I think you might be wrong about the "hard" buttons. I too had a hard time activating them, and it turns out that the "contact" is actually just above the icon. If you press even very gently with just the tip of your finger just slightly above where you'd think you should, you'll get that satisfying vibe that tells you you've hit it. Start right on the icon and then slide your fingertip upwards until it vibrates to get a sense of just where to press. An incredibly soft touch will activate them if you touch the right spot.