Samsung Galaxy S9 Tips and Tricks

Whether you’re a new Samsung smartphone user or have been using Galaxy devices for years, the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ have a steep learning curve if you want to get the most out of these phones. Simply put, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the larger S9+ are packed with dozens of features that you may not know about. This article isn’t going to cover all of them, but we will touch on the most important Galaxy S9 tips and tricks which will dramatically improve the overall experience offered by these phones.

Disable the Bixby Button, Bixby Voice and Bixby Home

Bixby is a great alternative to Google Assistant, but if you’d rather use the latter, disabling Bixby altogether is pretty simple. Follow the steps below and you’ll never have to hear Bixby’s voice again on your phone.

  • Disable Bixby Button: swiping over to the Bixby Home screen, tap the settings gear towards the top and toggle off the Bixby button.
  • Disable Bixby Voice: from the Bixby Home screen, tap the three dots in the top left corner, tap settings and toggle off the Bixby voice button.
  • Disable Bixby Home: from the home screen, long-press on an open space on the home screen, swipe over to Bixby screen to the left toggle off the Bixby Home button.

Change the screen resolution

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ both feature WQHD+ resolution displays, but the out of the box configuration is set to WFHD+ to improve performance and battery life.  If you’d like to bump the resolution up or down, go to Settings, Display Settings, Screen Resolution and then slide the bar all the way over to the right to the WQHD+ and then tap apply.

Gestures to open Notifications Shade

As devices have gotten larger, it’s become increasingly difficult to open the notification shade while using one hand. To alleviate this issue, Samsung gives you two different options to open the Notifications Shade without needing to play finger gymnastics to do so.

  • Swipe down on home screen: Long press on the home screen, tap, home screen settings and the toggle on Quick Open Notification Panel.
  • Swipe down on Fingerprint Sensor: Open Settings, Advanced Features, and toggle on Finger Sensor Gestures.

Turn on Video Enhancer

The Super AMOLED display on your phone is pretty incredible, but there’s a setting that’s hidden away which will enhance the visual experience of the phone dusting video playback. To turn it on, go to Settings, Advanced Features, scroll to the bottom and toggle on Video Enhancer. Tapping the setting will display which apps it’s compatible with and what you can expect from it when it’s turned on.

Tweak the audio settings and Enable Dolby Atmos

Listening to audio on the Samsung Galaxy S9 is fairly enjoyable, but Samsung gives you a lot of customization options if you’re not happy with the default settings. To do this, jump into Settings, Sounds and Vibrations and select Sound Quality and Effects. Here you’ll find a plethora of customization options with audio profiles for your specific age group, an equalizer for tuning the audio yourself and more. If you’re not sure what settings to change, you can just switch on Dolby Atmos which will give you a much richer audio profile when listing to music or watching video.

Stream audio to two Bluetooth devices

If you enjoy listening to music and watching movies with friends, the Galaxy S9 makes that experience even better by allowing you to stream audio to two Bluetooth devices at once. To turn it on, go to Bluetooth settings, tap the three dots in the top right corner and then tap Dual Audio. On the next screen, toggle the setting on. Once you have two Bluetooth devices connected to the phone, you will be able to stream audio to both of them at the same time.

Hide contacts, messages, apps or files with Secure Folders

If privacy is a priority for you, you’ll want to enable Secure Folders on your phone. The feature allows you to hide specific contacts, text messages, phone calls, files, pictures and even apps within a folder which can only be accessed by you. Secure Folder in the app drawer or settings under Lock Screen and Security. Follow the on-screen instructions to set your fingerprint, PIN or pattern to secure the folder. Since this is an added layer of security, use a PIN or pattern that is different from the one you use to unlock your phone.

Enable 240/FPS slow motion video capture

By now you’ve likely tried the Samsung Galaxy S9’s 960-FPS super slow motion mode. While the results can be amazing, it’s extremely hard to get the shot you want on the first try. If you want something more reliable, the phone’s camera also has a 240/FPS slow-motion mode which records video at 1080p. To turn it on, open the camera app and tap Settings, Edit Camera Modes, Rear Camera. Select the  Slow Motion mode towards the bottom. This is also where you can rearrange all the camera modes, so feel free to play around with the order or turn off modes you don’t use.

Improve battery life

Both of Samsung’s new phones get decent battery life, but if you want to make sure your phone can last through a full day at work and long into the night, you will have to make some adjustments. Open Settings, Device Maintenance and tap the battery icon. You’ll be presented with three different battery profiles. Tapping each one will show you which settings will be changed and what the expected battery life of the phone will be once that profile is applied. If there are specific settings you don’t want to be changed, simply uncheck the box for that setting and the battery projection will be updated. Once you have made your selection, tap apply. Reducing the screen resolution and throttling the CPU can give you an extra 2-3 hours of battery life per charge.

Rearrange the on-screen Nav Buttons

Most manufacturers arrange the on-screen nav buttons in the same order, but Samsung being Samsung, they’ve decided to do things differently. Rather than the usual Back, Home Recents order, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+’s button layout is set to Recents, Home, and Back. If you’re not a fan, the order can be changed by going to Settings, Display, Navigation Bar, Button Layout. Here you’ll be able to tweak the layout of the on-screen Navigational Buttons and also change the background color as well.

Do you have some Galaxy S9 tips and tricks of your own that you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line in the comments below and tell us how you get the most out of your phone.

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About The Author
Nick Gray
Nick's fascination with technology started in the 90's when the first MINI Disc player came to market. His upbringing was pretty low-tech, but that changed once he got to college and started building his own PCs. But once HTC's first smartphones came around, he was hooked. Since then, Nick started his own blog (htcsource.com) and has also written for a handful of well-known tech news sites around the web. His personal tech reviews can be found on his High Tech Traveler YouTube channel.