Samsung Galaxy S5: Top 15 tips and tricks

Get the most out of your Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 won IT Pro's Editor's Choice awards thanks to its variety of features, but if you're not sure how to explore your phone then it can get a bit confusing. We take you through our 15 essential tips to ensure you get the most out of your phone including the customisable features and the hidden ways to make it faster and efficient.

Our colleagues over on sister title Expert Reviews agree the S5 still has a lot to offer. Is the Samsung Galaxy S5 better than the S6? Head on over to Expert Reviews to find out and let us know if you disagree!

Enable fingerprint security
Fingerprint scanners are considered to be the norm nowadays but the Galaxy S5 was one of the first phones to introduce this handy technological advancement. It's meant to ensure that your device stays secure but also allows you to unlock your phone easily and very fast.

The feature is turned off by default and you will need to access the settings menu to enable it. In order for it to work properly the phone has to scan your finger around 10 to 20 times to gain an accurate picture of your fingerprint, and you can even register various fingerprints on the same device.

A top tip is to register your thumb twice: once normally, and once in a sideways position. Sometimes the phone's sensor has trouble reading prints at odd angles so doing this will give you a hand in unlocking your phone one-handed, especially if you're on the move.

Set up remote security features
With anything as personal as a phone, we'd always advise setting up security features to ensure that you can locate, lock or wipe your device if it ever gets lost or stolen.

You can use a third-party solution to do this, but Samsung has built in its own tools for mobile device management, including the fantastic Knox security suite for enterprise users.

The basic functions are a snap to set up, and it's well worth taking the time to do -- you'll hopefully never need it, but it's worth having just in case you ever do.

Use the download booster

The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a download booster, which is an excellent way to download files larger than 30MB.

It combines Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity to provide extra bandwidth and download speed, with some truly quick results. We managed to grab a 2GB HD copy of Avengers Assemble from the Google Play store in just over five minutes.

Naturally, anyone with a smaller data allowance should be wary of exceeding their limits, as it could potentially gobble up your allocation quite quickly.

Don’t be afraid of spills
The IP67 Certification on the Galaxy S5 means that it is dust proof and water resistant, meaning no more worries about getting your phone a little wet when the weather lets you down or you accidentally drop it in the sink. The ports at the bottom of the device are covered though you should always make sure the back cover is securely in place after removing it or opening the latch to access the charging port.

Water resistance isn’t the same as waterproof, of course, so you shouldn’t push your luck too much by going swimming with your phone or purposefully submerging it in water.

Boost your battery life

Battery Saving Mode is a lifesaver for anyone who often finds themselves away from a power outlet for long periods, with the Samsung Galaxy S5 sporting greatly enhanced features that save your phone’s juice better than ever before. This mode can be accessed from the Quick Settings menu.

These include a Greyscale mode that switches off the phone display’s colours and the option to turn off mobile data when the screen is off. With this feature enabled, the phone will last in standby mode for days.

You can also turn off various battery-hogging features, such as Air View, Smart Stay and Motion gestures from the settings menu to get even more life out of your device.

Improve colour accuracy
Like its predecessors, the S5 has a number of different settings allowing you to manually change the phone’s colour replication. There are five modes: Adapt Display, Dynamic, Standard, Professional Photo and Cinema.

Cinema Mode has been identified as the setting that provides the best colour replication. Colours may appear bland on the home screen but this mode is great for viewing TV shows, movies and sports as well as online shopping as the colours are more realistic.

Get rid of the My Magazine widget

When you swipe left from the home screen, Samsung’s My Magazine widget pops up. This aggregates news content and is customisable so you can see sports, tech, business or entertainment news updates.

However, this feature might not be welcome for all users and you can switch it off. Go to Settings > Applications > Application Manager. Scroll down to My Magazine and turn it off.

The transition effect is also best turned off if you’re after speed and longevity, and the on/off option can be accessed by holding down the multi-tasking button and selecting “Home Screen Settings”.

This article was first published on 10/04/14 and has been updated multiple times (most recently on 11/03/2016) to reflect new information that has become available since its original publication. 

Source: IT Pro