One of the more harrowing aspects of smartphone enthusiasts is that, for the most part, you’ll only be using one at a time. Additionally, the one phone you use will likely be your daily driver for a while; one or two years seem to be the norm before people switch again. During the time that you’re using your phone, technology advances and a plethora of new phones are released, so by the time you’re looking for a new phone again you’re often faced with an entirely new selection of phones from the ones you saw when you last went phone shopping. Because of this, we often miss out on opportunities to own all of the phones that we have ever been interested in.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that has stood humming and hawing in a phone store trying to figure out which phone I want to drop a couple hundred bucks on and spend the next couple of years using. You only get one (well, technically two) chances to get it right before you’re stuck with the device for at least a few months, even with early upgrade plans. But even if you walk out the door with a phone that you’re completely happy with over the course of the next couple of years, have you ever looked back and thought about all of the missed opportunities – you know, the phones that you had equal interest in, but never got to try?
I have, and so this article is dedicated to some of those phones that I always wanted and never got the chance to use.
When the first iPhone hit shelves in 2007, I had virtually no chance. My family used Sprint, and the iPhone was an AT&T exclusive. The phone also cost around $500 at launch, which was a pretty big chunk of money for a 16-year-old with a part-time job saving up for a car. I wasn’t all that torn up about it, really, but I can admit that I did get pretty jealous when I saw other students at school with the shiny new iPhones that their parents bought them. Although I vehemently denied that I had any interest in the iPhone at the time, I was actually quite fascinated with the device. This was the first phone that I wish I had gotten the chance to own, but never did.
T-Mobile’s Sidekick (or the Danger HIPTOP) was one of the hottest devices at my school that year, and was another phone that I never had the pleasure of using. The unique pivoting of the screen to reveal a physical keyboard was a fun design that kids my age loved to show off. Combine that with the brightly designed swappable shells one could put on their phone and you had yourself one swanky looking phone.
In 2011 I had to make a choice between two major Sprint flagship smartphones: the HTC EVO 3D and the Motorola Photon. I was carrying an HTC EVO 4G at the time and I loved it, so I felt that the EVO 3D was a safe upgrade; plus, it had a 3D display – which was totally going to be the future of smartphones, right? I couldn’t have been more wrong. The 3D feature was probably the biggest gimmick I’ve ever experienced in a smartphone, and I would frequently regret not picking up the Photon which was faster and much more stable. Working at Sprint at the time, the Photon was always silently mocking me from its demo display.
Also in 2011 BlackBerry finally released a phone that I had been waiting on for a while to come to fruition: the Bold 9930. At the time BlackBerry had already fallen behind the popularity of Android and iOS, but it still had a small but loyal consumer base. I had always thought that if BlackBerry would just release a Bold or a Curve with a touchscreen instead of belligerently holding onto the trackpad that people would be more interested. I wasn’t that far off, because as I saw it people were interested in the Bold 9930; what they weren’t interested in was the $200+ starting price it cost to purchase, even on contract. This was released shortly after the iPhone was available on the Sprint Network, which was another reason why this phone with that price failed to sell.
If you’ve read my articles before, you probably already know that I tend to be ill-natured towards the influx of phablet-sized smartphones in general. However, just because I’m unfavorable towards the size doesn’t mean that I don’t like the smartphones themselves. I’m particularly fond of the Galaxy Note line as I feel that styli still have a place in the smartphone industry and are underused and underappreciated. With that being said, these phones were too big for me to use comfortably one-handed (an important thing for me) so I never have, and probably never will, own one of these bad boys.
There are plenty of phones that I was never able to use, but these are the top 5 that I was never able to own. Now we want to hear from you, dear readers: Which phones have you been interested in but never owned? Let us know in the comments below!