Any navigation buttons on the device?

As an android user, all my life, the small buttons on each side is a must for me. I can’t imagine how the iphone users can live with it.
I see my sister reach her finger all the way to the top of the screen, to just navigate back one step.
I also got very small hands :blush:

So I think having those buttons there is something Librem 5 also should have. I saw the latest 3D prints and the bottom portion of the phone will fit those perfectly. :stuck_out_tongue:

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The phone will not have those. Instead, a strip of 40 most bottom pixels will be reserved to provide similar functionality.

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@Dwaff What are you saying? Do you mean on the screen or where Samsung has their navigation buttons? :hushed:

On screen. The default shell reserves two stripes on screen: One 26 pixels high at the top, and one 40 pixels high at the bottom.

I don’t see why you would need to take away pixels for navigational buttons when SailfishOS has proved that buttons are really not nessecary if you instead use gestures. I myself have been using Sailfish (jolla) phones for about 2-3 years now and I find navigating on IOS and Android to be very slow beacuse of navigational buttons.

Navigation in Sailfish:
To wake the phone up you simply double tap the screen.

To close an app on Sailfish you just drag your finger down from the top. To access or peek at notifications you just swipe from the left edge two times (one swipe will get you to home menu displaying opened apps) no matter what is open.

To access app menu you simple swipe from the bottom.

To access home screen where open apps are displayed you simply swipe either left or right from the edge of the screen.

No buttons needed and more screen available.


This super fast navigation and the beautiful OS-design is why I’m still not sure if I’ll order the Librem 5. I feel that I will miss the navigation too much. But the development of the newer Sony Devices that Jolla decided to port to is going slow. I’d prefer that they had kept to their own models.


Totally agree, I’d love to see some navigation cue’s similar to Sailfish on the Librem 5.

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While I understand the desire to have gesture navigation, I would also suggest that having button style navigation is a good thing. I’m a long time Android user, and when they suddenly switched to gesture based navigation in Android 9, I had to relearn how to use the device. I still don’t feel like I have fully figured it out, but I have figured out enough to get by.

I would also argue that button based navigation is good for people that pick up the phone for the first time. Because of iOS and Android, people are used to having some kind of button navigation, and the first thing they would do when handed a device is attempt to figure out where the control buttons are.

I also like the hardware-implementation for buttons and it’s probably my preference. Unfortunately, everyone (i.e. vendors) seems to be very adamant on the whole bezel-less movement and I can’t remember the last phone with those buttons on the actual phone instead of the screen. I think the gesture thing is kind of ambitious at this point. I think the pureOS folk are fine with whatever route they go, but it has to work. The last thing I want to have to deal with is bugs.

I also like the buttons on my Galaxy S3. But I’m not too concerned about it anymore.

You can also see it this way:
The Librem screen is longer than many others, as it has a 18:9 (2:1) instead of 16:9 form factor.
(Also see Size comparison to other phones)
So, you could argue, the screen has been extended by 40 pixels to provide a much more flexible button area than you would have otherwise. And you can also use it to display content.

No matter if on-screen buttons or gestures, the Librem 5 is well suited for all approaches. And if there’s demand, there’ll be a solution :wink:

I mean, with Gnome mobile, Plasma mobile and UBports we already have three options to chose from and/or change & customize to our liking. Which other phone ever gave you this much freedom? :slight_smile:


@TannisRoot I would argue that physical buttons are better then on-screen ones. Due to burn-in. Most of the time button stays in same place causing a permanent burn-in in a 1-2 years, regardless of screen quality.

I do not understand the question. beyond the “yes or no key” the team purism had presented a page in which they indicated a way of conceiving the use with the telephone fingers in a more “ethical” way. Certainly the problem of the “yes key” key no " they have been facing for longer. Why not leave the problem management to those with an innovative vision?

I would add that gesture control is also not something which is so easy for what the librem 5 is attempting to do to imolement. Think about the difficulty of porting applications. Is it easier to rework your application with a gesture based system your application was never built around or to port to something analogous?

I’d at least hope for swipe down to close. I just don’t think I can live without that. :wink:

This is true. :+1:

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