I miss the buttons, but there just not enough of them on the phone.
That said, Pinephone's site has some amusing text: "the PinePhone runs mainline Linux as well as anything else you’ll get it to run." LOL. It'll run anything that it runs. OK then!
A good example even on 'open' Android devices: you are typically stuck with a particular binary blob for the GPU drivers pretty much forever because there is no publicly available documentation for the hardware and therefore no open source GPU drivers are likely to ever exist.
But I think an even better input method is the scrollball, and the small trackpad on later BlackBerries. I have the last one that had a trackpad (the 2014 Classic), and to this day I'm still amazed at how fast and precise it is. Rather than moving a mouse cursor like laptops, it moved the focus from control to control. Combined with a hardware back button beside it, you had full control over the device by moving your thumb slightly. It worked with gloves too! And desktop websites were not an obstacle because it gave you a proper mouse pointer that could precisely target small controls.
Nothing else comes close to it. The Classic had a small touch screen compared to today's phones, but I think a trackpad paired with today's phablets would be a great combination.
Top left corner here