As I’ve previously said here, it’s often the smaller features that make or break a device for me. The lock mechanism is of these. Since the unlock/action brackets every other interaction with my phone, it’s something that needs to be done right.
The slider on the N8 is exactly the kind of control I want there. It enables me to lock/unlock my phone with a single action. It’s located almost directly under a finger when I hold the phone – so it doesn’t require much movement or effort. Because it is a mechanical slider with some resistance, it doesn’t get triggered accidentally. Operating it gives the kind of nice, haptic feedback that modern phones (especially touch slates) usually lack.
Both the Android and the iOS mechanisms of a button press followed by a slide across an on-screen element are clunky by comparison. Two different actions, two different fingers, two different locations on the phone. They require twice the effort and have twice the complexity. For now, the simplicity of unlocking my N8 is one of the reasons that I’m still locked into Symbian.