Last year brought us a lot of awesome mobile phones tech, like the iPhone 6s, Samsung’s Galaxy line, new streaming options like Periscope, and Windows 10. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. Certain individual gadgets have flopped, and in some cases, entire categories have been a snooze fest.
Here’s our take on the worst 2015 had to throw at us:
Windows 10 Mobile
While the desktop version of the new OS is being touted as Microsoft’s best effort to date, the mobile version has been a complete mess. The operating system is still full of bugs, which just isn’t going to work when it has to go up against Android and iOS, which are already well established as mobile operating systems with their own fierce followings. Not only that, but Microsoft still doesn’t have a flagship phone that turns heads.
The latest, the Lumia 950 and 950XL, don’t seem to be exciting even to Microsoft. It’s unfortunate that, although Microsoft has finally managed to put the whole Windows experience into a smartphone, practically no consumers actually care. Windows phones have been one failure after another for the otherwise wildly successful behemoth, but this was supposed to be (another) fresh start.
Apple versus Samsung
This is a US specific problem, but it’s still a problem. Across most of the globe, the mobile phones manufacturers are duking it out, competing ferociously for each and every buyer. They have to, because there are lots of them. Even local manufacturers are getting into the game. But in the US, Samsung and Apple have cornered a whopping 87 percent of the market of this technology, and it actually went up last year.
While we’re in love with phones from both companies, competition is always good for consumers. We want more variety, and more innovation—we’re not going to get that with what amounts to a two-party phone system.
“Premium” Android Tablets
Yes, we put premium in quotes for a reason. While cheap android tablets have some serious merit, at least if you’re on a budget and not terribly concerned with style, the premium options just don’t even come close to competing with iPad. It’s really puzzling—Windows tablets (unlike their phones) are doing a great job at selling themselves as productivity machines. Apple, of course, highlights entertainment. But Android fans seem content with their phones or cheaper tablets. And the worst part is that the one Android tablet line we really loved, Samsung’s Galaxy Note tablets, were discontinued for what seems like absolutely no reason at all.
Like Android’s premium options, we just don’t know what you’d really want a smartwatch for. None of Android’s offerings have stood out at all, and their UIs leave much to be desired. While Apple’s $700.00 watch has sold well enough to the wealthy who want a fashion accessory to show off, they’re pretty much a glorified notification window—not that it doesn’t have other features, they just don’t really work. The only one with a sense of purpose is Pebble, which strictly a glorified notification window.