Six smartphone gimmicks that have either failed or got absolete

In the constantly evolving world of smartphone technology, manufacturers often try to differentiate their products by adding new and innovative features; however, not all of these features are successful

Remember those curved phones like the LG G-Flex? How about the whole Red Hydrogen One 3D function? Maybe a screen and e-ink combo found in Cherry Mobile Taiji? There are a lot of smartphone blunders out there that modern brands should avoid or better yet keep inside their cabinets.

Ho, ho! But not us, we love to unearth these phones from the past and reminisce why they failed in the first place, and here are some of our picks:

3D Displays: Red Hydrogen One

Image: GSMArena

A few years ago, several smartphone manufacturers attempted to add 3D displays to their devices. These displays were meant to provide a more immersive viewing experience, but they quickly proved to be a flop. Consumers found the 3D displays to be unnecessary, and they didn’t add much value to the overall smartphone experience.

Bendable display: Moxi Bend

Image: Moxi Group

Another failed smartphone gimmick feature is the bendable display. The idea was that you could fold the display to make the phone more compact and portable, but the technology was never fully developed way back then, and the screens were prone to breaking.

The Moxi Group planned to release this abomination here above and it looks like a fashion piece more than an actual smartphone one. Nowadays, you have the ZFlips, Find Flips, and ZFolds of the world but five years ago, this is just considered a novelty.

Modular design: LG G5 and Friends

Image: GSMArena / LG

Some smartphone manufacturers have tried to make their devices more customizable by adding modular components that could be swapped out to add new features or enhance existing ones. However, this approach never caught on until the Fairphone which is still pretty underrated up to this day, as consumers found the concept too complex and confusing.

Image: Motorola

Besides that, the LG G5 and Friends attachments while amazing on paper, are a tad bit harder to remove and use. The Moto Z Play attachments (Moto Mods) are so much better since you can just slap it on instead of what LG G5’s Friends are offering.

Dual screen: Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Image: NotebookCheck

Another failed smartphone feature is the dual screen, where the phone has two displays instead of one. This feature was meant to offer more screen real estate, but it never really caught on before, as the added complexity made the phone more difficult to use, and the extra screen didn’t add much value.

Image: LG Newsroom

Nowadays, you have the ZFold’s gorgeous display, the Mi Mix Fold’s size, or the Find N2 Flip’s compact foldable form factor. We can include LG’s Dual Screen Series (notably from LG V50, LG G8x, LG V50s, LG V60, and LG Velvet) but they have garnered a cult appeal up to this day, something the Surface Duo series hasn’t caught up yet.

Gesture controls: LG G8 ThinQ

GIF: / Footage: LG

Some smartphones have tried to incorporate gesture controls, allowing users to control their devices without actually touching the screen. This feature never really took off, as it was often unreliable and not very user-friendly. Such as the case with the LG G8 ThinQ here, that’s the reason why gestures today aren’t really implemented that much.

Removable batteries: TCL Ion X

Image: GSMArena

With the trend of making smartphones thinner and sleeker, many manufacturers have opted to remove the option of removable batteries. However, some users still prefer the ability to remove the battery and replace it with a new one, so this has been seen as a failed feature for those users.

The TCL Ion X is a fairly new device, but with a removable battery, you are sacrificing its battery life and waterproofing abilities.

In conclusion, smartphone manufacturers are always trying to add new and innovative features to their devices, but not all of these features are successful. The examples above show that some gimmick features can be more trouble than they’re worth and that consumers often prefer simple, straightforward devices that are easy to use and provide a good user experience.


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