Not all Android smartphones are created equal. Unlike the iPhone, which is generally updated by Apple once a year, there are literally dozens of smartphone models on the market powered by Google’s mobile operating software.
While there are a handful of fan favorites like the Nexus S 4G and Motorola Atrix,
there are also plenty of dogs that suffer from poor performance issues,
weak batteries, and stupidly unnecessary features. Based on input from
our readers, personal experience and poor reviews, we detail here five
Android phones you should avoid buying.
you get what you pay for, which is the case with this Metro PCS-branded
Android smartphone. While we love the fact that Android phones can now
be purchased without a contract for less than $100, the tiny screen
size, spotty performance and poor battery life of the Huawei Ideos makes
it an inferior device than even most feature phones. The appeal of its
compact dimensions (4.1 inches tall and 2.2 inches wide) are
overshadowed by a 2.8-inch touchscreen that makes typing and navigating
through websites and applications awkward at best. This problem is
amplified when you consider that most prospective users of this “starter
Android phone” haven’t owned a smartphone before. There are certainly
smarter ways to try out an Android.
and a generally directionless marketing approach. The idea was to bring
Garmin’s expertise at GPS satellite navigation into a smartphone. The
trouble is, most regular Android smartphones include Google Maps already installed. For the vast majority of consumers, that app and the hundreds of other navigation-oriented Android apps
produced by independent developers is all that will ever be needed.
While there is no denying that the Garminfone works well as a standalone
GPS device, for those wanting a true Android smartphone experience, it
certainly doesn’t cut the mustard. As Google Maps now works offline too,
which was one of the Garminfone’s original advantages, the device is
becoming even more obsolete.
it a phone? Is it a tablet? The Dell Streak somehow combines the worst
qualities of each. What’s the point of having a portable device that
places phone calls but doesn’t comfortably fit in your pocket? In terms
of computing, the comparatively small Dell Streak is clearly inferior to
the iPad and other tablet offerings. But don’t just take our word for
it. Wall Street Journal tech guru Walt Mossberg listed the Streak as one
of the worst devices he reviewed in 2010. Android software updates to the Streak have made it a more usable device than when Mossberg published his original review. However, not even the most advanced mobile operating system in the world can make up for the Streak’s clumsy form factor.
Many users complain
about constantly having to manipulate the screen size in order to read
text. The Citrus is also known to revert to Airplane Mode by itself and
freeze without warning. For search and navigation, the Citrus pushes
users to pre-installed Bing applications rather than providing easy
access to Google and other applications. While it is common for
smartphones to include this kind of "bloatware" upon purchase, for tasks
as essential as search and navigation users should be free to make
their own choices. There may be worse Android smartphones available, but
Verizon subscribers who insist on buying a Motorola phone are better
off paying for the superior Droid models.
The Citrus is free to purchase with a two-year contract and readily
available. But you’re still going to pay thousands of dollars for the
duration of your deal, so it’s better to pony up earlier for a superior
phone and let this lemon spoil.
before you start with the angry emails for including this one, hear us
out. The Thunderbolt is a great device with plenty of power. It has been
well reviewed, sold well, and offers the advantage of blazing-fast
connectivity on Verizon’s 4G network. But -- and we’re certainly not the
only ones to point this out -- the Thunderbolt has been beset with
quirks and problems since its launch. Randy Arrowood, from enthusiast
blog Android Headlines, even went so far as to put it at number one in
his Top 10 Android Phone Letdowns of 2011.
Arrowood cited issues when transferring from a 4G to 3G network,
constant restarts, and the most common issue of all: horrendous battery
life. For sure, the Thunderbolt (and many others like it) are great
devices with loads of style and power. But if you need an extra battery
just to see you through the afternoon, or can’t use the phone to its
utmost potential because of a lack of juice, then what’s the point of
having all those features?