The HTC One may be one beautiful piece of hardware, but if you’re very particular about user experience, this issue might be a deal breaker — at least until HTC comes up with a fix. Users have observed and reported a serious issue with the HTC One’s capacitive buttons, which makes it difficult to get the desired results when you press on the home and back virtual buttons.
XDA Developers member m03sizlak posted a collection of observations, which indicates that the issue is not an isolated case. Even customer service representatives from the Sprint store where he bought his HTC One say it’s a known issue, which is present even on the demo units at the store.
Symptoms appear to be sporadic, and users observe the problem to be an inconsistent detection of button-presses. Other users believe the detection area is actually too small, and you would have to be very accurate in touching the glass to get the desired result. As such, you might keep on pressing Home or Back, but the HTC One will not respond in most cases.
Fortunately, a fix is in sight, although HTC has only started rolling out an OTA update to unbranded devices across Europe and Asia, which means users from the US who bought the HTC One from carriers are likely to experience some delay before getting the update.
The “1.29.xxx.12” update (where “xxx” is your country code) actually brings a few improvements on top of the “virtual button sensitivity” adjustment, which includes camera adjustments, improved Beats Audio experience and improved bluetooth device matching. If you have an unlocked or non-carrier branded device, then you can try updating through Settings / About / Software Update / Check Now. Otherwise, you might have to wait until the update is rolled out for your carrier.
Should this be a deal-breaker for prospective HTC One buyers? Might this force you to go for a Samsung Galaxy S4 or other device, instead? If you’re considering either of these flagship devices, you can check out our HTC One vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 by-the-numbers comparison. Or, you can check out our Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One video comparison.