Samsung's much-awaited switch to virtual navigation keys, falling in line with many other Android phone manufacturers, has me quite pleased. While I understand capacitive keys have their proponents, software keys offer - theoretically - more configurability and a more consistent user experience across devices.

As you might guess, Samsung's first stab at virtual navkeys follows Samsung's typical (read: wrong) order, from left to right: recent apps, home, back. Fortunately, if you're like me and consider Samsung's position on the button ordering argument to be more stubbornness than anything else, you have an option: just switch their order. While the ordering of the keys is not completely customizable, you can make the one switch 95% of people who want this option would be interested in, swapping the position of the recent apps and back key into Google's recommended layout for Android. It's dead simple - just go into settings, display, navigation bar, and you can pick one of two configurations.

DSC06808

You can also set a custom color for the navbar background, which is cool (I'd definitely go with black).

The next cool feature I spotted related to the new navkeys is the fact that you have a home key available to you at all times. Just use a bit of pressure on the screen over the home icon, even if it's not visible or the screen is off, and you'll wake up the phone from sleep or go home (if the device is awake). It's pretty neat - just this one area of the screen is pressure-sensitive, and it's always responsive to a hard press. Even if an app is in full-screen mode and the home key isn't visible, just hard-press where the home button would normally be and you'll get a haptic burst to indicate you've engaged the home button. You can adjust the amount of pressure necessary to activate it, too.

If you want to check your notifications while your phone is lying on a tablet or desk without picking it up, this could be a handy thing. The alternative use is if you prefer Samsung's iris or face unlock authentication methods - you'll be able to activate either just by tapping this virtual, always-on key. I can get behind that.

You can even adjust the amount of pressure necessary to activate this virtual home button in the same area you would adjust the order of the keys. Samsung has really thought about some of this stuff (even if I'm sure some would love yet more customization options), which is nice to see.