HTC One Home and Back capacitive buttons plagued with sensitivity issue, but a fix is in sight

by: J. Angelo RacomaApril 26, 2013

samsung galaxy s4 vs htc one one viewing angle aa

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 “” 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.

  • mjolnirxz

    No piece of hardware comes perfect out of the box, and this includes iphones and galaxies.

    • apploholics

      Yes, but this is HTC, who has always ignored factory defects. There is no fix to this problem and never will be, but dont take my word for it, learn the hard way like i did, you guys will soon find out why HTC fell from being number one to become the most hated android manufacturer.

      • Garry DeWitt

        Given that the touch panel is one whole piece (including the area where the buttons are), and the screen isn’t having any issues, I would infer that is a software issue. Furthermore the update posted in the article seems to contain a fix.

        > learn the hard way like i did

        Well lets see, so far they’ve released improvements for the camera and button sensitivity, that’s two points. In the opposite direction I’ve heard reports of unusual gaps in the zerogap construction from the speaker grills to the plastic area. I don’t have this but others have posted pics of it. they’re less than 1mm (maybe .3?), so I’m guessing HTC is just saying that it’s in acceptable error margin, probably to help supply. So that can be a point against them.

        2/3 is not terrible, though to be fair the issues they’ve fixed are software (meaning the idea of calling it a hardware defect is silly)

      • mjolnirxz

        obvious troll is obvious, the OTA 1.29 has fixed the issue already, as reported by members on XDA. The only question that remains is when it would be pushed out to the US customers due to carrier obstruction and inefficiency

      • ardain

        I think you’re going too extreme. :D
        I also hate HTC, but I don’t think this issue will make they falling to bottom of list, lol.
        And I heard it’s already fixed, so not really big deal.

  • Travis

    as long as the update fixes the issue, i’m not going to consider it a negative on the phone.

    • fixxmyhead

      what about when it takes months for the update especially in the US?

      • amine ELouakil

        exchange your phone for a new one? duh.

    • quietly defective

      There is no fix, this is HTC remember? When did they ever fix factory defects?

      • juye

        My ONE just fixed in the midst of reading this article, many jump the gun too fast and too sure. But too bad the result is not the way they wanted to be. Problem fixed. Only 30 minutes ago fixed mine. I think many HTC hater must be very disappointed. Too bad for them, wait for next chance.

  • dandroid13

    HTCfail lol

  • I’ve had this problem with my HTC One. No way is it a deal breaker. Best piece of technology I’ve ever used.

  • Alu Zeros

    Let me know if anybody else notice this, if you keep volume at n just one bump up about no sound,after a while it will turn up automatically up. Also this is with put phone in bag vol feature off. Happens with phone facing up or down and not in pocket.

  • chocho

    this is a deal breaker for me if no fix. I love my current S3 but I love that One’s design. if no fix i will wait for HTC TWO lol

    • chocho

      oh and I think maybe there’s no fix for current batch, But maybe they will secretly include it in their next batch

    • mjolnirxz

      there is a fix, this article is obviously biased because 1.29 fixes the issue.

  • Garry DeWitt

    I flashed an INT rom on the first day (which was using the leaked base that would become the update they speak of in the article) and haven’t had much problems. I will say that the trigger area is small. I first thought I was having a sensitivity problem, but then after I pressed and it didn’t happen I would look at where my thumb was. Sure enough it was just a little off where the actual home button was. Pressing the actually button worked. It’s been 3 days and I’ve gotten used to the size of the button, no problems now.

  • mozz

    This is so typical of HTC and one of the reasons i stopped buying their products. They always seem to have common problems that should be rectified in testing.

  • jetuo

    Hi my HTC ONE having this button problem since day one and I have tried all methods suggested, such as recalibrate sense sensitivity, but problem still there. One the half way reading this article, I did check update, found update and updated. Then guess what, BINGO, problem disappeared.
    the update change the blink feed page style too. Now its has a drop down menu to choose which news site you wand to read.
    But one point I want to bring up here, we do have real problem with buttons, and article is also about this problem, many users brought up this issue. But someone said need to press precisely or should press this way or that way or sound like other don’t know how to use. Users nowadays have great experience of smart phone and how it should be, and report real problem. So say something sound like not a problem just like users don’t know how to use it. That is really annoying.

  • isamu

    I had the same problem with my htc one try this worked wonders for me no longer have this problem
    go into settings, language keyboard, htc sence input, advanced, calibration tool press the highlited circles on keyboard until it shows complete then see if it has made any difference for you :)

  • isamu

    I had the same problem with my htc one try this worked wonders for me no longer have this problem
    go into settings, language keyboard, htc sence input, advanced, calibration tool press the highlited circles on keyboard until it shows complete then see if it has made any difference for you :)