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Windows Phone hardware buttons, where do you stand?

Microsoft made it official a few weeks ago during the 2014 Mobile World Congress and relaxed the hardware requirements for future Windows Phones; namely removing the mandate for the three front facing buttons and camera button (the front buttons will be virtual, instead).

This will make some manufacturers happy in that they could use existing designs to run the Windows Phone OS without the need for re-design. Instead of hardware buttons, we could be relegated to on-screen buttons from some Windows Phone makers. While Samsung and HTC may be happy with this announcement, will consumers be happy with on-screen buttons and no camera button?

There is a Windows Phone Central Forums discussion going on where WPCentral Member trainplane presents the question “Do you like hardware buttons?”

In scanning the comments in the discussion, it appears while it is a mixed bag on which is better on-screen or hardware buttons, most think the camera button should stick around.

Personally, I can go either way with the front facing buttons as long as whatever is in place works with reliability. As far as the camera button is concerned, I think it should be a hardware requirement. I don’t mind using an on-screen shutter button from time to time but the photographer in me like a physical button to press when capturing a photograph.

So where do you stand on this issue? Jump on over to the Windows Phone Central Forums and join this discussion and share your thoughts.

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

324 Comments
  • I like hardware buttons, especially for the camera.
  • Agreed.
  • Leave them alone! Just making the virtual buttons appear will add another step in accessing the phones menus.
  • I agree with ya there Jim_may. Camera button a must, front buttons I want to stay.
  • Virtual buttons are better... It's works perfect on Nexus 5 and I think it will work even better on nokia and WP
  • I'm sure Nokia won't get rid of the camera button, so I don't really care what other manufacturers do
  • Camera Button is important to me but if they give me a better alternative then I'm all ears
  • This sums my position up, the fact that I can be squeezing the camera button down while I take my phone out of my pocket means that I can capture photo's that I wouldn't be able to on other phones, so its a really useful feature, especially when coupled with optical image stabilisation. If other manufacturers re-use an android design and sacrifice real estate to save on hardware buttons then it might save $10 off the sale price of a phone, but its not going to be something that would interest me.
  • Yes, agreed. Besides what's the big deal if they to switch to on screen buttons? It makes the phone sexier, while revamping the phones on-screen presence & making the os's 1080' resolution more live.
  • 10$ X Millions Phone = Hell saving :P
  • Nokia won't be making phones by this time next year.
  • Yes they will, except under the brand Microsoft
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, But didn't they say that the Nokia branding will stay for atleast a decade?
  • I recall something like 3 years.
  • I don't care as long as they keep the same format
  • +1
  • Keep the cam button. But imagine a bezel-less phone where you can just swipe up from the bottom to access the onscreen buttons. Pretty swift.
  • I really do prefer hardware buttons over software buttons - one of the reasons I left Android for Windows Phone.  Hardware buttons just work better and are more dependable. That stated . . .   I don't really care what the other OEMs do, as I will not likely be buying their phones anyway.  So long as Nokia/Microsoft keep hardware buttons on Nokia/Microsoft manufactured and branded Windows Phones, I will be happy.   See, everyone gets what they want.  Microsoft gets deeper marketshare penetration, and I get to keep getting superior handsets from Nokia.  Everybody wins 
  • Hardware buttons don't work any better than soft buttons. I'm not sure what you're talking about. Does your touch screen ever miss touches? Mine never do, no matter what device I'm using. 
  • More screen, less battery life.
  • I have had three touch screens that have completely failed, and touches get missed fairly frequently. On screen buttons are of no use if the phone hangs and needs resetting, they are of no use if an app is badly coded and freezes when it has hidden the buttons. It's also a complete waste of screen real estate.
  • I've had at least eight smartphones and ALL of them miss screen touches, ALL, my current 920 included.
  • I've owned Samsung Focus S, Nokia 1020, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5.  Only the 1020 has ever missed screen touches, and only rarely.  Also, if the phone hangs, hardware buttons aren't likely to work any better than software buttons.  Personally I would be fine with software buttons replacing the three front buttons.  Such an approach works perfectly fine on the Nexus 4/5.
  • Every "accidental" press of the search, home or back by me or someone watching a video or reading email screams "Hardware buttons".
  • I don't get this. Why would you accidentally press capacitive hardware buttons less than virtual ones in the same spot? I press the search button constantly now when it's capacitive. If you are talking about regular buttons that you actually have to press, well that's another story. And why the h*ck do I have a useless bing-search button dedicated instead of a phone button. I use my phone to actually call people. So a virtual key row might enable me to correct some moronic decisions made in Redmont.
  • Given that the majority of the windows phone devices have capacitive buttons they are really no different to using the onscreen software buttons like in android except for the difference in screen real estate.
  • Virtual buttons are better... It's works perfect on Nexus 5 and I think it will work even better on nokia and WP
  • I want at least a home button and a camera button
  • As long as Lumia devices stick with the current formula..... That's all I care about..
  • Agreed
  • Agreed... Camera button essential !!!!
  • I agree its worse enough that we have capacitive back search & start(not all are) buttons(im looking at you dell). I found especially with the dvp the amount of times i have to press one of those more then once to recognize it & when the backlight for these turn off i found hard to hit the right button so then i had to open close keyboard.@ least going to the ativ it has a physical start & back search keys that light up with ever touch of the screen
  • +920
  • Like my buttons!! :)
  • I won't buy another phone unless it has a camera button. I do like the other buttons as well.
  • I got to play around on a coworkers S3. What piece of crap that thing is. And why is the Back button on the right? As soon as I went back to my 1020 I fell in love all over again. Fucking gorgeous phone and OS. Our Nokia Windows Phones kick ass. Period
  • I have to agree with the back button location! What an absurd place for it, totally illogical and against every precedent ever set (apart from backspace on a qwerty keyboard, but even then the escape button is more often used in navigation)....
  • Hardware buttons are great. Nokia will continue using them. What other manufacturers do is less important if it helps them produce more windows phones. That said, one of my few 1520 complaints is the hardware buttons are too centered. With three buttons one should be center, one right, one left. Not center, center right, center left. With all that extra space I'd like to see a forward button center left and some other button center right. Of course the camera should have its own button. On my 2520 there aren't enough hardware buttons, and the windows button doesn't light. On the power keyboard the keys aren't back lit, which I consider a major miss.
  • I'm for Software buttons. To be honest. You can make so much uses for them. Except the camera button.
  • This! I really like how Android has on screen buttons now, and I'm glad that's coming to WP8.1. However, I still want a camera button, EXACTLY like you!
  • So I was wondering, does the ultra sensitivity apply for the capacitive buttons? From my experience, I have a difficult time pressing them with gloves on. If that's the case, then it would make much more sense to have software buttons.
  • Yep, the higher sensitivity does work for the capacitive buttons. I use my Lumia 920 with gloves occasionally, and I have never had an issue with pressing the back, Start, or search buttons.
  • Me too, camera button is essential for me. The others, i will have to try to see what i prefer..
  • I'm with you on this one.
  • I can live without hardware buttons for camera and front navigation buttons. Being touch sensitive these front buttons annoy me a bit. I had used a Lumia 710 for a month (my Lumia 920 was being repaired) when i got it back it felt different. As for the camera button. Pressing the button causes a mild shake which blurs the photo a bit. Whereas the same doesn't happen with on screen buttons.
  • I find the exact opposite...with a camera button, I can hold the phone steady...but pushing an onscreen button causes the camera to shake because I removed my hand from its stabilizing position on the sides of the phone to pushing forward on the screen...something that doesn't happen when I hold the phone like a camera and push the hardware button like I naturally would do with a camera...own now a 1520 and a 920 before...always took amazing photos!
  • You'll be fine with the hardware button if instead of pressing it, you press and hold until the picture's taken. That's what I've found, anyway.
  • Actually, that is why you have a two step button, in case you haven't noticed. You press the button half-way through, when the focus gets frozen, and afterwards, when you have got your hands steady, you push it further down. You'll notice that the shaking of hand happens only during the first half-way push, and not during the second half of the press.
  • Isn't the default wp camera app better in that it lets u focus and take a shot with one tap. I have taken good photographs too and when i m faced with low light conditions i hold my breath just to keep my hands steady. My personal preference.. On screen button. I don't use camera button to wake my phone either. With double tap to wake the power button is unused too.
  • Until you got your phone bricked and you couldn't find a way to reset it.
  • Keep them.... I think GayDroid was dumb to get rid of theirs too. But who knows. Never used a phone that didn't have some kind of hardware button. I think they're convenient. Unless they have something up their sleeves. Well just simply have to see. We love windows phone, and they decide what the hardware is. Were at their mercy.
  • Wow. "gaydroid", realllllly?
  • Ive always said that. Means their happy little androids :)
  • Well then... since you've always said it, it suddenly makes it a valid and mature argument!   Grow up.
  • Growing up is when you've learned to not criticize other people. When you've learned to ignore drama than actually start it. I made a name for an inanimate object. If u love android, delete WPC app and throw ur phone in ur toilet and flush.
  • "Grow up," says the fanboy who said "Gaydroid." You started the drama with an unnecessary, inflammatory comment.
  • Its just a comment. Not replying solves any further issues
  • I thought it was called Hemodroid, since it's such a pain in the ass.
  • Now see, that's a productive reply. Your replying not to criticize me but to add to the conversation. Thanks. And I agree :) I am utterly surprised to see so many android fans on here. Makes no sense if you ask me.
  • People are android fans because they think your gaydroid comment is immature? Maybe some people that go on this website are fans of windows phone and don't have to make immature comments about other operating systems, because let's be real, iOS and android are both good alternatives.
  • iOS7... Yes. On a bigger screen.. YES. Android... No. Nothing good about it. Every android phone ive gotten from people upgrading who didn't want it so I could test software I end up throwing it in the trash. Where they belong.
  • "Hemodroid" is funny stuff. Thanks for the laugh!
  • First time I've heard of "Hemodoid" - very creative and descriptive! LOL!
  • Yeah, the level of maturity on display is mind boggling. Good grief.
  • Wondering what Android evangelist call us...
    Is there a name???
  • I think "Amazing" is what they call it. If not they need to revisit their dictionaries. Lol
  • I'm thinking wpiss8 would be offensive enough :)
  • Whiny People
  • I have heard "WinPhoneys" but the one I get called the most often is "shill".
  • Thx for sharing, will look out for it
  • WinPhoneys is a good one but still kinda lame
  • +1
  • I've always called it StraightDroid. Heterosexuals make me nauseous...why is everything they do so gross and sinful?  Seriously, they need Jesus.
  • Definitely a camera button should stick. But not the front-facing buttons.
  • I don't care for the capacitive buttons, but I love the dedicated camera button
  • +820
  • I love camera button
    And front soft button is pretty
    I want them
    But I already bout Lumia 1520!
  • I like the hardware buttons.
  • They are a must!!! All of them!
  • I only want a dedicated camera button. I don't care either way with the front-facing buttons.
  • +1
  • I've been using soft buttons on on my Moto X and I hate it. I hope they keep it as is with the front facing buttons. I'd prefer the camera button, but it's not a deal breaker as long as there is a shortcut from the lock screen.
  • I hate what they just did to the active notifications. I want my vibration back!
  • I see no difference in on screen vs capacitive buttons if they make the screen larger or bottom bezel smaller. But same sized bottom bezel AND on screen buttons is a shame.
  • This. As long as the screen real estate stays the same (not including on screen keys), I don't see the difference. It probably looks cleaner without the hardware keys. And if the on screen keys can be hidden whilst playing games/watching movies then even better.
  • Software buttons for navigation are awesome, if they decide to change functionality or create a new 'button' they can do it and roll it out to everyone. (Perfect example, google dropping the menu key for multitasking). A camera button should remain as a hardware button in addition to the onscreen option though.
  • I like power and camera. Otherwise, I can take or leave them.
  • Camera should stay.
  • As long as the camera button stays, I couldn't care less :)
  • I want would like hardware buttons for my 925 instead of the touch sensitive ones cause I always hit them....
  • I like the dedicated camera button, we can keep that one. However, I do get annoyed from time to time by accidentally touching the start or search button within apps or games then having to go back and resume. I also find when asking other ppl to take pics for me that they end up hitting the capactive buttons accidentally then I have to help them get back to the camera again. Just slightly annoying sometimes.
  • Hardware buttons!
  • Hardware buttons for sure.
  • Question is, with no hardware button, how would you do a phone reset. But are they only refering to.back, windows and search keys.
  • Volume and power keys??? They'll still be there.
  • I freaking hate them. no really I do. I have accidentally pushed that dumb search button so many times I'm considering putting tape over it because A) it is useless as it fires the bing app, not the in app context search like I wished it did. if WP had universal search but in 2014, WP can't even search news with that button even as you are on bing itself, much less anything else. The bing app is so bad in fact, I just use the web version. B) it is useless because bing can't find anything anyways even if you could search all that bing searches. C) you can't hand the phone to anybody without them going to search by accident. also I want a fast camera button. WP is SOOO LAGGY with launching the camera app. Given I have a 1020, but why does it take FOREVER just to launch the damn camera app. it isn't even taking a picture.
  • with WP 8.1 this problem with the search button has been fixed: you must tap 2 times in a row to open the search. PS: the results in the app of WP or in the web version are the same
  • What's there to debate? Manufacturers are now free to make cheaper crappier phones. If it doesn't bother you, because self inflicted torture is just what you need in your daily routine, then congrats, you have more options than most people. However, I'm of the opinion that it's 100% fact that REAL hardware buttons are better than capacitive buttons (which you've mistakenly referred to as hardware in the article). All I see here is another nail in the coffin of actual quality for the sake of cutting corners.
  • You mean mechanical buttons.  Capacitive are hardware as well.  But I get what you're saying.
  • I don't agree. Mechanical buttons in my experience have been more prone to breaking with use. Never had any problems with capacitive buttons.
  • I think the dedicated camera button should be mandatory for all handsets. Nokia will certainly not part with it, but other OEMs I'm not sure... As for the other buttons...well, I could totally live without the "search" button. I have no use for it apart from scanning QR codes from time to time. A multitasking button like the one on stock/Sony's Android would be a way better option. As for their placement on the screen or as physical...meh. I couldn't care less. On screen there's the advantage of reducing the probability of hitting a button by mistake but on the other hand it increases the time for returning to the home screen.
  • That's all I care about... I just want Lumia devices to keep the current standard... I don't care about anything else, right now... That way if others are serious about competing with Lumia devices then they may choose to follow suite... That's probably MS's thinking......
  • Low end Lumias probably WILL part with the camera button. I just hope the higher end ones keep it. The two stage camera button is great. 
  • I hate the that I always push the back button by accident or the search button,, maybe if they were all closer to the center the it would be perfect.
  • I'm torn, personally. I prefer having capacitive buttons for Back, Start, and Search...but would be in favor of dropping them if it persuaded OEMs to use their Android hardware with WP. For example, the new HTC One with Windows Phone would be amazing.
  • Agree... I could live without the 3 front facing buttons, if the software keys are implemented right. However, I like the dedicated camera button. Use it all the time to use the camera without unlocking my phone, and, of course, to take photos.
  • If they give us the option to turn off the capacitive buttons while gaming I will gladly stay with hardware buttons :)
  • That feature is coming to WP8.1, at least for that pesky Bing button.
     
  • Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore
  • +frozen
  • I will prefer separately capacitive buttons especially when I play games. Is more safety for me :D
  • Don't care I only would want a camera button.
  • I prefer hardware buttons all around. Moving from my Optimus 7 to the L900 was tough, and only for that reason. Capacitive buttons aren't terrible, but are notorious for being pressed accidentally all the time (search button, anyone?)
  • I'd forgotten how much I miss not accidentally launching Bing. Good phone, happy times
  • I have accidently hit the search button scores of times. Wouldn't hurt my feelings to see it go. I also find the camera button to be temperamental and use the screen tapping option to focus and shoot. Software contols need to appear at appropriate times and be accurate. I do think I'd miss the start or windows button and the arrow button.....
  • Camera, power, volume are required. And yes, I hate when playing games or something and you accidentally press the capacitive buttons.
  • I want software buttons since wp8.1 can make them in my accent color. Saw software buttons on the nexus 5 and they are damn nice. Need the camera button though.
  • keep the camera button, the rest i don't care either way, just make the bezel smaller
  • Keep camera, get rid of everything else.
  • I prefer the hardware camera button, but I don't mind if the front buttons are virtual. I had no problem with it on my old Nexus 7, and I'd be fine with it on a phone. I just don't think I'll be using it any time soon since I still have my 1020 and will be keeping it for the foreseeable future, haha.
  • I definitely want the camera button to stay.  I use the ability to go from locked directly to the camera all the time and would really miss that feature and a dedicated camera button.  In fact, I don't know if I would buy a specific Windows Phone if that was missing from it. I do like the capacitative buttons on the front, however I might be able to cope with not having them.  If it means there is additional screen space available for games and videos that would potentially be nice.  Especially not having to worry about accidentally hitting a front button during gameplay. My question or concern is if an app was flaking out or locked up (as rare as that is on Windows Phone) how would you back out of it if the on-screen buttons weren't working or showing at the time?  Would you just have to power cycle the phone?  I would not like having to do that.  I like having the hardware back and Windows buttons to be able to get out of things when needed.
  • Hate the damn bumpable capacitive buttons, that's for sure
  • I think we just need camera button. Software button is better IMHO.
  • I would rather buy a phone with dedicated buttons and camera shutter tha one without. Luckily nokia will keep producing them,like this
  • I like the hardware buttons, but I wish there was a way to change the functions of them.
  • Me gustaría con botones virtuales adelante y los físicos de siempre a un lado.
  • Keep em. In fact I prefer physical buttons vs capacitive; so many accidental presses when playing a game.
  • I prefer hardware but think Nokia could really step up the quality of its backlit keys. The Droid ultra has the best looking example I have used. I prefer NOT to have them on screen. It may take up only a tiny bit of room but I prefer to not make that sacrifice really
  • The hardware button is nice because it acts as a 2 stage button. Half press for focus and full press for picture taking. If we do away with it then I would hope that the autofocus on the Windows Phones gets a lot faster, similar to the Galaxy S5 autofocus speed. As for the capacitive and home button, I can go either way. I sometimes hate onscreen buttons taking up valuable screen real estate. The bezel will always be there so why not use it. Phones come out so fast these days that a redesign of the buttons is not much of a big deal now. Plus we have 9 other manufacturers to choose from now. I like choice.
  • I really like the camera button because it can wake the phone and take it straight to camera. I've been anti capacitive buttons since the beginning. I'd really like software buttons mostly because it will allow for a reduced bezel and phone height. I seem to accidentally hit the capacitive buttons on multiple windows phones, so I'd really like the option not to have them. I also never use the capacitive search button, so software buttons would be especially nice if we can customize them. If no capacitive buttons allows manufacturers to bring over android phones then they should definitely get rid of them!
  • I could go both ways, as long as the software buttons don't compromise the core experience.
  • Keep the camera button. Nice fast shortcut to the camera. I agree with you on the other buttons.
  • I don't much care for hardware buttons except for the camera keys, volume up/down and power. And if it means more choice from OEMs "re-using" Android designs for Windows Phone, more power to them.
  • I'm loving the camera hardware button on my phone. Wish MS keeps it as a requirement for WP.
  • I'm fine with software buttons. Maybe it would be nice if they worked in landscape mode when I rotated my phone. *shrug. Off topic but can we also prevent at&t from sticking their ugly logo on the front of my sexy Lumia?
  • Three windows button, camera and volume button should be virtual!! As well as lock button that we can wake phone up with double tap and lock again with apps such as system tiles or quick control. Yes!! Nothing there except the display and camera. I like virtulism!!! LOL
  • I believe the update will allow both hardware buttons and on-screen buttons, I can see the use of both. Of course, we have all set off the search button or accidentally back from the capacitive buttons. And, I have heard a lot of hate at the larger bezels. That being said, it will be of little help if the on-screen buttons wind up being too low without a bezel. Me, love the camera button and do not want that to go away.
  • Hardware Buttons for sure! Nothing else!
  • My 2yr old can't use my 521 because of the soft hardware buttons.
  • There's no real difference with capacitive and onscreen buttons. I like hardware buttons.
  • The camera button is the only reason I take as many pictures as I do (and it's not a lot as it is). It makes things very convenient.   For the front of the device, I like it as it stands. Having the off-screen touch buttons we have is nice. The only way I could MAYBE deal with losing those would be if it meant more screen space, but I think that it would just mean having a Start button and two blank spots doign nothing, while eating screen space with virtual buttons. I'd hate that.
  • Very few window phones have a physical home button which I would love. Please keep the physical camera button!
  • I feel like Microsoft sort of admitted defeat in throwing their standards for WP out the window.
    Given, WP is much more optimized than the horrific free for all mess of code that is Android, but it's still one of those things where now every Wal-Mart will have some 2007 spec phone with low resolution and terrible hardware for 45$, and that will become representative of the Windows Phone experience.
    They're selling out the baseline experience that the 520 provided just to make a quick cash grab on some licencing before their rep is ruined by horrible hardware.
  • Physical home button's cool. You can press it to wake the phone
  • For me hardware camera button is not much important. I use it only for starting camera app, and shots in positions where i cannot use sreen shutter. In most phones it is too tight and u move whole phone when pushing it. Onscreen shutter allows for less blur, especially on long exposure times
  • Will buy backup stock of Ativ S for safekeeping, just in case the new model comes out without buttons.
    Why remove the three buttons. Android also has three button, I don't get it.
  • I like hardware but if implemented properly, then software buttons are fine. Mid to high end devices should have a hardware button requirement
  • So long as Nokia don't change the Lumia format I don't give a rat's backside what others do! 
  • ditto
  • Someone will have to come up with a water resistant version. It would make that easier.
  • Buttons. Hardware buttons
  • Im so used to having the camera button now i dont think i would wanna buy a phone without it. Just like pressing that to open the camera is so much easier.
  • I think Microsoft/Nokia will keep the same design as always so no need to worry about which phones will have which buttons etc.
  • Agree, removing the requirement and not having it is different. I suspect higher end Nokia and others will have the buttons. I agree with requirement change.
  • If it means my accidental hitting of the Search button lessens, i'm all for them. Although i was hoping Nokia would make the hardware Windows Flag button blink for Notifications at some point, which would be a fair bit more noticeable than tiny icons on the glance screen. Oh well.  
  • NOKIA would never do that
  • Of course I like hardware buttons except the useless Bing search buttons. Can't imagine my life without them.
  • Keep the camera button and the three front icon as is
  • Nokia is very unique in terms of the camera button, no one puts it anymore and my iPhone friends are shocked whenever they hold my phone. I really like the camera button
    As for the 3 front facing buttons im cool with anything although I find it a downside that it will take up part of the screen so when you say "the next flagship phone is 5 inch" its not really 5' but somewhere under it
  • Software buttons on the front are preferred if we are going to the new aspect ratio of full HD, otherwise the phones get too tall.
  • I prefer hardware buttons, leaves more screen space for apps.
  • Delete all button less Camera button.
  • I like hardware buttons for volume control. Makes it easy to fix an audio issue without having to pull the device out of your pocket. It's the only thing I disliked about the Zune HD. I'd love to see more devices add a mute switch like the iPhone too.
  • I prefer capacitive buttons for navigation and physical hardware for camera.
  • Camera Button is what I love, I hope they don't get rid of it.
  • Anything to do with pureview should have the camera button as a strict requirement! :)
  • No buttons!!!!
  • Nuthin but buttons and hardware with camera
  • I love the capacative buttons, I just wish they were lower.
  • You can't make a TWO STAGE capacitive button, let alone an on-screen button.   All autofocus cameras made since the mid 80's have a two stage button that activates autofocus on the first stage and shutter release on the second.  Impossible with on-screen button.  Keeping the two functions separate allows the user more control.  I use two stage button presses all the time.  As a photographer, I prefocus and wait for the action, and snap a perfectly timed shot with no shutter lag.  It is the advanced way to take a photo, and it's amazing that we have this capability on a phone.   If this is lost for good, I will cry.  As will any other serious photo enthusiast.
     
  • +920
  • Like already stated so I'm not really adding to the convo except numbers to this side: don't really mind the front facing buttons if physical or virtual...(first time I saw virtual button I thought they were cool and figured windows would for sure be implementing them for windows 8.1 but clearly I'm might have been wrong...) either or works for me. I do prefer the camera button, whether you are photographing professional to a windows phone enthusiast, the is really what sets WP phone apart. iPhones have a top lock button two volume buttons, and a vibrate switch (which is cool but adding a toggle in the action center is good enough!) android is all over the place, but the defining feature of WP to me largely in part due to Nokia is volume buttons and camera button on the right side and the left side clean and pure to the phones design. Now while I prefer the lock button to be on the side HTC has obviously had it on top with the 8X and 8S... I want to say the camera button is a must, but honestly at the end of the day I will live. It makes life easier know on any menu you can just fully depress the camera button and launch the camera without having to go to your home screen to find a camera app and with lenses menu it makes it easy to switch to other camera apps.......this ended up being much much longer than anticipated!!
  • I don't mind virtual buttons on the screen but I must have a camera button.
  • Speaking from a nexus 5, a camera button is so much more efficient to have. Power button +camera button is all a phone really needs nowadays, anyways
  • I love the camera button. The other buttons I like but if they put them in the screen then I won't mind that.
    I can't stand taping the screen for a photo.
  • i like hardware buttons, but i do often find my self hit the magnifying glass by mistake
  • I like all ma buttons thank you! I really wouldn't want to lose any of 'em. But if anything, just get rid of the ones onscreen. I use all others all the time and it's hard to picture maself without them
  • Cool with it.
  • They never got round to having a flashing Windows button for notifications :( now it'll never happen!
  • If we want Microsoft to keep hardware buttons, at least on Nokia, we should make them hear us. Please support this suggestion on WP feedback site. Give 3 votes to it: http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/4605053-please-don-t-remove-the-back-button-from-hardware  
  • I like the real buttons. They seem more reliable. Also love the camera button.
  • Hardware buttons def!!
  • Some manufacturers will have it, others won't. So each person can decide. Personally, I like the camera button, but I would rather use soft buttons on the front. That way, the screen could be bigger with less wasted space around the edges. Just swipe up to display and I'm good.
  • Must have. Keeps controls separate of the screen to reduce clutter, nothing more frustrating than trying to use an iPhone with no real back button. Also like the haptic feedback.
  • As long as there is a Windows button, I'm not picky. I have a Venue 8 tablet and never use the hardware buttons except volume and sleep/wakeup button. I actually wish they could bring some of the RT screen features to Windows Phone. Pulling down to close an app would be cool to. Just my humble opinion
  • I'd prefer they keep hardware buttons
  • Physical keys like on the Quantum and the ATIV are ideal for me. Capacitive are ok, I deal with them. Until I use virtual keys, I see absolutely no use for them. I agree with that the camera button should be standard. I use that exclusively and never tap the screen to shoot.
  • Yeah I want on screen buttons but my camera button is life. Idk what life will be like once its gone.
  • Camera button is the only one other than power that I require. 
  • Hardware buttons like the camera button are a must have. Other ones like the Back, Windows and Search are pretty great, but if they are going the way of the dodo eo enable more hardware manufacturers to make Windows phones, so be it. I will always have the ones with the buttons if I can help it.
  • With out hardware buttons the phone resembles like a human being without legs and on screen buttons are irritable i always had a problem with the onscreen buttons in my Samsung galaxy s4
  • If on-screen buttons are replacing capacitive buttons, fine.
    I do not think they should replace actual buttons, though (you know, those things that actually move and click).
    Actually, I wish there were more buttons (not less). My favorite phones, of yor, had d-pads and enter buttons.
    Of course, at that time, we even had option of programming said buttons.
    One phone even had two buttons near the top.
    It was a great time for emulated games.
  • I have no problem with the hardware buttons of home, volume and camera. I think the phone would be kind of odd without them.
  • I'm sure I'm in the minority (and this comment is so far down no one will read it anyway), but I'd like 3 REAL hardware buttons at the bottom of the phone (and of course a hardware camera button but we already have that).  I mean real, clicky buttons like an iPhone's, not capacitive buttons like my Lumia 920.  I have gotten used to capacitive buttons more or less, but they still get accidentally pressed pretty easily when playing games, passing the phone to a friend, etc. I realize that hiding on-screen buttons solves this problem some of the time, but it also makes it so that you have do more touches on the screen to get what you want, which sounds annoying.  On-screen buttons are also nice for Android manufacturers to repeat their tired designs for Windows Phone models, which I get is needed for more market players.  However, I just wish that some manufacturer (read: Microsoft-Nokia) would do a WP device with nice, clicky buttons instead of capacitive or on-screen buttons.  Just my 2 cents.
  • Personally I find the capacitive buttons we have now annoying. I wouldn't call them hardware since they use s similar technology as the screen. So, the only difference between what we have now and what they propose is always present buttons. Buttons that take up space but serve little purpose when the phone is off, but cause many a page/app to be lost when handing it to friends or reaching the thumb across the screen. If the buttons were mechanical instead of capacitive I would miss them more.
  • I don't like three front buttons, I like sliding visual buttons same as Windows 8.
  • Hard Rebooting is so handy, so hardware buttons for me. I like the current set up with back button now allowing the user to open up the task menu.
    But I must say it is kind of annoying to accidentally press the face buttons during landscape use or during a game. Maybe if they were more discriminatory...
  • I really really like the Capacitive buttons (not a fan of Physical buttons *cough*Apple\Samsung*cough*) , but I understand why they are dropping it from the requirements ... As long as they do it right & let me customize it (Colored, Transparent background... Etc. Red buttons like the HTC ReZound would be awesome) I'm cool .... I hate it on my xoom. Regarding the Camera button, I haven't used it since I sold my Motorola Milestone two & a half years ago .... So it doesn't bother me that much
  • I want home, camera and back button. The search should be removed. It's a pain during one-handed operation when it is accidentally touched.
  • capacitive or on screen menu i dont care as long as the camera button is always there!
  • Hardware buttons all around!! Camera, volume, home, back,search. !
  • I like them on my 920. Only change id make is with or without the buttons is to have less bottom bezel slightly.
  • i love the 3 buttons of WP
  • One by one, everything that makes a Windows Phone unique is being taken away. Hardware buttons, hubs, tight integration. Pretty soon, it'll look just like Android.
  • I prefer hardware buttons. We're gonna see other OEMs with on-screen buttons, so I hope the Lumias, even the low-ends, have hw buttons. Can't express how much I hate on-screen buttons. And I want visible buttons, as my Lumia 620 (not like the 1520). Even the side buttons I want the 3 buttons, in the exact position they are now.
  • We need the camera button at least it makes taking photos easier in my opinion
  • I like hardware buttons over touchscreen ones, so the camera button is a given to me. I'd vouch for an even more responsive camera button... as in, you press it, the camera takes a photo instantly. Yes, you could end up with tons of accidental pics, but here's where design comes in. I'm more partial about the others though... home, back and search buttons that are... touch-sensitive? I dunno what to call it. I think it would be perfectly fine to perfect touchscreen and embed those buttons as a part of the interface. Or turn them back into physical buttons too. Or even some other solution. Volume buttons can take some different shapes for all I care, but they have to be easily accessible. A clickable volume rocker? Just keep the way they are? Some sort of touch slider on the side of the phone? Ok, back to the actual strategy of WP letting phones without a camera button or whatever physical buttons pass, I think it's quite reasonable. People who wants the button will search for phones that has them, people who don't want them have the option of buying a Windows Phone regardless. I think we've passed the phase where Microsoft thinks that forcibly requiring certain design characteristics is a solution for platform unification and branding, so why not?
  • The hardware button is very useful when you need to take photos fast.one big reason i got a windows phone.i hope lumias dont get rid of it.
  • I'm a little more for front facing physical buttons, but can be ok with onscreen buttons. Bit I absolutely have to have the camera button.
  • I've never used on screen buttons other than the on screen ones. Heheh. As for replacing Win and Back, I don't know I've had instances across all my phones where screen seizes and my salvation is Back or Win. If they become one and the same, where is the oops-tion? Also, must have camera phy button. I have had Focus, HDS7, TitanII, 920, and now 1520 and I must say that I'm a shitty photo taker. On screen button focuses just fine until the shutter clicks the precise moment it looses focus. The hardware button leys me control that. OIS hasn't been helpful for oafs like me. :(
  • I don't stand, I sit down cause im tired. About the hardware buttons, I love them and I hope future high end Lumia keeps them as is.
  • Camera power and volume need to be hardware buttons. Others get in the way when doing anything landscape.
  • Love the hardware buttons.
  • I like the hardware buttons. Especially the camera button. Just because they might allow it doesn't mean I'll have to purchase a phone with virtual buttons. So I'll be looking for those vendors that give me the phone I want with the features I want. I don't think it is an all or nothing type deal.
  • Microsoft keeps diluting what makes Windows Phone better. It's like the great original script that gets watered down until it's a generic Hollywood movie.
  • True. Cookie cutter phone is what they're aiming.
  • hard to say which one i like better... since i havent played with a wp phone with on screen buttons yet.. but i actually like the hardware ones, i dont mind them at all  
  • Many of my friends own Androids and they all covet the camera shutter buttons on my NL920 and NL925. I like the ease of distinguishing the OS by first glance of a smartphone; the capacitive and shutter buttons makes a unique statement for WP8.
  • I think I could learn to live with on screen buttons. Certainly its great having them now, for things like the flash of a charging battery, but as long as they don't get rid of the camera button on all phones (and using a 1020, I'm certainly biased towards that sort of reliability) I'm happy. Sure, I'd love to use an HTC Windows Phone One but until, and probably even after, that happens, I'm happy with NokiaSoft's stuff.
  • I rarely use the camera button while taking pics but use it for image stabilization while recording videos. If there is OiS virtual button then I am all for removing hardware buttons.
  • So, I would personally prefer a physical camera button. But for the others, I prefer them on screen. Whenever I try and game on my phone, I always end up hitting the search or home button, pulling me out of the game. It happens often enough that I don't bother gaming in my phone anymore.
  • I'm all for capacitive buttons. Otherwise my suggestion will become nothing but naught. http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...
  • Physical buttons are great - those should definitely stay. WP would probably be hard to use w/o the windows and back softkeys, so keep those. Kill. The. Search. Key. KILL IT! It only ever gets pressed accidentally and it's really frustrating when that happens. *edit* - on second thought, I'd be just as happy if it worked like Win8 where you swipe up from the bottom to access the WinKey, Back button and dreaded search icon.
  • I like having the hardware buttons.
  • I need the camera button. It takes better pics (imo)
  • I consider the hardware buttons just to be the ones under the screen. I currently have a Lumia 925 and Moto X, and I like the on screen buttons of the X just fine. If it would make me hit the search button less often, then I am all for the software button. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Although I don't feel camera buttons are important, front buttons are a must for me.
  • Leave the design as it is. Hardware buttons are much better. If other manufacturers don't want to make windows phones that's their choice. It the simple & practical design that makes these phones stand out from IOS & Android. Personally I find the iPhone hard to use as my wife has iPhone 5 which I think is pretty crap & not user friendly.
  • I can do without the search button
  • I really love the physical Home button in my Ativ S, but losing it would not be a deal breaker
  • Camera button should be there
  • Hate front facing, always hit them incidentally. Love side buttons. Could go for a single.
  • Camera button
  • I agree with your article 100%
    Camera button needed. Start-home button nice to have
  • As long as this is one more choice available to WP buyers, I'm all for it. I just hope there will still be OEMs left that will make handsets with hardware buttons. Although I suspect they will all go down the path of least resistance and opt for virtual buttons because it's cheaper that way.
  • I like hardware buttons, but I couldn't care less if its a requirement. I've been exclusively Nokia for 10+ years (way back to the 6620 -- I think -- on Symbian. I know Nokia/Microsoft will continue to have hardware buttons and a camera shutter button. I can't imagine buying from a different company.
  • I love the camera button... Hate when phones make you tap the screen to take a picture.
  • So what if there are no hardware or camera button on the Samsung or HTC Phones??? Those who chose to buy these phones have to be ok with this, else there are other options. Above companies never cared about WP anyway.
  • Okay...so here is wot i feel.....
    >Wp8.1 can run on android devices too...line Karbonn's dual boot.
    >So manufacturing company can relax and make a simple phone with wotever design they wish....and its on the user how to take benefit from the software button, atleast this makes some sense.
  • I love the hardware buttons but welcome the variety of screen buttons.
  • I prefer hardware buttons. Period.
  • Might save battery life?
  • Like the camera button,hope that stay's with most of new phones coming out.Digging removing the search button and adding home icon on screen.
  • Love physical buttons. Why U bought a Lumia
  • Keep hardware buttons. Its a detail that screams quality, and its nice to know there's always a fallback guaranteed button. Also! Definitely! Keep! The camera button!!!
  • I'm looking forward to more innovation and cheaper phones with this shift
  • I prefer having all the hardware buttons. It just looks better and makes use of bezels.
  • I prefer hardware buttons, definitely couldn't do without the camera button as mentioned previously, but if it will help the platform by easing hardware makers' requirements, I'm sure it will be a benefit in the long run...
  • Getting rid of the current button configuring is absolutely stupid.  It will likely drive me to hold onto my Lumia 1020 much longer than I had anticipated.
  • For windows phone they're great just the way they are, but for phones like the Nokia X I don't mind if they remove them
  • I like all the physical buttons, I know once I click it, a response has been sent to the phone, with a virtual one, you don't get the same tactile feel. It's also a good for muscle memory, and keeping the light for the display dim (like when watching Netflix at night on my phone with light emanating from the buttons only, and not the whole strip of virtual buttons. It also keeps the phone simple and easy to use- the reason I bought a windows phone to begin with.
  • I like the dedicated buttons. I don't want a dev hack screwing with "do we show them, do we not"? Or, if they are going to be on screen all the time anyway, then how is that different from dedicated buttons? This is simply a compromise by Microsoft to attempt to lure current Android handset makers to make WP devices, not an improvement on the OS, as far as I am concerned.
  • Leave the camera button alone Pleassee I'm begging you Microsoft!!
  • Good for oems preferences
  • I'll be staying with my 1520 for a while.
  • Camera, home button are MUSTS for me, although taking away any detracts from the feel IMO.
  • I prefer hardware buttons and would prefer even more actual clicky buttons on the front rather than the whoops-I-went-there capacitive buttons. For versatility, make them programmable so if you want to change the search button to something you need more then great.
  • I love the hardware camera key. I love the hardware keys. However, I love the flexibility of the software keys because, it allows MS make updates to the buttons if they feel the need. But, I'll probably choose buttons on my phones.
  • I think it's good that software buttons work. But i like Hardware buttons most because i think they are better to use
  • The scenario I keep thinking of is with my Nexus 7. My N7 has the virtual buttons (back, home, open apps). And while it's mostly OK, it creates scenarios where apps can hide them, and then you're swiping from the bottom or tapping and hoping the right thing happens. Basically, it becomes inconsistent, because each app can handle it differently in certain scenarios (like video playback, for example). After owning a Lumia 520 and a Nexus 7, I have to say I prefer the consistency of the hardware buttons. And the camera button is so nice...can you imagine a 1020 without one? Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • yeah,i really want to keep the camera button,please do not change about that
  • I like "swipe" or "fast lane" gesture from Asha or N9 (meego), and camera button is a must for me.
  • The buttons we have now are just perfect, leave them alone ❕❕
    Also voted for it...
    http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg... AND to keep away those Gogul/Andtoyd apps from WP
    http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...
  • I updgraded from an HTC HD7 in Jan '13 to an iPhone. One of the (many) things I miss is the camera button. I got used to it being there, and I could take one handed photos. Guess I am not coordinated enough to do that with my iPhone. As for lack of buttons, if it will reduce form factor/increase screen size, I see no reasons why contecxt sensitive virtual swipe from the bottom buttons won't work.
  • I like all the hardware buttons on my Lumia right now! Don't want virtual buttons!
  • I will be happy only with buttons like now on my 820.
  • I'm for them. They make quick navigation easier.
  • The camera button must stay as a requirement but hardware buttons are not really necessary, I mean, as long as mid to high range smartphones keep them it's fine.
  • Virtual buttons are o.k.. But the camera button should stay
  • Why do we keep calling them hardware buttons?  They're just touch sensors on nearly every device.  And I hate them because I keep touching them when I don't want to.  I'm tired of bringing up Bing all of the time by accidentally brushing my finger or palm on the button without meaning to. What I want is hardware buttons... as in something physical that I have to apply pressure to get them to activate. And having used a phone with a dedicated camera button, this is a "must have" for me now.
  • Agreed! I get very frustrated when playing games thinking I was vaporizing the enemy, but really I tapped the home touch sensor - which then causes the app to either pause or completely reset (depending on resume configuration). I also think of hardware buttons as the volume, power, and camera buttons. So true hardware buttons I like/prefer. Back, home, search can be hidden. If done well, they could probably enhance the OS. For example "tap+hold" bottom center of screen to access home; or "tap+hold" bottom left of screen to activate task switch menu. They would be like hidden functions.... Hmmmm, I rather like this idea of mine. From: Nokia Lumia 1520
  • I quite like the hardware buttons, but there should be an option to disable them such as when you're playing games. I also loathe the haptic feedback, and would like an OS-level option to disable that. It's almost as bad as having a noise play everytime you press a key when typing, but at least that can be disabled.
  • Ummm...how is this new? My Nokia Lumia Icon already has virtual buttons in the front. It still has a physical camera button though.
  • I need the camera. It also helps people take better photos. A couple of years I took regularly took quality photos with my Samsung Focus, which made my iPhone 4 friends wonder how the images came out so clearly. I have a 1020 now, but still find the button key to getting the pictures right.
  • Having a standard is absolutely vital to maintaining a consistant user experience, not just for retail but for corporates as well. Users, technical or otherwise, should be able to freely switch between any WP device at will and know exactly how they work. Back, Home and Search absolutely MUST be available at all times to keep this experience, so putting them on screen is nothing but a waste of processing resources. The same applies for the Camera button, the volume controls, the power button and the USB port. These should be in exactly the same place to allow corporates and telcos to have a single script which applies regardless of phone model or vendor.
  • No camera button = no sale.
  • Let them all stay.Camera is definitely requires coz its easier to take pics with the shutter button than touching the screen coz it leads to shaking the phone while the shutter buttons leads to a perfect shot.And as for other three buttons on bottom,i would just be annoyed if the screen blacks out or ur phone hangs and u don't have any physical buttons to soft reset the phone or force close using task manager by long pressing the back button.
  • NOKIA Please create Communicator style Windows Phones!
  • The camera button is one of the key functions. Tapping on the screen to take photos is irritating. In my opinion, the camera button adds to taking more stable fotos.
  • It depends how stable your hands are. I always use key to launch the app and touch screen to take the picture. Either way, i will pic the camera button.
  • They need to go
  • I'm in favor of it making them software. It doesnt just provide hardware partners more freedom, it also provides Microsoft the freedom to redesign the OS every now and then.   For example I hope Microsoft will bring the charmbar to WP, to help merge the two OS at one point. The search and start charm are currently hardware buttons. Make them software buttons and Microsoft can easily add the remaining three charms. Share + settings are part of every WP app already but they are sometimes hard to locate. And the devices charm would be very useful, would allow me to print from my phone or project my phone's screen.
  • +1
  • Physical camera button is a must for me. I feel foolish and have an awkward time trying to hold the phone and tap the screen at the same time with one hand. I feel i have to use the vulcan death grip ( or whatever you call it) when trying to hold the phone steady. My BB z10 had it and my HTC amaze had one I believe as well. It should be a basic feature on every phone. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • I need them...if the screen glitches then what...no more soft reset
  • Hardware buttons for Camera alone is acceptable.  Why add so much buttons, for a smartphone. If you can invoke a function for an app with a touch, why can't you invoke the menu with a virtual button?  Microsoft realized this very lately. Even a separate button for BACK loses its significiance in a touch phone era. 
  • Camera button is a must!! I've been so happy that MS have had these camera button requirements. The front buttons I also like as long as they are touch and not apple/samsung style. But they could remove them, doesn't really matter that much to me. But the camera button should be the on every phone. Not that I take that many photos but when I do, I appreciate that its there.
  • The camera button is so unique.,don't remove it please
  • I like all my buttons. I don't care what other manufacturers do, I'm staying with Nokia, soon to be Microsoft, and they better keep the current design on.
  • Virtual buttons ok for cheap low end devices. I love the physical tactile start button on the ativ s. Camera button less important to take a photo but good to launch the camera.
  • Wtf? No camera button :/ they should not do this ;-; well there should be atleast one shortcut to open camera instead of scrolling through the list of tiles! Bad move i would say :/
    Cool thing is that they are adding virtual keys ^_^
  • I hope only the camera button to stay hardware and with two-stage press (to allow separate focus and shot levels). But I think the discussion is for three buttons for Back, Home and Search - I will not miss them, maybe I will miss only Back button for closing the unresponsive apps?
     
  • I very much prefer the software buttons on my Galaxy Nexus so if the back, home and search buttons on Windows Phone are done as well as software buttons I wouldn't mind at all. It would actually increase the likelyhood that I'll switch to Windows Phone in the future. That said, I still prefer hardware buttons on the edge of the device for power, volume and maybe camera altough that isn't really something I've missed so far on any phone.
  • The should keep the Windows and the camera buttons at least. There needs to be uniformity in the way Windows phones operate. Having a go home button is always handy. Physical camera buttons need to stay they are much easier to use.
  • If it allows more hardware vendors to come into the market, then I'm all for getting rid of them. 
  • Hardware
  • Keep d cam button . I really do prefer hardware buttons over software buttons.
  • I like having them $.02  
  • Hardware +920
  • Camera button is a MUST!  I miss that on my current Android, and it's one of the reasons I'm considering switching back (maybe to a 1020), or getting a second phone (8X Refurb just to have both OSs).  I also like the front buttons being consistent between phones.  Androids have some variation there, and I get confused when I try to help someone with their phone, and it's different.
  • I don't really care about the physical buttons on the front of the phone. I am fond of the camera button though.
  • Me too. Am used to the hardware buttons.
  • I like hardware buttons than onscreen ones..
  • I absolutely like hardware buttons. It's pretty useful.
  • I'm okay with losing front buttons but I automatically go for that camera button every time. Better yet, just keep the nokia(or whatever Microsoft chooses to call it) as is.
  • They need to keep the camera button. It needs to be a hardware requirement again. That's one of the reasons I like Windows Phone.
  • I want existing 3 hardware buttons
  • Can't buy a phone without hardware buttons, they make operations simple
  • If removing the requirement for Windows Phone hardware back/home/search buttons makes it possible for manufactures to repurpose hardware, then I'm all for it.
  • I guess onscreen buttons can help reduce the device's height while maintaining bigger size. Camera shutter button must stay, but the onscreen home, back and search buttons could actually be much more flexible, that's ofcourse only if properly executed by the OS.
  • I like the hardware buttons and in fact miss having physical buttons on the face (the LG Quantum's physical windows key was nice!) but the fact of allowing manufacturers to release phones without them is a good thing too. I personally will not buy them as I like having them but if it makes is easier for manufacturers to support and produce the phones then its good imo.
  • Hardware-Buttons > Softkeys. And I don’t want a Phone without an camera button.
  • On a daily basis I am running a gambit of tests on mobile devices (iOS, Android, WP7/8, and Blackberry); of course when I have free time I like to play with the features of a device. A camera button is far too convenient to lose whether or not you consider yourself a photographer, but especially when you don't have to unlock the device to take a photo. By the time you get to a camera app on devices without a hardware button your moment could be gone.
    However, if back, home, and search are considered hardware buttons those are absolutely replaceable, provided they're replaced correctly. Perhaps some slide in menu like on Win8, I could live with. Since WP and Windows are to become more alike in the future making some of their menus similar, I think, would make for better movement between the operating systems.
  • I love 'em too. If anything the bezel around the three bottom buttons can be reduced. Otherwise I say, please leave them alone.
  • Camera button is good but my 920 has capacitive buttons anyway. Better on screen so you can rotate the phone.
  • I absolutely hate the livings guts out of that stupid search button! So I'd be really happy if the capacitive buttons are gone. The camera button needs to stay.
  • I like the camera button, but the 3 buttons on the front, I could live with them being on screen. EVERY single time my nieces or nephews play games, they bump Search and get yanked out of the game.
  • I want a camera button and a home button. The back button and search buttons shouldn't be on the phones anymore. WP should work like windows 8.1 swipe from the right brings up your charm menu with settings, search, devices, share etc. Swipe from the left brings up currently running apps, which you can switch between or close by tapping the x. Swipe from the top brings up a notification center. Swipe from the bottom either side of the home button (where the old search and back were.) to bring up your app list. Uniform functionality with windows 8.1, as it is now, people are having to get used to two different styles of operation. Which to me is meh... I love my windows phone, but the more I use it, the more I find small but annoying inconsistencies with the design.
  •    I prefer hardware buttons. If the trend is to remove them, then Microsoft should keep them and use them as a differentiator for their Lumia/Surface line of products, especially the high-end ones.
  • I agree, I believe it will give manufacturers the ability to design phones with larger screens on smaller form factors. Or develop edge to edge screens with no space for the benzel and buttons. In my opinion Nokia should do this themselves, the Lumia Icon phone measures 137 mm or 5.4 inches. The screen is 5 inches, what if Nokia did an edge to edge screen using the space from the benzel and buttons. The screen could have been 5.4 instead of 5 inches.    
  • Edge to edge screeni is no good specially if phone has capacitive touch screen because yo  can not use phone for nothing except for looking at it. Wherever you try to hold it alvays accidently your fingers will touch screen and you will go in inefinetly loop of opening unwanted aplication or closing those you want to work on or something else. Flush screen is not good idea at all with resistive or capacitive screen, screen should have small dip into phone frame to allow you to hold it without spoiling something.      
  • Just smashed my Nokia Lumia 620 agains wall because I can not use it for any serious task. Software buttons look nice and sweet and if is good just you have phone just for display. I did have had many smartphones windows mobile 5 and 6 with hardware keyboard and resistive touch screen. I did enyoed to use them to manage office documents, e-mail, navigation, mp3 player, notes, camera e.t.c. I have had impression that those phones are perfectly designed to meet my needs. Some of my previous phones were HTC Vizard, HTC Hermes, HTC Kaiser,  i-mate Ultimate 9502 Now I am so frustrated with new smatrphones with no any hardware buttons, can not do anything with them, always during work it happens that I do accidently touch screen and application closes windows disapear, try to take picture and taking dozen of unwanted shoots because I did accidently touched screen etc. Before year or so tried Android as well also smashed that one as well just it was still working so I doid sold it very cheap to get rid of that garbage. Why todays phones have hardware search button but do not have at least harware buttons for handset on-off? Why ?  
  • List of hardware and buttons I need on phone. - Headset buttons ON/OFF -Qywerty keyboard - Tiny touchpad clickable cursor, clickable cursor buttons or best clickable tracball cursor. - Camera button -Voice recorer button  Other hardware Resistive touch screen and stylus so I can take quick handwriting note with any available sharped object, pencil or toothpick Infrared comunication,as strong infrared diode as possible Bluetooth WiFi GPS I do not need search button, never was using it even once but if it is stuck somewhere from a side and it is ossible to reconfigure it to assign to it some other task I would not complain. Once in the not so far past phones did have all this and most of this features are was slowly abandoned in favor of idiotic design which suits just to kids ( I was really polite here) I have impression that all maufacturers want to make iPhone but I hate iPhone never did have it and would not take it even if somebody would pay me to carry it around Why it is abandoned phone design which has been developed almost to perfection? P      
  • I smashed it few times more to the floor just to be sure that it never come back alive. Oooohhh it was relief realy jail brake. Now I am typing SMS-es on old Nokia 6230 numeric keyboard and I ejoy every click :-) I wil never buy smartphone any more at least until hardware keyboards revival if ever happen in future. For now all other stuff except phone calls I will do on old PDA, I was missing outlook sync sooo much I never used sky drive, google drive or any similar accounts and newer will.       No