Usually my job at liGo is to highlight exciting and innovative products – the most exceptional home phones we can find. But today I've decided to take a different spin on things and take a look at some of the worst home phones which ever had the misfortune of making it into production.
I spent the day surfing the web for the most hideous, hard-to-use and downright poorly designed phones available.
1. ECOOPRO Cool Corded Skull Shaped Home Office Desk Phone
If you are trying to decorate the tackiest office ever, this corded phone might actually live up to its description as a home office desk phone. With this skull-shaped corded phone, its Halloween every time you pick up the receiver.
Which, by the way, is as monstrous as the skull, with an extremely bizarre handset shape that looks like it would be exceptionally uncomfortable to hold. You won't be taking any long business calls on your skull phone without finding yourself with a new kink in your neck.
The design of the phone doesn't even really impart it with a neat aesthetic. The design looks cheap in every regard, and every time someone puts their fingers into the fake plastic eye holes to take a call, Henry Dreyfus and every student of Designing for People turn over in their graves.
When I first met the skull phone, I thought maybe I had found the pinnacle of anti-ergonomic design, something so unwieldly and uncomfortable its hard to imagine anyone would think it a usable design. Until I met our next phone....
2. Cheeseburger Phone IN JUNO
I'm relaxing in my apartment. It's a night to celebrate – the business is going amazing. I step out onto my penthouse balcony, remove my Armani suit jacket and go to pop open a bottle of 1961 Château Latour – as I'm removing the cork, I think to myself “man, this is one classy party.” Just then I hear it calling me – ring, ring, ring - I turn to my date, “Excuse me,” I say, “I need to answer my cheeseburger phone.”
Possibly one of the cheesiest phones ever (pun intended,) the cheeseburger phone is a great example of what not to do when you design a device. Instead of taking any regard for the past hundred years or so of telephone design, whoever came up with this thing decided we need two big, awkwardly shaped hamburger buns to hold up to our face. That's the way to make a phone call – awkwardly grasping your fake plastic cheeseburger as it tries to escape from your hands. The cheeseburger phone offers us no grips to hold onto and a smooth surface which does not fit into the hand to desperately cling to.
Clearly this novelty phone is not trying to achieve the same thing as a brilliantly designed corded phone like the Gigaset DX800A, but nonetheless I feel like you could make a much more functional phone from the concept. Not to mention a better-looking burger!
3. Serene Big Button Loud Volume
OK – so maybe so far I've been picking on the novelty phones. Fine, I'll admit it - but you know it was fun! Lastly though, I'd like to wrap up by taking a look at a phone which actually has a pretty good concept behind it but a terrible execution.
The Serene Big Button is one of a long line of oversized button phones made to be more easily accessible for those with dexterity or sight issues. But the Serene Big Button takes things a little too far. The result is what looks like a TV remote for a race of sausage fingered mutants. Its almost impossible not to press a button on the Serene – taking a call must be a trial of beeps and accidental hang-ups.
While the big button concept is a great way to make phones more accessible, it has been done extremely poorly here. Examples like the BT Freestyle 750 show how this concept can be integrated effectively.
That's a wrap for my ugly and dysfunctional phone round up! I hope you've enjoyed this departure from our normal reviews, and if you've had enough of looking at some of the rejects, take a look at some of the top-notch products we usually feature!