How to Use Samsung Smart Alert and Direct Call

Enable these features on your Samsung smartphone using Android 4.0 or later

Text alert on samsung phone
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Smart Alert is a Samsung feature that alerts you to missed calls and text messages by vibrating your phone when you pick it up. With the Samsung Direct Call feature enabled, if you see a message from one of your contacts, you can call that person by bringing the phone close to your ear. These features may not be enabled by default, but it’s easy to turn them on and off.

Instructions in this article cover all Samsung smartphones running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and later, but some steps may vary slightly depending on your specific model.

How to Turn Smart Alert On and Off in Android Pie, Oreo, Nougat, and Marshmallow

To turn Smart Alert on and off using a Samsung smartphone running Android 6.0 or later:

  1. Tap Apps (the grid icon) on your home screen.

  2. Tap Settings (the gear icon).

  3. Tap Search (the magnifying glass icon) and search for Smart Alert.

  4. Tap Smart alert.

  5. Tap the toggle in the upper-right corner to turn Smart Alert On or Off.

    Search, Smart alert search, Smart alert toggle ON
  6. Close Settings when you're finished.

Smart Alert may not work if the screen is turned on, or if the device is not sitting on a flat surface.

How to Enable Direct Call in Android Pie, Oreo, Nougat, and Marshmallow

To turn on the Direct Call feature using a Samsung smartphone running Android 6.0 or later:

  1. Tap Apps (the grid icon) on your home screen.

  2. Tap Settings (the gear icon).

  3. Tap Search (the magnifying glass icon) and search for Direct Call.

  4. Tap Direct Call.

  5. Tap the toggle in the upper-right corner to turn Direct Call On or Off.

    Search, direct call search, toggle to ON
  6. Close Settings when you're finished.

How to Activate Smart Alert and Direct Call on Older Android Versions

These features are available on some Samsung devices running older versions of Android, but the process for activating them is a little different.

Android KitKat and Lollipop

With a smartphone running Android 4.4 (KitKat) or Android 5.0 (Lollipop), here’s how to activate the features:

  1. Tap Apps (the grid icon) on your home screen.

  2. Tap Settings (the gear icon).

  3. Tap Motions and Gestures.

  4. Tap Direct Call to turn Direct Call on, and tap Smart Alert to turn Smart Alert on. Repeat these steps to turn the features off.

Android Jelly Bean

To activate Direct Call and Smart Alert on a Samsung smartphone running Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean):

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the notification panel.

  2. Tap Settings (the gear icon) at the top of the screen.

  3. Tap My Device.

  4. Tap Motions and Gestures.

  5. Tap Motion.

  6. Tap Direct Call to turn Direct Call on, and tap Smart Alert to turn Smart Alert on. Repeat these steps to turn the features off.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich

To activate Direct Call and Smart Alert on a Samsung smartphone running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich):

  1. Press Menu to the left of the Home button.

  2. Tap Settings in the menu.

  3. Tap My Device.

  4. Tap Motion.

  5. Tap Direct Call to turn Direct Call on, and tap Smart Alert to turn Smart Alert on. Repeat these steps to turn the features off.

How to Test Smart Alert and Direct Call

It’s easy to test Smart Alert and Direct Call to make sure they work after you activate these features. For example, have someone send you a text message while your smartphone is on your desk. When you pick up your device, it should vibrate. To test Direct Call, go to the Contacts app, select someone to call, then hold the smartphone up to your ear. You should hear your smartphone dialing the number as soon as the speaker above the screen reaches your ear.