One minor annoyance: hard home button

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge & S7 Active' started by LoneWolfArcher, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. LoneWolfArcher

    LoneWolfArcher Silver Member

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    Why did Sammy go with a hard home button? Coming from 2 previous phones with a soft button I kept touching it (not pushing it) and then remembering that I have to press it. A minor annoyance I know, but just seems like:

    a) it would have helped with their water resistance
    b) it would be one less thing that could fail (mechanical over software)

    How far back in the Galaxy series have they used a hard home button? Or is it driven by the thumbprint reader (which I am loving!).
     
  2. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    They've had the physical home button forever. I know for sure that the S3 has one. I'm pretty certain the S2 has one as well, which would lead me to believe that the S1 did as well. AFAIK, the Note series has had one all along as well.
     
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  3. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Super Moderator
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    I've had the notes from N2 to N5. All have the hard home button. And I have to agree, I would rather have a soft home button.

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  4. bsweetness

    bsweetness Moderator
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    Samsung has had a hardware home button for a very long time. It's become part of their design language. And at this point, it is in part driven by the fingerprint reader.
     
  5. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    Samsung had a track pad on the WM Omnia that doubled as a home button. The rectangular one started with the Galaxy series. The last one I remember with only soft keys was the Fascinate except for some pre pay versions of the Fascinate.
    Samsung has been trying to copy Apple since before Android .

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  6. jackiescivic

    jackiescivic Diamond Member

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    The S2 still had software home key. I believe it was the s3 that was first. Then the Note followed, of course.

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  7. neomancr

    neomancr New Member

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    my buddy works on the design team for Samsung and if I recall correctly he mentioned among the advantages are, in no specific order:

    1. Ease of gripping the phone by the bottom in landscape mode without accidentally triggering what would otherwise be a capacitor button.

    2.The doubling of the fingerprint scanner as a power button.

    3. The ability to provide a reliable swipe up gesture that recently effectively implemented for Samsung pay, again without risking an inadvertent button press.

    4. The ability to embed the fingerprint sensor where it would take one hand to power on and unlock the device while it is laying flat on its back.

    5. A reliable tactile method to provide instant access to features such as the camera from when the phone is powered off and also one handed mode with 3 clicks when the phone is on.

    I tend to agree. I personally appreciate and find myself very often using the instant access to the camera, and the swipe up for Samsung pay all the time. I also have a hard time holding any other phone sideways in landscape mode for gaming, taking pictures, and watching videos without this "safe touch zone" provided by the home button and the space around it where I could mindlessly grip it.

    Capacitive buttons are fiddly, that's why the Samsung Galaxy Active series does away with them completely as to prevent any accidental button presses entirely.

    I'd say 80% of the time I'm either using the back button or switching between recent apps anyhow and rarely return to the home screen once I've been using my device for a little while.

    The nexus series deals with the landscape gripping issue by relegating the navigation keys to the bottom of the display itself. I personally hate to waste precious screen space. in fact the button layout of the galaxy works so well for me I would say it is probably the chief reason I intuitively chose galaxy devices to begin with before I even considered anything else.

    I doubt they'll ever change it and I'm happy that way. They're spending extra money to provide us with a better, more thoughtful user experience. Going with a full stripe of capacitive "buttons" actually would save them a lot of money.

    what downsides are there to it? the only one I see is the desperate attempt Apple fan boys make to assert that it is merely a cosmetic imitation but I can find devices from Samsung and other manufacturer with the primary button dead center under the screen going back to the days of windows mobile pocket pcs
     
    #7 neomancr, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
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  8. LoneWolfArcher

    LoneWolfArcher Silver Member

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    As stated, it is more a personal preference thing. I haven't missed a mechanical home button since my first smartphone. Also I always turn of tactile feedback on the soft keys, just don't like or need it. I can tell by the behavior of the phone if I pressed it or not. Also, there are other gestures you can use for quick access (the double phone flip for Motorola devices that bring up the camera).

    We will never get everyone to agree, but to me the mechanical button is antiquated. And it seems that water resistance would be increased without it.
     
  9. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    The original Galaxy was the only Galaxy S device without a physical home button. They originally implemented it across the board on the S2, which I hated the design at first. Once I had my S3 however I actually learned to love it, and now I actually prefer it. It's much more convenient having two methods of activating the display as opposed to the single power button on the side of most devices.

    S5 tap'n
     
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  10. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    Yeah, while I prefer the fingerprint scanner to be on the back like on my Nexus 6P, I've already gotten used to using the home button to turn the screen on on the Note 4 that I'm using as a spare while the 6P gets a new screen. Pretty sure it'll take some getting used to when the 6P comes back.
     
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  11. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    Having had the note 5 and now the Nexus 6p. I would say that the home button can be convenient especially when being able to use it as a fingerprint unlock and being able to launch the camera from it. But as far as accuracy the Nexus 6p fingerprint scanner is noticeably better.

    At the end of the day it comes down to preference as you can easily make a case for both. For me the home button is not what made/broke my decision, it was how I felt about software that caused me to flip. The fact that here we are in may with me running n preview 2 for almost a few weeks now and yet the att note 5 still has not released marshmallow (whether it be because "all the issues" att are having during testing it what) I just grew tired of watching Samsung's software get worse while the software on my older Nexus phones were making my phone perform better. ... I know that was ot, my bad.

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  12. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    I didn't care for the ergonomics of the physical home button on the Note2 I've got because the bezel above and below it was huge, like an Apple device. The Note4 (and S series ones since then) shrunk the bezel considerably above it and some below as well making the phone less tall overall. I remember when trying to decide between an S series or Note the first time the S looked goofy to me being so tall, disproportionately so. The newer ones seem to have addressed and solved that ratio being so goofy iPhone wannabe look.
    I remember switching back from the G2 home button on the back to the Note4 was not to my liking for a few weeks but I got used to it again and don't mind it anymore.

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