So you’ve just got yourself a new Samsung Galaxy S22 series device – you might think it’s already one of the best purchases you’ve ever made, but you’ve likely not even scratched the surface.
Outside of making some of the best displays of any smartphone manufacturer in the world, Samsung’s other superpower is how it seamlessly blends usability and function straight out of the box with customisation options to take it all even further without getting in the way.
Here’s how to make the most of it.
First Samsung Galaxy? No problem
Incredible cameras, one of the best displays we’ve ever seen on a smartphone and a built in S-Pen. Talk about appealing – and if this is your first Samsung smartphone, you’re going to be in for a treat. Thankfully, if the idea of jumping into a brand new phone interface seems like a daunting task, there are a few things you can do to make that transition seamless.
1. Use Samsung’s Smart Switch App to move all your old data
Whether you’re coming from an iPhone or another Android device, you can download Samsung’s Smart Switch app on your old phone. All you need to do then is connect it to your new Galaxy S22 to bring all your data along for the ride – including your photos, videos, contacts, calendars and notes. If you’re coming from another Android phone, it’ll also bring over your apps, phone settings and even home screen layout.
2. Don’t forget WhatsApp!
WhatsApp saves your message and file history a bit different to most other messaging platforms – using your own personal cloud storage for privacy and security reasons. For most phones, this history can’t be transferred between different operating systems. With the Galaxy S22 though, as part of the Smart Switch process, you can scan a QR code to transfer all your history, regardless of whether you’re coming from iOS or Android.
3. Set up gesture navigation
By default, the Galaxy S22’s interface can be navigated with the standard three button navigation bar. It’s familiar, but it can take up a bit of screen real estate if that matters to you.
If you want more screen space or you’re coming from a phone that’s gesture based instead, you can keep that rhythm up by changing the default on your new Galaxy S22 to gesture navigation.
You don’t need to be Einstein to swap it over either – jump into Settings, search for “navigation bar”, then tap Swipe Gestures and you’re all set.
4. App drawer or no app drawer?
Some phones have a home screen you can customise and a separate app drawer you can open for your full list of apps – while others simply have the home screen that you swipe through for everything. By default, the Galaxy S22 has separate home screens and an app drawer – but you can change this to just the home screen if that’s your preference.
To change it, make a long tap on a blank part of the home screen to open up Home screen settings. Tap into Home Screen Layout, where you’ll then get to pick which option you’d rather.
Make your Galaxy S22 all about you
Samsung’s OneUI 4 and Android 12 lean heavy into personalisation to really tailor the experience just for you. Here are a few ways to make the most of it.
1. Match your theme to your wallpaper
Packed inside Android 12 is a personalisation feature Google calls Material You. Essentially, it takes the colours from your phone’s wallpaper and applies them across the phone to things like app icon backgrounds, button backgrounds and sliders. You can play around with these colours inside your wallpaper settings.
2. Download Samsung Good Lock
Samsung Good Lock, in my opinion, is Samsung’s most underrated aspect of owning a Samsung Galaxy S22. It’s an official app in the Samsung Galaxy Store that unlocks a whole bunch more of customisation across your phone and enables more advanced features such as changing app shortcuts on your lock screen, the amount of apps you can have open in split screen, how notifications are displayed and a whole bunch more. Seriously – head to the Galaxy Store now and see what you can do.
3. Smart Widgets
Widgets are great, but it’s not often that you want a glance at information from each widget that you have at the same time – this is where the new Smart Widgets come in. Rather than filling your home screen with multiple widgets, Smart Widgets allows you to stack a bunch of them on top that you can swipe through. It’ll also try and work out over time what it thinks is the most relevant widget for you and put what it thinks on the top of the stack. Super handy!
Take games, photos and movies to another level
1. Game Launcher and Game Booster for the win
Big gorgeous screens and powerful chipsets are the perfect combination for an awesome gaming phone. Luckily, each device in the Galaxy S22 series ticks these boxes. Samsung takes it even further with its popular Game Launcher and Game Booster features – features so good that we’ve seen Google build something extremely similar right inside Android 12.
Turning these features on gives you quick access to everything mobile gaming is about in 2022. Easily take screenshots, record videos and share them straight to Discord (or a bunch of other game stream platforms). There’s also a special gaming Do Not Disturb mode that blocks out notifications while a game is playing and saves them for when you’re back in a menu screen or lobby waiting (depending on your game).
2. Pro photos with ExpertRAW
If you count yourself a bit of a photographer, or if you’d like to seriously upgrade your Instagram feed – Samsung’s Expert RAW app from the Galaxy Store unlocks the full potential of those awesome cameras. It’s essentially a pro-level camera app that gives you deep manual control over settings such as ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. What’s particularly interesting though compared to the regular camera app is how it takes multi-frame HDR photos in both standard JPEG and in RAW (hence the name!) to edit straight in Adobe Lightroom.
This is a big deal – smartphone computational photography has come so far in recent years, and normally that software magic is lost when exporting in RAW format to edit.
3. Bring the cinema to the palm of your hands with Dolby Atmos
If you haven’t yet experienced Dolby Atmos – it’s the latest surround sound audio standard, sometimes referred to as Spatial Audio. If you think about your standard surround sound and how it can feel like noises are coming from each direction to your left and right – Atmos takes it even further and adds height. By height, I mean it also can sound like noises are coming from above and below you, on top of everything else. It’s truly the best way to watch a movie or play a video game.
You’ll find Atmos in high-end TVs, soundbars and streaming boxes – and also in the Galaxy S22 Series if your headphones support it. To enable Dolby Atmos, go to Settings > Sound quality and effects and then toggle on Dolby Atmos.
Automation to make life easier
1. Screen spam and scam callers
If there’s absolutely one tip you’re going to follow, it’s this one. Built into the phone is a fantastic spam and scam call and SMS screening tool – and it works incredibly well. It essentially has a huge database of known scam and spam phone numbers that get updated daily, and if one of those numbers calls you it’ll either block it automatically or inform you that the number is a suspected spam call while it’s ringing. Every now and then a spam number will slip through, but in my experience, the large majority are screened.
This feature isn’t on by default, but it’s extremely simple to do. Jump into Settings, scroll down and select apps and tap on choose default apps. Once you’re in that screen, scroll down and tap into caller ID & spam and in this page select phone.
2. Make life easy with Bixby Routines
Not to be confused with regular Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, Bixby Routines allows you to automate your life across your phone and the rest of your smart devices. It can do things like changing your phone’s settings based on where you are, automate your morning routine or message a friend you’re heading to see to say you’re on the way once you leave your home. Each update Samsung adds even more routines to automate – and they’re things that genuinely make your day to day just that little bit better.
Samsung’s Galaxy S series have always been up there with the best smartphones each year right out of the box. But perhaps the most powerful feature is how much you can add and change across the phone to suit your liking – and with Android 12 and the latest OneUI skin from Samsung, it’s all easier and more powerful than ever.
And once you’re done making the home screen and settings all about you – make the rest of it about you too with accessories to do even more with your S22 and cases to make a statement and keep it safe.