Skip to main content

Return your Galaxy Note 7 now and 20 more tips and tricks you need to know about

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Sadly, the Galaxy Note 7 has been the focus of a massive recall. Now, replacement units have been catching fire and that’s forced Samsung to temporarily halt production. Samsung officially declared an end to the Note 7 in early October.

“For the benefit of consumers’ safety, we stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 and have consequently decided to stop production,” Samsung told Digital Trends in a statement.

If you have a Galaxy Note 7, please return it immediately to the place where you purchased it. You are entitled to a full refund or an exchange for a replacement device of equal value, as per the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall. Please see our full guide on how to return your Note 7 here. The guide also includes recommendations of which device to buy instead.

Our original article about tips and tricks for the Galaxy Note 7 continues below.

Customization tips for the Note 7

How to set up your new Note 7

Assuming that you’re coming to your Note 7 from another Android device, Samsung has included an easy way to transfer all of your old accounts, apps, photos, contacts, and other information to your new phone. Look for the USB Connector that came in the box with your Note 7 and plug it into your new phone, then use a standard Micro USB to USB cable to connect your Note 7 to your old phone. You’ll see the Smart Switch option pop up. Tap it and select Receive, then Allow. It’s much faster than restoring a cloud backup.

How to customize the home screen

With the Note 7, you have all the usual options you’d expect to find for home screen customization. Tap and hold on an empty space and you can pick wallpapers, widgets, and themes. Tap and drag an app icon to move it around, or drop it on top of another app icon to create a folder.

There are other things you can do to change the look of your Note 7. If you want to take full advantage of that 5.7-inch display, then you can resize content. Simply go to Settings > Display > Content scaling and choose Small, then tap Done in the top-right corner. If you’re not keen on the frame that Samsung has put around the icons, you can get rid of that, too. You’ll find the option in Settings > Display > Icon frames, where you can select Icons only.

How to use Quick Settings

Pull down the notification shade and you’ll see some icons for quick toggles. Drag it down again and you’ll get the expanded menu of quick settings, where you can tap and drag to replace and reorder them. Samsung has added some extra features here, too. You can tap the downward arrow next to each setting to expand your options, or tap More settings in each one to get access the full menu.

How to use Always On Display

The Always On Display feature is really handy for showing things like the time, date, battery life, and missed messages or calls at a glance. You can turn it on in Settings > Display > Always On Display. If you tap Layouts, you can also choose the content you want it to display and achieve the look you want. You can even reduce the impact it has on your phone’s battery life by choosing to Set schedule, so that it only showcases the information at specific times.

How to use Edge panels

If you swipe the translucent tab on the right edge of your Note 7 screen, you’ll find the Edge panels. You can set it up with your favorite contacts, which allows you to quickly make a call or message someone. If you put your Note 7 face down, an incoming call from one of your favorite contacts will even light up the edge with the background color you chose for that contact. You can also set up shortcuts to various apps and tasks, or add things such as detailed calendar views or weather forecasts. Go to Settings > Edge screen to change your settings and find more options.

Five more handy Note 7 tips

How to save battery life

If you go into Settings > Battery, you’ll find that Samsung has renamed its power saving settings. Choose Mid and your brightness will max out at 90 percent, your display will change to 1080p resolution, and performance will be slightly reduced. Choose Max to drop the display to 80 percent, the resolution to 720p, and further reduce performance. You can still tap Battery usage to see exactly which apps and processes are guzzling the most juice. You might also want to turn Always On Display in Settings > Display off, if you want to prevent battery drain.

How to charge other phones

You can actually use your Note 7, with its 3,500mAh battery, to charge another phone. Using the same USB Connector we mentioned in the setup portion of this article, you can plug any Micro USB to USB or Lightning to USB cable into your Note 7 and use the Note 7’s battery to charge that phone. This allows you to charge any Android phone, or even an iPhone. When it’s working, you’ll see a Supplying power via USB message in the notification shade.

How to secure personal files and photos

If you want to make sure that specific files, photos, and even emails are hidden away securely, then it’s easy to do on your Note 7. Look for the Secure Folder and tap it to use apps securely. If you launch the camera, email, or other apps from within this folder, then the photos, messages, or other files that you create will be protected and can only be accessed from within your Secure Folder. You can tap Add at the bottom to add other apps to your Secure Folder.

To make sure that your Secure Folder is actually protected, tap to close the padlock icon in the top right. Now you’ll need to use your iris, fingerprint, pattern, PIN, or password to unlock it. You can choose the security method you want in Settings > Lock screen and security > Secure Folder > Lock type. Here, you can also toggle the option to Hide Secure Folder, and make a few other tweaks. To bring it back, simply toggle it off again in Settings > Lock screen and security > Secure Folder.

How to schedule restarts

It’s a good idea to restart your Note 7 from time to time to ensure that it continues to run smoothly, but you don’t have to do it manually. Go to Settings > Cloud and Accounts >Backup and reset > Auto restart to toggle it on and set a schedule. Pick one day a week and set a time when it won’t bother you, and your Note 7 will automatically restart at that specific time.

How to schedule the blue light filter

There’s a lot of evidence that blue light can prevent you from feeling as sleepy as you should at the end of the day. If you’re in the habit of using your smartphone in bed at night, it’s a good idea to do something to filter the blue light out. Thankfully, Samsung has included a Blue light filter option in the Note 7. You can toggle it on and change the opacity via quick settings in the notification shade, or you can go into Settings > Display > Blue light filter and toggle it on, set the opacity, and choose a schedule.

S Pen tips and features

How to edit Air command

The Air command menu pops up when you tap the button on your S Pen, and it offers shortcuts to S Pen features or into specific apps. You can edit what appears in the Air command menu by tapping the cog in the bottom right, or you can go into Settings > Advanced features > S Pen > Air command. You can choose six different S Pen functions or apps. Here, you’ll also find the option to toggle on a Floating icon, if you want to keep the Air command option visible on your screen. You can tap and drag it around with your S Pen to place it.

If you want Air command to automatically launch when you pull the S Pen out, then go to Settings > Advanced features > S Pen > Detachment options and choose Air command.

How to use the S Pen

The basic S Pen features that Samsung offered on the Note 5 are still available on the Note 7. Pull the S Pen out when the screen is off to take a quick note and save it. You can toggle this on or off in Settings > Advanced features > S Pen > Screen off memo.

Tap Create note from the Air command menu to go into the note-taking app. Tap Screen write to take a screenshot that you can then edit, annotate, and share. Tap Smart select to choose a specific portion of your screen and extract text, edit, annotate, or share. If you choose the Animation option from the Smart select bar, you can actually create an animated GIF. Tap Record and you can create a GIF up to 15 seconds in length.

How to Glance at apps

A new feature for the S Pen, which you’ll find in the Air command menu, is Glance. Open any app and tap Glance and it will appear at the bottom of your screen as a minimized window. You can hover over it with the S Pen to glance at the contents full screen for a moment. To get rid of it, simply tap the multitasking button and swipe it away to close it, or tap the X in the top right.

How to Magnify

Samsung has also added a Magnify option to the Air command menu. Tap it and any spot you hover over with your S Pen will be magnified. There’s also a small drop-down menu that allows you to change the magnification, and you can drag it around to wherever you want it or tap the X in the top right to close it.

How to Translate words

The last new feature Samsung added to the S Pen Air command menu is Translate. Tap it and you’ll see a small menu at the top that indicates the languages you’re translating from and to. Hover your S Pen over a word, and the translation into your chosen language will pop up above it. You can tap on either language to change it, or tap the X in the top right to close the function.

Five camera tips and tricks

How to quick launch the camera

You can quickly launch your camera app on the Note 7 by double tapping the Home button. To make sure that the feature is turned on, tap the cog in the camera app to open the settings menu and toggle Quick launch on, or go to Settings > Advanced features and toggle Quick launch Camera on.

How to take photos with voice controls

If you want to get the perfect selfie or group shot with your Note 7, then you might want to use voice controls to take photos, so you don’t have to reach for the shutter button. To do so, tap the cog icon in the camera app and scroll down to toggle on Voice control. Once activated, you can say Smile, Cheese, Capture, or Shoot to take a photo and Record Video to start recording a video.

How to get more camera modes

Swipe left to right in the camera app or tap Mode and you’ll be presented with a list of available camera modes. However, you can get even more by tapping the Download option at the top. Doing so will net you a list of extra camera modes you can download and install for free. If you want to change the order they appear in, then simply tap More > Edit.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Hill
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Simon Hill is an experienced technology journalist and editor who loves all things tech. He is currently the Associate Mobile…
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 buying guide: Everything you need to know
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Samsung has officially released the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, its big phones for the second half of the year. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 will replace the Galaxy Z Fold 3 as the company's premium foldable, but it'll also be built off the 3 in that it remains very much an evolution, not a revolution.

The biggest changes you'll see are the more advanced cameras and foldable optimized software, while the company smooths the creases on everything else. At this point, Samsung's Z Fold is a known quantity. It does what it does, and it does it well. The Z Fold 4 just does everything the 3 does, but better.

Read more
Samsung’s self-repair program launches for Galaxy S21, S20, and Tab S7 Plus
Vision Booster on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, with the S21 Ultra.

Earlier this year, Samsung announced that it would allow Galaxy device owners the option to repair their gadgets themselves. A few months later, the company's self-repair program has finally gone live. Launching for the Galaxy S21 and S20 lines of smartphones, as well as the Tab S7 Plus, device owners won't need to discard their smartphones and tablets if they're malfunctioning. Instead, they can purchase repair parts and tools for quick, do-it-yourself fixes.

While device repair might sound like a daunting endeavor, Samsung is providing full access to online repair guides that give step-by-step instructions on how to fix specific issues and replace crucial elements. Additionally, replacement parts and repair tools will be available through a handful of retailers, including iFixit, Samsung 837, and Samsung retail stores.

Read more
Android Auto will now tell you if your USB cable is faulty
Android Auto in a car.

Broken USB cables cause big problems for anyone trying to use a wired connection between their phone and their car, but the latest Android Auto update is looking to reduce that frustration. With the rollout of the 7.5.121104 update, Android Auto is able to run diagnostic checks of any cable connected to an Android device.

This could drastically reduce the number of connection issues that users experience when using wired connections, as they'll be able to know if the problem they're experiencing is tied to their cable. Up to this point, it's been tricky to know for certain if a USB cable is faulty on the fly, but the diagnostic test that Android Auto can run will tell users instantly if their phones are properly sending/receiving data through a cable.

Read more