Weird, Ugly, Peculiar: 7 Mobile Phones That Will Make You Go “What!!”

What would we do without our mobile phones? Americans today check their mobile devices an average of 180 times per day. It’s the favorite technology among teenagers, too; twice as many kids aged 12-17 would rather give up their TV than their mobile device. Maybe it’s because today’s phones are slim, functional, and stylish. What if they weren’t? Check out these seven weird, ugly, and utterly peculiar mobile devices that took a wrong turn on the technology evolution tree.


The Fujitsu Chamelephone

If you are like most people, misplacing your mobile phone is a common occurrence. So, of course, the geniuses at Fujitsu came up with the Chamelephone, a device made with a unique LSD display that adjusts to the surface it’s placed on. Set it on a wood table, it takes on a wood-grained surface; lay it on the grass, it looks like a hunk of turf. To go from ugly to weird, designer Hiroyuki Tabuchi gave the phone an almost cube-like shape, because, of course, no one would ever want to put their phone in a pocket or something, right?

The Nokia Green “Soda” Phone

This prototype is one of the strangest phones ever invented. The idea behind the “soda” phone was eliminating the need for expensive and environmentally harmful cell phone batteries that require an electrical charge to work. The designers at Finnish Nokia came up with a mobile phone shaped like a test tube containing a bio-battery which uses enzymes to make electricity from carbs, specifically sugar. Instead of plugging in your phone, just unscrew its cap, pour in a sip of soda, and voila! Your phone is charged and ready to go. On the downside, you look like a mad scientist every time you make a call.

The Bang & Olufsen Serene Phone

The engineers at this Dutch company should stick to headphones and sound systems, and leave the mobile phones to the pros. Introduced in 2007 with a $1,500 price tag, the Serene phone was an oddly shaped flip-phone that resembled nothing so much as a makeup compact designed for Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek. Luckily when purchased through a trustworthy carrier, the price tag on today’s smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, is a lot more manageable.

The Golden Buddha Phone

When you combine religion, vulgar displays of wealth, and cell phone technology, the result is shockingly similar to a 24-karat gold-encrusted contraceptives case. The golden Buddha cell phone hit the Chinese market several years ago and features a clamshell design, LCD screen, nifty camera, a hunk of jade, and some pearl powder lacquer — features certainly worth the $1,750 price tag.

The F88 Wrist Phone

China Electronic Corporation launched its version of a smart watch, the F88, in 2003 to underwhelming international acclaim. The watch was about the same size as an average walkie-talkie, but unfortunately, not as attractive. Unless you’re impersonating Dick Tracy at a costume party, there probably isn’t any other place this watch is appropriate.

The Virgin Lobster Phone

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Image via Flickr by James Cridland

Virgin launched the Lobster phone in 2006 with what they considered a cutting edge advantage for their new “tellyphone:” A TV on your mobile device. They decided to create the first device aimed at the youth market, a fun phone for kids and not boring old business executives. Unfortunately, the phone looked more like an electric razor that a cell phone and weighed about as much as a small brick.

Toshiba G450

The Toshiba G450 phone is the perfect device for those who consider a TV remote an attractive fashion accessory. Measuring about seven inches long and featuring three rounded sections, one for an LED screen, and the other two for number keypads, the device actually got decent reviews by the tech geeks at Pocket Lint — but then again, they are tech geeks and not fashion consultants.

Fortunately, today’s consumers have a wide range of mobile devices to choose from that are sleek, attractive, and feature rich. For example, the Galaxy Note Edge features leading edge design and a revolutionary curved screen that appeals to tech geeks and fashionistas alike, which is a welcome change from the clunkers on this list.