Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Jul 2013 23:30 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless If you're in the market for a smartphone, odds are you're looking at an Android phone. If you're looking at an Android phone, odds are you're looking at Samsung, and if you're exotic, you may be looking at a Nexus, HTC, LG, or maybe even Sony. Few of you will be considering Oppo. I, however, did.
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On-screen buttons
by puidelup on Wed 24th Jul 2013 12:14 UTC
Member since:

I never quite understood why people dislike on-screen keys. I find them a good idea.

First off: the chunk of the screen you loose is disposable! In portrait mode there's no usage pattern I know of in which the extra height is needed. In landscape mode, the argument of lost screen surface sometimes makes sense, but really, the screen was plenty wide to begin with. I have had a Nexus 4 for many months now and never ever missed the "lost" screen.

The big advantage they bring: flexibility. One example: Many applications still use the "settings" or "triple bar" button, which does not exist in the new Android key layout. This is also encouraged by the fact that many manufacturers kept the settings button on recent hardware (Bad Samsung, BAD!). Having on-screen buttons gives those applications a way to elegantly expose a fourth button if they need it.

Is there nobody else who thinks on-screen buttons are a good idea?

Reply Score: 3

RE: On-screen buttons
by WereCatf on Wed 24th Jul 2013 12:20 in reply to "On-screen buttons"
WereCatf Member since:

Is there nobody else who thinks on-screen buttons are a good idea?

I'm undecided on that, myself. I do understand the flexibility they bring and all that, but at the same time I cannot help but remember that they do not offer tactile feedback; you can't just slide your finger on them without ever even looking at the screen and still know which one you're touching.

I am quite sure I could get by either way, I just don't find one inherently superior to the other.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: On-screen buttons
by Troels on Wed 24th Jul 2013 20:52 in reply to "On-screen buttons"
Troels Member since:

Not me. I like having a 5" screen that i can use. If i wanted a smaller screen i would have bought a different phone, and i have certainly never wished the screen was smaller, at least not while it is out of my pocket :-)

Keeping the cost of the phone down is the only argument i can see in favor of the on-screen buttons. I think they are extra silly on a phone like the nexus 4 where there are plenty of room for "external" buttons, and that was in fact the main reason that i didn't buy one and opted to wait for the S4 instead. Alone having to locate the power button to unlock it instead of having a convenient button on the front would drive me crazy, when i tested the N4 i found it annoying to unlock with just one hand, would have to move it around in the hand to press the button. Also with the physical home button i have an easy reference point to feel if the phone is orientated the right way without having to look at it.

I personally prefer real physical buttons instead of capacitive ones. If i had a € for each time i have hit the back button by accident on my S4, well, i would have a big pile of change ready for my next trip to the euro zone.

Reply Parent Score: 2