Amazon Kindle Fire HD
We’ve looked at the best gadgets of the year that was: now it’s time to look at the most disappointing ones. Read on for our list of the gear we’re most bitter about from the last twelve months. Do you agree?
Now it’s worth pointing out that these aren’t necessarily the worst gadgets of 2012. They’re just the ones that didn’t live up to their potential. Without further ado, here’s our list of biggest offenders:
Sony PS Vita
It took Amazon more than a year to bring one of its Kindle tablets to the UK, and when it finally did, it was too late. The similarly priced and sized, faster Google Nexus 7 from Asus was already on sale, with more apps and absolutely no adverts getting up in your grill. If you’re going to tweak Android, Amazon, at least make it better than what Google has to offer to start with.
Nokia Lumia 900
Sony’s hoping for a long tail success with its turbo-charged gaming handheld, in the same way the Nintendo 3DS is now enjoying. But right now, it’s just lacking the top notch games to tempt us – threatening to lock it into a terrible death spiral of no customers – no games – no customers.
PS3 Super Slim
Nokia was supposed to blow the doors off with this monster-sized Windows Phone, but the poor screen and lack of apps meant it just couldn’t compete against the Samsung Galaxy S3 which arrived at the same time. To cap things off, it went on sale just a few months before Windows Phone 8 was announced – and it’ll never, ever taste it because an update isn’t possible.
Nintendo Wii Mini
Even after a few months of use, we still don’t see the point of the new look 500GB Sony PS3. It’s not really any quieter, it’s barely any smaller, and the lack of slot-loading tray for discs is just plain fiddly. Why bother? Luckily, the 12GB version now brings the Sony PS3 under £150 for the first time ever, making it a much more tempting offer if you can cope without the storage space.
iPod nano 7G
At least the new PS3 super slim doesn’t strip any features out from Sony’s current PlayStation. The Nintendo Wii Mini does: inexplicably, it lacks Wi-FI and internet of any form. That means no multiplayer Mario Kart, no Netflix movie streaming, no software updates, and no Virtual Console for retro gaming. Way to cripple the world’s most popular console, Nintendo. Thankfully, it’s only on sale in Canada for the moment.
Orange San Diego
Don’t get us wrong. As a gym accessory, the new iPod nano is cheap, beautiful and easy to use device, and it’s nice to have the option to watch video on it once more with the seventh generation model. But as we said in our review, Apple could do so much more with the iPod nano. Why doesn’t it have Wi-Fi? Why doesn’t it connect to your iPhone? Why doesn’t it read your emails to you? With iPhone sales on the up, and iPod sales on the down, it feels like a missed opportunity, and more of the same.
BlackBerry Curve 9320
The chances are, the computer you own is powered by an Intel processor. But the silicon giant’s been a non-player in the smartphone explosion. The Android-powered Orange San Diego was supposed to prove that it could play with the big boys of mobile hardware, but with a weird screen resolution and out of date OS, it was as tepid an entry as they come. Luckily, the Intel-powered Motorola RAZR i that followed was much more promising.
What’s this? Another low end BlackBerry with the same software and design of the three year old Curve 8520? Yawn.
It looked gorgeous in press pictures and promised to be a true iPad killer. But the Microsoft Surface is deceptively large, thick and long, and Windows RT is more than a tad confusing: why is there even a desktop mode on it at all when you can only use it for Office? It’s just weird. Here’s hoping Microsoft can fix things for a follow up as it still has lots of potential – not to mention an amazing keyboard cover.
The new version of Apple’s software for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is unquestionably the most poorly received of any update in iOS history. Sure, it’s still bleeding fast, and Siri is smarter than ever. But Apple Maps remains a disaster – it’s shouldn’t come as a surprise that iOS software boss Scott Forstall and the man in charge of the Google Maps replacement was pushed out of Apple just a few months after the release and bad headlines. And in the meantime, Google has raced ahead with Android “Jelly Bean” – only Jony Ive can fix things for Cupertino.
The Gadget Show