Four disappointing smartphones of 2013

A few new smartphones this year, including devices from the likes of HTC, Samsung and Sony, have left us wanting for more. Here's a recap.

Smartphone lovers have had a good year so far, but we are a picky lot, especially when rumour mills throw up fantastic specs and features for upcoming phones. As it turns out, often companies leave things behind on the cutting floor, dashing expectations and leaving fans disappointed. That has been the case for at least a few smartphones this year, including devices from the likes of HTC, Samsung and Sony. So, which smartphones disappointed the most?

HTC First
First! Yes, the Facebook phone that’s not the "Facebook Phone" tops this list. The HTC First could have been a great smartphone for its price and specs, but saddled with Facebook Home, it became a byword for failure. So much so that the First was put on a fire sale of sorts by AT&T, which started offering the phone at 99 cents following a month on store shelves. Thankfully, the phone didn’t cross the seas and enter India, and remains a US-only smartphone for now. We are sure even that won’t last for too long.


First bombed at the market


Samsung Galaxy S4
The Galaxy S4 is great in many aspects, but we were still hoping to see Samsung push the boundaries of design and come up with something that doesn’t look like a 2012 rehash. An aluminium body would have helped spice things up, but Samsung went with the same plastic body that is viewed as its biggest weakness. While we understand that plastic or polycarbonate are great in terms of practicality, but when one is paying close to Rs 40,000 for the S4, one expects superior materials and design.


Will sell by the millions, but the S4 still disappointed us in terms of design and build


Micromax Canvas 4
Micromax missed more than one trick with the Canvas 4. Firstly, instead of choosing the faster MT6589 Turbo, it went with the same old MT6589 clocked at 1.2GHz. That means in terms of performance, the Canvas 4 and the Canvas HD (and a whole bunch of low-cost quad-core phones) will be on the same level. Secondly, the display should have been a 1080p affair considering how many new phones are coming with that particular spec. And it’s not like these are all high-brow big-name international players. Micromax only had to look at Wickedleak Wammy Passion Z and the Lemon A4 for inspiration.

Canvas 4

Canvas 4 could have been so much more


Sony Xperia ZL
The Xperia Z is a great phone in many aspects, such as its waterproof and dustproof body. But its slightly smaller "twin", the Xperia ZL, seems almost like an afterthought. Yes, we realise the ZL is supposed to be Sony’s way of cramming a big screen in a small body, but that aside, what is the point of the ZL? There was nothing in the way of differentiation for the ZL and the slightly lower price tag didn’t help it sell well either. In fact, despite the price difference, anyone shopping for a smartphone would have preferred the Z over the ZL, considering the former’s unique design and the weather-resistant shell.


The Xperia ZL, the Z's near-twin had relatively little going for it


Got any more to add to this list? Let us know in the comments.


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