung, don't support these functions. Thus instead of standing out, Samsung has now decided to blend in with its peers. Not cool Samsung!
There are still no compelling new alternatives as far as mobile platforms are concerned. The same story continues – Android leads, Apple follows and Windows tries harder. In fact this year we saw many rivals surrender.
Blackberry ditched its BB OS by choosing Android for its Priv. Samsung tried rocking the boat with its Tizen Z1 and Z3 but failed to create a ripple. Lastly, Firefox conceded by wrapping up its budget-friendly Firefox OS program. We wish the users had an alternative to the reigning OS trinity.
Image credit: www.tabletowo.pl
When Xiaomi launched Mi 4i and said the ‘i’ is for India… we Indians got excited! We thought Mi devices would finally start coming to India sooner. But nooooo… forget sooner, most of the anticipated devices didn’t even make it across the border. Neither the Mi 4c, nor Mi Note Pro and not even the new Redmi Note 3 have been launched in India.
Oh, and where's the Mi 5, Xiaomi?
Image credit: www.techcrunch.com
“Do. Or do not. There is no try” (Star Wars… eh?). There seemed to be a half- arsed attempt to popularise USB Type-C cables this year, and oh boy it fell flat! Firstly, there are only three phones as of now that sport this feature and they all messed it up in their own ways.
While OnePlus does use the Type-C port, it doesn’t utilise any of the features like faster charging or data speeds and the new Nexuses bundle cables with Type-C on both ends, which means you can’t connect it to a regular USB port unless you buy another cable. Conclusively, this move which was supposed to be advantageous turned out to be a disadvantage…you can’t even charge your phone using regular chargers!
Now a noteworthy mention of the phones that tanked:
- Gionee Elife E8 was a perfect smartphone on paper and that’s where the perfection ended. Poor battery and a premium price let this one down.
- HTC One M9+ should have worked, given the appealing design and snappy optics. But it didn’t, due to its ludicrously un-optimised processor.
- XOLO Black was one of the most hyped Indian smartphones of 2015, but it failed to live the hype due to poor cameras and a laggy UI.
- Other phones that failed to create a buzz include the ones powered by BlackBerry OS, Samsung’s Tizen line up, and the flashy Sony Xperia Z5 Premium.