Samsung Galaxy S21: The first 10 things to do with your new phone

The Galaxy S21 series embodies Samsung’s approach to smartphone design, which is to cram in more features than the competition. That means your new phone does a lot of cool things, but good luck finding it all. We can get you started, though. Here are 10 things to do with your new Galaxy S21.

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Fix the Side Key

Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Banish Bixby from your side button via Settings.

Most phones have a button on the right edge that turns it on and off, and you would probably call this the power button. Samsung prefers “side button,” and it doesn’t behave like the buttons on other phones. By default, long-pressing this button opens Bixby (accidentally triggering this is probably the only reason anyone even opens Bixby anymore).

Luckily, you can banish Bixby from your button. Just go to Settings > Advanced features > Side key. From here, you can change that press-and-hold setting to produce the power menu like it does on every other phone.

Google Discover on the home screen

samsung galaxy s21 discover Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Sorry, Samsung Free, Google Discover wins.

After years of resistance, Samsung has allowed Google’s Discover panel to live on its One UI home screen. It might not be enabled on your phone out of the box, but it’s quick to set up. First, enter the home screen editing interface by long-pressing in an empty spot or pinching with two fingers. Swipe over to the far left, and you will see a toggle. When on, you’ll get the chosen info panel on the far left of your home screen. You have two options: Google Discover and Samsung Free. Trust me, you want Discover.

Lift to wake

samsung galaxy s21 lift to wake up Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Set up lift-to-wake to get the most out of the fingerprint sensor.

Samsung has a new in-display fingerprint sensor in the S21, and it’s much, much faster. All you have to do is find it. The area with the sensor is only highlighted when the screen is awake or in always-on mode. The quickest and most efficient way to unlock your phone is to turn on “Lift to wake,” which Samsung has buried deep in the settings.

You’ll find this toggle under Settings > Advanced settings > Motions and Gestures > Lift to wake. Once that’s on, the screen will wake up when you pick up the phone, making it much easier to find the sensor and unlock the phone in one smooth motion.

Video call effects

samsung galaxy s21 video effects Ryan Whitwam/IDG

The video effects can plug into popular conferencing apps including Duo and Zoom.

The usage of video conferencing software like Zoom has skyrocketed in the last year, and the S21 has a feature to make these apps a bit more powerful. Even if your app doesn’t have live background effects, the S21 might be able to add them. Just head into Settings > Advanced settings > Video call effects.

From this menu, you can choose between blur, solid color, and custom images. It plugs into numerous apps, including Duo and Zoom. It uses a little more power during video calls, but you won’t have to worry about what’s behind you before answering a call.

#Samsung #Galaxy #S21 #phone

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