This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Naming a product is always hard but it’s even harder when there will be many products of the same type coming up at somewhat regular intervals. The name of a smartphone has to not only catch the customer’s attention but contain distinct information about the device, such as its generation.
As companies release more and more phones it gets trickier to name them in a way that’s not too cumbersome or confusing. Unfortunately, companies aren’t navigating the treacherous path of smartphone naming very well and as a result, we have some real tongue-twister names.
Here are the five worst smartphone names (in no particular order):
LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen
You probably thought of LG as soon as you saw the title, so let’s start with it. I’ve always found even the letter+number+ThinQ formula to be too much, largely because of that last element, which people have a hard time pronouncing correctly. But then LG took it to the next level. Adding another letter and another two words to the name of the G8 gives LG the crown of bad smartphone names. At this point, even the name G8XDS would have been better, at least it sounds like some military contraption. Hopefully, LG doesn’t plan on adding anything on top of the dual screens or the name will take up a whole row of text.
Sony Xperia 1 II
Last year, Sony decided to start fresh with its smartphone names by releasing the Xperia 1. Nice and clean, I liked it. But it also released the Xperia 10 and then Xperia 5, which made us somewhat concerned about the line’s confusion-free naming in the future.
And sure enough, instead of keeping things reasonable and releasing the Xperia 2, Sony just announced the Xperia 1 II (read Xperia one mark two). You were so close to missing this list, Sony, but you just had to mess things up, didn’t you? Not surprising, considering other Sony product names that our colleague Victor strongly dislikes (and I agree with him).
Needless to say, mixing two different types of numbers within the same name is not a great strategy. The Xperia 1 II makes you think Sony didn’t expect to ever make a second model and once it was clear they would, they scrambled to come up with a name and then just slapped II at the end.
Motorola Moto G8 Power Plus Play
Yes, that’s not the name of one phone, but a combination of the different G8 model names. Unfortunately, the Moto G line is getting more complicated each year. Recently, Motorola released Moto G phones in the states but in other regions, they’re called G8. Why the difference? Well, the reason Motorola gave for it was that they have different names for different regions. Um.. okay.
But that’s not the only problem. While Plus and Stylus (a 2020 addition to the line) are obvious enough names, the same can’t be said for Play and Power. Play makes you think it’s a gaming phone and Power one meant for performance but that’s not true in either case. Play is the cheapest phone and Power has a massive battery.
Don’t get us wrong, we like Moto G phones, but Motorola has to tidy up the naming of the line.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
Galaxy? Yes, that’s a must in the name. S? Sure, it’s the top line, you have to have that too. 20? Well, fine, which phone doesn’t have a number in its name anyway. Ultra? We get it, it signifies how over the top the phone is. 5G? Oh, come on!
Once you’ve hinted twice that this is your best phone, the 5G is kind of redundant, Samsung. We should probably be grateful “Space Zoom” didn’t make it into the name as well.
Things are a lot simpler over at Samsung’s Galaxy A-series. The higher the first number, the more expensive the phone is and the higher the second number is, the more recent it is. See, it’s not that hard…
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
Ha! You thought Apple would slip by unnoticed, didn’t you? It won’t. The past was a simpler time when the most complicated iPhone model consisted of a number followed by S. Now we have “Pro”, signaling you’re willing to spend a hefty premium for a couple more features and “Max” that you’re willing to do the same but for some extra screen real estate.
Apple used to do that with the word Plus, but I guess it wasn’t a good idea to put two words beginning with P next to each other as to not have people abbreviate it as iPhone 11 PP. We get that.
I can’t wait to see if Apple’s beloved S will make a return this year with the iPhone 11S Pro Max, or will it start changing numbers every year to keep things a bit simpler.