We review a lot of phones here at CNET. A lot. A few are standouts, most are decent and affordable, and a very few just aren't worth the trouble, low price be damned. Gathered below is the rogues gallery of recent disappointments that just weren't able to live up to their promise. Arm yourself with the knowledge of the phones you can safely skip, then cheer yourself up with this list of rock stars.
Editors' note: This post updates frequently. It was originally published March 2012.
Don't get us wrong -- the Phab 2 Pro is a completely novel device. With a 16-megapixel rear camera that has Tango depth sensor and motion tracking from Google, its 3D camera system can render an interactive augmented reality between virtual objects and the real world. But as a phone in itself, it's pretty meh. It's big and heavy, runs an old version of Android, has a short battery life and doesn't have NFC. Read the full review.
Despite an eye-catching, barely there bezel and a petite frame, the Xperia XA isn't so great. It has a low screen resolution, a disappointing battery life (it lasted only 8 hours and 45 minutes during our tests), annoying bloatware and just 16GB of storage. Read the full review.
With the DTEK50, BlackBerry put its own spin on Google's Android OS. And while the software experience was relatively fine, everything else was sort of meh. The camera was weak in low-light settings and the phone's performance was slow. Worst of all, the claim that the device is "The World's Most Secure Android Smartphone" is overblown. In reality, its security features come included in most Android phones. Bummer. Read the full review.
The Desire 520 has a few things going for it. It's affordable, has loud speakers and has expandable storage. But those things can't outweigh the fact that its screen is rather dull, its battery life is short and the plastic casing feels cheap. .
With its 4.5-inch display, theis pocket-friendly and it's pretty cheap. But its 5-megapixel camera, which lacks touch-focus, captures dull photos and its quad-core processor takes forever to carry out tasks. .