What was the biggest innovation after smartphones

Android

It's not easy for a smartphone to grab attention when it looks like all those other black chunks. This realization has led some manufacturers to try particularly crazy things - gimmicks to make their products stand out from the crowd. But just because a feature has never been there doesn't necessarily mean it's great. In fact, there are a lot of gimmicks that look cool at a trade fair, but turn out to be terrible ideas in real life. Here are some of the worst ideas in the Android camp that made it to the market.

Samsung Air View

One of the many features that Samsung's engineers gave free rein to their playful instinct is Air View. The function allows you to view information on the smartphone without touching it. That sounds great at first, but in fact you have to hold your finger (or pen on the Galaxy Note) directly over the display for the preview function. That didn't necessarily make it faster and you could never know which apps or functions AirView would support. In addition, the selection was limited to Samsung apps and even there not to all. AirView is still hidden in the settings of some devices but is not being promoted (for good reason).

The Galaxy Beam projector phone

Samsung has experimented a lot, but the projector built into the Galaxy Beam and Beam 2 is one of the weirdest things. The smartphones were mediocre in every way - apart from the projector. Especially since it was the only cell phone on the market with an integrated projector. The projector made the device much more massive, the image was dull and pixelated, and the battery life was pathetic. You couldn't even touch the smartphone without the projected image shaking. The Moto Mod projector is similarly lame, but at least it is not permanently attached to the smartphone.

HTC's mobile phone tripods

HTC once loved cell phone tripods and it's probably our own fault. When the Evo 4 G and other devices came out, everyone seemed to love the fold-out tripods. Buyers thought it was cool and practical, but the truth was that nobody was using them. The additional ballast was simply unnecessary because you can hold a cell phone in your hand or look for a stand - for those rare times when you have one really can not hold.

Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

For years it had been rumored that Amazon was working on its own smartphone. When it was finally presented, it was an overpriced cobblestone that (initially) only came with a telecom contract. Oh, but it had this head-tracking technique. Wasn't that great? The so-called "Dynamic Perspective" system used infrared cameras on the front of the smartphone to recognize the position of the user and to change the display on the screen based on this data. It was fun to play with it for a few minutes, but otherwise the feature was absolutely uninteresting. And while Amazon tried hard, developers couldn't get excited about Dynamic Perspective either.

Duo Camera in the HTC One M8

In 2014 HTC introduced the One M8, the successor to the somewhat successful One M7. The new device had an interesting gimmick, the duo camera. The two cameras work together, but one of them only saves depth information to enable the image to be focused afterwards. The problem: The technology was not yet fully developed, the photos taken with it were generally not that great and the depth of field effect was inconsistent. As the Apple iPhone 7 Plus or the Huawei Mate 9 show, dual cameras are now back in fashion, HTC was just ahead of its time and the technology was not yet ready.

Samsung's Smart Scroll

Another example from Samsung's collection of less than ideal gimmicks was the Smart Scroll function. This feature should enable the user via head tracking to scroll a page (e.g. in the browser) by just moving the head up or down. The front camera was used to perceive the movements - but it didn't work really well. Moving your eyes was not enough, you had to nod your head clearly - and at this point it is much easier to use your finger.

Motorola's Skip

With the original Moto X, some cool features such as Moto Display and Moto Voice were launched. In general, most of the features Motorola added to Android made sense. Motorola Skip was unfortunately not one of them. Skip was a slim magnetic clip with a non-writable NFC tag inside. After connecting it to your smartphone, you could unlock the screen by touching it with your smartphone.

The idea was to fix the clip in your pocket and briefly touch it with your smartphone when you pull it out. The main problem with this: it took. You had to hold the phone to the skip for a second or two for it to work. With that, of course, the whole advantage was gone. Unsurprisingly, Motorola didn't sell very many Skips either, but gradually added them to other orders as a free extra to get rid of them. From Android 5.0 you can also use Smart Lock for automatic unlocking, but this feature is not particularly popular either.

Motorola Atrix with the WebDock laptop

When the Motorola Atrix was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas in 2011, it drew a lot of media attention thanks to its crazy laptop dock. When the smartphone was connected to the "docking station", it switched to "Webtop Mode" and acted as the drive for a Linux-based computer environment. That was a cool trick, but not really practical in practice. The smartphone was simply not fast enough to use the notebook properly and the dock cost just under 500 euros. Even in 2011 you got a (reasonably) decent calculator for the money.

Smart storage in the Nextbit Robin

Nextbit started as a cloud service provider, but then decided to bring out its own smartphone with "Robin". The software was based on the concept of smart cloud storage. That sounds pretty futuristic, but unfortunately this future has not yet occurred. The "Smart Storage" was designed in such a way that apps, pictures, etc. were automatically moved into a private cloud environment when the storage space became scarce. If a file or application was needed, it was reloaded onto the device.

Unfortunately the system was buggy and it was annoying to have to manage all the apps on the phone. Sometimes things that you wanted to access were already in the cloud and no longer on the smartphone - a bad situation when the cellular connection is bad again.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play with gamepad