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ReanimationN
Aug 10, 2012, 10:31 AM
How do you guys feel about capacitive home buttons?

Since my first smartphone was an iPhone, a 3GS, I've become so used to the physical home button that the idea of not having one is abhorrent to me. I've demoed a lot of different phones in the past few weeks and the one thing that turns me off a majority of Android and Windows phones is the lack of a physical home button. I can't handle the idea of reaching for the power button on the top or the side of the device in order to wake up and unlock the phone. It just feels so clumsy and unintuitive. My favourite Android and Windows Phone devices are the ones who feature a physical home button, such as the Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Omnia W.

Did anyone else feel this way prior to getting a device with no physical home button? If so, did you get used to it, or did it remain an annoyance?



Jb07
Aug 10, 2012, 11:22 AM
I prefer a physical home button, but you get used to having a capacitive button quickly. Capacitive buttons are nice because you can get more screen real estate without increasing the size, but I still like the feedback of a physical button.

ChazUK
Aug 10, 2012, 12:07 PM
The way I held the Nexus S & my Galaxy Nexus, I'm used to the side power button so I use that the vast majority of the time on the S3). It is nice to tap the home button to wake it up when it is lying flat on a table however.

As I've used so many devices with capacitive buttons now, it doesn't bother me at all missing out on a physical home button but having one does have its positives.

Jessica Lares
Aug 10, 2012, 12:16 PM
I wish I didn't have any on my phone. But that's because I like the idea of putting shortcuts instead. AOKP even lets you have a button to scroll through widgets which is really cool.

Wrathwitch
Aug 10, 2012, 12:29 PM
having experienced at least 2 capacitive buttons on the S3 I wish that the home button was too. Mechanical parts can be prone to failure especially considering the amount of punishment they endure in the span of a year. I also really like the haptic feedback of my 2 capacitive buttons!

cynics
Aug 10, 2012, 02:33 PM
I prefer capacitive buttons. Physical buttons are usually the first failure point to any phone.

TG1
Aug 10, 2012, 02:39 PM
Capacitive. Physical buttons are harder for me to use, especially one handed.

Dontazemebro
Aug 10, 2012, 03:46 PM
what's so unintuitive with a top or side lock? Obviously not everybody is trained to wake their device with a physical home button. Unless there's some unwritten gold standard I don't know about that states this.

To get your top button lock on. Hold the device in the palm of your hand and your index finger falls right on top of the button. Side lock, same thing except your thumb is in position to unlock it. Seems easy enough to me

#confused

Ddyracer
Aug 10, 2012, 04:28 PM
what's so unintuitive with a top or side lock? Obviously not everybody is trained to wake their device with a physical home button. Unless there's some unwritten gold standard I don't know about that states this.

To get your top button lock on. Hold the device in the palm of your hand and your index finger falls right on top of the button. Side lock, same thing except your thumb is in position to unlock it. Seems easy enough to me

#confused

Right, it's minor once you used to it. However, having the side button as the power has one drawback opposed to the top way. When adjusting your volume it's hard to feel which is which unless your pressing on volume down then you can tell your lowering the volume because it's furthest away from anything. However with the volume up it's a bit of a stuggle (for me) because the power and up volume are so close to togeher that you accidently press the wrong one.

I like what Samsung did to the buttons on the nexus. Volume is on a different side then the power. Much better than the button placement on android devices like mine.

Dontazemebro
Aug 10, 2012, 08:12 PM
Yeah samsung does do dome wacky things with their buttons. After a while though it becomes second nature and I never understood why it befuddles so many people.

boomboom2
Aug 10, 2012, 08:17 PM
I like my Galaxy Nexus' on screen buttons. Especially when they disappear during video for maximum screen real estate for video.

SurferMan
Aug 10, 2012, 08:48 PM
Personally I love the capacitive buttons, was a little weird at first after having iPhones for so long, but it's so intuitive and functional vs just a home button. I.E. the back button on Android is absolutely priceless especially when multitasking or doing whatever, just blows Apple away especially in regards to tasking, wish Apple had something similar to that. No problem with the power button for locking/waking, thumb is right in the spot for it when holding the phone and volume buttons are right where your other fingers are on the opposite side, second nature (both the power/volume buttons and capacitive buttons).

That's one thing I didn't like about the GS3, the home button. See what the next Nexus is like.

Dr McKay
Aug 10, 2012, 09:31 PM
Before switching to a Windows phone, I'd owned every version of iPhone except the 3GS, during those 5 years I had to take 4 iphones back due to home button failures. Luckily most of them occurred within warranty. I love the capacitive buttons on my Nokia, even the little vibrate it does when you touch one.

ReanimationN
Aug 10, 2012, 11:15 PM
what's so unintuitive with a top or side lock? Obviously not everybody is trained to wake their device with a physical home button. Unless there's some unwritten gold standard I don't know about that states this.

To get your top button lock on. Hold the device in the palm of your hand and your index finger falls right on top of the button. Side lock, same thing except your thumb is in position to unlock it. Seems easy enough to me

#confused
It depends heavily on the size of the device. For example, when testing the One X, I'd have to shuffle my hand up the device to be able to get a firm grip on the power button and then shuffle back down to use my thumb to unlock the phone. I have huge hands (I'm 6'5"), so I didn't have to move them much at all, but just enough for it to feel awkward and unintuitive (to me). It just didn't feel friendly towards one hand operation, which is how I use my phone the majority of the time.

In comparison, using the S3, I could do what I've done with every phone I've ever owned- hold it near the base, press the home button and swipe- everything being done on the face of the phone. No reaching around or upwards necessary. I think that's what I don't like- every phone I've ever owned, from old Nokias to my current iPhone, has been unlocked by a button combination or button + screen combination found on the face, or near the base of the phone. I've never used a phone where you have to reach for the side or the top.

It's good to hear people got used to it though. I'm tossing up between the One X and the S3, and if the capacitive buttons become less of an issue over time, I may give the One X a closer look- it has everything else going for it.

Vegastouch
Aug 10, 2012, 11:22 PM
How do you guys feel about capacitive home buttons?

Since my first smartphone was an iPhone, a 3GS, I've become so used to the physical home button that the idea of not having one is abhorrent to me. I've demoed a lot of different phones in the past few weeks and the one thing that turns me off a majority of Android and Windows phones is the lack of a physical home button. I can't handle the idea of reaching for the power button on the top or the side of the device in order to wake up and unlock the phone. It just feels so clumsy and unintuitive. My favourite Android and Windows Phone devices are the ones who feature a physical home button, such as the Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Omnia W.

Did anyone else feel this way prior to getting a device with no physical home button? If so, did you get used to it, or did it remain an annoyance?

Love em...wish my GS3 had a capacitive home button instead of the physical button. Ive never had a problem...ever, with a capacitive button. The physical buttons wear out, break, get stuck......

Just got a Windows phone today on eBay(dont actually have the phone yet) and why i chose the HTC Radar over the Lumia ..because it has all capacitive buttons.

Dontazemebro
Aug 10, 2012, 11:40 PM
It depends heavily on the size of the device. For example, when testing the One X, I'd have to shuffle my hand up the device to be able to get a firm grip on the power button and then shuffle back down to use my thumb to unlock the phone. I have huge hands (I'm 6'5"), so I didn't have to move them much at all, but just enough for it to feel awkward and unintuitive (to me). It just didn't feel friendly towards one hand operation, which is how I use my phone the majority of the time.

I understand what you're saying. I own the One X and also have huge hands (6'4"), but I cannot do a complete unlock & swipe in one full motion. Although I can easily manipulate the device one handed. The shuffle isn't that much and it's not like you need to continuously access the power button once you're using the phone. I had the Inspire 4G before this with the placement of the power button up top as well, so I guess it never really felt awkward for me.

Edit - what seems to work best for me is if I cradle the phone in between the tips of my fingers, I can unlock it with my index finger and then immediately palm it to swipe. It's almost like one complete motion.

Calidude
Aug 10, 2012, 11:42 PM
I think buttons should only be on the side of the phone, not the face. Volume rockers and power buttons seldom get used and thus last WAY longer, but if you have a home button that gets pressed every single time you use the phone, its gonna wear out pretty fast, break, or get clogged. Just look at all the threads here about "crunchy" home buttons. Yuck.

This is one of the reasons I love my Galaxy Nexus. No home button to worry about.

Dontazemebro
Aug 11, 2012, 12:01 AM
I forgot to add that this also includes the Otterbox Commuter case which makes it a tad bit bulkier.

I'm testing now to see what it's like without a case on.

Edit - interesting findings.

It feels slippery without the case and placing it between the tips of my fingers doesn't give me a firm grasp. I could foresee a few drops using this method.

It's also a lot easier to palm the device and since I'm naturally right handed I figured this would be the most ideal method, but while I can easily palm + index finger on the power button + swipe to open with my thumb all at the same time. It feels a little bit awkward going from left to right.

It feels much better left handed since it's more natural for my left thumb to extend from left to right.

NZed
Aug 11, 2012, 05:00 AM
Love em...wish my GS3 had a capacitive home button instead of the physical button. Ive never had a problem...ever, with a capacitive button. The physical buttons wear out, break, get stuck......

Just got a Windows phone today on eBay(dont actually have the phone yet) and why i chose the HTC Radar over the Lumia ..because it has all capacitive buttons.

Lumia 900 main buttons are all capacitive too.

sentinelsx
Aug 11, 2012, 05:02 AM
Neither. On screen buttons ftw.

unlinked
Aug 11, 2012, 08:36 AM
I can't handle the idea of reaching for the power button on the top or the side of the device in order to wake up and unlock the phone. It just feels so clumsy and unintuitive.

It really boggles my mind as how one button is more intuitive than another.


Anyway buttons seem a bit prone to wear and tear. My personal preference would be the way my N9 works. Double tap on the screen to wake up.

Vegastouch
Aug 11, 2012, 12:40 PM
Lumia 900 main buttons are all capacitive too.

Yeah but i dont have AT&T and didnt want to spend a bunch. I got the Radar for $155. I like Windows 7.5 and its a trial phone for Windows for me that will eventially go to the Wife in a couple weeks or so if she can get used to it.

blackhand1001
Aug 11, 2012, 01:44 PM
Neither. On screen buttons ftw.

Yup. I love my Nexus's on screen buttons. Glad to finally see Motorola and Asus putting them on phones. The nexus was really the only one so far before the padfone and atrix hd. They look so good also especially on the nexus's super amoled. It also allows Google to change the layout down the line if the new OS changes.

AlexJaye
Aug 15, 2012, 04:27 PM
How do you guys feel about capacitive home buttons?

Since my first smartphone was an iPhone, a 3GS, I've become so used to the physical home button that the idea of not having one is abhorrent to me. I've demoed a lot of different phones in the past few weeks and the one thing that turns me off a majority of Android and Windows phones is the lack of a physical home button. I can't handle the idea of reaching for the power button on the top or the side of the device in order to wake up and unlock the phone. It just feels so clumsy and unintuitive. My favourite Android and Windows Phone devices are the ones who feature a physical home button, such as the Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Omnia W.

Did anyone else feel this way prior to getting a device with no physical home button? If so, did you get used to it, or did it remain an annoyance?

Abhorrent, really??

But my iPhone home button craps out every now and then. Pretty irritating. I wouldn't miss it at all.

zbarvian
Aug 15, 2012, 04:35 PM
I prefer having a physical button, but after a year or so all my iPhone's home buttons have gotten really finicky. So I'm sure I could easily adapt to a capacitive home button. I'm crazy about the onscreen buttons of the Nexus though, using software buttons precludes the possibility of hardware issues and can lead to some sleek looking devices.

ReanimationN
Aug 16, 2012, 09:58 AM
It really boggles my mind as how one button is more intuitive than another.


Anyway buttons seem a bit prone to wear and tear. My personal preference would be the way my N9 works. Double tap on the screen to wake up.
There's just no reaching, the button is right there, where your thumb rests. You don't have to reach over, or to the top of the device. To me, it just feels right.

That system on the N9 sounds ideal though, that would be even better.
Abhorrent, really??

But my iPhone home button craps out every now and then. Pretty irritating. I wouldn't miss it at all.
Yeah, I really don't like capacitive buttons- other people don't mind them though, which tells me I could get used to them if I wanted to.

I don't understand why iPhone buttons die so often. I've had a 3GS replaced for a dud button, yet my SNES, N64, Dreamcast etc. controller buttons have all held up perfectly after decades of use (the N64 control sticks are an entirely different story ;)).

cwwilson
Aug 16, 2012, 10:26 AM
I think the Galaxy S3 got it right when they put in the physical home button with the capacitive buttons on each side.

blackhand1001
Aug 16, 2012, 10:28 AM
Capacitive. Ideally the galaxy nexus on screen buttons.

Technarchy
Aug 16, 2012, 10:28 AM
I've had capacitive buttons become unresponsive far too many times on my android phones.

I've never had a problem with my iPhone's physical home button.

nickchallis92
Aug 16, 2012, 10:32 AM
I think the Galaxy S3 got it right when they put in the physical home button with the capacitive buttons on each side.

agree. it keeps a sleek look and also allows you to turn on the screen when the phones on a table with ease

Vegastouch
Aug 16, 2012, 09:10 PM
I've had capacitive buttons become unresponsive far too many times on my android phones.

I've never had a problem with my iPhone's physical home button.

LOL,m dude you must just have bad luck getting phones that work well because ive never had a problem with any of my capacitive buttons and i used the same Android phone for two years. Must of used the back button a gazillion times on it.

Ive had the silence switch break on my iPhone and the home button start acting up. Both physical buttons and you have only had your phone for 5 months.

vistadude
Aug 17, 2012, 01:14 AM
I'd like a single capacitive home button rather than a physical button, but not 2, 3, or 4 others. I hate back buttons and find search to be pointless.

matttye
Aug 17, 2012, 01:17 AM
I've had capacitive buttons become unresponsive far too many times on my android phones.

I've never had a problem with my iPhone's physical home button.

I've never had any problems with either capacitive or physical buttons. I must be lucky :p

greygray
Aug 17, 2012, 08:01 AM
Prefer a physical button to a capacitive one. Somehow I just like the click it makes when i depress it.

Stuntman06
Aug 17, 2012, 02:28 PM
I think the Galaxy S3 got it right when they put in the physical home button with the capacitive buttons on each side.

The physical home button on the SGS3 seems out of place to me. They should have just made them all capacitive or all physical. To wake the phone, I usually press the power button on the side instead of the home button. I am used to waking with the power button because my old phone has a capacitive home button and required pressing the power button to wake.

SurferMan
Aug 17, 2012, 02:43 PM
LOL,m dude you must just have bad luck getting phones that work well because ive never had a problem with any of my capacitive buttons and i used the same Android phone for two years. Must of used the back button a gazillion times on it.

Ive had the silence switch break on my iPhone and the home button start acting up. Both physical buttons and you have only had your phone for 5 months.Never even heard of that, capacitive buttons being unresponsive/failing. But I have replaced many a button on iPhones from the lock switch, silent, cable connectors. The only button that seems fine is my 3GS, home button works just like new, 4/4S is a different story, and has nothing to do with dust and other bs, mine are clean and still failed (twice on the 4 and the 4S hasn't failed but already feels a bit "iffy").

anonymouslurker
Aug 17, 2012, 03:00 PM
Never even heard of that, capacitive buttons being unresponsive/failing. But I have replaced many a button on iPhones from the lock switch, silent, cable connectors. The only button that seems fine is my 3GS, home button works just like new, 4/4S is a different story, and has nothing to do with dust and other bs, mine are clean and still failed (twice on the 4 and the 4S hasn't failed but already feels a bit "iffy").

Physical buttons fail, bottom line. Every mechanical moving piece in a system will eventually fail. Dust, dirt, etc. will definitely reduce the life, but even in pristine condition, mechanical things wear out.

Granted, some switches are more robust than others, with a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of several hundred thousand cycles, but something that was designed with space constraints as a priority is obviously not going to be as hardened as something larger.

Yes, even non-moving parts fail too, but a capacitive button is going to be MUCH more robust, and give MANY more cycles than a physical button.

sentinelsx
Aug 17, 2012, 04:44 PM
Usage wise i think the difference is minimal.

But i touch and activate the back and menu buttons on my S3 all the time on landscape orientation and that drives me nuts!

On the Sony Arc touching a button was never an issue because they were tactile, on the gnexus they were in the screen itself so they were not right on the corners.

I would take on screen or actual physical buttons over capacitive ones.