Samsung has touted the Galaxy S7 as the smartphone that ‘redefines what a phone can do’, and it certainly does have a lot of innovative functions designed to enhance the user’s experience.
But some of the features that really set this phone apart from a lot of its competitors aren’t immediately obvious. So we’ve put together this handy list of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Samsung Galaxy S7.
1. Really simple data transfer
First things first, if you’ve just bought a new Samsung Galaxy S7, you’ll want to transfer over all the data from your old phone.
Luckily, the Galaxy S7 comes with Samsung Smart Switch already downloaded, which lets you transfer everything from your old phone really quickly and easily.
All you need to do is download Smart Switch for free from Google Play onto your old Android. Then you can sync all your information wirelessly or through a wired connection on to your new S7.
If you’re transferring data from an iPhone onto a Samsung Galaxy, simply download Samsung Smart Switch on your PC or Mac and connect both devices.
2. Personalise your home screen
Once all your data has been transferred onto your new Samsung Galaxy S7, you can really start making it your own by personalising the home screen.
Simply long-press on any empty space on your home screen to find a whole host of customisation options. You can edit your different home screens, add more or delete some altogether. You can also adjust your screen grid size to display more widgets or make the icons bigger.
Even more exciting, there are stacks of themes and wallpapers to jazz up your home screen.
Select ‘wallpapers’ to set your home screen and lock screen image. You can choose from Samsung’s selection of pre-loaded wallpapers or access your own image gallery to set the image you want for your home screen and your lock screen.
If you want to, you can actually select up to 30 different images for your lock screen.
The themes not only change the background but also the font, widget icons and Samsung app backgrounds to match the theme. At the moment, my Galaxy S7 is rocking the festive look with the Christmas Cookie theme.
3. Get rid of unwanted apps
One of the real bugbears of modern smartphones is the amount of storage that gets taken up by apps already downloaded onto the device by the manufacturer. And unfortunately Samsung are notorious for filling their phones with this unnecessary bloatware.
Luckily, there is a simple way of getting rid of any unwanted apps. Just go to the app tray, select ‘Edit’ in the top right-hand corner and start deleting apps you don’t want.
Alternatively, you can simply hold down on any app you don’t want to keep and drag it into the ‘Discard’ folder.
4. Organise your apps
Once you’ve got rid of any unwanted bloatware, you might want to organise the rest of your apps so they’re really easy to find.
To put them into alphabetical order, simply go to the apps tray and select the ‘A-Z’ button in the top right-hand corner.
To reorder them manually, choose the ‘Edit’ option, also in the top right-hand corner of the apps tray and drag your apps into the position you want. Then click ‘Done’ to save.
You can also create an apps tray folder by using the ‘Edit’ function. Drag one app over another and a folder will appear, containing both apps.
If you'd rather have all your apps on the home screen, like the iPhone layout, you can get rid of the apps tray altogether. Just go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Advanced features’. Then go to ‘Galaxy labs’ and choose the option to ‘Show all apps on the home screen’.
5. Use your phone one-handed
At a sizeable 5.1 inches, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will feel a bit like a phablet, especially if you’re used to a more compact handset. And, while the impressive screen size is a real plus for watching videos and playing games, it can be a bit difficult to use one-handed.
To enable reachability, go to ‘Settings’, select ‘Advanced Features’ and switch on the ‘one-handed operation’ feature. Once you’ve done that, simply triple-tap on the home button at any time to shrink the entire screen to a much more manageable 3.4-inch display.
While it looks a bit odd at first, it’s actually really useful, particularly if you’re trying to text without falling over when on the tube.
6. Use split-screen
Split-screen is a really useful function of the S7, allowing you to use more than one app at a time. So, you can do things like send a text without having to exit YouTube.
To use split-screen, press the ‘Recent apps’ icon to the left of the home button on your handset. Apps that support split-screen will have a double rectangle symbol.
Tap on a double rectangle and split screen will open with your chosen app in the top half of the screen and a list of the other compatible apps at the bottom. You can then select another app that you want to split-screen.
7. Switch off auto-correct
This is something that comes automatically enabled on the Samsung S7 and you’re going to want to switch it off pretty much straight away if you want your texts to actually make sense.
Take it from us, auto-correct can lead to no end of awkward text messages as perfectly innocuous sentences change meaning totally when your phone swaps the words you want for what it thinks you mean. ‘Drying my goat’? Really? I obviously meant ‘hair’. Sigh.
To avoid confusing your friends and making yourself sound pretty daft, we strongly recommend switching this feature off.
To do this, simply go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Language and input’. Then go to ‘Samsung keyboard’ and switch off the ‘Auto replace’ option.
Congratulations! You have now avoided some really awkward text conversations.
8. Make the most of the camera
One of the absolute stand-out features of the Samsung Galaxy S7 is the highly intelligent camera. But you have to do a bit of digging to find all hidden extras that make this one of the best smartphone cameras available.
Next time you open up the camera, select ‘Mode’ to view all your shooting options, including ‘Panorama’, ‘Selective focus’ and ‘Slow motion’.
Our favourite is ‘Pro’ mode, which gives you a whole host of manual controls to help you take really professional-looking shots. With ‘Pro’ mode, you can adjust the autofocus, change the white balance and play with the shutter speed to take some really professional-looking photos.
9. Use Do Not Disturb
Hate it when your phone goes off during an important meeting or you get woken up by an early weekend phone call? Yeah so do we, which is why we love the S7’s Do Not Disturb function.
You can switch on Do Not Disturb at any time or you can schedule it to activate at a specific time, like at night or when you’re in an important presentation. After all, most people probably are going to want to sleep undisturbed through both, right?
You can choose to silence your phone altogether, or you can set up a range of exceptions so you never miss anything important. You can set it so that your alarm still goes off, or that repeat callers or certain numbers are able to get through to you. You can also choose which apps you still want to notify you.
All you need to do is go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Do not disturb’ and set it up the way you want it.
10. Customise your always-on display
One of the nicest features of the Samsung Galaxy S7 is the always-on display, so you never have to waste battery or effort by waking your phone up to check the time or to see if you have any texts or missed calls.
To customise this, go to ‘Settings’ and choose ‘Display’. Then go to ‘Always on display’ and you’ll find a range of options, including time, date, battery level, missed calls and texts. The only drawback is that it currently doesn’t work with third party apps, such as Facebook, Twitter or Outlook.