The best Galaxy Z Flip features that you need to try first
What to do first? Try this mix of Android settings and features exclusive to Samsung's newest foldable phone.
Patrick HollandManaging Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
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If you're lucky enough to get your hands on a shiny new Galaxy Z Flip, there are a lot of amazing features to explore, like the tiny 1.1-inch pill-shaped external display and Flex Mode. But there are a few Android 10 settings you can change to optimize the Z Flip even more, especially for better one-handed use.
Turn the Z Flip fingerprint sensor into a scroll wheel
The Galaxy Z Flip begs to be used one-handed. And even though Samsung's OneUI 2 interface makes buttons and windows easier to interact with, reaching the top of the screen for the notifications can still be a pain. Luckily, there's an Android setting that turns the fingerprint reader on the side of the phone into a capacitive scroll wheel to pull down the notifications drawer.
To turn this feature on:
1. Go to Settings.
2. Tap on Advanced Features.
3. Select Motions and Gestures.
4. Turn the Finger sensor gestures slider button on.
When your phone is open, draw your finger from the top of the fingerprint sensor to the bottom to pull down the notifications drawer. Do the same motion a second time to reveal the control panel. Swipe up on the sensor to close the panel and the drawer.
Take a selfie with the power button
When the Z Flip is closed, you can double-tap the power button to open the exterior camera for a selfie. The tiny 1.1-inch pill-shaped screen will show a cropped live preview.
To take a photo, either press the volume button, or raise the palm of your hand to the camera to trigger a camera timer and countdown.
Master the itty-bitty external display
Aside from letting you frame selfies when the phone is closed, the little external display has a few other uses. Tap the power button to show the date, time and battery status. Swipe your finger across the display to the right to reveal notifications. Tap any of the icons to see a brief part of the notification. If your phone is charging, the display will show the battery percentage and give you an estimate of how long it'll take your phone to be fully charged.
Flex Mode turns the Z Flip into a baby laptop
The hinge on the Galaxy Z Flip is stiff enough to stay open in any position. Samsung has optimized a few apps to take advantage of the display when you have the phone open about halfway. For example, when you open the
app in Flex Mode, your video will play on the top half of the screen, while comments appear on the bottom.