Readers’ Choice Awards: Biggest Fail of 2014


readers choice results

With less than two days left in the year, we are down to our penultimate category in our 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards. It is now time to announce the winner for the one category where last place would be a better finish than first. Ladies and gentlemen, your choice for the Biggest Fail of 2014.

(Don’t forget to check out the rest of the winners as voted on by over 1,700 of your fellow readers!)

Honorable Mention: Bendgate

iphone 6 plus bend test

Apple’s latest iPhones were the talk of the town when they launched earlier this year, but it wasn’t all for good. As stories spread of customer experiences that included phones that would warp and bend in your pocket, the next “-gate” was born. The craze reached its peak as YouTube was overrun with videos of people attempting to bend any piece of tech they could get their hands on. Android fans never miss an opportunity to rub dirt in Apple’s wounds, so it’s not surprising #bendgate captured 12% of the total vote. What is surprising is that the controversy didn’t land any higher than an honorable mention.

Runner-up: OnePlus marketing and promotion

oneplus one ladies first contest

While there is no denying the OnePlus One’s place as one of the best smartphones to launch in 2014, its arrival was marred by a series of marketing blunders. There was no worse moment for OnePlus than a promotional campaign targeting women and the backlash that surrounded the questionably sexist attempt at giving away invites to purchase a smartphone.

And the winner is: Amazon Fire Phone


Hating on the Amazon Fire Phone for being an Android-based device that has barely anything to do with Android would be a bit unfair. Hating on the Amazon Fire Phone for being one of the most terrible smartphones launched not only in 2014 but quite possibly ever is more than justified. Despite Amazon’s best efforts to suggest otherwise, the company had trouble getting consumers to take the Fire Phone off their hands. It’s launch was quickly followed by steep discounts to get stock moving.

Here is how the voting went for Biggest Fail of 2014:


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  1. what about Softcard (ISIS) or Google Glass?? NOTHING could ever beat Amazon Fire phone tho….some times bad press is good press when it comes to the 1+1 so I dont really think that should be that far up there. At least they were talked about on major news sites.

    1. We really can’t call out Google Glass as isn’t not a consumer product at this time. If it officially launches to the public in a consumer version in 2015 and fails, we can add it to the list next year. Until then, Glass is prototype.

      1. I firmly believe that it will fail to some extent. Mostly over price. I hope it comes out at a cheaper cost TBH. I’d love to try one eventually!

      2. I think Glass will get considerably smaller and less obvious. I know it will get singled out for so called “privacy” issues, but how is that any different than someone with a smartphone pointing a camera at you and pretending their texting ? I always said its odd that people are fine with millions of invisible surveillance cameras, everywhere, watching what they do, but freak out when its attached to someones head and visible.

    2. I think ISIS getting its name co-opted by a terrorist group should have made the list, at least.

  2. One plus was more of a FAIL because of the never settle hype followed up by blunder after blunder. They just couldn’t get anything right.

    1. Yeah but One+ is a new company….Amazon has been around for years and their Kindle line is quite successful… So just to consider…

    2. They may not have gotten their marketing campaign right during their first year as a company, but they did pretty well with their hardware. It’s top of the line and very affordable.

      1. That’s their saving grace.

  3. Haha I read the title as the readers choice awards is the biggest fail of 2014.

    1. That’s actually pretty funny

  4. At least Amazon found something cool to do with all of those left over Fire Phones, stuffing them inside the Echo. (I kid, I kid.)

    1. So that’s why it’s taking so long to get one…

  5. Those ads were sooooooo annoying.

  6. Nexus 6 Launch was painful. I was all: “Just let me buy it…” and Google was all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAxO-za3KU?t=2s

    1. Lol , i love this. I had to wait about a week from the time i ordered my Nexus 6 with T-Mobile till the day i received it in the mail. Wasnt that bad. Finding a proper case however, is a more tedious task.

      1. I ordered my Nexus 6 on Cyber Monday (so, over a month ago), and still haven’t received it.

        1. Wow, seriously? I ordered mine from Motorola on the 26th, and it arrived on my doorstep this morning, just in time for new years.

      2. ringke slim case……… any other case and you’ll feel like the phone is too big in your hands. but the ringke slim case makes it feel almost like as if it had no case at all ! I love it.

    2. I’ve gotten over it now. I found solice in the Nexus 9 and Moto X 2014.

    3. Isn’t that pretty much any Google Play launch? Nexus 4? Sold out crazy. Nexus 5, sold out crazy. Nexus 6, no different. Moto 360, nah, my niece has a pet Unicorn though.

      1. Absolutely true. Google can make some amazing phones, but they can’t launch them for anything.

  7. What about Lollipoop hogging my RAM and eating battery? I know who wins smallest fail… Brickberry, just cuz they’re so small and always fail. Biggest fail is GS5 sales,. sent Shamsung into crisis mode.

    1. Maybe because the Lollipop issues are very recent ? Theyll likely be solved by 5.1 or 5.0.2

  8. I liked one thing on the Fire Phone and I wish Android would make a similar version or port it over… Firefly. I know we have Sound Search, but i would love to point my camera at a movie or a TV show and find out what it is im watching without having to find the remote or look up the stars and figure it out… lol.

  9. I’d like to write in a new one: whatever layout change Phandroid made to this website. It looks like some sort of frame or div issue. Whatever it is, scrolling is all screwed up for me now.

  10. AT&T, the company that offered exclusive “deals” with the Fire Phone and HTC First (Facebook Phone using the “Home Software.”) You would think they would’ve learned not to offer niche specific phones with below market flagship specs while charging exorbitant rates for the phones w/ or w/o contracts. The only thing the Fire Phone does is light people’s wallets on fire since people that purchase it early get burned.

  11. I wish I could’ve voted x5 for OnePlus One=0 marketing and Nexus 6 release….

  12. What about the KitKat fiasco that deliberately disabled writing to external (add-on) SD Card storage?

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