Nine times out of 10, the least important thing about a phone is what it's called. That said, words matter. (Take these cringe-worthy examples of global marketing gone wrong.) When you consider the sheer volume of dollars spent researching a compelling name for a device, and then millions more on marketing the product, a name takes on much more weight -- especially if it's really, really bad.
Editors' note: This gallery is updated frequently.
Royole, a maker of flexible screens and electronic note-taking gadgets, beat Samsung to its foldable phone. Good for them. The FlexPai, however, is a terrible name. "Flex" calls out to the bendable screen, but what's a "pai" (pronounced "pie")? A coin from India? Payload Analytical Integration? At least something like "FlexPhone" makes sense.
That's right, people. I went there. Apple has compounded confusion on top of confusion with the iPhone XS. In 2018, most people I know call the phone the "ex ess," a few the "ten ess." Apple's naming problem post-iPhone X was already hairy, but now it's positively tangled. To wit, what will Apple call next year's iPhones?
Calling your phone the Changhong H2 is the perfect way to help everyone forget what your phone actually does. In this case, that's using sensors to scan the caloric load of your lunch.
The Kodak whattt? Kodak was hearkening back to the name of a previous camera in this camera-meets-phone attempt from 2017, the Kodak Ektra. Even autocorrect thinks it should be called the "Extra."
Eight words. That's how long Samsung's preposterous name was for an Olympics-special phone. Good thing it was a private giveaway to athletes and never hit the market.
We're used to the OnePlus naming scheme now, and the OnePlus 6T is an Editor's Choice pick for 2018. But when it first came out, we couldn't help noticed that a company called OnePlus actually named its phones "One" and "2", and so on. Good one, guys.
BlackBerry's first Android phone, the Priv, struck us as a smarmy amalgamation of "privilege" and "priv-ah-cy," pronounced the British way. This from a company that was known for most of its life as Research in Motion before streamlining the name to BlackBerry, so I guess we're not too surprised.
The "V" probably stood for Verizon, but the LG K8 V's nonsense name just gave us a bad taste of alphabet soup.
In 2014, a Miami-based phone-maker called Yezz sold a Windows Phone called Yezz Billy 4.7, named after -- yep, you guessed it -- Microsoft founder Bill Gates. <wince>
The only issue with the Motorola Moto G is that after a few years, there were three or four models you could buy at the same time from different carriers, all with the exact same name. If you hadn't memorized the specs, you wouldn't know which one you were looking at. Thankfully, things are clearer in 2018 with the Moto G6, Moto G6 Play and so on.
It takes a certain kind of chutzpah to name your ultralarge smartphone the ZTE Iconic Phablet, especially since it was pretty meh. This was also the first time a phone maker embraced the word "phablet" in its own product. Luckily, US prepaid carrier Boost Mobile had the good sense to sell it as the Boost Max.
2012's Panasonic Eluga was a pretty, middle-of-the-road Android handset sold overseas. But a clunky, meaningless name (what is an "eluga," anyway?) was almost as awkward to say as the phone was to use.
Hey, remember that time HTC named an entire phone after the Windows Phone 8X operating system? That'd be like Samsung naming a phone the "Samsung Galaxy Android."
Its terribly rhyming tongue-twister of a name certainly isn't the reason why the HP Pre 3 never made it to the US. Instead, abysmal sales and mismanagement killed WebOS' chances in the mobile platform fight, ending the once-promising Pre line shortly after HP's disastrous purchase of Palm. (P.S. Check out the new tiny Palm for 2018.)
Officially the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Sprint's Galaxy S II variant claimed the dubious honor of having the most long-winded name in cell phone history. By the time it came out on shelves, Sprint had lopped off a few words, making it the much more manageable Samsung Epic 4G Touch. If only T-Mobile had followed suit with its Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, we'd all have been a little happier.
I'm not sure what would compel a phone company to name devices after popular Latin dances. Apparently, AT&T wasn't, either. The ChaCha, which was first introduced in February 2011, blessedly became the HTC Status when it landed with the US carrier. Unfortunately, the device itself made a few ungraceful moves.
Everything about the name of this phone line was terrible. The apostrophe, the random capitalization, the awkward attempt at pronouncing it without offending your grandma... Oh, and it's pronounced "jeez-WUN," if you were curious.
That's not a joke; Samsung actually named a phone after emoji. The Samsung :) has been haunting us since the texting phone materialized in 2010 with its over-the-top alias. And yeah, we called it the "Smiley."
Continuing a particularly disastrous stretch of Samsung product names, the Messager sent ripples of spine-tingling grammatical horror up our spines when it landed 2009. Messenger. E-N. Big difference.
There is nothing chocolate-like about the LG Chocolate, and it's cruel to suggest otherwise. You want to call out the candy bar shape and smooth, liquid music qualities? Maybe try "LG Musiq" instead.
Another food-themed travesty, Motorola's Citrus was a fairly early Android handset in need of a little zest.
We had to reach wayyy back into the archives for this gem. We still never figured out if "Fusic" was a fusion of "fun" and "music" or something else entirely, but this flip-top phone from 2006 was one of the first of its kind for Sprint.