Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is absolutely stuffed with excellent features, most of them hidden away in the settings menu. Here’s the best ‘secret’ features of the Note 7 to get you started, including tips and tricks for improving battery life, the best uses for the S Pen stylus, using two apps at once, creating GIFs and more.
If you’ve just bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and you want to know more about its best features, then welcome to our in-depth tips and tricks guide. Here we’ll show you how to get started with the Note 7 and find the best bits that Samsung has hidden away in this mighty 5.7-inch mobile.
How to get better battery life with the Galaxy Note 7
The Galaxy Note 7 is a bloody lovely phone, but its one weakness is the less than stellar battery life. Unlike many rivals such as the OnePlus 3 and Huawei’s P9 Plus, you won’t get over a day of life between charges. Rather, you’ll just about make it to bed before the Note 7 needs charging, and that’s if you don’t play with it incessantly.
Never fear though, because we’ve rounded up our best tips and tricks for extending the Note 7’s battery life, so the battery doesn’t drain when you’re miles from a plug. Check out our get better battery life from the Note 7 guide.
How to use the Galaxy Note 7 comfortably with one hand
The Note 7 is surprisingly comfortable to clutch in one hand thanks to that narrow frame (a result of Samsung’s gorgeous screen stretching around the edges of the phone). However, it’s still not the easiest mobile to use one-handed. Which is where Samsung’s nifty One-handed mode comes in useful.
Head to the Note 7’s settings and then tap Advanced Features. In here you’ll see the One-handed operation feature. Give it a tap and you’ll see two options, ‘Reduce screen size’ and ‘One-handed input’.
Reduce screen size squashes the entire display into a lower corner of the screen, so you can easily pull down the notification bar and so on. Make sure this is activated in the settings menu and then quickly tap the Note 7’s home button three times at any point, and the screen will shrink.
One-handed input squishes the on-screen keyboard and other input tools towards one side of the panel, which makes it much easier to type with just one mitt.
In both cases, you can switch which side the screen or keyboard is crushed into by tapping the arrow that appears. So no worries if you’re a lefty.
How to turn on the Note 7’s Night Mode
The Note 7 comes with a ‘Blue light filter’ feature which is just like Apple’s NIght Shift mode on the iPhone. Basically this tinkers with the display’s colour output, producing much warmer visuals. The result is less eye strain and less cold light thrown out by that massive screen, good news if you’re fiddling with your phone in bed while someone else is trying to get to sleep.
Head to the Note 7’s settings menu and then Display, and in here you’ll find the Blue light filter feature. Give it a tap and you can activate it, set the preferred level and even schedule the filter to activate automatically at a set time. Great news if you can’t be arsed to turn it on manually every night.
How to take an instant note with the Galaxy Note 7
On the go but suddenly remembered something you need to do, or maybe you just need to jot down an address or a phone number? Don’t faff about unlocking the Note 7 and calling up a notes app. All you need to do is pop the S Pen stylus out and you can sketch right there on your phone’s hibernating screen. You can then save your scribbles as a note for later reference.
How to create a GIF on the Galaxy Note 7
Creating your own GIF image on the Note 7 is nice and easy thanks to the S Pen stylus.
To record a GIF from a video, just load up the one you want and get it to the starting point. When you’re ready, just tap the screen and then poke the GIF icon in the bottom of the video player. This will record up to six seconds of footage and convert it into a GIF for you.
You can also record a GIF from a game, website or anything else that’s playing out on your Note 7’s screen. Just poke the pen shortcut menu icon with your S Pen and tap ‘Smart Select’. This brings up a toolbar at the top of the screen. Select ‘GIF’ and a resizable box will appear on the display.
Drag this box to the exact dimensions you want and choose whether you want standard or high quality (standard makes for much smaller file sizes). With that done, hit ‘Record’ to start shooting your GIF. When you’re finished, just hit ‘stop’.
How to conquer foreign menus with the Note 7’s Translate feature
Tap the S Pen’s shortcut menu icon and you’ll notice the ‘Translate’ option. Give that a poke and you can translate words from pretty much any common language to your native tongue. Best of all, this even works through the Note 7’s camera, so if you spy a mysterious dish on a foreign menu, just aim and tap and Translate will clue you in. Nice.
How to copy music and other files to or from the Note 7
If you want to transfer music, media and other files to or from your Note 7, the method will depend on what computer you own.
Check out our in-depth guide to copying music to your Note 7 to see how to connect your Note 7 to your PC or Mac and transfer files.
How to quick-load the Note 7’s camera
You can quickly jump into the Note 7’s camera app at any time, even when the phone is hibernating, by quickly double-tapping the home button. This immediately brings up the camera, ready to snap a shot.
Check out our full Note 7 camera review for more info on the interface and full photo and video samples.
Galaxy Note 7 Video Enhancer feature: does it work?
Samsung has hidden away a ‘Video enhancer’ feature in the Note 7, which supposedly enhances the image and sound quality of any video you play through YouTube, Google Play or stored on the phone itself.
According to Samsung, the Video enhancer works by artificially boosting the brightness and vibrancy of video visuals, while also clearing up murky audio.
However, in our tests with YouTube and movies stored on the Note 7, we noticed no real difference. VIsuals appear to be exactly the same in the majority of cases, or ever so slightly brighter in particularly dark scenes.
How to identify unknown callers on the Galaxy Note 7
Samsung has built a caller identification feature into the Note 7, so any unknown numbers have a chance of being recognised. Good news if you’re always being hounded by spammers and call centres.
In the Note 7’s settings, head to Advanced Features. In here you’ll see the option for Identify unsaved numbers. Tap that and turn it on and you’ll see exactly who’s calling, if the number is in Samsung’s database.
How to use two apps at the same time on the Galaxy Note 7
If you want to get multi-tasking with two apps at once, that’s easy to do. After all, that mighty 5.7-inch display is made for a bit of split-screen action.
Tap the Recent Apps button to the left of the Note 7’s home button (right in the bottom left corner of the phone) and you’ll see a list of open apps appear. Some of these apps have a little symbol next to their names, which looks like two rectangles, one on top of the other. Tap this on one of the apps you wish to split-screen and it’ll appear in the top half of the display.
In the bottom half you’ll notice a new list of apps has appeared. These are all of the apps that you can open up in the other half of the display. Flick left and right to scroll through them and tap your choice. Note that you can resize the windows, flip them around and more by tapping the tiny white circle between them.
How to get rid of the Samsung Upday news widget on the Galaxy Note 7
We’re really not fans of the Upday news widget which comes plastered on one of your Note 7’s desktops. Thankfully it’s easy to disable.
Just find a blank bit of desktop space and press your fingertip against it until the desktops zoom out. Now flick your finger to the right until you’re on the Upday page. At the top of this you should see a switch; just give that a tap and the widget will be disabled for good.
Here’s our pick of the best Note 7 hidden features, tips and tricks, in video form.
We’re constantly updating this Samsung Galaxy Note 7 guide with new tips and tricks. Stay tuned!