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Samsung Galaxy S21: 6 hidden features to get the most out of your new phone

Samsung Galaxy S21: 6 hidden features to get the most out of your new phone


The Galaxy S21 sequence has a variety of options, a few of that are hidden. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy 21 is out now. All three fashions look actually spectacular, between full 5G help throughout the lineup, a brand new digicam array and improved digicam options. The S21 Ultra even has a brand new function for the S-series, with S-Pen stylus support.

All three telephones run Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI 3.1 proprietary pores and skin. Which means you get the most effective of Android 11, however you even have entry to enhancements and tweaks Samsung has made to the working system. For instance, the S21 has two several types of floating notifications and now you can add results to your video calls.

Under I will present you a few of my favourite hidden options that I’ve found on the Galaxy S21 Extremely to this point.


Yea, that energy button does not do what you suppose it does. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Learn how to flip the S21 off

For those who long-press the facility button anticipating to show the cellphone off, you are in for a shock. A Bixby shock, to be actual. That is proper, holding within the energy button will really launch Bixby, as an alternative of providing you with the choice to show the cellphone off. However do not fret, you will have just a few totally different choices to energy your S21 down or restart it:

  • Swipe down from the highest of the display screen to view the fast settings panel, then faucet on the facility button within the top-right nook.
  • Lengthy press the facet button and quantity down button on the similar time till the facility menu reveals up.
  • Change the facet button to perform as the facility button by going to Settings > Superior options > Aspect key and choose Energy off menu. Going ahead, long-pressing the facility button will convey up the facility menu.

The S21 Extremely will work with an S Pen. Cool, proper? 

Sarah Tew/CNET

S-Pen help on the S21 Extremely

This is not a hidden function, a lot because it simply is not all that apparent until you’ve got been explic itly instructed about it. You see, the S21 Extremely lacks anyplace to retailer the S Pen, just like the Be aware sequence does. So when you purchased the cellphone since you needed the most effective Samsung has to supply, you would not know any higher.


The S21 Extremely will work with any Galaxy Be aware sequence or Galaxy Tab S sequence S-Pen stylus. Or you possibly can go for the S21 Extremely case that features an S Pen.

When you’ve got an S Pen, all you must do to start out utilizing it with the Extremely is to the touch the tip of it to the display screen and it ought to simply work. For those who hover the pen simply above the display screen’s floor, you will see a bit icon on the show displaying that it acknowledges the stylus. When you contact it to the display screen, the Air Command icon will present up on the display screen, letting you are taking fast notes, screenshots, and so forth.


Video calls can tackle a special look with new video name results. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Add results to your video calls

Ever see somebody use these fancy backgrounds on Zoom? Those that make it seem like you are some place else? Properly, you are able to do that on the Galaxy S21 in your video calls. To pick your impact, go to Settings > Superior options > Video name results. Flip it on, then choose whether or not you need your background simply blurred, a shade or a particular picture out of your images.


Bubbles or not? That’s the query. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Activate Floating notifications for straightforward entry to alerts

Android 11 introduced the launch of Google’s new Bubbles notification function, which appears to be like and works lots like Fb Messenger’s Chatheads function. That’s, as an alternative of getting to swipe down the notification panel to view alerts, a floating circle offers you fast entry to your conversations always. Bubbles does the identical factor, however for extra apps, like Google’s Messages.

Bubbles joins Samsung’s model of the identical function, referred to as Good pop-up view. However earlier than you should utilize both one, you will have to allow it.

Go to Settings > Notifications > Superior settings > Floating notifications. Choose the choice you wish to use, each of which have a fast animation on the display screen to point out how they work. Experiment with each Bubbles and the Good pop-up function to determine which one you favor, even when it is neither of them.


Lock Display widgets are the place it is at. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Lock display screen widgets

Samsung’s All the time On Show (AOD) function has lengthy been a favourite of mine. It makes it simple to rapidly see data or management audio playback, however with the Galaxy S21, you are able to do much more with it. For those who go to Settings > Lock display screen > Widgets you possibly can activate every widget you need to make use of, together with Present on All the time On Show. Then, each time your cellphone is locked and the AOD function is lively, double-tap the clock to view all your widgets.

Now playing:
Watch this:

We review the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and its bonkers cameras


Search for anything on your phone

Having trouble finding an app, contact or file? Swipe down from the top of the screen to review the quick settings shortcut panel, then swipe down again to view the full quick settings panel. Tap the search icon at the top of the screen and type your query.

As we continue to dig through the Galaxy S21 and its features, we’ll keep adding more hidden features that we find. If you have a favorite, leave a comment. If you’re still on the fence about the S21, be sure to read our review. And then, if you’re convinced, you can order one right now. 

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