Would you like it if the back button were on the side of the phone?

Would you like it if the back button were on the side of the phone?
The back button - physical, capacitive or virtual - is one of the most used keys on your phone. It is getting more work than perhaps the lock/power key, the volume rocker and the home keys combined, yet manufacturers keep tucking it underneath the display, or at the bottom of the screen if it is virtual.

With today's big-screen phones, it is becoming increasingly a chore to always have to stretch your thumb all the way up or down to hit the back key.

Given that manufacturers have begun placing even fingerprint scanners on the side of phones, we wanted to ask you if you would consider placing a back key on the side as an addition to any on-screen keys a viable solution to our ergonomics woes, too. What do you think?

Would you like it if the back button were on the side of the phone?

Yes, it would be more convenient to press
31.59%
No, I'm fine with the current positions
68.41%

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35 Comments

1. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I like the slide gesture in iOS (I don't like it's onscreen back button).

20. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Too bad is not fully available in all apps... the inconsistency kills the functionality for me... I actually love On-Screen buttons right now, because they will adapt to whatever you are doing and they turn around with the device so the position will always be Relatively the same for the user.

30. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

Too right brother, it is not a universal feature. The lack of a stupid simple 'back' option on iOS further cements my view that it is one of the least user friendly phone OS's out there. Android got it right.

35. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Can you give a ”for instance” app?

36. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Most apps I use on iOS incorporate the slide gesture. It's been out for quite a while now.

27. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

The lack of a BACK button is one of the MANY reasons Apple SUCKS. Leave the back button where it is. I hate side buttons. LG is right to move everything to the rear of the phone.

2. XpeRyan25

Posts: 18; Member since: Aug 18, 2015

I guess a back button on the side could work.

3. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

@Daniel: why was the "favorite 2015 smartphone" poll removed?

9. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

Because Samsung won.

11. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Makes no sense to remove it. They win on almost every poll.

15. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"They win on almost every poll"

19. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Ok then since most fanbase here are Samsung fans, most of the time the votes would favour Samsung the most as the favourite smartphone. happy?

16. aegislash

Posts: 1496; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

I'm honestly surprised that Phonearena published the results of the iOS9 vs 6.0 Marshmallow UI poll, considering Android took the crown in every category except for Camera UI. I guess since iOS won at least one category, they figured it was worth it.

12. Mattbssr

Posts: 30; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Maybe it's because there are other phones being released so it wouldn't be right not to include them

4. b0wzer

Posts: 103; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

No this is a dumb idea. How much of a pain would this be if your phone isn't in your hands when you are using it.

8. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

If the phone isn't in your hands it's a moot point. I don't know of any telepathically controlled phones.

34. jerry14

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 23, 2014

Yeah.. no one ever fckn uses his phone while its on a table.. for example when u chatin and dont want the teacher to see it XDD ...and other things like that, dont be so stupid please, it would be so great, thx :)

5. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

Would you like it if polls worked on the mobile site of Phone Arena? Yes

7. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Really! 'cause i almost never connect to web via PC. dear PA, let us vote through your mobile site as well.

24. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Yes! Also, give us an edit button on the mobile website, so we can fix typos or add to a comment before the ridiculously short timeout period. Honestly, this mobile site is an awful experience. It's like an afterthought throw together.

6. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Its not a back button, just a side gesture. I'd find it handy on bigger phones, or navigating quickly.

10. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Many phones from the WinMo days had the back button on the side or at least a programmable button.

25. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I like the programmable button. My friend has a (yuck) Samsung Rugby Pro (he's big on the milspec stuff, won't buy a phone that doesn't have it). It has a programmable button (he didn't even know. I asked him what that button did, he had no idea, so I looked it up.) I thought, what a simple, great idea. Back button on the side? No thanks. Generally, if I'm sounds something on the phone, my thumb is on or over the screen. That's just making it more difficult.

31. TA700

Posts: 83; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

I love the jog dial of my Toshiba e830, it could play/pause, ff/rev, skip tracks and it doesn't take up more space than the current volume button. All the keys were able to be reassigned to anything you wish it to. Sadly Microsoft took the wrong path and gave it's entire market to Android.

13. 0kax0el0

Posts: 238; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

It would be convenient, but I wouldn't like it to be a physical button as given all the use it has would end up wearing off very quickly.

14. Michael.Parker

Posts: 273; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Sounds like a very bad idea having to move your thumb from the face to the side just to go back a page as it will get uncomfortable very quickly.

17. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I prefer no navigation buttons like with BB10 OS.

18. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

what about back button on back side? (cover wide area around lower center) just put some kind of tap detection sensor there and u can back by taping back cover with index or middle finger, so u dont need to move your thumb

22. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

NO! No, NO, NOOOOO, and absolutely NO!. First off.. which side would you put the button on? You writers create these articles and assume everyone holds their phone the same, like we grab our phablets with a death grip, placing it in our palm, fingers and thumb wrapped around it. (or tucking the thumb behind like in your ridiculous review photos). I have big hands. I'm also left handed. AND, I'm a bit ambidextrous. I hold my phone on my fingers, mostly on the finger tips. This way my thumb is free to move about the phone surface freely. My thumb is never too far from the back button at the bottom of my Note 4. Adding a physical back button would be very awkward for me. I often have NO fingers on the side of the phone. I'd have to adopt some gorilla grip that you writers seem to love to envision. The grip shown in your photo above is terrible for actually using the phone. Sure, the back button on that right side there would work.. but with that grip, you lost all your ability to move your thumb to USE the phone. My answer.. NO.

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 31056; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Nahhh I'm good.

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