Programmable button is a must have

Nokia XR20 is a rugged phone made by Nokia mobile, and this device might not be coming with a heat camera, but it has a programmable or emergency button. The button is positioned on the top left of the device, and it can be programmed to start different functions or open a special app that you like.

I must say that this simple piece of hardware is a thing that I like the most on Nokia XR20 and its rubberized body, which I just tested unintentionally on a concrete floor.

You can use the button for many things, but I find it convenient for two functions that I use most frequently. Since there is an option for programming one press or a long press, I use one press to start a dual LED torch which makes XR20 a Maglite :). I set the long press for an offline mode which I turn on every night when I go to bed (yep, the phone is sleeping next to me).

You can also use the programmable button to change sound profile, turn on or off BT, turn hotspot, DND mode, flight mode, torch, calculator or auto-rotate function. You can use it to unlock the screen, take a screenshot, start an audio recorder or launch any app installed on the phone. The functionality of this button is endless, and it is only up to you to decide what is the best way to use it.

Whole this programmable button thing made me think whether Nokia Mobile should bring this feature to all of its phones. Then I remembered that Nokia phones since Nokia 3.2 could have this feature, but unfortunately Nokia Mobile dedicated an extra button on the left side of its smartphones to Google Assistant, which is rarely used around the world. I don’t know if it is even used in countries with English as a first language. Also, there are numerous ways to activate Google Assistant even without an extra button, so it would be great to use it as a programmable button like in XR20.

The Google Assistant button on XR20 is so nice. It is rather large, made of aluminium with a rough surface, and it is super clicky. It is positioned even better than the programmable button, so you can reach it with just one hand. But if the programmable button is located on the left side where the Google Assistant button is, I would end up with the torch turned on, or my phone switched to airplane mode every now and then.

Nokia Mobile could consider giving the option of programming it, even if that button is going to be clicked often by mistake. A long or double press option would prevent accidental clicks. The possibilities are really endless, and the usability of the phone would be increased. But, we all know that is never going to happen because of strategic partnership with Google, and Google just cares for its digital assistant.