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The Galaxy S9 is Samsung's newest S Series phone, but the Galaxy S8 is still a fantastic and cheaper choice.

If you have one or are planning to buy one, here are the features you need to know about. 

Originally published March 30, 2017.
Last updated Dec 10, 2018.

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Floating camera button

The camera settings menu reveals a floating shutter button you can move anywhere on the screen. Tap it to take a picture.

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Zoom in, zoom out

Slide the built-in, onscreen shutter button up or down to zoom in and out.

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Navigation buttons

If you prefer the Back button on the right, and Recent apps on the left, you can swap the default order.

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Play music on two devices

To play music or other audio on two Bluetooth devices -- like headphones or speakers -- find Bluetooth in the settings (make sure Bluetooth is on), press the menu button and select "Dual audio." Ta-da! 

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Skip the lock screen

Dig into the navigation menu to skip the lock screen when you press the home button while the screen is off.

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Custom color

Pick your favorite color for a navigation bar that stands out.

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Home button sensitivity

You can make the capacitive home button more or less sensitive to pressure.

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App shortcuts

Long-press an app icon to launch various shortcuts (yes, we know this is part of Android Nougat, and it also mimics Apple's 3D Touch).

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App shortcuts

Significantly, Samsung has programmed shortcuts for its native apps too, like the camera.

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Online doctor appointments

Samsung Health has a new tab called Experts. If you subscribe to a service, provided by Amwell, you can contact a doctor at any time.

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Online doctor appointments

If you're signed up, you can tell the physician what's bothering you and get a consultation from the phone.

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One-handed operation

Samsung's had this for a long time, but it looks different now. Turn it on and you can shrink the screen at any time (it doesn't have to shrink right away).

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One-handed operation

You can either swipe diagonally or press the home button three times to shrink the screen. The settings gear you see makes it easy to switch back.

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One-handed operation

I can't get over the irony. We've spent so much time getting away from tiny screens, yet we sometimes want to go back. Also, everything in this mode looks adorable.

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Dash of color

Look closely and you can see a thin blue line around the screen edge. Some notifications trigger this subtle display, but look fast!

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Performance mode

The previous model had a standalone gaming mode and battery optimizer, but this setting is new to the Galaxy S8.

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App button 4U

I love swiping up on the home screen to get to apps. But if you prefer an app button, you can have that instead.

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Facewidgets

In theory, you can see even more on the Always-On display, but we haven't been able to make it work... yet.

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Reminders

Samsung's Reminders app is also a good place to save links you come across while using Samsung's browser. 

Tap on the menu icon, then Share > Reminders to save links to the Reminders app. 

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Link Sharing

With Samsung Cloud's Link Sharing feature, you can share files up to 1GB in size with friends and family members. Its primary use is to make sharing videos easier. 

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Want more?

There are even more advanced features and customization tools inside, many of which carry over from the Galaxy 7 and earlier. 

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Everything Galaxy S8

Check out everything you need to know about the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

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