15 Most Underrated Galaxy S8 Features
Samsung's Galaxy S8 has arrived at a multitude of carriers and retailers, bringing with it an outstanding design, a best-in-class screen and the power to match. And while eye-catching features like the Infinity Display and the more powerful Snapdragon 835 processor have grabbed most of the headlines, there are less-heralded aspects of Samsung's new phone that you'll wind up appreciating. From Snapchat-like camera options to features that let you easily operate the massive phablet with one hand, the Galaxy S8 comes packed with little touches that make using the handset a little easier. Here are 15 Galaxy S8 features that deserve more attention. (Image Credit: Samsung)
Snapchat-Like Camera Feature
If you're looking for a little fun with your camera, you'll find it in the Galaxy S8. From the handset's Camera app, you can turn on Snapchat-like filters that add digital elements to your pictures. Like the Snapchat feature, the Camera's effects will follow your subject's face and let you snap pictures. You can also add other graphics and text to your photos.
Samsung Connect is an easy way to control many of the smart-home products in your house. The app has a handy interface that lets you see which of your smart-home devices are connected. You can also see a full, running list of supported devices. As you add more smart- home devices to your home, you can quickly add them to Connect. The feature figures to become even more powerful once Samsung's yet-to-be-priced Connect Home device arrives.
Floating Camera Button
When you're in the Galaxy S8's Camera app, you'll see a place to access the app's settings. In there, you'll find an option called the Floating Camera Button. Turn it on and you'll get an extra shutter button you can access in Auto and Selfie modes. When you're pointing your camera at your subject, move the camera button to a convenient location to make it easier to snap your photo.
Lock Screen Skip
If you're interested in more quickly getting to whatever content's stashed on your phone, you'll want to turn on the Unlock with Home Button option in the Galaxy S8's Navigation Bar menu. With the feature turned on, you can hard-press on the virtual home button and skip the lock screen entirely.
Quick-Access App Commands
Although it might look like you can only tap on icons to open apps on the Galaxy S8, that's not the case. If you hold your finger over the icon without lifting it, you'll find the quick-access app commands for the icon you're hovering over. From there, you can quickly add an app to your home screen, remove it, and more.
Phone Voice Search
If you're a heavy app user, you might want to consider trying the Galaxy S8's voice search. When you swipe from the home screen to access the rest of your apps, you'll see a little search bar up top. From there, simply issue a voice command asking for an app, and it will come to the fore. It's much easier (and quicker) than combing through pages of apps or folders.
Samsung offers a handy tool for boosting your smartphone's performance based on what you're doing. The tool, called Performance Mode, lives inside the phone's settings. The setting is automatically configured to Optimized, which balances your battery life with your screen performance. But you can try other options like Game, Entertainment or High Performance, if you want to tailor your phone's performance to what you're doing at the time.
Multiple Bluetooth Connections
The Galaxy S8 comes with the ability to connect to multiple Bluetooth devices at the same time. Better yet, you can control those devices and share content to them on the fly. While you're connected to a Bluetooth headset, for instance, you can also listen to your music on a Bluetooth speaker.
Edge App Shortcuts
While it's nice to have some apps parked on your home screen, that can sometimes feel cluttered, making it difficult to find what you want. Consider putting apps on the edge panel you can access by swiping from the right side of the screen. You're able to house 10 apps for quick access. Another pane, available after swiping while the edge panel is up, lets you quickly access five contacts.
Blue Light Mode
To reduce eyestrain, the Galaxy S8 comes with a Blue Light Mode. Available in Settings, you can turn it on whenever you're looking at the screen at night or in a dark environment to reduce your eyestrain. Turning it on will negatively affect the screen's brightness and resolution, but it'll do wonders for your eyes.
With the Galaxy S8 and S8+ offering 5.8- and 6.2-inch screens, respectively, it might sometimes be difficult to reach all the icons when you're holding the device with just one hand. That's where one-handed mode can come in. The feature, which is available in Settings, essentially allows you to use gestures to move the screen down to a corner for easier access.
Home Bar Colors
By default, the Galaxy S8's Home Bar sports an off-white color that, at times, can be difficult to see, depending on the app you're in. To address that — and add a little design flair — you can access the Galaxy S8's settings and modify the bar's color. There are some presets in there, but you can also choose the color of your liking.
Manual Camera Controls
The sheer number of camera controls baked into the Galaxy S8 is astounding. From the Camera app, you'll see a little gear icon at the top of the display that you can tap to access different features, including the ability to change your rear-camera picture size, turn on tracking auto-focus and fix distortion. You can even turn on voice control to force the camera to snap a photo when you say a command, like "smile" or "cheese."
Apps go extra-wide
The Galaxy S8 comes with a somewhat funky aspect ratio of 18.5:9, which means its screen is extra-wide. However, if you download apps from the Google Play marketplace, you might find that when you're holding the device in landscape mode, it won't stretch across the screen. When you go to your display settings, however, you can force all apps to go to an extra-wide setting and extend all the way across the screen. Just be aware that you might see some cropping effects.
Game Launcher is a neat tool that makes it easier for you to access the mobile games you plan to play on the device. Inside the app, you'll also find some other handy tools that will enhance your gameplay. Our favorite is the ability to stop notifications from popping up while you're playing a game. It allows you to remain focused on the action without being distracted by a friend's text message.