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# 127173 1-Aug-2013 14:35
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I had a borrowed S3 for a month, I used the hardware home button a lot to activate the screen and get to the home screen easily. I liked that it was a physical key, it was easy to find. Most of the newer phones have a soft home key, what's it like in practice? How do you activate the screen, is the soft key always lit? Do you use the power button?

I'm especially interested in comments from people who've moved from a hardware home key to a soft key, how they found the change.

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  # 870009 1-Aug-2013 14:39
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Use a Nexus 4, came from the LGp500, its fine, you learn to know where it is because no it is not always lit, but is always able to be pressed (if that makes sense)

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  # 870015 1-Aug-2013 14:43
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Its not a phone but a Nexus 7 and it really annoys me not having a physical home button. Mainly when I go to wake it from sleep as I have to find the button on the side of the device. This is not as easy because its very hard to tell which way is the right way up so it would be in 4 places. A physical home button on the face with some sort of marking to make it stand out is ergonomically superior. I believe the same would apply to phones.

 
 
 
 


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  # 870016 1-Aug-2013 14:45
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Most of the devices I've used without a physical button as such, work just the same as those that do - the soft home button is always active, albeit without being backlit, so you can press it any time to wake the device - but I find it easier (and perhaps on some subconscious level more reassuring) to have a physical button that depresses when I push on it and it all goes woweee and works.

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  # 870048 1-Aug-2013 15:27
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I have a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 7. I would never buy a device with hardware buttons on the front again. They disappear when needed like watching a YouTube video and the screen expands or they become faded dots in other apps but you always know where they are. The front hardware buttons on the HTC one was a big detractor for me.

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  # 870069 1-Aug-2013 15:36
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I use an app called 'smart cover' which activates the phone when I open the front cover by using the proximity sensor. It took so little time to become second nature that it annoys me having to use a hardware button to wake my phone.
Any mechanical button is susceptible to failure, so I would rather avoid repeated use of the same if possible.




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  # 870078 1-Aug-2013 15:44
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Thanks for all the thoughts everyone, interesting to see different points of view.

If you use "smart cover" then you have to use a cover, which not everyone wants to do.

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  # 870084 1-Aug-2013 15:47
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timmmay: Thanks for all the thoughts everyone, interesting to see different points of view.

If you use "smart cover" then you have to use a cover, which not everyone wants to do.


I've always hated having a cover on a phone, due to the restriction in access etc, but using the SmartCover View on my S4 it is awesome. I couldn't use a basic cover though.

 
 
 
 




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  # 870087 1-Aug-2013 15:50
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Why, what does smartcover do? Covers just get in the way, though I would use a case that wraps the corners for when I inevitably drop it.

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  # 870090 1-Aug-2013 15:54
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Sorry, S View Cover



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  # 870163 1-Aug-2013 17:38
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Interesting. Not sure if I'd use something like that myself.

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  # 870310 1-Aug-2013 20:55
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Sorry I steered the thread off topic by mentioning a cover. My main point was really that a physical button is prone to failure so anything that avoids having to press it repeatedly is good.
I thought it implicit that you needed a cover to use a 'smart cover' app ;-)




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  # 870312 1-Aug-2013 21:02
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Duty cycle for a button would be what, 10,000 presses absolute minimum? I suspect the power connector will go before the button, one reason I'd like wireless charging, but wireless increases size too much at the moment.

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  # 870369 1-Aug-2013 22:40
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timmmay: Duty cycle for a button would be what, 10,000 presses absolute minimum? I suspect the power connector will go before the button, one reason I'd like wireless charging, but wireless increases size too much at the moment.


yes I would have thought the duty cycle for a hardware button would be pretty high. However google iphone button fail and see how many hits you get. And that's for a handset with 'superior' build quality.




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  # 870370 1-Aug-2013 22:44
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timmmay: Duty cycle for a button would be what, 10,000 presses absolute minimum? I suspect the power connector will go before the button, one reason I'd like wireless charging, but wireless increases size too much at the moment.


I think the bigger risk with physical button is dirt and moisture getting in, causing it to fail, rather than the number of times it is pressed, causing wear on the contacts.

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  # 870371 1-Aug-2013 22:47
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They're OK.

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