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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:58 AM   #1
hyteckit
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Galaxy Note 2 - poor ergonomics

Been playing with the Note 2 for over 1 week now. However, there are a few annoying things about the Note 2 design/ergonomics.

Here are some ergonomics issues:

1. one hard use is bad. Impossible to use with one-hand in most instances.
2. placement of power button is awful. I hit the power button by accident multiple times a day. I put the Note 2 in my car cup holder, the the power button gets accidently pressed.
3. The volume buttons are too big and too easily push. Again, pushed it by accident many times. It's one inch long!
4. The touch buttons on the left and right of the physical home button is not a good idea. Often touch those buttons accidentaly especially in landscape mode when viewing webpages or playing a game. My old android phone has 3 physical buttons.
5. Having to take out the back cover and remove the battery in order to take out my SIM so I can swap it into my iPhone 4S.
6. No hold switch.


I'm glad it has a physical home button. I also like the notification light similar to the blackberry. Just wish the light was on top so I can see it even when I have a case on.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 06:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
1. one hard use is bad. Impossible to use with one-hand in most instances.
I think that's a case of 'you pays your money and you takes your choice' - big screen or 1-handed operation. There is a 'one handed' operation option in the settings that make the keypads smaller and to one side of the screen but I'm not sure how practical that is.

Quote:
2. placement of power button is awful. I hit the power button by accident multiple times a day. I put the Note 2 in my car cup holder, the the power button gets accidently pressed.
3. The volume buttons are too big and too easily push. Again, pushed it by accident many times. It's one inch long!
Agreed - there'd be room to put these on the top edge, then if you were listening to music with the phone in your pocket you could get at them.

I've sort of solved this - I got a cheap flip case which (although not obvious from the picture) has a plastic 'cradle' that grips the phone with cutouts for the vol/power buttons. With the buttons 'recessed' slightly they're harder to press.
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4. The touch buttons on the left and right of the physical home button is not a good idea. Often touch those buttons accidentaly especially in landscape mode when viewing webpages or playing a game. My old android phone has 3 physical buttons.
Agree - either go for physical buttons or use the nexus-style on-screen button bar - the latter has its pros and cons, but I really don't see any 'pros' for the touch buttons.

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5. Having to take out the back cover and remove the battery in order to take out my SIM so I can swap it into my iPhone 4S.
That would be a problem if you were regularly swapping the SIM. They could have least made it so you didn't have to take the battery out (unless that's deliberate - can you damage anything by yanking the SIM with the power on?)

OTOH, doesn't the iPhone require a tool to remove the SIM?
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 06:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
1. one hard use is bad. Impossible to use with one-hand in most instances.
Well, it obviously wasn't primarily designed to be used with one hand

It was meant to give as large a screen as possible, that would also fit easily into most pockets.

People who want one, want it specifically for the larger screen (and pen), and see that as more important than having every section under their thumb.

It's like complaining that a SUV has more cargo space. That's one of its purposes, after all.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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You obviously don't like it so go back to iPhone or perhaps an iPad mini might prove a wiser choice..

Last edited by daveathall; Nov 29, 2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 08:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by daveathall View Post
You obviously don't like it so go back to iOS.
Sounds like he is complaining about the design of the phablet, not android
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Sounds like he is complaining about the design of the phablet, not android
I stand corrected, my post has been amended.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
4. The touch buttons on the left and right of the physical home button is not a good idea. Often touch those buttons accidentaly especially in landscape mode when viewing webpages or playing a game. My old android phone has 3 physical buttons.
Which Android phone was this?
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dalbir4444 View Post
Which Android phone was this?
Many earlier Android phones had multiple physical buttons.

E.g. the HTC Hero and the even earlier Google G1/HTC Desire had multiple buttons and a trackball.

Thinning down to 3 is a good idea - going touch sensitive not so much, and the idea that the button is invisible and only lights up after you press it is just funny.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:26 AM   #9
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I would actually prefer if the Note 2 had all soft touch capacitive buttons on the bottom like on the HTC One X.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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Thinning down to 3 is a good idea - going touch sensitive not so much, and the idea that the button is invisible and only lights up after you press it is just funny.
To each his own. I actually like that implementation better. It's less of a distraction and looks cleaner. Besides, the dimming time can be changed from the settings.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theluggage View Post
Many earlier Android phones had multiple physical buttons.

E.g. the HTC Hero and the even earlier Google G1/HTC Desire had multiple buttons and a trackball.

Thinning down to 3 is a good idea - going touch sensitive not so much, and the idea that the button is invisible and only lights up after you press it is just funny.
It's invisible?

Do you mean when the buttons fade away and become subtle dots? They're not that hard to find again. It's not like you can't tap them anymore. You can still press them.

And it's actually one of the things I love. In general, soft keys that adapt is a neat feature.

I also love when the device is off, the face of the screen is just sleek black all throughout.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
1. one hard use is bad. Impossible to use with one-hand in most instances.
This isn't a fault of the phone, you went out and bought the biggest smartphone out there second to the LG Intuition. That's like buying an iPad mini and faulting it for poor one handed operation when it isn't really designed for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
2. placement of power button is awful. I hit the power button by accident
multiple times a day. I put the Note 2 in my car cup holder, the the power button gets accidently pressed.
I agree with this, but I don't feel it's "awful" just a little weird. When activating the screen with one hand I can't actually think of a better place for it, that's why it doesn't bother me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
3. The volume buttons are too big and too easily push. Again, pushed it by accident many times. It's one inch long!
I think the volume buttons are a little long, but that doesn't translate to bad for me, would you prefer if they were 25% smaller? Wouldn't be a whole lot different I think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
4. The touch buttons on the left and right of the physical home button is not a good idea. Often touch those buttons accidentaly especially in landscape mode when viewing webpages or playing a game. My old android phone has 3 physical buttons.
This problem I come across when using it in landscape mode. I solved the problem by either putting my thumb over the home button or just placing it along the outer edge of the bezel so it's placed out side of the button.
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Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
5. Having to take out the back cover and remove the battery in order to take out my SIM so I can swap it into my iPhone 4S.
This is frankly a ridiculous claim, most users will never even have to do this process once. If they do, they made it really easy (taking off the back cover, removing battery isn't a long or complicated process)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
6. No hold switch.
I personally haven't felt the need for one, but some others may want one.
All in all I'm a big fan of this device as you can tell and maybe its just because the positives so completely outweigh these perceived negatives that they don't even bother me at all.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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A couple of the points are laughable, anyone getting a Note 2 is not expecting to use it one handed it has a 5.5" screen the fact it is going to have poor 1-hand ergonomics is a given. Also complaining about having to take the back cover off to change SIM's... i mean come on as said above for 99% of people they put the SIM in once and take it out once for the life of the phone.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:58 PM   #14
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A couple of the points are laughable, anyone getting a Note 2 is not expecting to use it one handed it has a 5.5" screen the fact it is going to have poor 1-hand ergonomics is a given. Also complaining about having to take the back cover off to change SIM's... i mean come on as said above for 99% of people they put the SIM in once and take it out once for the life of the phone.
Or better, mine came with the SIM preinstalled so I'll never have to touch it!
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:01 PM   #15
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It's like complaining that a SUV has more cargo space. That's one of its purposes, after all.
I would say it's more like buying a bus and complaining that it's harder to parralel park.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theluggage View Post
Many earlier Android phones had multiple physical buttons.

E.g. the HTC Hero and the even earlier Google G1/HTC Desire had multiple buttons and a trackball.
I actually miss the optical track sensor on the old Incredible. I could scroll like crazy without moving my thumb more than a fraction of an inch at a time.

People go on and on about one-handed usage, and yet a touchscreen is amongst the worst possible input devices for that, especially for situations where it also makes sense to not have to look at the screen.

It's the same with remote controls. Touch versions with LCD labels are cool, but nothing beats having easily recognizable (by feel) physical buttons for channel surfing, etc, without having to look.

Quote:
Thinning down to 3 is a good idea - going touch sensitive not so much, and the idea that the button is invisible and only lights up after you press it is just funny.
I agree. I love their look; not so happy about their ergonomics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerok View Post
I would say it's more like buying a bus and complaining that it's harder to parralel park.
Heh. True. Or buying a larger car after having a Fiat 500, and complaining that you can no longer easily reach every part of the back seat from the driver's position
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 03:19 PM   #17
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I actually miss the optical track sensor on the old Incredible. I could scroll like crazy without moving my thumb more than a fraction of an inch at a time.
Oh yeah, I used to love having one on my Desire Z.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 04:40 PM   #18
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Well, it obviously wasn't primarily designed to be used with one hand

It was meant to give as large a screen as possible, that would also fit easily into most pockets.

People who want one, want it specifically for the larger screen (and pen), and see that as more important than having every section under their thumb.

It's like complaining that a SUV has more cargo space. That's one of its purposes, after all.
Just pointing out it's lack of ergonomics when it comes to one-handed use. Samsung does try to rectify the issue with software settings "one-handed operation".

It's like pointing out a mini cooper lacks cargo space in a car review. Doesn't make it an invalid point.

So obvious anyone looking for a smartphone that can easily be used with one-handed should look for a smaller and better designed phone for one-handed use.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by IFRIT View Post
A couple of the points are laughable, anyone getting a Note 2 is not expecting to use it one handed it has a 5.5" screen the fact it is going to have poor 1-hand ergonomics is a given. Also complaining about having to take the back cover off to change SIM's... i mean come on as said above for 99% of people they put the SIM in once and take it out once for the life of the phone.
I never really have to remove the SIM before either until I have a Note 2. Way too big and heavy to go jogging with, so I prefer to take my iPhone 4S instead.

But I don't understand why Samsung place the SIM slot right against the battery so you are required to remove battery in order to remove SIM.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 04:56 PM   #19
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Do you mean when the buttons fade away and become subtle dots?
No, I think you're thinking of the Nexus, with a 'soft' button bar occupying the lower edge of the screen. We're talking about the Note 2, which doesn't use that.

It has a physical 'home' button flanked by two illuminated touch-senitive areas for 'Menu' and 'Back'. These are invisible when not lit. By default, they only light up briefly when you unlock the phone or after you press one.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:31 PM   #20
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No, I think you're thinking of the Nexus, with a 'soft' button bar occupying the lower edge of the screen. We're talking about the Note 2, which doesn't use that.

It has a physical 'home' button flanked by two illuminated touch-senitive areas for 'Menu' and 'Back'. These are invisible when not lit. By default, they only light up briefly when you unlock the phone or after you press one.
Ah, yes, I see. My mistake.

Hm, still, I think once you get used to what's where, not too big of a deal? I see your point, though.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:36 PM   #21
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Bought mine this morning. And I'm using it with one hand with no problem.
reach each corner too one handed.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:47 PM   #22
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So obvious anyone looking for a smartphone that can easily be used with one-handed should look for a smaller and better designed phone for one-handed use.
You don't say..

Seems like a lot of the issues you bring up would have easily been noticed if you handled a display model and watched a review or two before purchasing. At least you gave the device a try instead of just criticizing it without ever using one like others do. Are you planning on returning it?

I do agree, if you use the phone naked, the power button could be placed a little higher and the volume button could be a little smaller. However, if you use a case, that solves the accidental button presses.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by theluggage View Post
It has a physical 'home' button flanked by two illuminated touch-senitive areas for 'Menu' and 'Back'. These are invisible when not lit. By default, they only light up briefly when you unlock the phone or after you press one.
Is that an issue though? They still work exactly the same lit or unlit.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 08:47 PM   #23
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A couple of the points are laughable, anyone getting a Note 2 is not expecting to use it one handed it has a 5.5" screen the fact it is going to have poor 1-hand ergonomics is a given. Also complaining about having to take the back cover off to change SIM's... i mean come on as said above for 99% of people they put the SIM in once and take it out once for the life of the phone.
That and it's much easier not having to use a pin to get the SIM out (this coming from a Nexus 4 owner)
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 08:58 PM   #24
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People should do the sufficient research before buying a device. It prevents buyer's remorse. That why, IMO it's silly to complain about the Note 2. It's not targeted to people who want to use it with one hand.

IMO, it's reasonable to complain about the iPhone's size because you only get two options, 3.5" and 4". It makes sense for Apple to produce a larger phone for people that want to stay in the Apple ecosystem and aren't happy with the current offerings. But Apple probably knows better than me

Last edited by stridemat; Nov 30, 2012 at 01:10 AM. Reason: Cleanup
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:06 PM   #25
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Honestly, while most iPhone users find 3.5" or 4" to be the perfect size, the Note 2 CLEARLY isn't meant to be considered being bought as a smartphone the same way one might consider, say the Galaxy S3 over the iPhone. The Note 2 is in it's own niche, so people buying it for any other reason than to specifically own a larger device, knowing it won't get used one handed all the time, didn't do their research.
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