The world of mobile technology is one of the fiercest competitive markets ever. In the quest to stand out from the pack, some companies make bold moves and succeed brilliantly. Others are more meek and fade into the unexceptional background. Still others fill the space between, innovating once, then endlessly iterating over and over again.

Then there are those that just screw it all up. Thanks to choices that are either too bold, too meek, or just plain-old absolutely insane, these are the products that fall flat on their face. They’re not to be mocked, but the lessons they teach should certainly be remembered. 

That’s our goal with Worst Gadgets Ever: recalling some of mobile technology’s biggest blunders, acknowledging what the original intent was, and taking lessons from failures in execution.

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Here’s the deal with the Optimus Vu: it was the first attempt by a mainstream manufacturer to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Note series of smartphone/tablet hybrids. But where Samsung maintained the classic dimensions of a smartphone when scaling up, LG – didn’t. With its 4:3 aspect ratio, the Optimus Vu looks a lot more like a roof shingle or a coaster than a smartphone. And it doesn’t exactly offer stellar performance to compensate for its peculiar appearance.

We usually don’t do Worst Ever episodes on smartphones still up for sale on retail shelves, but we made an exception in this case. Not to further bash LG, but to illustrate just how far it’s come in the short time since the Vu debuted. We admire bold moves, but this is a case where LG may have leapt before it looked, and we’re happy to see it return to a more conventional approach with more-recent phablet devices like the Optimus G Pro.

Do you hate the Vu? Love it? Not know what to think about it? Take in the video below, then sound off in the comments about this eccentric bit of square technology.

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