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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus tips and tricks and hidden features

Get the most out of your Galaxy S9 with these pro tips.

So, you’ve splashed out on Samsung’s flagship smartphone. But when you power it up, you find you’re using it for the same basic functions you always turned to on your old budget handset.

The fact is, there’s a reason the Galaxy S9 is pricey. It comes laden with amazing features that allow you to do a lot more with your phone. And do it faster too.

Whether it’s taking killer snaps, getting things done faster or simply making the most of that stunning AMOLED screen, follow these tips and tricks and you’ll be getting the best out your slick Samsung Galaxy S9 in no time.

Think you're ready to upgrade to the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 soon? Here's our pick of the standout deals.

Not up to speed with the Note 9 yet? Here's what you need to know.

1 Use Intelligent Scan

Samsung Galaxy S9 facial recognition security

Samsung’s face scanning smarts aren’t as complex or secure as Apple’s 3D–mapping Face ID.

But that’s not to say they’re not a solid option for those who want to keep their information and personal data safe.

The Galaxy S9’s Intelligent Scan feature uses both iris and facial recognition.

First, register your face by choosing ‘face recognition’ in the lock screen and security section of the Settings app. In the same menu, you’ll find the option to scan and register your iris.

Once you’ve done this, toggle on ‘intelligent scan’ in the lock screen and security menu. You can then unlock your Galaxy S9 by simply looking at it and even open online accounts using the Samsung Pass feature.

2 Switch off the Bixby button

Samsung Galaxy S9 Bixby

With Google Assistant built in, there’s really no need to use Samsung’s less than perfect Bixby smart assistant.

In fact, it’s worth switching it off is best, because the dedicated Bixby button is too easy to tap by mistake. To do so, hit the Bixby button.

Hit settings and then toggle Bixby off. Remember to hold down in an empty area of your homescreen, scroll left to find the Bixby panel and use the switch above it to turn that off too.

In the Settings menu, search out Bixby Voice and turn that off. Then you can use Google’s far better service without worrying about opening Bixby by mistake.

3 Fire up the 'Always On' display

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus hero size

Always On is Samsung’s way of showing you key information on your lock screen at all times without chewing through your battery.

Inside the lock screen and security menu, tap Always On display to turn it on.

You can set a schedule for it to show at select times or decide to have it displaying information from the time to key notifications constantly.

4 Use landscape mode

Samsung Galaxy S9 screen slow-mo shot hero size

With a 5.8–inch screen, the Galaxy S9 works best in landscape mode. This feature doesn’t work straight out of the box, however. But it is easy to turn on.

Hold down on an empty area of the homescreen. When you see the Settings button at the bottom of display, hit it and then turn off ‘Portrait mode only’.

When you turn the screen, it’ll work in landscape mode automatically.

5 See your notifications by holding down on an app

Samsung Galaxy S9 App notifications

With notifications so prevalent, how you choose to see them is becoming increasingly important.

In the Galaxy S9, you can see all your notifications from a given app by holding down on its icon, with a menu appearing showing the latest news, messages or prompts.

This can be switched on by diving into the notifications menu within Settings and tapping ‘app icon badges’. Hit ‘show notifications’ to turn on this feature.

6 Control the camera’s aperture

Samsung Galaxy S9 pro mode camera

Samsung has made a lot of noise about the Galaxy S9’s variable aperture, which can switch from f/1.5 to f2/4 automatically, giving great shots no matter the lighting conditions.

But did you know you can tweak this manually? Simply fire up the camera, swipe left twice to access Pro mode, and you’ll see a toggle to switch between the two settings.

This is ideal for those who want to create moodier shots after dark or overexpose images when it’s bright.

7 Use it one–handed

Samsung Galaxy S9 one handed mode

There’s no escaping the fact that the Galaxy S9 is hard to use in one hand. Its large display often leaves us stretching to reach the top.

Turning on one–handed mode fixes this. Open Settings, tap on Advanced features and then choose one–handed mode.

This can then be accessed by tapping the home button three times or swiping up from the bottom left to the right-hand corner.

This will make everything shrink to the bottom. You can leave this mode by tapping outside this area.

8 Make the Edge Panel yours

Samsung Galaxy S9 edge screen

One of the Galaxy S9’s smartest features is the Edge Panel.

This can be pulled onto the screen with a short swipe from the right, showing shortcuts in a small area meaning you don’t have to delve into your device to bring up the stuff you need at your fingertips.

And you can customise the Edge Panel too, a must if you want to replace speedy access to Samsung’s bloatware apps with something more useful.

In the Display section of Settings, follow Edge Screen and then Edge Panels. You can then choose what shows up, from Google Maps to Fortnite.

Category: Features
Tagged: samsung, galaxy s9
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