The Top 10 dumbest smartphone names

With titles like “Revolution,” “Incredible,” “Optimus,” “Epic,” “Nexus,” “Inspire,” “Captivate,” and “Sensation,” smartphone names can be a bit over the top. 

But sometimes, smartphone names can be downright stupid. Here’s our Top 10:

10. Palm Pre (Verizon) — Pre- what exactly?

9. HTC Arrive (Sprint) — Aren’t smartphones for on-the-go?

8. Motorola DEFY (T-Mobile) — RESIST AUTHORITY … IN CAPS!

7. Motorola XPRT (Sprint) — RSST VWLS … N CPS!

6. LG Rumor Touch (Sprint) — Reach out and touch some gossip

5. Samsung Replenish (Sprint) — Well, I feel better now

4. Samsung Gravity T - Ebony with Beyond Red (T-Mobile)

3. Casio G’zOne Commando (Verizon) — I don’t even have a joke

2. Samsung :) t359 (T-Mobile) — My phone is a smiley face t359, yours?

1. Motorola Citrus (Verizon) — The tangiest phone on the market

And so AT&T doesn’t come away unscathed, here are some honorable mentions…

HTC HD7S (AT&T)

HTC Surround (AT&T)

HTC Trophy (Verizon)

Samsung Dart (T-Mobile)

Samsung Infuse (AT&T)

-David

The next of KIN

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Screenshot from verizonwireless.com

It’s baaaaaaack!

Microsoft’s phone for tweens, KIN was an incredible failure. The company pulled the devices after just a month and a half on the market. One analyst told me Verizon sold 500 of them. No, not 500,000. Five hundred.

In what is probably a move to clear inventory, the KIN is once again for sale on Verizon’s network, but with a number of important tweaks.

First, Verizon and Microsoft finally admitted that the KIN is a dumb phone (as opposed to a smartphone). Instead of forcing customers to pay $30 a month for a data plan that it requires for all smartphone users, Verizon is allowing KIN users to pay $10 a month for 25 megabytes or $15 a month for 150 megabytes of data.

The KIN devices also got a price cut themselves. Originally selling for $100 and $50, they have been slashed to $50 and $20. 

Still, Microsoft has given up on KIN, putting all of its effort behind Windows Phone 7. Don’t expect the phones to be selling for too much longer. -David

Cheap cheap smartphones

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Image: stevendepolo

One penny. That’s what it’ll cost you this weekend for some of the newest and hottest smartphones around.

Amazon is running a $0.01 promotion for two Windows 7 phones, the HTC Surround and LG Quantum, saith Engadget. That’s the same price it’s charging for the BlackBerry Torch. Prefer Android? A penny will buy you the Motorola Droid 2 (which I paid $200 for three months ago) or the HTC Incredible, among others. 

Dave took a close look two months ago at how $199 became the magic price for smartphones. Looks like that price is plunging fast. Yes, we all know the real cost of a smartphone is on the back-end when you shell out $100+ each month for a voice/data plan, but this is still a pretty sweet deal. -Stacy

GChat analysis: A Palm user’s lament

Jason: man dave is hating on my Palm Pre in his article

Jason: i don’t really blame him

Julianne: aren’t you glad we covered The Little Phone That Couldn’t for once?

Jason: has he had the displeasure of using it?

Jason: of getting the “too many cards open” error?

Jason: or the ridiculously bad battery life when 3G data is turned on?

Jason: because if he has, then he’s completely justified in all that he writes

What’s code for ‘kiss my @$$, Steve Jobs?’

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Image: Screenshot from Twitter

Google VP and head of Android Andy Rubin responded to Steve Jobs’ anti-Android rant with the dorkiest tweet of all time. Objecting to the Apple CEO’s claim that Google’s mobile operating system wasn’t more open than Apple’s, Rubin shared the code that allows anyone to download and manipulate Android for free. 

Now, let’s all take a minute to agree that there are many, many definitions of “open,” and it’s a loaded term that really shouldn’t be used without context.

Some would argue that Microsoft’s Windows is “closed,” because it doesn’t give out its source code to be manipulated, as does Google’s Android.

But Windows has always been far more open than Apple’s Mac OS in the sense that Microsoft will sell its software to be used on any machine (even a Mac). Similarly, Google licenses its hardware out to any manufacturer.

Jobs said that “open” is associated with products that have the same experience across the board, like Windows and Apple’s iOS (interesting that he’s now on Microsoft’s side!) Google, he said, is fractured and offers too many versions, making it difficult for developers to write apps to the platform. (Of course, TweetDeck, which is the one developer Jobs singled out, actually responded on Twitter that writing to Android wasn’t difficult after all.)

The point is that “open” isn’t a term that we should take lightly. It’s a PR buzz word, always being used to make a company look better. 

If you haven’t heard the rant, it’s in the YouTube clip below. - David

GChat analysis: Angry Birds = angry boss

  • Steve: did you download Angry Birds for the droid yet?
  • Steve: your life will be changed
  • Julianne: i have the beta, as you know...
  • Julianne: the full version got delayed
  • Julianne: im unhappy about it
  • Steve: they just tweeted that the full version is out today...
  • Julianne: oh crap
  • Julianne: well there goes my productivity for the day

GChat analysis: The quadrillionth Verizon iPhone rumor

  • Jason: so you think the wsj just has like an alarm set for every 3 months to announce a verizon iphone?
  • Jason: seems like clockwork over there
  • Julianne: i know, right? and it's the same writer each time
  • Julianne: someone is spoon-feeding this to her
  • Jason: they've run the same story for the past 2 years, and they never acknowledge that it's wrong
  • Julianne: yesterday's story was especially vague...like...a verizon-READY iphone
  • Julianne: ok so they got cdma chips? thats most wireless providers
  • Julianne: they couldve just as well said, it's a boost-mobile-ready phone
  • Jason: haha right
  • Jason: finally, an iphone for metropcs users!

Motorola sues Apple over nonexistent “iTouch”

In more bad PR news, Motorola made an amusing error in its press release today.

Motorola is adding to the lawsuit flurry over patents related to smartphone technology, as CNNMoney reported earlier today. The smartphone maker is alleging that a whole bunch of Apple products infringe on 18 Motorola patents.

But, as Silicon Alley Insider notes, Motorola’s press release alleges the “iTouch” as one of the products in question. As SAI says dryly, the iTouch is “not an actual Apple product; presumably, Motorola means the iPod Touch.”

To be fair, Motorola’s PR team is working overtime these days. Last week, CNNMoney reported that Microsoft filed its own infringement lawsuit against Motorola over nine patents in its Android-based devices. Does this all mean no more iTouches?!1? :( -Julianne

Android Vista?

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It doesn’t have a 90%+ market share, so it hasn’t gotten nearly the publicity that Microsoft’s Windows Vista debacle received, but Google’s latest Android update is causing some very Vista-like problems.

Users have reported that Froyo, the popular name for Android OS 2.2, has caused, as Android Central put it, “random bugs, general weirdness, and plain old unsatisfactory performance.” 

I can speak from experience. I have a Motorola Droid, and after upgrading to Froyo, my phone’s battery life has gotten noticeably worse, and the phone randomly slows down to a crawl. Sometimes I can’t access my home screen without swiping my finger to the left or right and then waiting about 10 seconds for all of my apps and widgets to load up.

After a factory reset, which Verizon Wireless recommended, things didn’t get any better.

It turns out, Verizon was only half right. Posted on Android Central yesterday was a long-awaited solution to Froyo bugs … I hope. After upgrading from Eclair, or Android OS 2.1, a factory reset needs to be done, but the disgruntled user also needs uncheck an “Automatic restore” box to stop Google from automatically restoring all of the apps and other data that was causing the problems in the first place.

Oy.

So far, my Droid is working better. But as a Google fanboy, I’m now thinking something I thought I’d never think: “When’s the iPhone coming to Verizon, again?” - Dave