As usual, at the end of every year, we’re looking back at what happened over the course of twelve exciting months — that got us a lot of extraordinary products and services. We not only do this because it’s fun and important to recap some crucial events, but also because we usually also look at the future, trying to anticipate what the next year will bring us; and, in order to realistically try to predict things from the future, we need to know what happened in the past.
Just yesterday, we looked at what we think were the best and worst apps of 2014, and today we’re continuing our year-end series with the biggest disappointments of 2014.
Whether it’s an application, an operating system, an ecosystem, a device, a manufacturer, an event, a decision, or a move, our editors have sent in their thoughts of what got them disappointed this year.
Contributing Editor/Social Media Manager
“OnePlus. It’s marketing plan was atrocious from the start. Add into that manufacturing issues, and well, more PR flubs. It’s just insane how a company can f.ck up so much and still be alive”, said our Contributing Editor and Social Media Manager who apparently is not happy with the decisions OnePlus took this year.
While the OnePlus One was (still is) a phone with great hardware and an attractive price-point, the company has introduced an invite-only purchase system, and, even so, was struggling to keep up with demand, fighting manufacturing and capacity issues.
Additionally, we all remember some of the PR mistakes the company did — followed by apologies — but whether Doud’s right in choosing OnePlus as his biggest disappointment of the year or not is up to you. Drop us a comment below if you agree (or disagree).
As a Lumia and Windows Phone fan, the fact that Microsoft didn’t release a new high end smartphone with a 41 megapixel or higher camera was a big disappointment.
I was really hoping for one this year that had faster image processing and better autofocus, but still retained the ridiculous image quality and massive RAW file format. Something with an SD card slot and removable battery would have been great, too.
Anton D. Nagy
It would be easy/convenient to complain about how Microsoft didn’t release a flagship, how Apple just enlarged the iPhones, how Sony slightly bumped the Xperia Z2 and called it the Z3, or how Samsung went to the Galaxy S5 drawing board with the same papers and pencils, how the camera on the HTC One M8 still sucks, and the list goes on. I can, however, live with all that.
Wearables, on the other hand, have evolved little, or close to nothing, in my opinion. We’re almost in the same spot we were last year, and we have at least half a dozen smartwatches or bands from key players on the market.
I’m still waiting for a device that I can wear or use for more than a couple of hours, until I get frustrated, of it being just a secondary screen on your wrist. If that’s the entire point of the concept, then the problem lies with me. I’m still waiting for a wearable device which would truly enhance my life, enable me to do more, or differently, and help me multitask (beyond looking at my wrist to see who emailed me). Oh, and don’t include those heart-rate sensors: they’re totally useless. Active people who wear heart-rate monitor chest bands can tell you the same.
“2014 was a loss for Microsoft”
Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia Mobile division actually made the company slower at delivering.
Add to that the fact that Windows Phone 8.1 took for ever to launch, and the lack of flagship hardware for Windows Phone, and 2014 was a loss for Microsoft more than a gain when it comes to mobile.
“Lack of 64-bit hardware”
Android Lollipop got 64-bit support months ago, but other than the Nexus 9 and a few other handsets, no one else released a handset to take advantage of the tech.
Luckily the Apple fanbois haven’t harped on this fact too much, probably because they don’t understand just how awesome 64-bit is, so for now we can breathe easily, but let’s hope 2015 sees more 64-bit phones than the “archaic” 32-bit ones!
“The Nexus family”
As we said in our review, the Nexus 6 is a perfectly fine smartphone, and indeed Joe Levi seems to be having a great time with his. But the phone is oversized for no real reason, with screen utilization, software responsiveness and battery life falling short of what we’ve come to expect from smartphones with price tags north of $600. And with a ho-hum design, build quality problems, and inconsistent performance, the Nexus 9 tablet is no shining star either. Our review called it “adequate, but not exemplary.” Android Lollipop is the most beautiful version of the platform ever; it deserves a better showcase than these middling offerings.
Runner up: Microsoft Band. We had some good things to say about Microsoft’s reference hardware for its new fitness platform, and indeed it packs some robust sensor capabilities. But the clunky, underwhelming hardware isn’t just a development piece; it’s a retail product with a $199 price tag. For the first officially-sanctioned Microsoft wearable (and one of the only smartwatch-like accessories available for Windows Phone), customers deserved more.
Chief News Editor
I already know that plenty of you, including some of my Pocketnow colleagues, would strongly disagree, but the single biggest thing I’m most disappointed with in 2014 has been the Nexus 6. It’s a one-two punch of fail: price and size.
Did Google /owe/ the Android community another budget-priced Nexus model? Of course not, and it’s free to take its smartphone line wherever it chooses. But “value” was always at the top of my list for reasons to use Nexus phones, and I just can’t say that the Nexus 6 comes even close to delivering in that regard. Is it still a decent deal compared to other flagship phones? Absolutely, but only because there are huge markups on all those other models, too.
And size? I know that big phones attract some serious love these days, but they’re just not for me – even my Nexus 5 is a little larger than I’d prefer, and I just can’t stomach carrying around anything bigger.
Ultimately, the Nexus 6 is fine. It’s just not at all the phone I wanted it to be, and for that I’m disappointed.
This is almost cliché at this point, but we all (save a few skeptics) had high hopes for the “no-compromise” and ultra-affordable OnePlus One.
It almost entirely backfired, though. Even though OnePlus built a solid phone, its various PR missteps – a flawed invite system, multiple broken promises, and sexist contests just a few of them – led to lots of bad press for the company. OnePlus had potential, but it was ruined by simple mistakes.
We’re now left looking to 2015 to see if the company can rebound from its failures.
“What is your 2014’s biggest disappointment?”
Regardless if you agree or disagree with the editors above, or, should you have your own “biggest” disappointment for the year, drop us a comment below. It’s never easy to satisfy everyone, we know that, but, luckily (for us, and sadly, for the players) this game, the one that brings tech to consumers doesn’t always offer a second change. Who/what disappointed you more this year?