When form doesn’t follow function: 15 of the ugliest phones that ever existed

With faces like these, not even their mothers could love them

We've come a long way since the big hulking phones of old. Extendable antenna's kicked the bucket, screens got injected with glorious colour, and unwieldy keypads were obliterated.

The end results after years of experimentation and design filtration, are handsets like the sleek and sexy iPhone 5s and HTC One.

But it took a lot of mistakes to get there.

Some phones were beaten with ugly sticks. Others were born with genetic mutations. And a select few were summoned in circles of fire, entering this earth to the haunting rhythm of arcane chanting.

Prepare to claw your eyes out.

Serene (2005)

Produced as a joint venture between Bang and Olufsen and Samsung, this clamshell phone packed a paltry 0.3MP camera inconveniently located on a side hinge, 31MB storage, and a battery compartment only accessible by using a special screwdriver. Talk about sticking your middle finger up to convenience, eh?

Serenata (2007)

Those guys obviously didn’t learn their lesson and followed up the Serene with the Serenata - a cross between a jukebox and a tombstone. Touted as a music player with minimal phone capabilities, it seems ironic that this looks like where music goes to die. When using the stylish rotary wheel as a control pad, your hand always ends up obscuring part of the screen located below. We’re only human, not robots made of right angles.

Æ+Y (2011)

A jeweller-designed handset? Prepare for something ostentatious and completely impractical. At €7250 for the steel and €42,000 for the gold version, we’ll leave you to figure out how many gold iPhones you can buy with the same amount of money.


We could't help ourselves: 11 or 64, 16GB Wi-Fi iPhone 5s', respectively. Ouch.

More after the break...

Toshiba G450 (2008)

With its teeny tiny screen, this 3G-enabled phone was better off as a modem. Unless you preferred only reading three words of an email at any one time. The keypad split into two circles (because, well, it can), and it failed every ergonomics and usability test known to man.

Motorola Flipout (2010)

Essentially a 2.8in screen that flipped out to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard, the Flipout also had a 3.1MP camera onboard and ran on Android 2.1. Talk about some ancent numbers. Unfortunately for Motorola, no one quite flipped out over its design. Compromising on the size of the screen to fit the keyboard didn't quite make sense, especially when the former was touch-enabled.

F88 Wrist Phone (2006)

Manufactured by Chinese corporation CEC, this device ambitiously crammed a 3MP 180-degree rotating camera, speakerphone and even pre-installed World Cup games into 100g of wrist phone - a precursor to the modern day smartwatch. Considering its size and overall ungainliness, you'd be better off strapping a smartphone to your wrist and calling it a day.

Samsung Z130 (2006)

More gimmicky than practical, the rotating screen on the Z130 was designed to apparently make video calls easier. It really didn’t make that much of a difference though, thanks to its tiny screen. It was fun to play around with though, we suppose.

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