Jun 30 AT 12:52 PM Nick Gray 54 Comments

Is the HTC EVO 3D’s screen too sensitive?

While some have hailed the EVO 3D as the best Android phone to hit the market this summer, the phone is not without its faults.  HTC has already pushed out a system update for the new EVO, and several of HTC’s pre-installed applications have gotten updates to fix lingering bugs. But that may not be the end of the story. Over the past few days I’ve gotten a little peeved with the search button on the screen. Apparently, I brush the side of my hand against it every time I hold the phone up to take a picture.  At first I thought nothing of it, since you always need to adjust a little when using a new phone. But even after some adjustments, I still somehow manage to hit the search button.

After a little testing, I’ve come to the conclusion that the sensitivity of the capacitive panel over the screen is just set too high. I’m actually able to press the search button (or any other part of the screen) on the HTC EVO 3D without even making contact with the surface. I’ve noticed this same behavior with a touch panel computer display in the past, but this is the first time I’ve come across the issue on a phone.

So far we’ve been able to replicate this issue on four different devices. Have any of you noticed this on the HTC EVO 3D?  Is it worth HTC’s time to roll out a system update to adjust the capacitive panel’s sensitivity?

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website imfloflo

    Sometimes my N1 have the same issue, i can click without touching him but i must be very close 1-2 mm

  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    That post image is epic enough to be a movie poster or something. First contact.

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      It took about a dozen shots just to get it right. At first I was trying to do it while holding the phone in my hand, but it jut didn’t look right. If I had two camera that record video, I would have recorded the button pressing from two different angles so you guys could actually see the magic in action.

  • http://Website DayJob

    I think its awesome! Its one step toward just gesturing your phone.. although your hand may gesture something you dont want when its in your pocket.

  • Edgar Cervantes

    I have found the same issue on my device. I thought it was just me and my silly hands, but every time I have to get a grip on the device (landscape), I keep pressing the home and search capacitive buttons.

    • http://Website ChrisAre

      I’ve also been having trouble accidentally hitting the bottom buttons. Never noticed that it reacts without me touching it but just tried it and definitely happens on my phone too. I’m hoping the galaxy s 2 comes out before my 30 day warranty ends.

  • http://Website triangle

    I haven’t noticed this issue and haven’t experienced it after trying to replicate what you just described. The phone is great overall and I can’t really find much to complain about.

  • http://Website Doug Goertzen

    I have noticed that on mine too, but I consider the high level of sensitivity more of positive. I would rather it work with just a light(very) touch than have to press more like a physical key.

  • http://Website Kevin

    Hasn’t bothered me yet (but then again I haven’t taken many pictures!), but I can confirm the buttons activating without actually touching them, although it doesn’t do it until you’re quite close.

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    I wonder if dick yarrells evo looks like a glazzed donut by now.

  • http://Website ManimalBlue

    I’ve had the same “feature” on my EVO 4G since I got it. I just got used to it. I like it now. Can’t wait for the same thing on the EVO 3d.

  • http://Website howzt

    No more screen smudges!!

  • http://Website cj

    you’re holding it wrong!

  • http://listneing2.info Dylan

    If this was apple, they would blame YOU.

  • http://Website Raj

    Had the same thing on the evo 4G. It can be pretty annoying, especially when trying to type or take a photo.

    Also annoying, thanks to the thinner feel than the evo, i can use it with one hand like i did with my Nexus One. Unfortunately the palms of my hands accidentally press the home or search buttons when stretching over!

    Didn’t have a problem with the buttons on my Nexus One.

  • http://Website Dominique

    I definitely am NOT having that problem with my 3D. I just tried, and the capacitive screen on my phone will never trigger without me actually touching the screen.

  • thered

    I have noticed the same issue on my Fascinate. Not necessarily the problem with the camera, etc, but sometime my phone registers a screen press without my finger actually making contact. It’s kind of cool if you have haptic feedback turned on, but can definitely get annoying if it causes unwanted button presses.

  • http://Website Cheeto

    I think its awesome. I have that happen all the time on my evo especially with ADW installed. Not physically touching the button but the capacitive vibrate still goes off. Its Like magic! More of a cool feature and not a defect if you ask me.

  • http://Website Tony

    I have the same issue. Easy to replicate. I’ve also noticed that when taking the phone out of my pants pocket to answer a call the slightest brush over the search button will drop the call.

  • http://Website Miguel

    Has not really been a problem on the Sensation. I think the curved display helps minimize the problem a lot, but it doesn’t eliminate it. It has happened to me a few times.

  • http://Website Curtis

    I have noticed the same thing I’ll admit I love my evo 3d but its annoying …. I have also noticed now I can’t get my trace to show (even after checking the settings)

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      That’s happened to me too. Simply restarting the phone seems to have fixed it.

  • TJ

    Sure enough, mine does it as well, its like magic. But I have not had a terrible time with accidental button presses so far.

  • cantelumber

    Wow, like magic indeed! I haven’t noticed the problem til I got to this webpage. Probably cause they suckered me into buying the otterbox defender case @ Sprint store which has a tall bevel which partially blocks the edges of the screen. I have noticed that the capacitive buttons are way brighter than the o.g. evos, could be yet another battery eatin problem. Anyone know of a way to dim the capacitive buttons? Thank you in advance!

  • http://Website Herbert

    I don’t have an EVO 3D, but I have a Nexus S. I can launch apps without touching the screen as well. I can get my finger really close to the screen without touching it and the phone registers a touch. I never really considered that as a problem though. I always thought it was pretty cool, ha :)

  • http://Website Emily

    OK, I don’t have a EVO and have never had this issue on any of my three Android phones. I just want to know how you blurred the background in the picture. Is it a photoshop trick or does it have to be a special camera?

    • http://Website Nick

      If you have a DSLR it’s pretty easy to get your background to blur. Simply lower the F-Stop number as much as you can and make sure you have a lot of distance between the image you are taking and the background. The F-Stop number is determined by the type of lens you have. You can also reproduce the effect on a point and shoot camera. Change your settings to Macro mode and them zoom in on your subject (make sure you have a decent distance between the subject and the background).

  • http://Website Mike

    I got my Evo3D on 6/23/11 after buying it from Sprint’s “First To Buy” thing. One of the things I noticed right off the bat was just this in how sensitive the screen was. I’m not really bothered by it but it does take some getting used to. Another beef I have is I carry my phone in my pocket. The power button at the very top is also very sensitive and I was finding it turning on while it was in my pocket (with the top down so I could pull it out quickly). I learned to flip it so the top was up in my pocket but then I had to turn it around in my hand and it feels like I may drop it in doing so. I just got an Otterbox Defender so that will eliminate all those problems and concerns. :)

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Funny, i was just talking with Nick about that on Sunday when he lent me his review unit. He mentioned that he thought the power button was a bit sensitive, and that he would notice it turning on when he put it in his pocket.

      I haven’t really noticed it much on mine as well.

    • http://Website Nick

      I have this issue as well when I place the phone in my pocket. It happens even when the power button is faceing up since I always seem to touch it as I pull my hand out.

  • http://Website Bryn

    I have the same issue on my Samsung Nexus S. Not only are the capacitive buttons at the bottom always getting hit on accident, but especially when typing there will be phantom key presses if my fingers are too close. I thought maybe I was going nuts and tried some other recent devices and they are all similar, some better, some worse. I really wish there was a way to adjust the screen sensitivity and tone it down a bit.

  • http://Website Kam

    My D2G actually does the same thing, though I think my phone isn’t as sensitive as the Evo 3D may be. I never accidentally press any buttons. It’s just super responsive, my phone knows what button I’m going to press before I press it. Droid does ESP!

  • http://Website Unwired

    Because of this, the fact that 3D leaves me nauseous, and the incredibly annoying charging port on the side of the phone its likely going back.

    Another issue (although more personal) with the buttons is their brightness. I don’t know why HTC decided to deviate from the dimmer and much more subtle backlight of the original. I suspect these quad headlights don’t exactly help conserve battery.

    Sadly, I’m not impressed with the successor to what was once a top phone. In many areas HTC made unnecessary changes. The his phone should not have been named EVO, it’s a different product altogether.

    I’ll be happy with the EVO 4G until Ice Cream Sandwich rolls out late this fall.

  • http://Website itrustme

    My nexus s has a very sensitive touch screen. I noticed the sensitivity changed when my phone updated to 2.3.4 i dont even have to touch the screen to pan through homescreens i love it. I prefer the higher sensitivity. How can you hate on a more responsive screen?

  • http://Website Adam

    Same issue here. The search comes up all the time when i don’t want it too.

  • DQM_Productions

    I’ve most definitely had the the same occurrence, both of triggering either the Search or Home buttons with the lightest of touches and of occasionally triggering without any contact at all. Very annoying.

  • http://www.snufalufagus.com theSNUFALUFAGUS

    Yes and yes. I seem to also have to keep the screen squeaky clean or it touches itself. Coming from a Pre that I had much more control over. Otherwise pretty happy, but this needs fixed.

  • Drew

    Sometimes it happens on my Sensation, but not enough to dislike the phone.

  • http://www.giquegear.com GiqueGuy

    Sure, my steamy man-hands can trigger my EVO 3d w/o quite touching it sometimes. But, it’s a FAR SUPERIOR situation to all the “barely” capacitative screens out there. I dig my EVO 3d, and this is not a problem for me. This would rate right up there with the “my processor is too fast” issue ;-)

  • http://WWW.J-4U.NET ammar

    Yes and yes. ..

  • http://www.erikrestificar.com Erik Restificar

    I can confirm I have the same sensitivity issue on my phone and its really annoying. It makes the phone almost unusable in horizontal-mode since my right thumb rests next to the search button. Hopefully this can be fixed in some software patch in the future, otherwise this is defective hardware and we should be allowed to return or exchange this garbage.

  • t

    I have EVO 3D for 3 days. Two big issues bother me

    1. The whole bottom left corner near the HOME button is over sensitive and I could never hold the phone with left hand without activating the HOME button no matter how to avoid that

    2. I have no idea why and how the Voice Command prompt showing up all the times without me knowing what I had tocuhed.

  • Kelvin

    agreed! same situation for my phone too! so many mis-touches happened and annoying!

  • frank

    I have the same issue on my Samsung Focus. Holding the phone normally, the slightest skin contact on the side or bottom of the frame (not even the damn screen) causes the Home button to spaz out continuously and I can promise its not an “awesome feature” – its annoying as **** to have it happen trying to do any damn thing like texting, web, gaming…everything. If I’m not in public I’m constantly swearing at this goddamn thing and want to pitch it at a wall

  • Shannon

    Yes mine does it all the time. It drives me crazy.

  • Jonathan

    I LOVE my Evo3D phone. Coming from an imitation Moto Razor phone from 2008, this thing is A – MAZING.

    The sensitivity of the screen and buttons is the ONLY ONLY ONLY issue I have with it. I considered it taking it back to Best Buy, BUT ITS SUCH A GREAT PHONE.

    I’m no technology dummy. I KNOW there’s some settings in there that says “Hey, if this button is being pushed for more than .00001 seconds, activate it.” If only we could, or an APP could be made, to change these sensitivity settings, this would be the best phone hands down, EVER.

    • Jonathan

      I heard someone suggest to get a crappy screen overlay protector to dummy down the sensitivity, but it’s only those damn four buttons at the bottom, lol

  • Stranger

    Yes, I use my phone to play games alot so it’s constantly happening

  • randy

    Sounds like a personal problem :P

  • evo3d@user.com

    I can’t stand the hyper sensitive screen on the evo 3d It constantly miss clicks and is very annoying. I think HTC buggered this thing up with their stupid software. The tra h type keyboard sucks companies to swype, and the auto predict comes up off screen much of the time (like right now).

    The 3d makes me sick and the camera sucks with or without 3d, especially in low light.

    one weird thing is in the testing menu ( *#*#4636#*#* ) it has options to switch to LTE. Hmmm.

  • Raul

    All 10 of my eco 3d have had multiple problems all the same. Type things before contact screen. And even goes haywire and starts calling people as if a ghost takes over my damn phone. I’m begging HTC something please. O and the digitizer supposed a big reason for touch problems well fix that too then shoot man…

  1. imflofloGuest 4 years ago

    Sometimes my N1 have the same issue, i can click without touching him but i must be very close 1-2 mm

  2. That post image is epic enough to be a movie poster or something. First contact.

    • It took about a dozen shots just to get it right. At first I was trying to do it while holding the phone in my hand, but it jut didn’t look right. If I had two camera that record video, I would have recorded the button pressing from two different angles so you guys could actually see the magic in action.

  3. DayJobGuest 4 years ago

    I think its awesome! Its one step toward just gesturing your phone.. although your hand may gesture something you dont want when its in your pocket.

  4. I have found the same issue on my device. I thought it was just me and my silly hands, but every time I have to get a grip on the device (landscape), I keep pressing the home and search capacitive buttons.

    • ChrisAreGuest 4 years ago

      I’ve also been having trouble accidentally hitting the bottom buttons. Never noticed that it reacts without me touching it but just tried it and definitely happens on my phone too. I’m hoping the galaxy s 2 comes out before my 30 day warranty ends.

  5. triangleGuest 4 years ago

    I haven’t noticed this issue and haven’t experienced it after trying to replicate what you just described. The phone is great overall and I can’t really find much to complain about.

  6. Doug GoertzenGuest 4 years ago

    I have noticed that on mine too, but I consider the high level of sensitivity more of positive. I would rather it work with just a light(very) touch than have to press more like a physical key.

  7. KevinGuest 4 years ago

    Hasn’t bothered me yet (but then again I haven’t taken many pictures!), but I can confirm the buttons activating without actually touching them, although it doesn’t do it until you’re quite close.

  8. snowbdr89Guest 4 years ago

    I wonder if dick yarrells evo looks like a glazzed donut by now.

  9. ManimalBlueGuest 4 years ago

    I’ve had the same “feature” on my EVO 4G since I got it. I just got used to it. I like it now. Can’t wait for the same thing on the EVO 3d.

  10. howztGuest 4 years ago

    No more screen smudges!!

  11. cjGuest 4 years ago

    you’re holding it wrong!

  12. DylanGuest 4 years ago

    If this was apple, they would blame YOU.

  13. RajGuest 4 years ago

    Had the same thing on the evo 4G. It can be pretty annoying, especially when trying to type or take a photo.

    Also annoying, thanks to the thinner feel than the evo, i can use it with one hand like i did with my Nexus One. Unfortunately the palms of my hands accidentally press the home or search buttons when stretching over!

    Didn’t have a problem with the buttons on my Nexus One.

  14. DominiqueGuest 4 years ago

    I definitely am NOT having that problem with my 3D. I just tried, and the capacitive screen on my phone will never trigger without me actually touching the screen.

  15. I have noticed the same issue on my Fascinate. Not necessarily the problem with the camera, etc, but sometime my phone registers a screen press without my finger actually making contact. It’s kind of cool if you have haptic feedback turned on, but can definitely get annoying if it causes unwanted button presses.

  16. CheetoGuest 4 years ago

    I think its awesome. I have that happen all the time on my evo especially with ADW installed. Not physically touching the button but the capacitive vibrate still goes off. Its Like magic! More of a cool feature and not a defect if you ask me.

  17. TonyGuest 4 years ago

    I have the same issue. Easy to replicate. I’ve also noticed that when taking the phone out of my pants pocket to answer a call the slightest brush over the search button will drop the call.

  18. MiguelGuest 4 years ago

    Has not really been a problem on the Sensation. I think the curved display helps minimize the problem a lot, but it doesn’t eliminate it. It has happened to me a few times.

  19. CurtisGuest 4 years ago

    I have noticed the same thing I’ll admit I love my evo 3d but its annoying …. I have also noticed now I can’t get my trace to show (even after checking the settings)

  20. Sure enough, mine does it as well, its like magic. But I have not had a terrible time with accidental button presses so far.

  21. Wow, like magic indeed! I haven’t noticed the problem til I got to this webpage. Probably cause they suckered me into buying the otterbox defender case @ Sprint store which has a tall bevel which partially blocks the edges of the screen. I have noticed that the capacitive buttons are way brighter than the o.g. evos, could be yet another battery eatin problem. Anyone know of a way to dim the capacitive buttons? Thank you in advance!

  22. HerbertGuest 4 years ago

    I don’t have an EVO 3D, but I have a Nexus S. I can launch apps without touching the screen as well. I can get my finger really close to the screen without touching it and the phone registers a touch. I never really considered that as a problem though. I always thought it was pretty cool, ha :)

  23. EmilyGuest 4 years ago

    OK, I don’t have a EVO and have never had this issue on any of my three Android phones. I just want to know how you blurred the background in the picture. Is it a photoshop trick or does it have to be a special camera?

    • NickGuest 4 years ago

      If you have a DSLR it’s pretty easy to get your background to blur. Simply lower the F-Stop number as much as you can and make sure you have a lot of distance between the image you are taking and the background. The F-Stop number is determined by the type of lens you have. You can also reproduce the effect on a point and shoot camera. Change your settings to Macro mode and them zoom in on your subject (make sure you have a decent distance between the subject and the background).

  24. MikeGuest 4 years ago

    I got my Evo3D on 6/23/11 after buying it from Sprint’s “First To Buy” thing. One of the things I noticed right off the bat was just this in how sensitive the screen was. I’m not really bothered by it but it does take some getting used to. Another beef I have is I carry my phone in my pocket. The power button at the very top is also very sensitive and I was finding it turning on while it was in my pocket (with the top down so I could pull it out quickly). I learned to flip it so the top was up in my pocket but then I had to turn it around in my hand and it feels like I may drop it in doing so. I just got an Otterbox Defender so that will eliminate all those problems and concerns. :)

    • Funny, i was just talking with Nick about that on Sunday when he lent me his review unit. He mentioned that he thought the power button was a bit sensitive, and that he would notice it turning on when he put it in his pocket.

      I haven’t really noticed it much on mine as well.

    • NickGuest 4 years ago

      I have this issue as well when I place the phone in my pocket. It happens even when the power button is faceing up since I always seem to touch it as I pull my hand out.

  25. BrynGuest 4 years ago

    I have the same issue on my Samsung Nexus S. Not only are the capacitive buttons at the bottom always getting hit on accident, but especially when typing there will be phantom key presses if my fingers are too close. I thought maybe I was going nuts and tried some other recent devices and they are all similar, some better, some worse. I really wish there was a way to adjust the screen sensitivity and tone it down a bit.

  26. KamGuest 4 years ago

    My D2G actually does the same thing, though I think my phone isn’t as sensitive as the Evo 3D may be. I never accidentally press any buttons. It’s just super responsive, my phone knows what button I’m going to press before I press it. Droid does ESP!

  27. UnwiredGuest 4 years ago

    Because of this, the fact that 3D leaves me nauseous, and the incredibly annoying charging port on the side of the phone its likely going back.

    Another issue (although more personal) with the buttons is their brightness. I don’t know why HTC decided to deviate from the dimmer and much more subtle backlight of the original. I suspect these quad headlights don’t exactly help conserve battery.

    Sadly, I’m not impressed with the successor to what was once a top phone. In many areas HTC made unnecessary changes. The his phone should not have been named EVO, it’s a different product altogether.

    I’ll be happy with the EVO 4G until Ice Cream Sandwich rolls out late this fall.

  28. itrustmeGuest 4 years ago

    My nexus s has a very sensitive touch screen. I noticed the sensitivity changed when my phone updated to 2.3.4 i dont even have to touch the screen to pan through homescreens i love it. I prefer the higher sensitivity. How can you hate on a more responsive screen?

  29. AdamGuest 4 years ago

    Same issue here. The search comes up all the time when i don’t want it too.

  30. I’ve most definitely had the the same occurrence, both of triggering either the Search or Home buttons with the lightest of touches and of occasionally triggering without any contact at all. Very annoying.

  31. theSNUFALUFAGUSGuest 4 years ago

    Yes and yes. I seem to also have to keep the screen squeaky clean or it touches itself. Coming from a Pre that I had much more control over. Otherwise pretty happy, but this needs fixed.

  32. Sometimes it happens on my Sensation, but not enough to dislike the phone.

  33. GiqueGuyGuest 4 years ago

    Sure, my steamy man-hands can trigger my EVO 3d w/o quite touching it sometimes. But, it’s a FAR SUPERIOR situation to all the “barely” capacitative screens out there. I dig my EVO 3d, and this is not a problem for me. This would rate right up there with the “my processor is too fast” issue ;-)

  34. ammarGuest 4 years ago

    Yes and yes. ..

  35. Erik RestificarGuest 4 years ago

    I can confirm I have the same sensitivity issue on my phone and its really annoying. It makes the phone almost unusable in horizontal-mode since my right thumb rests next to the search button. Hopefully this can be fixed in some software patch in the future, otherwise this is defective hardware and we should be allowed to return or exchange this garbage.

  36. tGuest 4 years ago

    I have EVO 3D for 3 days. Two big issues bother me

    1. The whole bottom left corner near the HOME button is over sensitive and I could never hold the phone with left hand without activating the HOME button no matter how to avoid that

    2. I have no idea why and how the Voice Command prompt showing up all the times without me knowing what I had tocuhed.

  37. KelvinGuest 4 years ago

    agreed! same situation for my phone too! so many mis-touches happened and annoying!

  38. frankGuest 3 years ago

    I have the same issue on my Samsung Focus. Holding the phone normally, the slightest skin contact on the side or bottom of the frame (not even the damn screen) causes the Home button to spaz out continuously and I can promise its not an “awesome feature” – its annoying as **** to have it happen trying to do any damn thing like texting, web, gaming…everything. If I’m not in public I’m constantly swearing at this goddamn thing and want to pitch it at a wall

  39. ShannonGuest 3 years ago

    Yes mine does it all the time. It drives me crazy.

  40. JonathanGuest 3 years ago

    I LOVE my Evo3D phone. Coming from an imitation Moto Razor phone from 2008, this thing is A – MAZING.

    The sensitivity of the screen and buttons is the ONLY ONLY ONLY issue I have with it. I considered it taking it back to Best Buy, BUT ITS SUCH A GREAT PHONE.

    I’m no technology dummy. I KNOW there’s some settings in there that says “Hey, if this button is being pushed for more than .00001 seconds, activate it.” If only we could, or an APP could be made, to change these sensitivity settings, this would be the best phone hands down, EVER.

    • JonathanGuest 3 years ago

      I heard someone suggest to get a crappy screen overlay protector to dummy down the sensitivity, but it’s only those damn four buttons at the bottom, lol

  41. StrangerGuest 3 years ago

    Yes, I use my phone to play games alot so it’s constantly happening

  42. randyGuest 3 years ago

    Sounds like a personal problem :P

  43. evo3d@user.comGuest 2 years ago

    I can’t stand the hyper sensitive screen on the evo 3d It constantly miss clicks and is very annoying. I think HTC buggered this thing up with their stupid software. The tra h type keyboard sucks companies to swype, and the auto predict comes up off screen much of the time (like right now).

    The 3d makes me sick and the camera sucks with or without 3d, especially in low light.

    one weird thing is in the testing menu ( *#*#4636#*#* ) it has options to switch to LTE. Hmmm.

  44. RaulGuest 2 years ago

    All 10 of my eco 3d have had multiple problems all the same. Type things before contact screen. And even goes haywire and starts calling people as if a ghost takes over my damn phone. I’m begging HTC something please. O and the digitizer supposed a big reason for touch problems well fix that too then shoot man…