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Fresh out of the box: 10 ways to make your new Samsung Galaxy S22 better
Samsung’s latest flagships have arrived. On the surface, the Galaxy S22 series might not look too different from its predecessor, but there are plenty of changes. From updated software to an improved camera, there’s a lot to sink your teeth into. The only question is where to start. We’ve had some time to test the devices, so here are 10 Samsung Galaxy S22 tips and tricks to boost your smartphone experience.
See also: Samsung Galaxy S22 review
Samsung Galaxy S22 tips and tricks
1. Buy a case
Before you set about customizing your software, it might be a good idea to invest in a bit of protection. Samsung has moved back to glass back panels for its Galaxy S22 devices, ending the brief experiment with glasstic. Of course, the Gorilla Glass Victus Plus that Samsung used should be plenty durable, but we all know that accidents happen.
Luckily for you, there are already plenty of Galaxy S22 cases on the market. If you preordered your device, you might have also received some Samsung store credit — a perfect way to get a case at essentially no cost. At least, that’s what we used our store credit on here at Android Authority.
If you’re not interested in one of Samsung’s expensive first-party cases, don’t worry. There are even more third-party options from case giants like Spigen, Otterbox, and many more. Check out our top picks for each Samsung Galaxy S22 device below.
2. Customize your color theme
Our first software-based Samsung Galaxy S22 tip is an easy way to make your phone feel a little more unique. We’ve already seen Google implement tons of customization options as part of Material You, and now it’s Samsung’s turn. You’ve always been able to customize your wallpaper and certain features like your clock, but now you can bring many of the default apps into your custom color scheme.
The first thing you’ll have to do is choose your wallpaper — either from your own images or from Samsung’s gallery. Since the steps to customize your Galaxy S22 theme are so similar, we’ll walk through all of the basics. Here’s what to do:
- Long-press on your wallpaper to open the customization menu.
- Tap the Wallpaper and style icon on the left side of the screen.
- Choose your wallpaper using the My wallpapers option or the Gallery option.
- Once you’re happy with your wallpaper, select the Color palette option.
From the Color palette menu, you can choose the default option, which shows up as a blue, white, and black bar, or select one of Samsung’s curated profiles. These will change with your wallpaper, so don’t be afraid to try a few different designs before you decide.
Learn more about Android 12: Hands-on with One UI 4
3. Add some widgets (on your lock screen, too)
Widgets may not be a new Android feature, but they’re better than ever on One UI 4. You can customize certain shapes and background colors to your liking, especially in the Google Photos widget. However, Samsung has gone above and beyond Google’s standard set and added a new type of widget — the Smart Widget.
Essentially, the Smart Widget is a stackable widget that offers quick access to whatever you need. It might be slightly Apple-inspired, but we’re not complaining. You can add and subtract some of your most-used four-by-one widgets (the long, skinny ones) and swipe back and forth between them. As you can see above, I have mine set to include Spotify controls as well as my weather and clock since I rarely need all three at once.
Beyond the home screen widgets, you can check on some handy widgets from your Galaxy S22 lock screen. Simply tap on the clock to open your widgets, which you can customize from the Settings menu. Lock screen widgets include music controls, weather, your daily schedule, and Bixby routines.
4. Fine-tune your keyboard
You might not think about your phone’s keyboard too often, but Samsung has a few ways to change that. One UI 4 is all about customization, and our next Galaxy S22 tip is to give your keyboard a kick. You might have noticed the small set of tools perched above your keyboard, but did you know that you can change them? If you’re not big on emojis, you can swap that keyboard for a quick translate feature. Here’s all you have to do:
- Open your keyboard on any page.
- Tap the three dots icon to the right of the screen — not the Settings cog.
- Press and drag new keyboard features from the menu into the bar. You can also press and drag features to remove them.
There doesn’t seem to be a limit to how many keyboard features you can add, though it does get crowded after five or six.
Improve your writing: The best grammar apps for Android
Grammarly now powers Samsung’s Writing assistant feature if you want even more help with your composition. You can toggle it on or off in the Samsung Keyboard section of the Settings menu under Suggest text corrections.
5. Remap your side button
Remember the good old days when you could press and hold the side key to turn your phone off? For some reason, those days are gone by default. Now, a long press opens Bixby while a quick double-tap opens your camera app. The good news is that you can change both of these settings. Your options aren’t unlimited, but at least it’s much easier to ignore Bixby if you prefer Google Assistant or Alexa. Here are the steps to follow:
- Open the Settings app and head to Advanced features.
- Scroll down to the Side key menu and tap on it.
- Now you can remap both the Double press and Press and hold features.
For the Double press feature, your first option is to toggle it on or off. If you choose to keep the feature, it can either quickly launch your camera, or you can set it to open an app. You can choose from any app you’ve installed, though some — like the flashlight or Samsung Notes — make more sense than others.
As for the Press and hold function, you’re a bit more limited. Your options are either Wake Bixby or the Power off menu.
6. Test out the new camera
Samsung finally gave its wide camera a boost on both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The 50MP wide lens has taken over as the sharpest of the bunch, along with a 40MP selfie shooter on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Our first camera-focused Galaxy S22 tip is to get out there and shoot. There are plenty of powerful modes like Night, Hyperlapse, and Single Take that you just have to sit down and try.
Learn more: How to use manual mode on your smartphone camera
Once you’re comfortable with Samsung’s basics, you can give Expert RAW a try. It’s essentially a pro-level camera app that gives you much deeper control over settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. As the name suggests, Expert Raw lets you export RAW files, which are much easier to edit in programs like Lightroom.
7. Create some new routines
Routines aren’t brand-new for the Galaxy S22 series, but there’s no better time to give them a try. The easiest way to find your Bixby Routines is to head to the SmartThings app and open the automation tab. Samsung’s routines work on an IFTT basis, which means they can activate automatically to make your life easier. They look for a specific trigger like a location or a time of day and then run through a certain set of actions.
For example, the suggested Going out routine says that if your location is no longer your home, you can set your SmartThings devices to turn off (or turn down low in the case of an air conditioner).
If you’re not sold on Samsung’s suggested routines, you can always create your own. You just have to press the Add routine button at the bottom, which will let you choose an If trigger and a Then action.
8. Pick up a compatible charger
Samsung made some interesting choices as far as charging support for its latest flagships is concerned. It’s no surprise that all three Galaxy S22 devices still rely on USB Power Delivery PPS to reach their top speeds, but not all models are created equal. The vanilla Samsung Galaxy S22 tops out at 25W wired speeds, while the Galaxy S22 Plus and Ultra can handle much more impressive 45W rates. Add the fact that there’s no charger bundled in the box, and you’re looking at spending a little more money to complete your setup.
However, grabbing a compatible charger is sometimes easier said than done. Some chargers might mention 25W or 45W speeds, but if they don’t mention USB Power Delivery 3.0 or, more specifically, Power Delivery PPS, they won’t charge your new phone at top speeds. You can learn more about USB Power Delivery right here, and then check out some of your best charging options below.
Get charged up: The best Samsung Galaxy S22 chargers
9. Choose your Edge panels
The Galaxy S22’s Edge panel isn’t a new feature — it’s been around in one form or another since the Galaxy S6 Edge. However, the current iteration of the Edge panel is much more refined than in the early days. It no longer bleeds into a waterfall display, so there’s no more distortion. Even still, it seems like lots of users tend to leave the Edge panel in the dust.
All we’re suggesting for this Galaxy S22 tip is to give it a try. It’s an easy way to access some of your most popular apps without opening the app drawer, or you can change its purpose entirely. Other Edge panel functions include a customizable list of contacts — sort of like a speed dial. You can try Smart select, which lets you capture screenshots or create GIFs, or even add the tools menu for an easily accessible compass.
Best of all, it’s easy to change your Edge panel at any time. Just follow these steps:
- Swipe in from the handle on the side of your display to open the Edge panel.
- Tap on the Settings cog to open the Panels menu.
- Select your preferred Edge panel from the scrolling menu (you can choose more than one).
You can also use the Edge panels menu to change the position of your handle. It’s on the right side by default, but you can move it to the left side or lower it for easier access.
10. Keep track with Offline finding
After you’ve just spent upwards of $800 on a new Samsung Galaxy S22, the last thing you want to do is lose your phone. Samsung has had a SmartThings app for a while, which can help find lost devices as long as they’re still connected. However, you’d have been out of luck if your phone had been disconnected from the network. Now, there’s a new way to find your lost phone, and it works a lot like a Bluetooth tracker.
Samsung’s Offline finding feature relies on other nearby Samsung devices to detect your phone, much like a Tile or Samsung Galaxy SmartTag would do. If you’re worried about privacy risks, Samsung also offers an Encrypt offline location feature. This hides your device’s location when sent to another device so that only you can unlock it again. Here’s how to activate Offline finding:
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down to the Biometrics and security option and tap on it.
- Locate and select the Find My Mobile section.
- Choose from security options like Remote unlock, Send last location, or Offline finding.
Remote unlock is reasonably self-explanatory, offering the ability to remotely open and control a lost phone. Send last location automatically transmits your phone’s last known location to the Find My Mobile server once it reaches a certain battery level. Finally, Offline finding works as explained above.
See also: The best find my phone apps for Android
Those are our favorite Galaxy S22 tips to customize your new Samsung phone out of the box. If you have any other tricks to share, be sure to let us know in the comments below!