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Michaelhsu
The Worst Phone Ever Made

My favorite gadgets blog, Gizmodo, ran a post recently about my declaring the BeoCom 2 the "worst phone ever made." Here's what ran in the November issue of GQ:

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The coolest-looking phone on this page will, unfortunately, look the most ridiculous next to your face. Even the most masochistic consumer will resent the two-column number pad, a bewildering design choice that complicates what should be a simple act: dialing. This is a phone we'd only consider using at gunpoint.

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For the bulk of the page, though, I sang the praises of four classic landline telephones, whose appeal—perfect voice quality, zero brain-tumor risk—still endures.

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Clockwise from left:

1. Jacob Jensen T5
$110, shop.improvee.com

While other phone designers seem enamored with garish, mismatched buttons, Jacob Jensen offers sweet relief: a telephone that is uncluttered, rational, and clean.

2. BeoCom 1401
$130, www.bang-olufsen.com

Its diminutive base and resolute simplicity—the handset plugs directly into the wall to cut down on wires—make it ideal for small surfaces (nightstands, end tables), as does a brilliant old-school flourish: the built-in notepad holder.

3. ITT 2500
$50, www.customphones.com

This bold, iconic telephone has a mercifully chunky handset (no chiropractic care required after use) and a mechanical bell that delivers the last dignified ringtone on earth.

4. Enzer ET-8408
$60, shop.improvee.com

A desk phone doesn't have to be a rectangular hunk of plastic. Enzer offers a fine alternative by carving away the inessential, leaving a perfect right angle.

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