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InformationWeek Daily - Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007

Editor's Note

Meet The 10 Ugliest Smartphones. Ever.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but ugly is ugly no matter how you look at it. If you've ever been so unfortunate as to lay eyeballs on any of these devices, you probably came away blinded. Here are ten smartphones that should never have made it off the paper they were sketched on.

DISCLAIMER: We're not trying to be mean, folks. There's no doubt that the devices listed below were designed with love and passion and were someone's "baby" somewhere. But c'mon. Design of the hardware means more than ever. And that's where these devices got it wrong. Way wrong.

BlackBerry 7290: There are probably many of you still using this BlackBerry from yesteryear. Talk about the prototypical old-school calculator-sized smartphone. This is it. The 7290 is a monstrously large block of chunky hardware that will be just as useful as a weapon as an email device. If you happen to be accosted by a stranger in a dark alley at night, just heave the 7290 at them. As long as your aim is true, this will surely knock 'em out. And if your aim stinks, just hold it up and show it to the miscreant. He'll likely run off screaming into the night.

E-ten Glofiish M800: This one was just released last week and dang is it heinous. Has E-ten even looked at the competition lately? Or did it hire the most recent grads from The School of Bad Industrial Design? Talk about a boring, gray slab of nothingness. The Glofiish M800 (colorful name, by the way) has absolutely no visual appeal and certainly doesn't match its lively name.

HP iPAQ hw6900: None of the iPAQ smartphones were lookers, but this one takes the ugly cake. The entire thing is one solid gray color that just screams "boring!" While the navigation cluster almost looks like Cylon technology, the keyboard is made of simple round blips that look like they were pulled off the shelf at Backwards Designs R'Us.

HTC Dash: The Dash may have been a hit with T-Mo fans, but it had no crossover appeal with the mass market. This Windows Mobile smartphone is the wallflower at the smartphone party, standing off the to side wondering why none of the other smartphones will talk to it. When you look at its uninspired black and gray coloration, plain-Jane keyboard and utilitarian navigation cluster, all you can think is who the heck were this kid's poor parents?

For six more ugly smartphones, and to leave your $0.02, visit the InformationWeek Blog. What do you think? What was the ugliest smartphone ever?

Eric Zeman

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