Stuff we regret buying: 2014 edition
We don’t just write about this stuff, we spend a significant amount of money on the products we cover. We each like to think that we have a good track record with our technology purchases, but inevitably everyone makes a bad call and buys something they regret. That could be because the product doesn’t deliver on its promises, because it’s just not for you, or simply because you thought you needed another set-top box/video game console/Android tablet, but it turns out you absolutely did not.
Cheap earphones – Sal Cangeloso
I started off 2014 with a pair of really nice earphones, but they broke, just like all earphones do after a year of use. I figured if my I was just going to blow through portable audio equipment I might as well get some cheaper stuff, so I bought a $22 pair from Sony and a $15 pair from Panasonic. My only requirements were relatively positive reviews from Amazon and in-line controls. With these, how bad could they be? Turns out pretty bad. While the audio was acceptable for each, with the Sony being the better of the two, the cords were seemingly designed to tangle and the fit was poor. I eventually moved back to my iPhone earbuds.
Non-contact tachometer – Sal Cangeloso
I needed to take some measurements, and soon determined that the tool I required was a tachometer. I immediately went to Amazon, searched for one, and was overjoyed to discover that it was just $17. Two days later I learned why professionals don’t try skimp on their tools (or buy them online at the last minute): this digital tach didn’t work for what I needed. I’m sure it’s great for some applications but it didn’t work for my desk fan testing.
Moto 360 – Ryan Whitwam
I really like Android Wear, but the Moto 360 simply could not live up to the hype. We were teased for months with this round smartwatch, then it was finally released and was just okay. It’s not a bad device, but the battery life is substantially less than other Android Wear watches, and the use of an older TI OMAP processor makes the UI a touch slower than it should be. While very beautiful, the design also prevents most third-party bands from fitting. There are overall better Android watches out there, so I’m selling the 360. I hope Motorola is working on an improved version for next year — the 360 was almost the one.
Apple iPhone 6 and HTC Nexus 9 – Russell Holly
Two of the devices I was most excited for this year turned out to be tremendous let downs for me. This resulted in both gadgets heading back to the store less than a week after purchase. My iPhone 6 showed early signs of what was unfortunately referred to as “bendgate” by most of the world, while my Nexus 9 arrived with an unfortunate buzzing due to a loose vibration motor and a backplate that wouldn’t stay put. In both cases it was going to be quite a while before a replacement was available, so I moved on to the 2014 Moto X and the iPad Mini 2.
Groupons – Lee Mathews
Prior to a five-day trip to Minneapolis this spring, I decided that a good way to stretch my travel dollars would be picking up a few Groupons. I like discovering new places to eat and drink, and I like saving money, so it seemed like a win-win. Five days later, I only managed to use half of the Groupons I’d purchased — thanks to my Jetta deciding that an overnight stay in an import shop for an alternator replacement would be more fun than some adventurous out-of-town dining.
Now read: Geek.com’s 2013 regret list
Source: Games – Geek.com