1. Dileu's Avatar
    So, I've been playing with a Nokia Lumia 710 lately. It's a surprisingly nice phone. I chose it for a very specific reason, though - it *doesn't* have capacitive buttons along the bottom, and I had a feeling that'd make a big difference to how I perceived the phone and the OS, compared to how I felt when I owned a HTC Trophy, and compared to how I feel about my iPhone.

    I've not hit the back, WP or search key by accident once. And its making a huge and positive difference.

    Here's what I think is going on. Pressing any of the trio of buttons represent major shifts in what you are doing when using your phone. They're shifting you backwards, to the homescreen or into a completely different mode with search. So when you accidentally brush a capacitive trio button when bashing out an email or sending a tweet (or whatever), and are sent flinging away from what you're doing, its a big deal. Far more so than if you miskey a U instead of a Y.

    Moving from a soft tap on glass to a physical press of a hardware button, for me, makes a kind of sense as I am consciously shifting mode. I find this on the iPhone too - the home button requires that shift. Interestingly, most apps on iOS also have the back button at the top of the interface rather than at the bottom, so again, the movement of my fingers to the other end of the screen also has this "mode shifting" sensation to me.

    I'm a convert to real buttons as a result of seeing how they work and feel on the 710. I'm wondering how other people feel about capacitive vs real buttons, especially if you've come from another phone or OS that uses a different combination (like the mixed capacitive/real button combinations on a lot of Samsung devices).

    Capacitive, real, or both?
    ramrac likes this.
    04-13-2012 08:15 AM
  2. fatalaonemanarmy's Avatar
    The future of most phones will probably be where there aren't any permanent buttons at all on the bottom. It will be built into the OS just like the new Android phones. The reason this is good is because they can be changed and they can be moved when you put the phone into landscape mode. I really will say it's a neat idea.
    04-13-2012 08:34 AM
  3. Jrexxx's Avatar
    Or only gestures like Meego on the Nokia N9...
    Dileu likes this.
    04-13-2012 08:43 AM
  4. Dileu's Avatar
    The Meego reference is a great one. A friend has an N9 and the gestures are fascinating and suprisingly intuitive. They remind me a little of webos (which Android 4 borrows from). The idea of swiping up (or left/right on meego) for the homescreen also eliminates the accidental presses - a different interpretation of the mode changing mentioned.

    Not sure I like what Android 4 is doing - last week I played with my brother's Galaxy Nexus and wasn't impressed. I agree that adaptive interfaces are far superior than fixed buttons, but Android 4 still has the same problem - accidentally pressing the back ir home button while typing.
    04-13-2012 02:16 PM
  5. tekhna's Avatar
    You guys are doing it wrong if you're accidentally triggering capacitative buttons.
    04-13-2012 02:28 PM
  6. Dileu's Avatar
    Wrong? Well, different people have different levels of dexterity and use their phones in different ways :)
    04-14-2012 02:09 AM
  7. gregoron's Avatar
    My Nokia's back button is a bit hard to press. Wish it was a tad softer. From a design POV it looks nicer to have the buttons integrated with the screen. From a functional point, yes having an actual button does prevent accidental presses. This happens to me a lot when I accidentally hit Install in Marketplace since it's so close to the back button.
    04-14-2012 07:05 AM
  8. Jrexxx's Avatar
    You guys are doing it wrong if you're accidentally triggering capacitative buttons.
    Not doing it wrong, and not accidentally triggering capacitative buttons, just saying.
    I personally prefer hard buttons, and not capacitive ones. I've already tried the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800, and I have to say that I prefer the experience on the 710. It gives me the feeling that I'm doing something outside of the touchscreen, that controls the OS, and not just the app that I'm currently using. Another example is the European Samsung Galaxy S2: the center button is a real one, while the 2 on the side are capacitive, and I always found myself using the center button instead of the back button...
    04-14-2012 07:24 AM
  9. psiu_glen's Avatar
    I like the capacitive buttons...but if they had some smaller but tangible physical ones like the Droid X I could roll with that. I do hit the other buttons (especially search) mostly in landscape mode it seems.
    04-14-2012 07:34 AM
  10. abbller's Avatar
    I like the capacitive buttons...but if they had some smaller but tangible physical ones like the Droid X I could roll with that. I do hit the other buttons (especially search) mostly in landscape mode it seems.
    The future of most phones will probably be where there aren't any permanent buttons at all on the bottom.
    04-14-2012 07:43 AM
  11. smoledman's Avatar
    I have to admit I've accidentally hit the search button many times while trying to take photos.
    05-28-2012 05:51 PM
  12. fatclue_98's Avatar
    I have to agree with the OP. Having to re-direct away from the app to hit a button is more likely to reduce accidents. This is not scientific but to me it is no different than driving a car. You're constantly shifting your feet between gas & brake (clutch also in my case) and it keeps you attentive. If one day the OEMs unilaterally decide to eliminate hardware buttons, I sure hope they study a webOS phone and duplicate the gesture area. Capacitive buttons are not my cup of tea, but that's just my opinion. One of the features I like most about my Quantum is the physical home/start button.
    05-28-2012 06:26 PM
  13. jabtano's Avatar
    I am forever hitting the bing button on my HTC HD7. Drives me nuts..... When I use my wife Lumia 710 that issue doesn't happen at all. I love the 710 but the screen is just to small for me. I will take the real buttons anyway.. It makes using the device more enjoyable. by not hitting the back and bing buttons constantly.
    05-28-2012 06:31 PM
  14. jimski's Avatar
    Only time I ever accidentally hit the Search capacitive button is when I go to set the phone down and hit it with the side of the finger on my right hand. I mostly hold the phone with my left hand and tap buttons the the same hand, so reaching the Search button is a stretch.

    Sent from my Lumia 900 using Board Express Pro
    05-28-2012 07:36 PM
  15. undisputed n00b's Avatar
    I have never accidentally hit the capacitive buttons on my Lumia 900 but I hit the capacitive buttons on my focus all the time, they would also activate on their own sometimes and they are easy to hit when I am playing a game.
    05-28-2012 10:11 PM
  16. scottcraft's Avatar
    I seldom hit the capacitive buttons on my Trophy. Real buttons might be nice though, never had a smartphone that had them.
    05-28-2012 10:59 PM
  17. rdubmu's Avatar
    My HD7 was to easy to press the buttons... So annoying yet while I had my Lumia, I had the opposite effect. The Titan 2, I rarely hit the back button, but this is probably because the glass raises at the bottom.

    Sent from my PI86100 using Board Express
    05-29-2012 03:10 AM
  18. alpinestars1z's Avatar
    My HD7 was to easy to press the buttons... So annoying yet while I had my Lumia, I had the opposite effect. The Titan 2, I rarely hit the back button, but this is probably because the glass raises at the bottom.

    Sent from my PI86100 using Board Express
    Actually sometimes I miss the capacitive buttons on the Titan II due to that raised lip at the bottom. I guess I'm used to the buttons being closer to the bottom of the phone like on the original Titan.
    05-29-2012 03:28 AM
  19. Hammered Pizza's Avatar
    I chose the LG Optimus 7 E900 purely on the distinction that it had physical buttons, and honestly, I don't regret it one bit.

    There's no extra 'effort' involved in pressing them, and there are literally no accidental presses. When Apollo launches, I'll be looking for another Windows Phone with physical buttons - LG, Nokia, HTC - whatever - it's a big factor for me.

    Also, it allows the Optimus 7 to have a sexy shape
    05-29-2012 04:05 PM
  20. selfcreation's Avatar
    im a big fan of the captive buttons ,

    at first I always had problems hitting them accidentally witch got annoying , but i got use to it and i RARELY hit them any more so it doesn't really bother me.

    The reason I love them is cause i simply find it looks better. lol :happy:
    05-29-2012 04:20 PM
  21. bradleyj's Avatar
    Capacative buttons are the way of the future (sadly?), but they do have their downsides. I don't hit them by accident much anymore, (as Se1fcr3ation said, you do get used to it)...but boy do other people struggle when they use my Samsung Focus.

    I think the Focus is especially bad for this because there is barely any room under the keys to hold the phone.

    Another HUGE negative for capacitive buttons for me is that when I give my kids the phone to play a game they accidently hit the buttons often.
    05-29-2012 05:46 PM
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