The day has finally arrived and you just unboxed your shiny new Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Now, you’re holding one of the best phones of 2018 in your hands and wondering, what to do next? Considering how jam-packed the Note 9 is with features you might feel a little overwhelmed. Don’t worry, if you’re wondering where to start and what to do first we’ve got you covered.

Protect it

First and foremost you’re going to want to protect it. The Galaxy Note 9 is an expensive device but with a glass front and back it is also a fragile device. While Gorilla Glass has come a long way it is still glass, and glass scratches or even worse it cracks. To make sure your $1,000 plus investment get shattered wrap it up. Here are a few choices below for cases and screen protectors.


Screen Protectors

More Storage

Samsung raised the bar with the Galaxy Note 9 by including 128GB storage minimum and offering a 512GB model, but you can always use more space. Fortunately, there is a microSD card slot in the SIM tray. Below are a few good choices for adding some more storage to your phone for photos, videos, and music.

S-Pen Shortcuts

One of the biggest upgrades this year to the Note 9 was the new Bluetooth LE S-Pen. Combined with the new Bluetooth LE technology the S-Pen has learned a few new tricks. In order to access these you’ll need to dig into the S-Pen menu.

This can be accessed by removing the S-Pen, tapping the cog in the top left corner, and then choosing S Pen remote. From here, you can choose which app opens with a long press as well as change the shortcut actions in apps.

Blue Light Filter

Studies have shown that the blue light emitted from devices is not only bad for our sleep but bad for our eyesight. The blue light filter is one of the ways Samsung and some others have found to fight this. To enable this on your Note 9 follow these steps:

  • Open settings
  • Display
  • Tap Blue light filter
  • Now toggle from Sunset to sunrise or create your own schedule

Now you can protect your eyes at night and sleep easier. You can also toggle it from the quick tiles any time you like by swiping down twice on the notification tray.

Swap the Navigation Keys

If you’re a long time Samsung user you may have gotten used to having the back button on the right and overview button on the left. If you’re coming from most other phones then that is probably something that has always frustrated you with Samsung phones. Thankfully, when Samsung made the switch to software navigation keys they provided us with the option to change it to match stock Android.

  • Open settings
  • Display
  • Navigation Bar

From here you can change the Button layout, adjust the color of the navigation bar, and more.

One-Handed Mode

There’s no getting around it, the Note 9 is a big phone. Working it with one hand can be a challenge for most of us. That’s where One-handed mode comes into play. With this nifty little feature, you can shrink down the screen with a shortcut making it much easier to reach items.

  • Open settings
  • Advanced features
  • One-handed mode

From here you can toggle it on or off, and change which shortcut is used to launch it.

Fingerprint Sensor Gestures

Another challenge when using a large phone with one hand is expanding your notification tray. Especially when the phone is using a taller aspect ratio which has become the norm over the past couple of years. In this case, there is an extremely useful option called Finger sensor gestures.

When enabled you can swipe up and down on the fingerprint scanner to open or close the notification panel. Now that Samsung has moved the fingerprint scanner in a more convenient location this is even more useful than ever.

  • Open settings
  • Advanced features
  • Fingerprint sensor gestures


Your lock screen is more powerful than you know. With FaceWidgets you can display more than just the time on there. In the settings, you can enable music controls, your schedule, weather, and more to swipe through. All without unlocking your phone, and you can also have this info show up on the Always-on Display.

  • Open settings
  • Lock screen
  • FaceWidgets

Turn on Atmos

Audio quality from Samsung phones continues to improve and the software plays a big part in that. One of my favorite enhancements on several phones these days is Dolby Atmos technology. It really brings the sound to life in my opinion and I always enable it on any phone includes it.

  • Open settings
  • Sounds and vibration
  • Scroll down to Sound quality and effects
  • Toggle Dolby Atmos

You can also experiment with changing which mode to use and the equalizer while you in there. Sound is a very personal thing and thankfully we have the option to personalize it.


Not everyone is a fan of the whitewashed theme on Android, including myself. Fortunately, you aren’t stuck with that. Samsung provides an entire theme market with many free themes. Make your phone your own by spending some time browsing and finding something to match your style.

  • Open settings
  • Wallpapers and themes

Devices used in this article were provided by AT&T

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