Get more on your Galaxy S7, S6 or Note 5 screen with hidden DPI scaling settings

by: Kris CarlonMarch 17, 2016
1.4K

SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 DPI SCALING MENU

You know how amongst all the cool new Android N features there’s also native DPI scaling (the ability to resize on-screen content)? It turns out the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge have it too. Well, kind of. With a very simple process – no root or special skills required, I promise – you can squeeze more content onto your Galaxy S7’s screen. (Update: we’ve since been told the same method works for the Galaxy S6 and Note 5 as well.)

Samsung-Galaxy-S7-4See also: Galaxy S7 Isocell vs Sony camera sensor: what’s the difference?60

Whereas the Android N preview has a sliding scale between one and five (as you can see below on the left), the Galaxy S7 has just two: a Standard setting of 640 DPI (how it comes out of the box) and a Condensed view at 540 DPI or thereabouts. If you prefer to have more content on your screen rather than have it big and visible, then you might want to follow the steps below.

DPI scaling Android N Galaxy S7 Edge

How to increase Galaxy S7 DPI scaling

All you have to do to enable Galaxy S7 DPI scaling is to install Nova Launcher (you’ll only need it for a moment, you can go back to TouchWiz once the process is complete).

INSTALL NOVA LAUNCHER

1. Launch Nova Launcher, long-press the home screen, tap Widgets and drag Activities (in the Nova Launcher widgets) to your home screen.

2. This will bring up a menu. Scroll down to Settings, expand the list and tap .DisplayScalingActivity which will place an icon on your home screen.

3. Tap the icon and you’ll see the DPI scaling menu in typical Samsung form. Selecting between Standard and Condensed will show a preview in the app list below and as soon as you tap Done you’ll be prompted to reboot, after which the setting will have taken root.

Nova Launcher Activities Display Scaling Galaxy S7

4. You’ll have to reboot your phone, but the change will persist through further reboots or even Android updates.

As you can see in the screenshots below, you’ll be able to see a lot more information in your Twitter feed, social stream or RSS feed. You can see that app icons don’t change size, but other on-screen elements do, so in the app drawer the status bar icons and Search/A-Z/Edit text is smaller in the Condensed setting. On the home screen, not much has changed other than the size of the Google search bar and the status bar icon size. The Settings menu also becomes a lot more compact.

As noted on XDA Developers (where this neat little trick was discovered), this is the third thing from the Android N preview that already existed in Samsung devices: multi-window, quick setting toggles at the top of the notification shade and now, DPI scaling. Credit where credit is due, so thank you Samsung, and thanks to XDA for discovering this hidden gem.

Bacon Reader before and after Galaxy S7 DPI scaling

Twitter before and after Galaxy S7 DPI scaling

App drawer before and after Galaxy S7 DPI scaling

Home screen before and after Galaxy S7 DPI scaling

  • dannybuoy

    Did this earlier after a friend pointed it out. It’s bloody brilliant. Just makes things even more roomy on the screen. Can the S7 get any better?

    • Marc Perrusquia

      A good speaker? Great phone, terrible speaker. I know people point to waterproofing but I’m pretty sure the S6 active had a decent speaker.

      • johnadams123

        The speaker is not that bad. It gets the job done. Most people use headphones for audio intensive activities anyway. The speaker to a lot of people isn’t as important as the other advantages the phone offers. But yeah, they could have used different placement. The 6P has amazing speakers.

  • Paul

    It’s on the note 5 too running mm

    • Dean Ablong

      Can you walk me through where I can find it? I can’t seem to locate it from under the Settings drop down in my Note 5 on Nova Launcher

      • Paul

        Do you have mm? Go to widgets add the nova widget for activities. Add the widget then look under settings. Same as instructions above.

  • Wlado Walko

    working on s6 too :)

    • Wlado Walko

      in these nova launcher shortuc settings on s6 there are also settings for s pen

  • Buggalo77

    Oh, this is excellent!

    From S7

  • kevin

    is condensed the same as 560 dpi? i used to change my s6’s dpi through adb from 640 to 560

    • Kris Carlon

      It’s close enough. The particular DPI value’s effect will depend on the size of the screen itself, and yes, you can always do the same thing via ADB, it’s jsut this is a cool native method that Samsung built in (and then hid for some odd reason).

    • Yes, it’s 560 DPI.

  • Samsung historical has gotten a lot of things before the Android itself gets them.

  • Hoggles

    Made it a little strange looking to me. Too small. Icons are too far apart. Went back to standard.

    Thanks for the tip though! Options are good :)

    • xevidroid

      Yup did the same here

  • Robi Szilagyi

    Does it work on s6 android 6.0???

  • Rusiru Hemage

    Works with S6 too.

    • 4wallz

      Couldn’t find that setting on my S6. And I’m using Nova prime.

      • Ms. A. Beaverhausen

        I have the setting on my S6 Edge+, although I really can’t notice any difference which is a shame.

  • Robi Szilagyi

    Galaxy S6 works but I don’t see a big change … that’s just my personal opinion but i think on note 5 or s6 edge + on bigger screen can be useful

    • Robi Szilagyi

      On my s6 after i reboot the phone to aply the setting, the phone gets hot near the camera. I think that’s one reason why samsung decided to hide this feature from us…

  • Sergei Castañeda

    i think it comes by default with marshmallow update, at least for s6

  • NegativeMan

    his/her battery lose about 3% of its power every 10 mins
    its good battery or not ?

    • NegativeMan

      i think battery life will be 5 hours and half i think its bad battery

  • duplissi

    Be warned, this disables Android Pay. I had to revert back to default in order to use it.

    • Matt Booth

      Also just discovered this in the UK. Shame

  • neural_physics

    awesome

  • Anthonel Eugenio

    Is this only applicable to Note 5 running Marshmallow? Mine is still Lollipop.
    I installed the app package disabler to disable bloatwares and I’m not sure of I disabled the specific app related to this activity because I cannot find it if Lollipop is supported.

    • HalfChocolateCow

      No you need Marshmallow

  • Bombee Vongphakdy

    I noticed I was able to watch 1440p video on the YouTube appreciate with out freezing up like it used to, maybe it’s just me

  • CJ Balagtas

    What clock widget is this? Thanks

  • Aaryan Bhardwaj

    this is awsum..!!
    always wished something like this could b an option.. works perfectly (Galaxy S6)

    thanks a ton..!!