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Samsung Galaxy S24 tips and tricks: Unlock the full Galaxy experience
Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series has arrived, and while it doesn’t look too different from the outside, it packs plenty of changes under the hood. Galaxy AI features hide behind every rounded corner and between every circular camera cutout, just as long as you know where to look. Unfortunately, finding those fun new features is sometimes easier said than done. Thankfully, we’ve already had some time with the Galaxy S24 series, and we’ve put together a few of the most valuable things we’ve noticed. Here are some of the best Samsung Galaxy S24 tips to help you get the most out of your phone.
Get real-time translations using Galaxy AI
Because Samsung has made Galaxy AI such an integral part of the Galaxy S24 experience, it only makes sense to start with an AI-based tip — as well as one that reminds you that this is, in fact, a phone. That’s right, we’re talking AI-assisted translations. Samsung offers different ways to translate from one language to another on its best phones to date, whether texting, calling, or chatting face-to-face, so long as you know how to turn each feature on. Samsung calls its translation services Call assist, Writing assist, and Interpreter, and they couldn’t be easier to activate. Here’s what to do:
- Open the Settings app, go to Advanced features > Advanced intelligence > Phone, and toggle on the Live translate option.
- Open the Settings app, go to Advanced features > Advanced intelligence > Samsung Keyboard, and toggle on the Chat translation option.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 series comes with English and Spanish downloaded by default in the US, but you can download around 15 additional languages, including Hindi, Korean, and Portuguese.
- Swipe down twice to open the quick settings menu, then tap the Interpreter button.
Once again, English and Spanish are available by default in the US, though you can download the same list of languages supported by Writing assist.
Pick up a trusty case (and a screen protector)
Samsung may be known for its top-notch choice of materials, combining the latest version of Gorilla Glass with aluminum or titanium frames across the Galaxy S24 family, but we’re still going to recommend that you invest in some protection. After all, even the toughest of glass breaks after a while, and metal frames are still prone to scuffs and scrapes.
Buying a case is an additional investment on top of your potentially $1,300 purchase, but it’s worth it. On the bright side, all three Galaxy S24 devices have flat displays, so finding a screen protector that does the trick for less money should be easier.
We’re working on our lists of the best cases for all three models, which will be published soon, so for now, just head over to Amazon via the link below to see some options.
Fine-tune your camera settings
Samsung didn’t make too many changes to the Galaxy S24 series’ cameras — at least not before you press the shutter button. The Galaxy S24 Ultra has a new telephoto sensor, but that’s about it. However, the setups are still good enough to rank among the best camera phones you can buy, at least if you know how to get the most out of them.
We have several recommendations for fine-tuning your camera specs, though some are more straightforward than others. For starters, swap your default video recording from 1080p to 4K. This is as easy as opening your camera, switching to video mode, and selecting the button that probably shows FHD 30 right out of the box. You can also change from 30fps to 60fps, but the improved resolution is more important.
If you’re more interested in pro-level camera controls, we have an important tip for you, too. You can customize the camera shortcuts along the bottom of the camera app, which means you can add essential options like Pro Video, Single Take, and Night Mode without jumping over to the More tab. Here’s what to do:
- Open the Camera app.
- Click on the More tab, followed by the Plus (+) icon.
- Drag and drop your camera shortcuts.
If you don’t want to add more camera shortcuts, you can also rearrange the More tab to move Single Take and Pro Video to where you can reach them with one hand.
Use Galaxy AI to edit your photos
Sticking with the theme of photography, most of Samsung’s magic happens after you press the shutter. Actually, it happens once you open your camera roll and start to edit your photos, but that’s usually after the shutter goes off anyway. Right now, Samsung’s editing approach feels similar to Google’s Magic Editor, which it introduced alongside the Pixel 8 series — another one of the best Android phones around. It offers many of the same features and a very similar interface.
That means that you can select a subject and either erase or resize it with just a few taps on the display. You can also expand the edges of your image using generative fill, which makes it easier to straighten photos without losing key details around the edges. Of course, the current iteration isn’t perfect, and you’ll probably notice some artifacts, but it’s a step toward more powerful editing features in the future. Here’s how to access Samsung’s editing features:
- Open your camera roll or Gallery app.
- Choose a photo.
- Tap the small pencil icon.
- Select the Galaxy AI logo (green circle with three stars in it).
- Tap or circle your subject.
Stack your widgets to save some space
The Galaxy S24 Ultra may have a massive 6.8-inch display, but you’d be surprised how quickly you can fill it with apps and widgets — and you have to remember that neither the Galaxy S24 nor Galaxy S24 Plus benefit from the same amount of real estate. However, a straightforward way to make your display feel a little bigger is by stacking your widgets.
There are some limits to which widgets you can and cannot stack, like the fact that the widgets must have the same dimensions, but the process is no more demanding than adding apps to your home screen. Navigating between stacked widgets is easy, too — a simple left or right swipe is all it takes — though it will overrule trying to swipe from one page of your home screen to the next.
Anyway, here’s how to stack widgets:
- Long-press on your home screen.
- Select the Widgets button.
- Drag a widget onto your screen.
- Open the Widgets menu and choose a second widget.
- Drag and drop it onto your first widget.
Again, you can’t stack widgets of different sizes, so you’ll have to plan your stacks somewhat carefully.
Generate wallpapers and customize your lock screen
Although Samsung’s Galaxy AI platform has several new features, it shares a few of its most customizable features with the Google Pixel 8 Pro. One such example is the ability to generate wallpapers based on a few prompts. We spent plenty of time (maybe too much) generating examples when the Pixel 8 Pro came out, but now it feels like practice for an AI-powered future. You can check out a few of our previous samples, but here are the steps to follow if you want to make wallpapers of your own:
- Long-press on the home screen.
- Choose Wallpaper and Style.
- Tap Change wallpapers.
- Select Generative from the Creative section.
- Choose one of the nine base prompts and fill in the blanks Mad Lib-style.
Once you press generate, the Galaxy S24 will give you four options, at which point you can set it as your home or lock screen — or both. Speaking of the lock screen, Samsung has taken a page out of Apple’s book with its new always-on display. It now follows the iPhone 15 Pro’s lead in being very much always-on with a dimmed version of your lock screen. As such, you might want to spend a few extra minutes customizing your widgets and clock style, as you’ll see them often. You can change your lock screen layout by long-pressing on it when your Galaxy S24 is locked.
Grab a compatible charger (but skip Qi2 for now)
Samsung hasn’t changed the charging setup on its Galaxy S24 series, which is both good and bad when buying accessories. The Galaxy S24 Plus and Ultra still pack 45W wired speeds, while the base Galaxy S24 lags at 25W. Of course, you’ll still need a USB PD PPS-enabled charger to hit those speeds, but that hasn’t changed in a few years, either. We’ve picked out a few of our favorite options, including several with multiple ports to charge your device and accessories at the same time.
All three models also support wireless charging at up to 15W speeds through compatible Qi pads, which brings us to the elephant in the room. Despite being introduced over a year ago, the Samsung Galaxy S24 series does not support Qi2 wireless charging. This may be because magnets interfere with the S Pen on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but Samsung probably could have found a workaround to that issue. Anyway, the decision means you won’t be able to align the Galaxy S24 series on a magnetic charging pad without a MagSafe-compatible case.
Create some modes and routines
Many of Samsung’s Galaxy AI features center around making your life easier when using your phone, but several quality-of-life options predate the Galaxy S24 series, too. One of those features is the ability to create routines, which change how your phone will act in different scenarios. Sound familiar? That’s because this one has been around for a while, but it’s easy to forget.
This year, however, Samsung is leaning heavily on modes in addition to its routines. Modes are like routines, but they only change behaviors on your phone instead of throughout your house. For example, setting a Driving mode that kicks in when connected to specific Bluetooth devices or Android Auto will automatically launch Google Maps and silence notifications so you can navigate to your destination without distractions. Samsung’s Theater mode silences your notifications, too, though it also goes a step further in darkening your display so that you don’t get a flash of light every time a text message comes in. It might not be a bad idea to create a Theater routine to darken the lights in your living room and turn on the soundbar at your TV, either.
If you’re ready to set up modes or routines, here’s what to do:
- Open the Settings app.
- Select Modes and Routines.
- Tap on one of the pre-made Modes or switch to the Routines tab.
- Choose your preferences and then tap Save.
Now, your customized mode or routine should kick in whenever you give it the command or complete the triggering action.
Remap the side key (sorry, Bixby)
When was the last time you intentionally used the side key on your Samsung Galaxy device to activate Bixby? We’d be willing to guess that it doesn’t happen often and that you were probably looking for a way to turn your phone off instead. Well, we’d have to agree with you — Bixby doesn’t need a hardware button. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to switch up how the side button behaves, and you can add two different features based on how you press the button. Here’s what to do:
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down to Advanced features.
- Tap Side button.
- From here, you can remap a double-press to open the camera or another app and choose whether a long-press wakes Bixby or opens the power menu.
Turn on notification history and notification channels
There’s not much more annoying than missing out on an important notification. Maybe you got happy fingers and swiped the notification away too quickly, or perhaps you meant to save it for later and ultimately forgot. Either way, your notification history can be a lifesaver. In Samsung’s case, activating your notification history takes just a few steps.
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down and select Notifications.
- Tap on Advanced settings.
- Select Notification history.
From here, you can toggle notification history or look at the last few notifications that came across your display. You might also want to activate the toggle that says Manage notification categories for each app, as it will allow you to bunch similar notifications to clean up your dropdown menu. You can also choose to sort your notifications by priority or time, which is a matter of personal preference.
These are some of our favorite ways to get more out of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series. Let us know if we missed one of your favorites, and check out the best prices on the Galaxy S24 series below.