Getting started: The first nine things to do with your new Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus

When it comes to picking up a new phone, there are a lot of different things to do once you leave the store. This comes from logging into your various accounts and getting acclimated to the device.

Today, we’re going to take a look at a few of the first things that you should do with your new Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus.

Keep your device protected

Despite all of the software issues over the years, Samsung has definitely refined the hardware of its Galaxy devices. The same sentiment rings true with both the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

The devices are covered in glass with a metal frame wrapping around the edges. This creates a gorgeous and sleek design, but it’s still glass.

If you’re like me and can be clumsy from time to time, you’ll want to invest in a case. There are even times where you’ll want to only use the case when you’re away from home.

Here are some of my favorite cases:

Read more:

Boost your storage

Samsung has been doing its part to listen to the customers over the last few years. Gone are the days of 16GB of base storage and the same can be said about the Galaxy S9.

The S9 and S9 Plus are packed with 64GB of base storage, but this can be expanded thanks to the microSD card slot. This means that you should definitely pick up a microSD card to expand your storage, even if you only use it to store pictures in videos.

Here are some of our favorite options:

Stay secure with your face

With the launch of the iPhone X, there has been a new wave of a focus on using facial recognition. Samsung already introduced iris scanning with the Galaxy S8, but things have been turned up a notch.

With the Galaxy S9, Samsung’s iris scanning is now known as “Intelligent Scan”. This uses both iris scanning and facial recognition to quickly unlock your device.

In order to set this up, you’ll need to head to Settings > Lock Screen and Security. From there, select ‘Biometrics’ and tap ‘Intelligent Scan’. The Galaxy S9 will then guide you through the process.

Take advantage of the display

Likely in an effort to keep battery life performance in tip-top shape, Samsung turns the resolution down on the S9 and S9 Plus. Thankfully, this is done through software, so you can head into the settings and turn things up.

Out of the box, the Galaxy S9 is set to FHD+ (2220 x 1080). But you can go up to WQHD+ (2960 x 1440). In order to take advantage of the full resolution, follow these steps:

  1. Open ‘Settings’
  2. Tap ‘Display’
  3. Select ‘Screen Resolution’
  4. Move the slider up to ‘WQHD+’

Fix the Navigation Bar

For some strange reason, Samsung loves to change up the orientation of the navigation bar buttons. This means that the back and recents buttons are both switched.

Thanks to the myriad of software settings, you can actually change this to the standard navigation orientation. Changing this back is pretty painless:

  1. Open ‘Settings’
  2. Tap ‘Display’
  3. Scroll down and select ‘Navigation Bar’
  4. Tap ‘Button layout’
  5. Select ‘Back – Home – Recents’

Don’t reach for the top

Although Samsung has kept the same screen sizes from the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, life can still be difficult for those with smaller hands. The company has compensated for this by including a one-handed mode.

This effectively shrinks the screen for you to easily access the top of the screen. Otherwise, you would be performing finger gymnastics just to reach the top.

Here are the steps you need to take to enable and activate One-Handed Mode:

  1. Open ‘Settings’
  2. Tap ‘Advanced features’
  3. Select ‘One-handed mode’

From here, you have two different options in order to activate this mode. You can either use a gesture, swiping diagonally from the bottom corner, or tapping the Home Button 3 times.

Tap the toggle in the top-right hand corner, and then select the option you would prefer. The nice thing here is that you can toy around with both methods without having to go to the home screen.

Get cozy with Bixby (or not)

Bixby has been a mixed bag ever since it was released in 2017. This has been further compounded by the inclusion of a hardware activation button, that has been pressed by accident far too often.

For the unaware, Bixby is Samsung’s take on a personal assistant in your pocket. It’s a direct competitor with the likes of Google Assistant, but ties into your Samsung account and different apps.

Once your device has been set up for the first time, you can either swipe to the right on the home screen, or tap the dedicated Bixby button. This will bring you to the Bixby feed, which shows you all types of different pieces of information.

However, for those of you who don’t want to deal with Bixby, or at least the Bixby button, there’s some hope. Late last year, Samsung introduced the ability to disable the Bixby button.

If you want to disable the button, swipe to the right on the home screen. In the top right-hand corner, tap the Settings gear icon. This will show a drop-down screen which allows you to toggle the button on or off.

Do your eyes a favor

As someone who has more devices than fingers and toes, I know a thing or two about staring at bright screens at night. It has been a God-send that manufacturer’s have started implementing a blue-light filter into the software.

Samsung is no different, with the company’s implementation of its Blue Light Filter. The filter adds a tint to the screen, which is designed to help your eyes and make sure that you can sleep better.

Accessing these settings is pretty easy, and you can even set a schedule:

  1. Open ‘Settings’
  2. Tap ‘Display’
  3. Select ‘Blue Light Filter’

From here, you can adjust the opacity of the filter, along with set a specific schedule. There is a default option of sunset to sunrise or a custom schedule. However, these can only be used after Location access is turned on.

Customize the Edge Panel

With the release of every flagship Galaxy device, there are a slew of different features thrown into the mix. The same can be said for the ‘Edge Panel’ which has become quite popular over the last few iterations.

Whenever you are sitting on your home screen, you may notice a slightly-white bar hanging off the right-side of the screen. This is used to access the different Edge Panels, which can act as shortcuts for different actions.

Out of the box, there will be three edge panels installed automatically – Apps, People, Smart Select. However, there are a lot of different panels that can be added or removed.

These can be accessed by following these steps:

  1. Open ‘Settings’
  2. Tap ‘Display’
  3. Select ‘Edge screen’

In the Edge Screen settings, you will see both “Edge Panels” and “Edge Lighting”. In order to tinker with the different panels, you will want to select “Edge Panels”.

From here, you can scroll left and right to view the different options. Then you can select the checkmark bubble if you want to add or remove different panels.

There is even a “Download” button in the top right-hand corner. This will take you to the Samsung App Store to download more Edge Panels.

The devices for this content were provided by Verizon, provider of the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.