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Galaxy S9: 10 settings to change right away

Want to get the most out of your Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus? Here's how.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung's Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are two ridiculously good phones out of the box, but there's something to be said about tweaking and customizing how the phone works to get the most out of it. As such, we've put together a list of settings you should take a look at and change.

Improve battery life

One weakness every mobile device shares is battery life. We recently rounded up a handful of tips and tricks to help you squeeze every last bit of power out of your S9's battery.

Easier multitasking

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Samsung phones have had split-screen multitasking for a few years now. More recently, Android adopted the feature, with a long-press on the Recents button used to activate it.

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By default, Samsung doesn't use the standard Android shortcut for split-screen apps. You can, however, enable it. Open Settings > Advanced features > Multi window. Turn the button next to Use Recents button to the On position.

Fingerprint gestures

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

With the fingerprint sensor on the S9 now in an easier-to-reach location, it makes sense to use it as a pseudo-touchpad. Right now the S9 only supports two gestures, but it's better than nothing.

Enable the feature in Settings > Advanced features > Finger sensor gestures. To view more settings, tap on the text instead of the button used to enable the feature. There can you enable a swipe down to show the notification shade, or a swipe up to launch Samsung Pay.

Screen sensitivity

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you use a screen protector or are having trouble getting the display on the S9 to register your touches, adjust the screen's sensitivity.

Open Settings > Advanced features > and enable Touch Sensitivity. There isn't a scale for adjusting just how sensitive the screen is, but it should help.

Blue light filter

Viewing a bright white screen at night is hard on your eyes, and according to some, detrimental to your health. Specifically, the light emitted by our gadgets' displays can affect our sleep quality.

Enable Samsung's Blue Light Filter, which will change the overall color profile of the screen, making it easier on your eyes and hopefully helping you get better sleep.

Open Settings > Display > Blue light filter. Adjust the filter to your liking, and then either set a schedule or let your location determine when it's enabled based on sunrise and sunset.

Customize the home screen

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The home screen on the Galaxy S9 ($630 at Amazon) can be customized quite extensively, from the number of apps displayed in the grid, lack of app drawer, to adding app icons with each new download.

Go through the Home Screen Settings page and customize the look and feel of your home screen. To access the various settings, long-press on a blank area of the home screen and select Home Screen Settings.

Navigation bar

You're either of the belief the buttons on Samsung's navigation bar are in the right place, or backward. Thankfully, you can swap the buttons to fit your use, and even change the color of the navigation bar.

Open Settings > Display > Navigation bar. There you'll find a list of options, from adding a button to the nav bar to hide it on demand, color options, and button layout.

App shortcuts

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The lock screen on the S9 has two spots for app shortcuts, and they are customizable. To swap out the default apps, go to Settings > Lock screen and security > App Shortcuts.

Samsung Backup

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Samsung Cloud is gaining more features, but perhaps the most critical element is Samsung's Backup service. It's a good idea to make sure automatic backups to Samsung Cloud are enabled, that way should you lose or break your phone you can restore your new phone with little effort.

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Open Settings > Cloud and accounts > Samsung Cloud. Tap the menu button in the top-right corner and select Settings > Auto backup settings.

Enable the various types of data you want Samsung to back up. The backup service will typically run at night when your phone is charging and connected to Wi-Fi.

Find My Mobile

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Samsung has a service to aid in helping track down a lost or stolen phone. During initial setup, you're asked to sign into your Samsung account, but the prompts stop short of informing you about the recovery service.

So, make sure you go to Settings > Lock screen and security > Find My Mobile. Once there, make sure you are signed into your Samsung account and enable all three settings.

Should you lose a phone, you can visit findmymobile.samsung.com to locate your device, remotely wipe it and retrieve call and message history.