The biggest smartphone fails of 2020

Microsoft Surface Duo locked in the background

Credit: David Imel / Android Government

The smartphone world endured a roller coaster of a year when the transition to 5G clashed with the COVID-19 pandemic. The former meant we got 5G phones in almost all price segments, as well as some big price increases at the top. Meanwhile, the pandemic caused major damage in the first half of the year, as closures led to retail collapse.

Yet, even without these two factors, we have still seen that several major smartphones are failures that are really hard to justify. From Microsoft to OnePlus and beyond, here’s the most notable smartphone that will fail in 2020.

The curious case of the delayed Nokia

nokia 8.3 back

Credit: Tristan Rayner / Android Government

HMD first introduced the Nokia 8.3 in March. It’s a higher middle phone with a sleek design, respected specs and a bunch of supporting 5G bands. A month passed after the unveiling and we did not get the phone, then two months and then three months. About six months passed before the phone became available.

To the best of our knowledge, HMD did not disclose a reason for the delay. However, the postponement coincided with the postponement of the latest James Bond movie (No Time To Die). And yes, HMD was the ‘official phone partner’ for the film, which strongly suggests that the delay in the film forced HMD’s hand.

It did not help that the Nokia 8.3 was finally on sale, and that consumers had better and / or cheaper 5G options on the market, such as the Pixel 4a 5G, Poco F2 Pro and OnePlus Nord. It also did not help that HMD went without a proper flagship phone all year. If this is to be the case for the first half of 2021, it means that we have not seen a Nokia flagship launch in two years.

Microsoft Surface Duo

Microsoft Surface Duo general UI 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Government

Microsoft made headlines in 2019 when it unveiled the Surface Duo for the first time, which was its first major entry into the Android phone space. It was also a very interesting concept. Microsoft has shown a foldable screen with two screens and promises to rediscover how you handle apps.

Unfortunately, reviews have shown that the Surface Duo was an unpolished mess at launch. Microsoft’s software contains many bugs, while the list of programs that support dual screen design was disappointingly short.

Related: All the improvements we want to see with the Surface Duo 2

However, a lack of polish was not the only strike against Microsoft’s phone. It was too expensive. For $ 1,400, you have 2019 flagship silicone, no 5G, no NFC, no fast charging and no wireless charging. You better spend a little extra to get the Galaxy Z Fold 2 unless you do. really wants the book-like Kindle experience.

Escobar vou 2

Escobar Fold 2 Along Samsung Galaxy Fold

The brother of the late drug king Pablo Escobar introduced a $ 350-foldable smartphone in 2019, but it was a scam. The so-called Escobar Fold was literally just a disguised Royole Flexpai. Royole’s CEO has no idea this is happening, while many customers have complained that they (not surprisingly) did not receive their orders.

This sketchy venture fueled its game in 2020 as they decided to launch the Escobar Fold 2. Of course, it was also not an original design, but rather the Samsung Galaxy Fold with a gold band that hides Samsung’s brand. A Disguised Galaxy Fold for $ 400? Yes, do not expect to get your order here either.

Motorola Razr

Moto Razr foldable unfolded screen in hand 1

At the end of 2019, Motorola managed to grab attention when it announced that the Razr flip phone is coming back as a modern foldable. With a clamshell design, a foldable main screen and a large external screen, it blended retro and modern in theory.

However, when the phone was finally launched in 2020, it delivered everything but the money. If you spared $ 1,500, you got a small battery, a camera setup similar to entry-level phones, a mid-range disk set from 2018, and Android 9 many months after the implementation of Android 10. It did not help that some users also complained about build quality issues.

Related: The best folding phones you can buy

The Razr has also been thoroughly scrutinized by Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip. It offers ultra-thin glass, better build quality, a more impressive specification sheet and a cheaper price. It is no wonder that Motorola made free offers shortly after launch. The company later in 2020 launched a 5G variant, delivering a more modern mid-range silicone and a dual rear camera setup. Nevertheless, it apparently did not succeed in gaining traction compared to Samsung’s ware.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 review hero 1

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Government

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra may have been launched at $ 1,300, but it was a leading phone. This made it one of the best premium flagships. The vanilla Galaxy Note 20, on the other hand, was a rare miss for Samsung. It was not a bad phone in itself, but by Samsung’s standards it was definitely a bad phone.

For $ 1000, you got a phone that was actually inferior to the Galaxy S20 FE in several ways. Samsung’s cheapest phone in the S20 series has a refresh rate of 120Hz, support for microSD card, a slightly larger battery and a 3x optical zoom camera. The Note 20 had to make do with a 60Hz screen, fixed storage and 3x hybrid zoom camera.

Samsung’s vanilla Note model did have some advantages over the S20 FE. It included more RAM (8GB vs 6GB), 8K recording and the S-Pen. Is it worth paying the extra $ 300? And let’s not start with the plastic design. It is understandable to see this material on cheaper phones (e.g. Galaxy S20 FE), but the fact that plastic was used on a $ 1,000 phone without matching the features elsewhere was strange.

Motorola Edge Plus flip-flops

Motorola Edge Plus brick face

Motorola, which is owned by Lenovo, launched its first proper flagship in some time this year, and it was not the worst phone released in 2020. However, the company caught the chase of many enthusiasts when it initially stated that it could only guarantee one Android version. update for the $ 1,000 Motorola Edge Plus.

The company then switched to the negative press, claiming that it would indeed offer two Android version updates. It still left an incredibly sour taste, as it felt like Motorola was trying to pull fast. One update is disappointing for a budget phone, but for a $ 1000 device? Get out of here.

More coverage: Exclusive carriers kill big smartphones

This was not the only failure of smartphones in 2020 by Motorola. The company made the Edge Plus an exclusive Verizon in the US. It was just such a silly move, as it was the brand’s first full-fledged flagship in a while. You would think that the company wanted to show the best of Motorola to the widest possible audience.

OnePlus in 2020

OnePlus Nord N10 against tracks

North N10

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Government

The BBK-associated brand has had a solid 2020 at the forefront, with especially the OnePlus 8 Pro. It was the first full-fledged premium flagship of the company delivered. Between photo quality, water resistance, wireless charging and the QHD + 120Hz screen, it definitely feels like an excellent experience to challenge the top players. Even the OnePlus Nord was also an excellent phone that provides a striking mid-range experience.

However, OnePlus also made a number of mistakes this year, starting with the decision to launch the OnePlus Nord N Series. The more expensive Nord N10 was only slightly cheaper than the Nord, but missed several notable features (e.g. OLED screen, a better processor, an extra selfie camera). Meanwhile, the Nord N100 was merely a brand new Oppo A53 and offered little performance, not to mention the most disappointing type of triple camera setup (main / macro / depth).

Other notable bugs include an extremely divisive Oxygen OS redesign that pays unfavorable comparisons to One UI, the promise of only one Android version update for the Nord N series, and a smartphone marketing campaign that quickly became exhausting. has.

Please wait .. Load poll

What was the biggest failure of smartphones in 2020? Vote for your best choice in the poll.