Here are some of the worst phones released in Canada over the past few years

Let us know in the comments what your least favourite phone of the last few years is

Over the past six years, tons of smartphones have released in Canada. Some devices have been great, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3, iPhone 11, Huawei’s P30 Pro, HTC One M7, etc. However, there have also been some pretty lousy handset releases over the past six years.

With that in mind, this story takes a look at what I think are some of the worst recent smartphone releases in Canada. Let us know what devices you think are the worst in the comments below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is one of the company’s darkest moments, as the device featured a battery that literally caught on fire.

The South Korean company issued a recall for the Galaxy Note 7 nearly a month after its release. Owners found that a manufacturing defect tied to the device’s battery caused it to generate a lot of heat, potentially resulting in fires. In the subsequent weeks, MobileSyrup published several articles on how to return or replace the Galaxy Note 7.

While some of the phones below are based on what I think are bad smartphones that released in Canada, I don’t think anyone can argue that the Galaxy Note 7 is by far the worst and probably most dangerous phone on this list.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Google’s Pixel 2 XL is a great phone and many people loved it — at least at first. However, some owners started experiencing issues with the ‘Made by Google’ devices roughly a month after its release.

The device suffered from really bad screen burn-in issues, its glass display popped up, it was easy to scratch its exterior, it suffered from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues and more. Many users literally lost the Pixel 2 XL’s Android operating system too.

Back in 2017, former MobileSyrup telecom reporter Rose Behar and current managing editor Patrick O’Rourke had to return to their review and change the Pixel 2 XL’s rating. They only knocked it down to an 8/10, but as someone who also owned that phone, I would have slahed it even further.

Google’s Pixel 2 XL was great if you were one of the few that didn’t experience any problems (like me), but I was one of the lucky few.

We even made a full list of problems with the Pixel 2 XL, which you can find here.



Months before the Note 7, LG released the G5 and its various ‘Friends’ accessories.

The smartphone featured a weird design and modular Friends like the Cam Plus, Hi-Fi Plus, and more. None of these accessories were great, and they required the user to turn off and take apart the device before using them. Additionally, LG’s Friends made the G5 very bulky.

LG was never really able to climb back to greatness after the release. After years of attempts, the company eventually shuttered its phone-making business entirely.

The Essential Phone

Essential Phone

Okay, hear me out.

A lot of people loved the Essential PH1. It looked great and offered a minimalistic design with a notch before notches were even cool. It also featured a stock Android experience and 128GB of internal base storage, a rarity at the time.  To this day, it’s still probably one of my favourite handset designs, but the device was far from perfect.

The handset offered no headphone jack, which was crazy back in 2017. Additionally, its camera experience was bad and it offered no form of waterproofing.

Former MobileSyrup reported Igor Bonifacic gave the device a 7/10, which isn’t horrible, but he recommended readers go with the LG G6 instead (a 2017 phone with a 2016 processor).

But the worst thing about the Essential Phone was its creator, Andy Rubin.

Rubin, one of the founders of Android, was asked to leave Google due to reports of sexual harassment. While these incidents occurred back in 2013/2014, the news didn’t come out until years later when The New York Times broke the story in 2018.

Sony Xperia XZ1

Xperia XZ1

I have to give a shout to Sony smartphone on this list.

Sony’s take on Android wasn’t great back in the day, but neither was Samsung’s Touch Wiz or LGUX, so I’ll give the company’s devices a pass in that respect. And that doesn’t really matter here, because I can’t get past its abysmal design.

The bezels on this squared-shape beast were some of the ugliest I’ve seen on a modern smartphone. It always looked like the display was being eaten by the huge bezels. The square-shaped design was also difficult to hold (especially with its bigger successor, the XZ2)

And similar to LG, after the launch of Sony’s Xperia XZ1, it seemed like the company couldn’t really grasp what Canadians wanted, leading to the company no longer selling its smartphones in Canada.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

While Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 is likely my favourite phone on the market, foldables get a good start. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold featured some big problems, including a screen protector that you’re not supposed to remove.

Most didn’t know that the plastic film on the Z Fold couldn’t be removed, so when users peeled off that sticker, the display would entirely break.

Following that problem, the 7mm gap that separated the bottom bezel of the Galaxy Fold’s main display and the space between the spine of the device was perfect for dirt to get caught between.

While the Galaxy Fold would still work with dirt and pebbles hiding underneath the display, it was a horrible experience and the only way to remove the debris was to pull off the plastic film (which broke the display).

A lot of other phones could have made this list, including the Surface Duo, LG G8, Motorola Razr and so many more. However, let us know in the comments below what you think are some of the worst smartphones released in Canada in the past six years.