It’s the holidays, which normally means everything is bright, happy, and – well, if we’re being completely honest, probably a little bit stressful. But for the most part, it’s about being thankful for what you have, spending time with those you love, and genuinely creating a positive atmosphere.
But even positive atmospheres can have their negative aspects, which is where stories like How The Grinch Stole Christmas or A Christmas Carol come in. The other day we talked about the best smartphone(s) we ever owned, contributing to the positive spirit of the season, but today we’re going to look on the other side of the coin by discussing the phones that we were least impressed with.
I ended up having two favorite smartphones when talking about my favorite devices, but when it comes to the devices that I haven’t had a great experience with the list is more concise. There’s only one phone I can think of that I absolutely, positively did not want to spend another moment with: the HTC Snap. Specifically, the Sprint version of the HTC Snap.
I purchased the device in an “emergency” situation. My Palm Centro stopped working for whatever reason, and although I didn’t carry insurance on it, I was eligible for an upgrade. The HTC Snap was $50 out the door, and as a fresh high school graduate, I was looking for the most budget-friendly lookalike I could. The HTC Snap fit the bill, so that’s what I went with.
The first thing I noticed was that while the Snap looked kind of like the Palm Centro with its candybar-style design and QWERTY keyboard, the keyboard itself was not as comfortable. Instead of the soft, rubbery touch the Centro had, the Snap featured hard plastic keys with zero grip and slick, rounded tops. Not good for fingernails at all. Not a big deal, but it was noticeable. I can still hear the scratching of my nails slip against the buttons.
But the real problem with the Snap was its operating system, which was Windows Mobile. At the time, I hadn’t owned an iPhone or an Android yet. Palm OS was the closest I had been to a modern smartphone, and Windows Mobile didn’t appear to be that much different. I was wrong. It was that much different, and it was pretty terrible.
I remember the interface being unintuitive, to put things nicely. It had a similar layout to Windows on the PC, which is all I had ever used when it came to computers, but it just didn’t translate well to mobile. There was a lot of lag, it wasn’t very pretty, and it was also terrible at handling text messages. The phone frequently sent multiples of the same message when I had only sent it once. Alternatively, sometimes it wouldn’t actually send at all, despite showing me that it had. I never knew what would happen with a text once I hit “Send”, and that uncertainty was a big reason why I was so desperate to get rid of the phone.
In fact, I’d say that Windows Mobile itself was the primary reason behind my feelings on the Snap. I had brief stints with other Windows Mobile devices like the Palm Treo Pro and the HTC Touch Diamond. I loved the form of the Treo Pro (because I had my soft, rubbery keys again) and the HTC Touch Diamond was easier to control with a touchscreen, but I still experienced the same issues with texting and lag. I don’t think I hated the HTC Snap itself so much as I just wasn’t a fan of Windows Mobile, but since the Snap was my first experience and the device with the least redeeming qualities, it’s the one that gets thrown under the bus.
At the same time, those early experiences with Windows Mobile are what led me to look into tinkering with a phone’s software in order to make things better. Like Android, Windows Mobile devices could support ROMs. I had a lot of fun trying to turn a less than ideal situation into a good one, which I later did with Android devices as well. In the end, even my negative experiences led to something positive – kind of like they did in How The Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Carol as well.
Readers, what phone (or phones) was your least favorite and why? Let us know in the comments below!