Basic usability of today's smartphone
I'm talking about waking up your phone and putting it back to sleep. In the past, most phones have physical keypad, and waking up the phone is as easy as pressing any keys on the keypad. Even better are flip phones, where you just need to flip the phone open to wake the phone, and close it to put it to sleep. Smartphones imo seems to muddy this most basic usability, with ever increasing screen size, removal of physical buttons on the phone's face, and/or focus on aesthetic (making the buttons too flushed or hard to reach/push easily).
I find the home button to be a God send on the iPhone, allowing me to wake the phone up without having to reach the power button. And thanks to its location, I can quickly wake up my iPhone and slide the unlock slider. However, turning off the phone still requires me to reach up to the power button. It's nitpicking, but the taller iPhone 5/5c/5s are not making things easier. I just wish Apple put a feature somewhere to allow me to put my iPhone to sleep by pressing something on-screen (maybe they can put a sleep button on the control center).
There are a variety of phones, but most annoying is that to wake up an Android phone (without rooting or modding), one has to use the power button due to the lack of physical button on the phone's face on most phones (sans some phones like Samsung's). On the bright side, there are widgets available to put the phone to sleep by tapping on the on-screen widget. The saving grace is LG's knock-on feature, but that's not widespread yet (even Google didn't adopt it for the Nexus 5).
Yes, first world problem, but shouldn't we expect better? Seems like LG has the best concept with the knock-on feature, coupled with Android's ability to have a widget to put the phone to sleep. I just want to be able to wake my phone and put it to sleep with my thumb right on the screen area. Seems like a common sense usability when one is holding a phone, especially with one hand. What's your preference?