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Guess the Phone: An iPhone Killer Too Ambitious For its Own Good

by Brandon Russell | June 8, 2013June 8, 2013 12:00 pm PDT

Some concepts are better left locked away in uncrackable safes. But every now and then one makes it past the drawing board, onto the production line and into (very few) consumer pockets. You have to wonder what company executives are thinking when such obvious bombs are let loose. (Maybe they’re not thinking at all.)

We thought it’d be fun to play a quick game with our audience about a phone forgotten by time. When Android first launched, manufacturers were desperate to find an identity beside the growing stature of Apple’s iPhone, and the device above, while an interesting idea on paper, didn’t exactly live up to its enormous hype. The handset itself was solidly built—though it does have a decidedly feature phone feel—but the overall package just couldn’t hold a candle to other popular handsets out there. And it was on Sprint to boot.

By the way, this device was only just released back in 2011 by a company based in Japan, so someone out there in the world could potentially use this as their daily driver right now. That’s a crazy thought, especially when you see how far the industry has come during that period.

Whoever picked this device up when it launched likely wielded it like it was the Next Big Thing in the smartphone industry. But the truth is a manufacturer wouldn’t be caught dead using this design in today’s landscape (ahem Sony). When this device was announced in 2011, it touted incredible versatility, durability and a unique experience unlike anything else. Unique doesn’t always mean successful.

Next week we’ll be bombarded by Apple and E3 news, so we wanted to keep the mood light this weekend before buckling down. Think you know what the above phone is? We obviously kept the information and pictures obscure so you wouldn’t immediately know what it is. And there’s a good possibility you’ll go, “The what?” when you find out the answer. Don’t worry—I didn’t know what the heck this was either when Jon handed it over. It’s better left in the smartphone annals.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...