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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    trigun123478's Avatar

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    Exclamation (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    Originally I like my softkeys on my galaxy Nexus, after seeing newer phones like the galaxy s3 I realize you lose some of your screen.

    Look at how much space you lose. I mean I hate the galaxy s3's physical home button but I don't mind the way htc or lg has done the new three button layout. So the other issue is I have minor burn in form the nav bar when watching videos or making the phone go full screen with mods. Sometimes softkeys can be great other times they can be a pain in the ***. Screen space is super important to me that's why you want a larger phone in the first place. So what do you guys think of your soft keys vs physical keys?

    Example of htc's button layout I'm talking about.
    Last edited by trigun123478; 09-01-2012 at 06:18 PM.
  2. #2  
    azetoh's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    I like the soft keys, but I have always been a proponent of hideable soft keys. 99% of the time you use the phone, you are not pressing the soft keys, so I would like to see some gesture to hide/show the keys. Currently I am on JB AOKP and I have the soft keys set to be black and as small as they can get so as to get as much screen space as possible. I never have a problem pressing them even though I can't see them. (ICS AOKP even had a way to hide them completely through the power menu. I did that when I knew I would be in an app for a while and I wanted screen space). Initially, I thought the strength of soft keys would be Google's ability to customize them (color, size, shape, number, hiding), but this feature is so underexploited it's embarrassing.
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  3. #3  

    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    Screens are starting to get so gigantic now that it doesn't really matter that much to me that I lose some real estate to soft keys.
  4. #4  

    Default

    Until there's edge to edge screens, I don't see the point in not using the bezel for the buttons. The amount of space on the Nexus below the screen is the same, if not more, than the S3. It's just wasted space at the expense of screen real estate.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
  5. #5  
    atomD21's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    After dealing with my Fascinate pressing its own keys for me all the time, I like the soft keys on the GNex. And the loss in screen real estate is so minimal that I don't really notice it.
    Android: If it ain't broke, you haven't flashed nearly enough stuff yet...
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  
    trigun123478's Avatar

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by azetoh View Post
    I like the soft keys, but I have always been a proponent of hideable soft keys. 99% of the time you use the phone, you are not pressing the soft keys, so I would like to see some gesture to hide/show the keys. Currently I am on JB AOKP and I have the soft keys set to be black and as small as they can get so as to get as much screen space as possible. I never have a problem pressing them even though I can't see them. (ICS AOKP even had a way to hide them completely through the power menu. I did that when I knew I would be in an app for a while and I wanted screen space). Initially, I thought the strength of soft keys would be Google's ability to customize them (color, size, shape, number, hiding), but this feature is so underexploited it's embarrassing.
    You can use a app called full screen toggle,you have to Google it and then download button savior from the play store. That will get rid of your soft keys and then you use button savior to make soft keys to appear.

    As far as it being minimal loss of screen try that mod and tell me if you can go back, it makes your phone feel so much bigger. I can't wait as well till we have edge to edge displays that will be nice. I also feel Google should do more things with the soft keys, like be able to auto hide them, or change there size or shape.
  7. #7  
    rdogger's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    It doesn't really make that much of a difference, at least it seems that way. Here is my phone with no keys and lmt pie.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?-2012-09-02-13.36.01.jpg  
  8. #8  
    dd0yl3's Avatar

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    Default

    I like the soft keys because they can be modified to your liking. With physical they're always there and they don't change direction when the phone is held a different way. It would be nice if the screen was stretched to the bottom with no bezel. But you really don't lose much real estate anyways.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Android Central Forums
    Last edited by dd0yl3; 09-02-2012 at 07:03 PM.
  9. #9  

    Default

    I feel that soft keys are going to be the future of most cell phones. They move to the right place when used in landscape. Or be updated with newer operating systems or ROMS.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Android Central Forums
  10. #10  
    svfd757's Avatar

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    I prefer the soft keys. I think it gives devices a cleaner look

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
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  11. #11  

    Default

    I have the Droid Incredible 2, and the keys rotate when I turn my device.....

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Android Central Forums
  12. #12  

    Default

    I prefer the physical keys, just because they are away from your screen and you don't have to worry about accidentally pressing a soft key while you are doing something. I think that the soft keys look great, and are the future of our phones. But for now, I like my four physical keys down at the bottom....

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Android Central Forums
  13. #13  

    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    Quote Originally Posted by svfd757 View Post
    I prefer the soft keys. I think it gives devices a cleaner look
    This is the problem. This is the real reason for the soft keys. Minimalism taken too far because it's what people currently want. I'm all for cleaner look myself, but not when form is placed ahead of function. The one home button was already pretty clean and you would NEVER accidentally press it. Sure, once you get used to it, you will hit the soft keys less by accident, but there are always situations where it is a possibility. I don't care how infrequent that may be, but compared to never, it is still a big annoyance to have something like that interrupt what you were doing. I can't believe Google and users don't seem to mind at all.
  14. #14  
    Edwill86's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    soft keys ftw! the loss of screen if you can even call it that is next to nothing. with my last device the hard keys would press in my pocket if i for got to lock it and mess around with my settings. necer happens with my soft keys!
    Devices: Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7
  15. #15  

    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    I like soft keys simply because the ROM I use (CodeName Android) lets me turn the screen 180 degrees. Now everything is 100% upside down and he power and headphone jacks are on the top. This is very handy when the phone is placed in the cupholder in a car or treadmill. The phone is fully functional upside down with all the keys where I expect them.

    Not a chance you can do that with an S3. I'll never buy a phone with hard keys again.
  16. #16  
    Armada's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    Soft keys all the way, but one an AMOLED screen they do cause annoying image persistence. On an SLCD2 screen I'd love them.
  17. #17  
    dmmarck's Avatar
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    What do you think?

    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    I prefer soft keys. I think that while they do take up real estate, apps can still take advantage by disabling them to a certain extent.
  18. #18  
    turdbogls's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    I actually REALLY like them. very clean look, simplifies the UI. as others said, with custom ROMs the possibilities are endless with changing the look and arrangement of them, to 180 degree rotation. i do miss the realestate to an extent. but with AOKP i am able to hide them. however i do with there was some gestures to control them or something. that would be cool, so if i wanted the extra screen space, i could hide them, and use gesture to navigate.

    it would be hard going back to physical buttons, but it wouldn't be the end of the world for me.
    You know your rooted when bootloops don't scare you anymore.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    With Google Now and JB, I can't imagine going back to physical keys (even capacitive ones). That said, I get really annoyed when I occasionally hit the Home key while typing and shooting for the space bar. No me gusto.
  20. #20  

    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    I like the soft keys. If you are posting them often enough to evoke rage you have a problem. I feel like I'm reading a script for an infomercial.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
  21. #21  

    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    I like soft keys, but really they should be programmable and removable.
  22. #22  
    gregs1213's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    It depends how you look it..

    Imagine the ONE X if it didn't have buttons and the screen went all the way down to where the buttons are and used soft keys..

    I don't really care either way.. The GNex is my first smartphone.. I like it either way.
  23. #23  
    bakerbert's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    I believe the only reason this phone is 4.65" is because of the soft keys; 4.3 for screen and added the .35 specifically for the keys.

    Love the soft keys,
    With Roms like AOKP; you can toggle the keys off and on from the power menu, set long press of each key to open up apps/shortcuts, change the number of keys displayed on screen and what they do/open.

    When you have a costume ROM you can truly unlock the potential of the soft keys
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  24. #24  

    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    The hardware keys are superior, in many ways, except for customization of course.

    However, I have a GNex and I really, REALLY miss them. I wish I had a hardware keys option for GNex because I miss them a lot.

    Let me point out why. It's simple, picture this, you pick up your phone and you want to make a phone call, that's why we have it right? Well, you are with the phone in the normal position, assuming you're right handed like me, you're going to pick it up with your right-hand, well, you do this, and immediately hold your PHONE in the normal way, not landscaped of course, but you are on Galaxy Nexus, and you need to CHANGE your hand to CLICK on the power button to show your LOCKSCREEN and be able unlock it to select Phone and dial... If it was a Galaxy S3 for example, all you had to do, was press hardware HOME button (which is in the middle of the phone and accessible both to your right hand and left hand easily) unlock the screen and dial (or even better, unlock the screen isn't even needed if you have the Phone app on Dock which are copied to your Lockscreen)...

    So, tell me, WHY is the softkeys so good? Customization? How about usability, when the Home button on phones also works as a Wake up for lockscreen? If I were capable of leaving the Home softkey button at a opacity of 20% or less always on in my GNex even with screen locked I would really appreciate it, but in pocket it may bang and click accidentaly on it and wake the screen unwanted. Also, there's another thing to mention, less screen space, and of course accidentaly press on softkeys, that, above all things are the most annoying, and they happen, believe me.
  25. #25  
    Jaredshoes's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Opinion) Soft keys vs Physical keys?

    I love the HTC hardware buttons, it gives you more screen and I personally think they look better than the gnex's software keys.
    As long as they program the mulitask button to be both a menu and multitask button (For example press for menu and long press for multitask (which I think they do already) ) They're perfect for me
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