Samsung tips: 10 Galaxy S4 “hidden” features and tricks

by: Chris SmithJuly 24, 2013

Galaxy S4

In a new blog post, Samsung describes ten “hidden” or “semi-secret” features of the Galaxy S4, which some of you may not be aware of.

Coincidentally or not, the Samsung post went live on the same day Verizon and Motorola unveiled new Droid smartphones, and a day ahead of the upcoming Nexus 7 announcement.

Here are these semi-secret Galaxy S4, as tipped by the company:

1) Swiping down with two fingers offers access to the full Quick Settings panel. (How: swipe down from the status bar with two fingers. Touch and hold to access settings. Long-tap an icon to drag it into a different place.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 Quick Settings | Image credit: Samsung

2) The TV remote control can be added to the notification panel for quick access. (How: Application screen > WatchOn > Settings).

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 remote control | Image credit: Samsung

3) The keyboard can be pop-up-ed on top of other apps for multi-tasking-like features. (How: With the keyboard active, tap the settings icon on the left of the space bar and then select the pop-up keyboard icon.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 Keyboard pop-up | Image credit: Samsung

4) A blocking mode can be set up to prevent the phone from ringing on incoming calls and other notifications. (How: Settings > My device > Blocking mode.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 Blocking mode | Image credit: Samsung

5) A Wi-Fi timer app should help users save cellular data, as the phone will try to connect to available Wi-Fi networks for a specific period of time. (How: Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced > Wi-Fi Timer.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 Wi-Fi timer | Image credit: Samsung

6) With the Adapt Sound function, users can improve (and properly calibrate) the sound quality of their Galaxy S4, especially those people affected by hearing impairments. (How: Settings > My device > Sound > Adapt Sound > Start.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 Adapt Sound | Image credit: Samsung

7) In-call audio can also be optimized in order to improve call experience. (How: Settings > My device > Call.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 in-call audio | Image credit: Samsung

8) Video watching on the Galaxy S4 also has some “hidden” features such as pinch-to-zoom (for enlarging and shrinking the image on the screen). Brightness and volume adjustments are available also. (How: activate the bars when touching the left and right side of the screen, respectively.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 video: pinch to zoom, adjust brightness and volume | Image credit: Samsung

9) The camera can be accessed directly from the lock screen for quicker pictures and videos. (How: Settings > My device > Lock screen > Lock screen widgets > Camera. Feature requires lock screen to be other than pattern of PIN.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 Camera on lock screen | Image credit: Samsung

10) The lock screen message can be personalized with custom fonts and colors. (How: Settings > My device > Lock screen > Lock screen widgets > Edit personal information; if screen is protected with pattern or PIN lock. Or: Tap and hold the lock screen message and drag it down from the screen.)

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4 custom lock-screen message | Image credit: Samsung

Naturally, if you’re an experienced Galaxy S4 owner, you’re probably familiar with most of these hidden features – that’s if you’re not already running a custom ROM instead of Samsung’s TouchWiz, in which case you have a completely different but custom Galaxy S4 experience – but new Galaxy S4 buyers can learn a few new tricks this way.

In fact, we have already thoroughly reviewed the Galaxy S4 and on top of that have a video showing you 10 handy Galaxy S4 tips and tricks for you (above), including some of Samsung’s semi-secret features – see tips 1), 4), 6) and 9) demoed in our video.

Next for you > Download the Samsung Galaxy S4 Manual

  • Golden G2

    Samsung showing all of these because they are afraid of Upcoming LG G2
    G2 will have much better specs and features than this…

    • Jaun Lombard

      No they are just showing what Touchwiz can do, before LG copies it into their UI

      • najiy91

        agreed. also,samsung did not copy iphone but make thier own round bezel & big screen. then,lg copied samsung. but its ok both companies are neighbours(“,)

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    These features are still cool and useful, whatever the reason is for Samsung to unveil these now.

  • Chris Boots

    Nice thanks didn’t know about the wifi timer very useful

  • David

    best tip to do is sell asap and buy ANY other phone haha

  • MasterMuffin

    You can adjust volume on video? Mind = blown :D

  • meixue130

  • BillyBob

    My S2 has all these features already, and more…
    it’s the extra power that’s important ;)

    • Nhlanhla Ramonotsi

      Hahaha thats a lie I own s2 and s4. 1st trick not on s2. Actually most tricks my a2 doesn’t have

      • jakill

        Not a lie if he mounted a custom rom dumbass

        • Mircea

          yeah? does custom rom get you hardware for IR Remote Control?

  • Chad

    When I try to set the access camera from the home screen I can’t. The lock screen settings don’t allow me to change anything. It is blacked out. Any suggestions?

    • lidisce velez

      this is what u gotta do. Go to settings> my device> lock screen> click on screen lock>swipe no security. Then the whole screen will come on. Now click on multiple widgets, then shortcuts ON. and its done!!!!

      • P

        If you do this you don’t have any security on your phone. You get teh camera in lock screen but nothing to stop anyone unlocking your phone. Seems to be an either Camera or Security option – not good really

  • Warren

    That was very helpful. I Noticed that my S4 does not have the fast/ slow motion option. Could it be hidden somewhere?

    • anonymous

      It is, go to camera>settings icon in the corner> press the settings icon again> video settings. there should be a fast/slow motion option

      • Peyton

        My only has two options and none are for fast or slow motion. Is there anyway to find them? Please help

        • Deanna

          I agree, I the S4 doesn’t have the option for slow or fast motion or the pixel recommendation for the camera. I think the version before the new update did tho

    • Karen Brown

      I would like also

      • Karen Brown

        I would also like to know why I cant get the collage on my s4 only slideshow

  • Cristian Gomez

    In the 3)Keyboard Pop Out Screen Shot, how did you change the Text input display box from white to black ?

  • Dany

    how do I increase the decibel volume of the headphone samsung s4 quadcore ?

  • sam

    Just got an s4 mini and I cannot seem to screen shot dies anyone know how to set it up? :)

    • Deanna

      Does holding down the home button and lock button not work?

  • ld59

    Is there a way to lock the volume of the phone? The settings bar is very sensitive.Sometimes the volume gets turned down without me knowing it. Any suggestions?

  • Kam

    just downloaded new Kies 3 onto my desk top. this does not seem to have a Sync function (only back up). any idea how to sync with this version??

  • louise

    If I receive calls it does not show the number it only says unknown….even though the number is saved on my device. It does this with every call I get… do I fix this?

  • iteach

    Can I change the sound on the clock timer? I use it in my classroom, I like certain tunes or chimes.

  • Micha

    When will it be updated for sprint

  • lolla anne

    My Mom’s contact Widgets have a different color background than when txting than anyone in her contact list and the emotions don’t work for them either, I’ve tried recreating the Widgets but no luck. Any suggestions.



    • Michi

      im having the same prob. I called my cell phn company and they told me to contact my internet provider and ask them to make sure my UMA Port 500 and IMS Port 5060 are working….. now, I’m not tech savvy and I haven’t called cause I literally just got off the phone with them but I thought I’d share what I’ve been told. :-) hope it works for both of us. Good luck

  • Jeff

    S4…nice package, fast system.
    But the touch screen is far to sensitive. Even at its lest sensitive settings.
    Please dont even get me started on posting or emails.
    Cursor will jump all over the place one time and be ok the next.
    Someone did too good a job at overloading this thing with too much crap.
    To say I have “buyers remorse”is being kind.
    For the techies and super nerds this might be a great phone. But for those of us who actually think simpler is better..and ease of function is a good thing.. run away as fast as you can!!!

  • Jeff

    Battery life… even with a battery saver program.
    My s4 spends half its time on the charger if I am online more then a short time.
    Looking into getting another droid 3 or 4.
    I had the 3 for a while before I dropped it for probably the 50th time and had the battery and cover fly off for the 45th time.
    Guess that was one time too many
    as that time killed it.
    I miss my droid 3.
    If I knew the s4 was like it really is,, a fancy over hyped piece of crap, I would never have gotten it.

  • Andrew Michael

    Samsung Galaxy 4 is good quality Smart phone.From last few years i am using this phone and really speaking i like that features and not only features but looks is also stylish .I really love that phone.You can find more features of Samsung Galaxy smart Phones at Telephonika Stores.

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  • rebe

    the volume and brightness bars do not appear on right/left side of screen when i watch a

  • krishnan Iyer