I've noticed that it seems to be hard to turn on the console (and turn it off too) using the big circular X button in the center of the controller.
At first I was pressing it straight down and holding it. Nothing. Tried to apply more pressure. No luck.
I played around with it a bit more and it seems that pressing on the upper right of the X-button turns it off/on relatively more easy. I can't always do it consistently, but at least I know it works.
Is my controller defective? I first noticed the problem when I set-up the box just to play the Titanfall beta. First I couldn't turn on the console using the controller, which I thought was odd. I had to get my ps4's microusb cord and plug the controller directly into the One before it finally activated, with the X-button lighting up and all.
When I wanted to quit out of Titanfall beta, I couldn't even get back to my home screen by pressing the X-button. I just ended up powering down the One directly with the button on the face of the console.
It could be defective. I have found that I went through a few 360 controllers because buttons kept sticking. The Xbox One controllers do look pretty cheap and nasty, one of my biggest gripes with the XOne is the controller design and finish.
I'd look into taking it back and see if your retailer will swap it over.
My controller seems to work fine with holding down the Xbox button at any position and pressing down. If yours is only responding when being hit at an angle or only the top portion, you should look into getting it exchanged.
Try and take it back..I will say that my analog sticks are sticky sometimes and it's like when u push forward to sprint in cod it feels like there is sticky residue between the stick and the housing for the stick...weird
Your controller could definitely be defective. Mine is having issues as well. Every one in a while I will get a mesage telling me to turn on my controller. I know for a fact that it isn't the batteries. I'm thinking about calling Microsoft to see if I can get a replacement. Doesn't the warranty cover the controller?