As I’ve continued to use my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge after writing my super-OCD review of it, I had an epiphany yesterday. Putting the back key on the right side of the phone makes it easier to use with one hand. I’m right-handed, and I use the back button a lot more than the recent apps button. WHOA.
In my entire history of Android phones, I’ve only had one other phone that had capacitive buttons below the screen. It was my first Android phone, the original Motorola Droid Razr, which came out back before Android 4.0 Jelly Bean introduced the on-screen back/home/recent apps buttons we’re all so familiar with now. Before Jelly Bean, every Android phone had physical buttons below the screen.
On the Droid Razr, the capacitive buttons were, from left to right, menu, home, back, and search.
But this button layout wasn’t consistent among early Android phones. The one thing that was consistent is that basically all of them had the back button closer to the right side of the phone. One of the main exceptions was the original Motorola Droid, which had the back button all the way on the left of the phone.
You know what other early Android phones have back buttons on the left of the phone? The first two Google Nexus devices, the HTC Nexus One and Samsung Nexus S.
The inconsistency continues here, because while the back and menu buttons are both on the left of the phone, the home and search buttons are flipped from the Nexus One to the Nexus S.
What’s with Google’s obsession with putting the back button on the left side of phones? Most people are right-handed, and the most commonly used button on a phone is the back button. Shouldn’t it be on the right side of the phone?
Am I, as a member of the right-handed majority, exercising my right-handed privilege by siding with Samsung over Google? Maybe, but I don’t care.
IT ALL MAKES SENSE TO ME, MY EYES ARE NOW OPEN.