In a world where the trusty button setup is vanishing before our very eyes, companies are pushing themselves to give all modern phones a touch screen alternative.

Once a feature of a Sci-Fi film, consumers can now enjoy screen navigation that relies on the touch of their fingers, however, are we being too hasty in leaving the button setup behind?

The history

AME-JV-35In 1887, the concept of the button setup was originally aimed at home phones in order to replace the popular rotary setup. The first button setup phone was released in 1963 and by the 1980's, the button setup took over almost entirely.

The idea behind the button setup was to give users a faster way of dialing numbers. The hope was to replace the rotary wheel which, by then, was notorious for easy-breakage.

I'm sure for many of us, we can remember the fun that children had with the rotary model and while we cannot back it up, we are certain that the button setup was most likely the concept of a frustrated parent.

The touch screen in our eyes may be a thing of the future, however, during the same decade of the button setup's release, motions were already in place to create touch screen technology.

Originally designed for air traffic control, it wasn't long before Dr Sam Hurst invented the first touch screen technology in 1982.  From here on, the touch screen technology was sought after from all industry sectors, ranging from music to cars.


Why are touch screens so popular?

Well aside from the obvious parallel to trend,  we can use the phone quicker than on the button setup. Unlike the button setup, touch screens are able to control more advanced menus, features and also have access to a full on-screen Qwerty keyboard. Additionally, touch screens come with the reassurance of never having to deal with lost or broken buttons.


Is this the end for the button setup?

Absolutely not! Sure, the touch screen is quicker and impressive to look at, however in order to make a touchscreen worth its weight in gold, it needs to work with an advanced system that can keep up with your speed of use.

Beware poor quality products reeling you in with a touch screen

These days, touchscreens are not necessarily expensive to get your hands on, however be wary of companies that use the touchscreen as their biggest selling point. It may turn out that the phone system doesn't have the capacity to keep up with your finger and phone needs.  If in doubt, ask a store advisor (that isn't working on commission) to go over the phone model's specifics.  From this you can work out if the phone will be worth the extra money.

graphite 2500While the button set up may take those extra couple of seconds to use, at least a broken screen won't mean the end. Particularly, with home phones, we tend to enjoy the button setup for its reliability and sturdy guarantee. For example the BT Graphite 2500 boasts a variety of advanced features including call transfer, call conference, up to 10 hours of talk time and a slick design that still looks good in any home or office.

Do phones like this require a touch screen to impress us? No, they do not.

Our Verdict

Buttons, we still love you.