The 18 Best Hidden Features in the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Become a Samsung Note 8 power user

Galaxy Note 8
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The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung's flagship phone. With every single bit of technology crammed into it, it's clearly Samsung's most advanced phone. If you're an Android user who likes big phones, this is likely the phone for you. Let's take a look at the features that will make you a power user in no time.

Make the Samsung Edge Your Secret Weapon

Use the Samsung Edge to access frequently used apps and capabilities.

The Edge Panel is a combination of glass that curves down the side of the phone in addition to software specific to that region of glass. Get more from this feature by adjusting its setting to the way you want to use the phone.

  1. Customize Your Edge Lighting: To have the edge of your screen light up when you get notifications, go into Settings and select Display. Tap Edge screen then toggle on Edge lighting. Tap Edge lighting to customize app notifications, lighting settings, including display size and color. 
  2. Do More with Edge Panels: If you find you have apps that you frequently use, you can keep them listed in the Edge Panel. To customize, slide out the Edge Handle then tap the Settings icon. Then you can select from pre-created Edge Panels. To change the order of those panels, tap the three dots in the upper right corner and select Reorder. To download new Edge Panels, tap the blue Download link in the upper right corner.
  3. Customize Your Edge Handle: The default version of the Edge Handle is small, transparent handle on the right edge of the screen. To change the appearance, location, and behavior of the handle, tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the Edge Panels settings page and select Handle settings.

Meet Your Personal Assistant: Bixby

Bixby lets you access apps and capabilities with your voice.

Bixby is the Samsung voice assistant that can help you access all kinds of device features. To wake the Bixby assistant, press and hold the Bixby key on the left side of your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or go into the Bixby settings to enable the wake words ("Hi Bixby").

  1. Bixby Voice Controls: Ask Bixby to open compatible applications or to take you to device settings. After waking the assistant, just say "Open" and the name of the app you want to open, you can also tell it to take you to specific device settings or to turn features (like flashlight, notifications, or phone volume) on or off.  
  2. Bixby Vision: Bixby Vision is an easy way to perform an image search, translate text, or find a nearby restaurant. Point your camera at an option and activate your Bixby assistant then say "Open Bixby Vision and tell me what this is." The assistant will walk you through an image search. You can also use Bixby Vision directly from your camera app to translate or capture text.
  3. Dictate Text with Bixby: Open a note taking app and then activate Bixby. Say "Dictate" and then what you would like to have dictated. Bixby will turn your voice to text.
  4. Post to Social Media: Activate Bixby and say, "Post my last photo to," and then say the name of the social media you want to use. Bixby opens the app and starts the post. You add a caption and tap the Share button. 

Hack Your Galaxy Note 8 Usability

The Samsung Assistant Menu allows on-handed access to some of the most used features of your Galaxy Note 8.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a large phone and can be difficult to use one-handed, but these tips help solve that problem.

  1. Turn on the Assistant Menu: The assistant menu is a small menu that's easier to access when you're using one hand to navigate your phone. To enable it, go to Settings and tap Accessibility. Then choose Dexterity and interaction and toggle on the Assistant menu. With it on, tap Assistant menu to change and reorder options and add capabilities to the menu. 
  2. Turn On One-Handed Mode: An alternative to the Assistant Menu is to turn on One-Handed Mode to create a smaller, more accessible screen. To turn on this feature, go into Settings, tap Advanced features, and toggle on One-handed mode. Then, when you need to quickly access One-handed mode, just swipe up from the corner to reduce your screen size.  When you're finished, tap outside the reduced display area to go back to full screen.
  3. Easy Open Notification Panel: Open the Notification Panel, also called a window shade,using your finger print scanner. To enable this feature, open Settings and tap Advanced Features. Toggle on Finger sensor gestures, then you can slide your fingertip over the finger sensor on the back of the Galaxy Note 8 to open and close your Notifications Panel.
  4. Hide the Navigation Bar: The navigation bar at the bottom of your phone screen contains Home, Back, and Open Apps buttons. On some screens you can hide this navigation bar to regain screen real estate by double tapping the small dot on the far left side of the navigation bar. Then, if you need the navigation bar again, just slide your finger up from the bottom. You can re-pin the navigation bar in place by double tapping the dot again. 

Hack your Galaxy Display to Reflect Your Style

Use the Icon Menu to move multiple apps and even to uninstall apps directly from your display screen.

Just like a home isn't really yours until you arrange the furniture for the way you live, your electronic device isn't truly yours until you set it up the way you like to use it. And don't think you can only customize the wallpaper, either.

  1. Easily Move Multiple Icons: To move multiple icons, press and hold one until the Icon menu appears. Then tap Select multiple items and select all the icons you want to move. (Hint: You can also directly uninstall apps from that icon menu.)
  2. Customize the Always On Display (AOD): The AOD is the screen that shows when your phone is at rest. You can enable and customize this screen by going to Settings and then tap Lock screen and security. Then you can toggle the AOD on or off, or tap Always On Display to change the content that shows on the screen. To download new AOD displays, tap the three buttons in the upper right corner and tap Go to Samsung Themes. From there, you can download new screens or switch between screen designs you've already downloaded.

Take Photos Like a Pro

The Samsung Camera lets you put a floating shutter button onscreen for easy access.

The Samsung Note 8 includes two 12 megapixel cameras that you can customize.

  1. Open the Camera in a Flash: When enabled, you can quickly open your camera by pressing the power button two times quickly. To enable this feature, go to Settings, tap Advanced Features, and toggle on Quick Camera Launch. 
  2. Use Live Focus for Background Blur: Tap the Live Focus option and then drag the slider to blur your background for photos that emphasize the subject.
  3. Take Multiple Shots at Once: Want to take pictures of fast action? Press and hold the shutter button on your camera to take as many shots as you like in fast succession. 
  4. Turn on the Floating Camera Button: Taking pictures one-handed can be tricky, but with the Samsung camera, you can turn on a floating camera button that allows you to move the shutter button around the screen for ease of access. From the camera, tap the Settings icon, then toggle on Floating Camera button. Back in the camera, you can now drag the shutter button around the screen so it's easily accessible, no matter how you hold the phone.
  5. Get Creative with Stickers: The Samsung camera comes loaded with Snapchat-like stickers that allow you to take some phone pictures. To enable these stickers, tap Stickers from within the camera app. Tap the + within the Stickers feature to add new ones.