Here’s How

Get your money’s worth. BY MICHAEL SI­MON

PCWorld (USA) - - Contents -

If you bought a Sam­sung Gal­axy Note 9( go.pcworld.com/gxl9), you al­ready know how great the screen, pro­ces­sor, and cam­era are. Now let’s go a lit­tle deeper, and find all the cool fea­tures and set­tings you might have missed. Here are nine hid­den Gal­axy Note 9 tips, tricks, and fea­tures to help you get the most out of your new thou­sand-dol­lar phone:

1. WRITE WITH WHITE INK AGAIN

You prob­a­bly no­ticed that Sam­sung’s new S pen comes in two new col­ors to match and

com­ple­ment the new shades of the Gal­axy Note 9: pur­ple and yel­low. But the new col­ors are about more than just aes­thet­ics. They also af­fect how they write. De­pend­ing on which phone you bought, your S Pen will write in ei­ther yel­low or pur­ple. But you can change it back. If you want to write in white, head over to the S Pen set­tings in Ad­vanced Fea­tures, tap Screen Off Memo and turn off the Use S Pen Sig­na­ture

Color tog­gle.

2. TAKE LONGER SU­PER SLOWMO VIDEOS

One of the new fea­tures of the Note 9’s cam­era is bor­rowed from the Gal­axy S9: the abil­ity to record in 960-fps Su­per slo-mo for in­cred­i­bly de­tailed and cin­e­matic-style video record­ing. But Sam­sung has up­graded it on the Note. The way it works on the S9 is, the phone will record 0.2 sec­onds of video in 960 fps, ex­pand­ing those mil­lisec­onds into about six sec­onds of view­ing time. That’s the same as on the Note 9, but you have the op­tion to record 0.4 sec­onds as well. To change it, tap the 0.2 but­ton above the shut­ter. One caveat, how­ever: You’ll be tak­ing a qual­ity hit, as the phone will only record the 0.4 sec­onds of su­per slo-mo in stan­dard qual­ity (480p), ver­sus high-qual­ity 720p when us­ing 0.2 sec­onds.

3. TURN OFF SCENE OPTIMIZER AND FLAW DE­TEC­TION

The Note 9 might have the same cam­era hard­ware as the S9+, but it also has two new cam­era fea­tures pow­ered by AI. One is a scene optimizer ( go.pcworld.com/scop) that ad­justs the color and ex­po­sure set­tings based on what you’re shoot­ing, and the other is a flaw de­tec­tor that will no­tify you if the per­son in your shot moved or blinked. Both fea­tures are use­ful (par­tic­u­larly scene optimizer), but if you don’t like them, Sam­sung has made them op­tional. Just go to the set­tings in­side the

Cam­era app and find the two tog­gles to shut them off (Scene Optimizer is near the top, while Flaw De­tec­tion is a bit fur­ther down the list).

4. DOWN­LOAD NEW EDGE PAN­ELS

Sam­sung’s Edge panel has been around since the days of the Gal­axy S6, and there aren’t any new fea­tures on the Note 9. But one im­por­tant thing has moved to a much less ob­vi­ous place. When you en­ter the Edge Panel se­lec­tor, there used to be a down­load but­ton at the top of the screen next to the menu. That’s gone now, but you can still browse and buy new pan­els. Just tap the three-dot menu to the right of the mag­ni­fy­ing glass icon and se­lect Down­load.

5. VIEW THE HOME SCREEN IN LAND­SCAPE MODE

This fea­ture ac­tu­ally ar­rived with the Note 8’s Oreo up­date in March, but it’s worth point­ing out here. If you’re the kind of per­son who uses their phone in land­scape mode a lot, you no longer need to flip your phone when you leave an app. In­side the Home Screen set­tings you’ll see a tog­gle marked Por­trait Mode Only. Turn it off, and your home screen will ro­tate when your phone is turned side­ways, just like your apps.

6. RE­MOTELY UN­LOCK YOUR PHONE WITH THE S PEN

Surely you’ve al­ready checked out how the S Pen can con­trol the cam­era and other apps us­ing its new Blue­tooth-pow­ered but­ton, but did you know you can also use your S Pen to un­lock your phone re­motely? Just tap the Un­lock With S Pen Re­mote tab in the S Pen set­tings, and you’ll be able to turn on the abil­ity to press

the S Pen but­ton to un­lock your Note 9 if it hap­pens to lock while you’re us­ing the sty­lus. (How­ever, if Smart Lock isn’t en­abled, you’ll still need to en­gage whichever bio­met­ric method you’ve used to se­cure your phone.)

7. RE­SET THE S PEN

The S Pen’s new Blue­tooth ca­pa­bil­i­ties are cool and all, but be­cause it’s brand-new tech­nol­ogy, it’s far from flaw­less. If you need to re­set for any rea­son, you can find the op­tion in S Pen re­mote set­tings. Tap the three-dot menu in the up­per right cor­ner and se­lect Re­set S Pen. It’ll take about 40 sec­onds to re­con­nect (which in­ci­den­tally is the same amount of time it takes to charge the S Pen).

8. TURN OFF BIXBY HOME

Sam­sung may have re­gret­tably re­moved the but­ton that turns off the blasted Bixby key on the Gal­axy Note 9, but you can still dis­able Bixby Home. How­ever, the switch isn’t in the Bixby Home set­tings where it

should be. To find it, long-press on the home screen to bring up the cus­tomiza­tion screen and swipe right un­til you reach the first screen. You’ll see a tog­gle at the top for Bixby Home. Flip it off and you’ll never ac­ci­den­tally open it again.

9. USE THE VOL­UME KEYS FOR ME­DIA BY DE­FAULT

The Gal­axy Note 9 might not have An­droid 9 Pie ( go.pcworld.com/and9) yet, but you can still get one of its most use­ful fea­tures. I’m not talk­ing about ges­ture nav­i­ga­tion, I’m talk­ing about some­thing much sim­pler: vol­ume con­trol. In An­droid Pie, when you press the vol­ume but­tons it de­faults to con­trol­ling the me­dia, you know, the thing we usu­ally want to do. On the Note 9 (and ev­ery other non-pie An­droid phone), press­ing the vol­ume key con­trols de­faults to con­trol­ling the use­less ring­tone vol­ume. But you can change that on the Note 9. In­side the Sounds And Vi­bra­tions set­tings, there’s a Use Vol­ume Keys For Me­dia tog­gle. Turn it blue and you’ll get a lit­tle piece of Pie on your Oreo de­vice.

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