11 Best Sam­sung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ Tips and Tricks That You Should Know

Namrata Gogoi

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus arrive with many interesting features, be it the refreshed OneUI or the gorgeous display. But at the end of the day, all the features are made for the masses and not tailor-made for you. And that's where we step in to help you make the best of the new Samsung Galaxy S21.

Best Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Tips and Tricks That You Should

We have shortlisted all the settings you can use to tweak your phone. So, without further ado, let's see some of the best Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ tips and tricks.

Check out the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra if you haven't already.

1. Enable Video Call Effects

I am sure you must receive plenty of video calls on your new Galaxy S21. If you want to jazz up your calls, the Galaxy S21 has a nifty trick up its sleeves. The Galaxy S21 series comes with some really cool effects to make your selfie videos look much better on calls.

To do so, go to Settings > Advanced features > Video call effects, and select the effect of your choice.

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11 Best Samsung Galaxy S21 Tips and Tricks That You Should Know 13

For instance, if you want to blur your background, add a custom image, or add a dash of color to your video calls, you can do it effortlessly.

2. Get the Smoothest Display

When we talk of the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, a mention of it is incomplete without talking about the 120Hz display. Yes, the 120Hz refresh rate is here, and you can enable it at the press of a button. And trust me, it's so cool.

To enable it, go to the Display Settings and set Motion Smoothness to Adaptive.

Once done, scroll down to set the screen resolution to WQHD+. And that's about it.

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The best part is that you can use the Galaxy S21 Ultra at QHD resolution with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, unlike the older Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 series.

3. Customize Call Backgrounds

Another nifty trick of the Samsung Galaxy S21 is that you can also change the call background. So if you want to add an animated video, it's now possible.

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The good part is that enabling it as easy as pie. Just open up the dialer, tap on the 3-dot menu button and then select Settings.

Next, select Call background > Background. Now, all you need to do is select one video from the array of available videos. Or, you can add a custom video from your gallery by tapping on the + icon.

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11 Best Samsung Galaxy S21 Tips and Tricks That You Should Know 16

Pro Tip: Create a custom video using AR emoji for a more personalized touch.

4. Customize the Side Key

Aside from the above customizations, the Galaxy S21 also packs a nifty shortcut that you can use with the Side Key. While you can switch off your phone, it also lets you open your favorite app when you double-tap on it.

To remap the button, head over to Settings > Advanced features> Side key. Under the Double Press section, select Open app.

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11 Best Samsung Galaxy S21 Tips and Tricks That You Should Know 18

Here, you can pick any app of your choice. Most folks confused between Signal and Telegram, what about you?

5. Jazz up the Always On Display Screen

Another nifty trick of your Galaxy S21 is that it allows you to choose and customize the Always On Display background.

Thanks to the all-new OneUI 3, you can choose from plenty of AOD (Always On Display) backgrounds. Now, you can set GIFs, customize the colors, and a lot more.

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For that, go to Settings > Lock Screen > Always-on Display, and set it to Always on.

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11 Best Samsung Galaxy S21 Tips and Tricks That You Should Know 21

Once done, tap on clock style to pick the style of the clock and colors. Additionally, you can tap on the image icon and then choose from various GIFs..

6. Activate LockScreen Widgets

Wouldn't it be amazing to check the basic things like text or email subjects right from your phone's lockscreen? If yes, say Hi to Lockscreen Widgets.

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To enable Widgets, head over to Settings > Lock screen > Widgets. Select a widget of your choice. After that, enable the toggle next to Show on Always on Display.

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Next time, your phone goes to the AOD mode, double tap on the clock, and then swipe down to enter the widgets section. This will load up the widgets in the AMOLED mode only, thereby conserving battery life while at the same time letting you take a glance at your schedule, songs playing, or the number of times you have unlocked your phone.

7. Hello, Live Captions

The Samsung Galaxy S21 is smart. It's smart enough to automatically create captions whenever it detects any speech on videos being played. Yep, no kidding. The best part is that it works seamlessly across Instagram, YouTube, Netflix, or even the videos on your phone's gallery.

To enable it, tap on the volume button, and then tap on this expand icon (down arrow), and select Live Captions. Simple.

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Do note that the captions won't be as fast as the built-in subtitles of video files and movies.

8. Tall Phone? Say Hello to One-handed mode

The Galaxy S21, especially the Ultra variant, is a huge phone. And at times, it becomes a tad difficult to handle the phone with one-hand, especially when you are commuting on public transport.

At times like this, it makes sense to switch to the one-handed mode. Thankfully, enabling it is an easy affair and requires just a one-time setup.

To enable it, navigate to Advanced Features inside Settings and toggle the switch next to One-handed mode. You can now set the trigger for this, depending on the navigation bar style you use.

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Once done, enter the one-handed mode by either swiping down in the center of the bottom edge or tapping on the home button twice. And that's about it. The best part is that you can also move the window around or resize it, as per your liking.

9. Brings Floating Notifications to the Home Screen

When it comes to notifications, it's safe to say that the Samsung UI was far ahead of its peers. And with the Galaxy S21 and S21+, you can swipe down on notifications to open a floating window for it. Cool, right?

However, you will have to enable this cool feature first. To do so, select Advanced settings > Floating Notifications, and set it to Smart pop-up view.

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From now on, you can easily interact with your notifications in a floating window.

10. Set up a Reminder for Notifications

Speaking of notifications, you must already know that the Galaxy S21 reminds you of older notifications that you might have swiped away. You can now get a step ahead of it by setting the notification reminder for the ones you might forget. It could either be a text message or a simple missed call.

To set it, navigate to Notification settings under Advanced Settings and select Notification Reminders, and toggle the switch.

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Now, set the frequency for the reminders for the apps.

11. Enable Bixby Routines

Okay, Bixby couldn't attain the same stature as its counterparts like Google Assistant or iOS's Siri, however, it still has some potential. And well, if you have bought a phone that costs upwards of $700, why not use it, right?

For starters, you can create Bixby Routines as per your requirements. These routines can be dubbed as IFTTT recipes for your Samsung phones more simply. So add custom routines and assign specific triggers for the same.

To create a Bixby Routine on your Samsung Galaxy S21 phone, go to Settings > Advanced features and select Bixby Routines.

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11 Best Samsung Galaxy S21 Tips and Tricks That You Should Know 10

Here, pick one of the existing presets (under Recommended) section and fill out the empty fields as per your requirement. You can also create your own from scratch by tapping on the Plus-icon at the upper right corner of My Routines.

Make Your Smartphone Smarter

These were some of the cool tips and tricks using which you can get the maximum out of your Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+.

Besides the above, the One UI 3.0 packs many features to tweak the phone's settings to make the best out of it. For instance, you can add or remove the Edge Panels or pick the right Dolby Atmos mode when you are watching movies.


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Namrata loves writing about products and gadgets. She has been working for Guiding Tech since 2017 and has around three years of experience writing features, how-tos, buying guides, and explainers. Previously she worked as an IT Analyst at TCS, but she found her calling elsewhere.