It's often the smallest details that determine your overall experience with a smartphone. Unlocking your device with a PIN is an example — and iPhones have had a leg up over Android thanks to their automatic unlocking. Thankfully, this era has finally come to an end with the arrival of the Galaxy S9.
Samsung's Galaxy S9 is officially on sale, so we ran through its best software features and even took a look at a few hidden things you might not know about. A new phone is always exciting, but there are a few annoying issues with any device. One such issue is the new persistent Android System notifications in Android Oreo on the Galaxy S9.
Putting your Galaxy S9 in Immersive Mode lets you truly enjoy the gorgeous display that Samsung is so famous for. You can't have it set on at all times, however, so you'll still have to deal with the status and navigation bars that cut the phone's aspect ratio down to that of a standard phone. But if you're willing to dig a little deeper, there are ways to go full Immersive Mode on your S9 for good.
Samsung has made curved displays a signature element of their flagship phones, but the Edge Screen, as it's called, has proven to be a magnet for accidental touches. Fortunately, Samsung has developed a little known app to help prevent this problem.
From veteran modders to casual tinkerers, booting into either recovery mode or download mode is something every Galaxy S9 owner should know about. These two pre-boot menus serve a very important purpose — recovery mode is the go-to solution for soft bricks, while download mode allows you to flash firmware files using utilities like Odin and Smart Switch, which can truly be a lifesaver.
By default, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ only have 15 media volume steps — in other words, there are only 15 increments between silent and full volume. That's usually fine if you're using your phone's speakers, but if you're wearing headphones, more fine-tuned controls would be helpful.
Customizing the lock screen, status bar, and other aspects of your Galaxy's UI usually requires root. Thankfully, Samsung has reintroduced a well-regarded app that gives you the freedom to tailor parts of your Galaxy's interface in just a few simple steps.
Since its introduction, the Bixby button has been a big point of contention among Galaxy fans. Many view the dedicated button as a wasted opportunity, which they argue could be put to better use if Samsung would let them use it for other commands. Thanks to an awesome app, you'll be able to remap the Bixby button on your Galaxy S9 to perform almost any function.
As informative as they can be, the new app icon badges and unread counts on the Galaxy S9's home screen are a little redundant since Android already has a notification center. If you'd rather not have these little dots overlaid on your home screen icons, there's an easy way to disable and hide them.
Smartphones have put an end to camcorders. If you want to capture memorable moments in high quality, look no further than that technological marvel in your pocket. Recent Galaxy phones are shining examples of how far we've come — but the more capable a camera gets, the more complicated things can be.
The Galaxy S9 is a great phone powered by the Android ecosystem. This includes Google's family of apps — many of which overlap with Samsung's in functionality. This can lead to redundant apps that siphon resources from your phone, but fortunately, there's a way to dull some of the noise and disable built-in apps.
If you recently received your new Galaxy S9 or S9+, you're probably excited to try out all of the features the flagship offers. While many of the features are self-explanatory and easy to access, there are a handful of very useful items that Samsung has buried in the settings menu. Enabling these hidden features will help you unlock the true power of your new device.
Many Samsung fans were excited when the Galaxy S9 kept the 3.5 mm headphone jack. While this is a rare delight in 2018, you also have the option for high quality audio playback over Bluetooth. When used with compatible headphones, the S9's new Bluetooth audio codecs can greatly improve audio quality.
No smartphone is immune to software issues, even one as advanced as the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Bugs can be caused by a multitude of issues, such as third-party apps that just refuse to play well with your device's OS. Thankfully, there's a simple way for you to check if your S9's bugs are due to uncooperative apps.
Apple's Animoji on the iPhone X might allow you to use your own facial movements to control your favorite emoji, but Samsung is looking to make you the focus of the interactive icon with the introduction of AR Emoji. Instead of a dragon or an alien, Samsung wants your unique look to define your avatar.
The Galaxy S9 is now in the hands of millons of excited users. Getting a new phone is always fun, but it's important to think about protecting your device. Perhaps the most popular cases for the Galaxy S9 are the official OEM options from Samsung. There are a plethora of cases, whatever your preference and needs may be. Let's take a look at each case individually, along with the pros and cons.
With the re-emergence of Samsung's Good Lock app, you're once again able to tweak parts of your Galaxy's interface with no root or major modifications required. One add-on in particular even lets you fully customize the Quick Settings panel on your S8, S9, or Note 8 in a full spectrum of colors to truly make it your own.
After the success of the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm now has its eyes set towards the future with the arrival of its next-generation SoC, the Snapdragon 845. Debuting alongside the Samsung Galaxy S9, the 845 is now set to take over the market for flagship Android phones in 2018.
Samsung may have beaten Apple to the punch in introducing a system-wide dark theme with One UI, but they left out the ability to schedule night mode to kick in automatically. It's nothing that a little update can't fix, however, and that's exactly what Samsung just did to remedy this issue.
Unless you own an Exynos model, there won't be much development on the custom ROM front for the Galaxy S9. But that doesn't mean you have to put up with all of the UI quirks from Samsung Experience (née TouchWiz). With a little work, you can give your S9 a stock Android makeover, even without root.