Samsung Nexus Prime: Would a home button design be a disaster?

By Alan Ng - Sep 15, 2011

Last week we shared some information related to the design of the highly anticipated Nexus Prime / Nexus 4G handset. If that interested you, you will want to pay attention to the latest news as fresh rumors have revealed some more clues about the Nexus Prime design.

In that article last week, we showed you a possible design idea for the Nexus Prime and it was a device which featured no physical hardware buttons and featured a metal trim around the outside edges similar to what we would expect from a HTC handset. We had some feedback on that design and it seems like a lot of you liked what you saw and would have no problems whatsoever if the Nexus Prime ended up like that.

However, an interesting story over at The Droid Guy tells the story of Kyle who has apparenly been given an exclusive first-look at the handset behind closed doors, by a Samsung employee at a recent Verizon developer conference in Las Vegas. His findings are particularly eyebrow raising, as he states that the Nexus Prime looks similar to the Samsung Nexus S in design, but a little bit longer and thicker.

One other notable fact from his Nexus Prime experience is the fact that the device was running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and not Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0, since it’s heavily rumored to be launching with the brand new software within the next few months. It is likely though that Google has not yet compiled a final build of Ice Cream Sandwich so this shouldn’t be too much of a cause for concern for fans.

What we want to talk about though is the possibility of the Nexus Prime containing just a single physical home screen button, which completely contradicts that earlier report and image which suggested that the device wouldn’t have any hardware buttons. Then of course, a single home button would draw instant comparisons to the Apple iPhone, and it may prove to be a risky move what with the ongoing vicious patent battle between Apple and Samsung – would Samsung really want to release a device which may end up costing them money in the courts and possible injunctions?

This wouldn’t go down too well with potential buyers either, as we’re under the impression that most of you would like the Nexus Prime to come without any buttons, or a selection of buttons rather than a single home button. Share your thoughts on this discussion with us below.

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  • Anonymous

    It makes sense if Ice Cream Sandwich “sans” is not ready with its “built in the OS navigation keys”, then it would make sense for a beta unit to have a physical button as it is being tested with Gingerbread OS which requires at least the home button to leave an application or navigate from an application screen to the desktop.  I wouldn’t read too much into the PRIME having any physical buttons.  It wouldn’t make sense for the OS to have the next generation features that do NOT require physical buttons but for the hardware to come with it.  My call is:  The unit described in this article is a developers beta unit and NOT the final version of the GALAXY NEXUS PRIME!

  • Carlos Watson

    I read somewhere else that since ICS isn’t/may not be quite ready, the home button was added to this (more than likely) pre-production/dev phone simply to make it usable. It was reportedly running 2.3.x after all…

    Basically, it’s entirely possible that there will still be no physical buttons other than volume and power. This is one of the few things that I haven’t seen change out of the many articles and rumors I’ve read about this phone

    • Sumit Banerjee

      I read that too. It was on The Droid Guy’s blog post (the original source of this story).
      He said that the home button is only for development/testing purposes.

      That being said, I would be ok if it had a home button. I actually like the look of the European version of the Galaxy S2 with the home button than the look of the US GS2, but if it would lead to injunctions (ugh, Apple), please, Samsung, don’t include it.