Worst Android Phones of All time

We always like to talk about the best Android phones and the greener side of the grass, but there’s no secret that there’s been a few stinkers over the years. While the amount of disappointing Android devices have significantly declined within the past couple of years, there are still one or two coming out each year that make us scratch our heads and let out a huge WTF.

With that, we thought it’d be fun to think about what the worst Android phones have been so far. My colleagues and I have had a fun time putting this list together and talking about what awarded each device’s spot in this list. Before we get started, there are just a couple of disclaimers to note:
  1. This list will look to focus on well-known phones or phones from well-known companies. It’d be far too easy to include all the terrible Chinese knock-offs we’ve had to endure over the years.
  2. By nature, this is a heavily subjective and opinionated topic. You will disagree with a few selections. That’s fine — we’d love to hear what you think is or isn’t one of the worst phones of all time!
So with that said, it’s time to jump into the thick of things. Get your nostalgia cap on, because this will almost certainly take us down the bumpy ol’ memory lane.


Being someone who purchased this phone, I know first-hand just how miserable of an experience it was to own the HTC EVO 3D. It wouldn’t have been so bad if not for all the promises that were made about how this phone was going to cure cancer and change everything. I’m obviously talking about the “revolutionary” 3D camera HTC put on the back of this thing.
Believe you me — they made it sound like a huge deal, and it definitely felt like one. Upon walking out of the Sprint store the day it launched, I felt like I’d just walked out with the gods’ gift to the world. For two weeks, I’d shown my phone off to everyone — even those who didn’t care — and talked about how awesome it was.

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Not one, but TWO cameras? What?! It didn’t get any better than that. I played 3D Spider-Man and watched the Green Lantern in 3D. I took video and pictures in 3D that no one could enjoy unless they had a 3D monitor or an autostereoscopic 3D device like my own. Starting to feel alone, the novelty of 3D wore off and this phone’s real worth started shining through.
Battery life was abysmal. Even with minimal screen-on time (I’m talking 30-60 minutes here) I rarely made it to 8 hours. The dual-core Snapdragon chipset in it seemed to be bogged down over time by a (then) very non-optimized version of Android and HTC Sense.
The wonderful build quality was overshadowed by the fact that the paint and metal on this thing chipped so easily that your phone was almost unidentifiable after just a few days’ use. Indeed, I’d grown to hate my HTC EVO 3D, and had no problem passing it down to my brother once the Epic 4G Touch launched just a few months later. At the end of the day, the HTC EVO 3D was one of the worst phones that ever launched, and that’s probably why we have yet to see a follow-up (unless you’re counting the scraps Sprint sent down to their underling Virgin Mobile).

Samsung Continuum

I remember it like it was yesterday. Verizon sent out press invites teasing this great new phone by Samsung. The Android community quickly began trying to dissect the invite, wondering what the stock market-esque artwork meant. Could it be a new Samsung smartphone with “stock” Android?! Oh boy! The excitement was enough to tip the pot, but the day came and… the Samsung Continuum is what we got.


It’s not that the phone performed poorly, it’s just that it was pointless. And ugly. And stupid. Its claim to fame was a small “ticker” (hence the stock market stuff) on the bottom that could show key information without having to turn on the device’s decidedly small main display. From stock quotes (OK, we get it) to your latest email, and from whether updates to Twitter and Facebook updates, this little AMOLED strip was supposed to be fun. And it was supposed to help battery life, too.
The problem is that Samsung never gave a damn about it. It could have been a very exciting thing for developers to tap into, but Samsung never opened the APIs to anyone. The amount of apps you could use with the ticker display never increased.
And most of the info the display served up was so condense that you’d rather view it on the big screen anyway. Couple that with the fact that the mechanism for activating the display was so shoddy that it was useless, and you have a recipe for disaster. Needless to say, I was extremely happy to ship this phone right back to Verizon upon completing my review.

Motorola DROID Bionic

What can I say about the DROID Bionic that hasn’t already been said? This phone tanked. It went through at least two or three redesigns, was delayed for months, and treated like an ugly red-headed stepchild by Verizon. And that’s just before the device launched. When the Motorola DROID Bionic finally launched, it was immediately apparent why it took Verizon and Motorola so long to get it to market — it was riddled with so many bugs that not even the most patient person in the world could deal with it.
The Bionic’s list of problems was so long that you had to wonder what, exactly, their engineers were doing in the several months that passed since its announcement. It felt like a prototype that was never quite supposed to make it out to the public, yet here it was, boxed up, on sale and advertised as one of Verizon’s biggest phones.
The problems were so numerous that I won’t even list them here — it’d probably add another 500 words to this already lengthy article. Verizon and Motorola addressed a lot in the months following its release, but all the OTA updates and tender, loving care in the world can’t wash the horrible taste it left out of our mouths. Never forget.

HTC Thunderbolt

Anyone feel like we’re picking on Verizon a little bit too much here? It’s by accident, I assure you. With that, I present to you Big Red’s first ever 4G LTE smartphone — the HTC Thunderbolt. This was an exciting phone to behold when it first launched. Truth be told, the phone wasn’t super innovative or revolutionary as a whole, but the spotlight put on it for being the first phone to kick-off the 4G LTE craze certainly made it seem that way.


Verizon was bold to take the first step in changing up the high-speed data game, but it’s a shame HTC gave them a stinker of a device to do that with. The HTC Thunderbolt was a fine phone, but there was one unforgivable, undeniably damning trait that unfortunately earned the device a spot on this list — you could barely use the thing.
Battery life was so miserable that you’d be better off just grabbing a dumbphone and leaving the Thunderbolt on the charger at home. I’ve had friends who couldn’t get much more than three hours on a single charge, and that’s with moderate usage patterns. The situation was so bad that an HTC rep had to come out and apologize for it.
I have to cut HTC and Verizon some slack here — LTE was new, and it was a necessary stumble to take so that we wouldn’t have to deal with those pains today. Unfortunately, our worst phones list is unforgiving, and it won’t overlook 3 hours of battery life due to mere growing pains.

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