I’ve had enough time now with the Samsung Galaxy Fold and have learned a lot about how I, and I think most people, will end up using it when they do eventually get it. So now, I think I have a few tips and tricks that might help anyone that ends up getting one (and could be insightful for anyone just curious about the device and how it’s used anyway).
For these, I’m going to try and not go into much of the same things that can be applied to another Galaxy phone (there will be some overlaps, of course), but I wanted to focus on things that are at least a bit more specific to the Fold itself.
So, first off, we have to talk about the side fingerprint sensor and how to make that a better experience.
Instant Unlock with the Fingerprint Sensor
By default, maybe for security reasons, but it just seems dumb to me honestly, the way you would unlock the phone with your fingerprint once it’s set up, is you have to press the power button then the fingerprint sensor for it to unlock. Seems redundant, right?
So in the settings, I found an option to bypass the power button and allow you just to set your finger on the fingerprint sensor and go instantly to the home screen.
To enable this go to Settings > Biometrics and Security > Fingerprints > and turn Fingerprint Always On to On.
Now, you can rest your finger on the fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone.
Turn Off the Ol’ Bixby Button
Speaking of the fingerprint sensor, Samsung also awkwardly made it a button to launch Bixby and so whenever you do touch it there is a good chance you might accidentally launch the red-headed stepchild of virtual assistants on accident (maybe Samsung did this on purpose?). It would be so much better in my opinion for this to be on the power button, but for whatever reason, it is not. Thankfully though, Samsung has at least finally given us a way to change how the Bixby button functions and we can make it less likely to launch it on accident.
To do that, go to your home screen and push the Bixby button to bring up Bixby (set it up if it isn’t already).
Once it brings you to the Bixby screen, tap the three dots at the top right and tap Settings.
Tap on Bixby Key.
And select Double Press to open Bixby. This setting will mean you have to push the button twice quickly to open Bixby and that helps tremendously with accidental launches.
Optionally, you can also turn on Single Press to have the button open an app or run a command if you want to give it some more functionality.
“S-Pen” for the Galaxy Fold
When in the briefing for the Galaxy Fold, I asked why there is no S-Pen support for the device and was very diplomatically told that the “Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Note are two separate product lines.” To me, this statement meant to me at least that Samsung doesn’t want to cannibalize sales of the Note with the Fold (although I doubt that would happen, not at least until future Fold devices get closer to price to the Note ones, but still). So, even if you grab an S-Pen from Samsung itself, the phone doesn’t have the S-Pen compatibility, and so it just won’t work. But, this doesn’t mean you need to go without a stylus if you want one.
Here are two popular s-pen alternatives I’ve found. The first one is a passive stylus which means that it does not connect to the phone using Bluetooth as the S-Pen does and so it cannot use hovering, and other functions that an active connection requires, but it does mean it doesn’t need ever to be charged and it also is cheaper than the equivalent active stylus.
And then there is this active one I found that functions a bit more like the S-Pen in that it does support hovering on the Galaxy Fold, etc. but also does need to be charged and paired via Bluetooth to work.
You check either of those out here and here and even though I’m not a big stylus user myself, this giant screen.
More interested in the Galaxy S10 Plus? Check out my real-world battery test video on it here.
Home Screen(s) Setup
So next let’s talk about the home screen(s). The thing I’ve learned while using this phone as my everyday device (and corroborated by other reviewers I’ve spoken to) is that the sizeable inside screen is the screen you will find yourself using 90% of the time. The smaller outside screen is almost a super useful lock screen in a way.
To make better use of this, I recommend keeping the Samsung One UI launcher as your default launcher instead of changing it if you were thinking about it. I usually switch to Nova almost immediately myself, but in this case, I find it best to stick with Samsung’s because unlike the other launchers, it allows you to treat the outside and inside screens as two separate home screens entirely.
So for the outside screen, I put things I generally will use quickly or while walking so things like Spotify, Chrome if I need to check something fast, quick shortcuts to my calendar/alarm/weather, and my messaging apps, the programs I use to log my workouts and my calories, the phone, etc. While on the inside screen, I set it up more like I usually would for any other device as that’s where, again, I spend most of my time.
Tiny Screen = Tiny Keyboard
Speaking of the different screens, even though I use the inside one for messaging most of the time, the outside one is good for quick responses to people, but that keyboard is way too compact not to be frustrating. So, I turned on swipe to type on the Samsung keyboard (it isn’t on by default).
To do this, head to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-Screen Keyboard > Samsung Keyboard >Smart Typing > Keyboard Swipe Controls > and turn on Swipe to Type.
Now, when you are using the outside screen, you can swipe your finger along the keys to compose messages (and once you get the hang of it, trust me you’ll make fewer mistakes than trying to type as you usually would on the keyboard when it’s this small).
Also, a side note about the Samsung keyboard: like the launcher, I usually change my keyboard to Gboard because I’m used to it. You can do swap it out as well and choose any swiping keyboard, but unlike Gboard the Samsung one will also automatically turn into a split layout on the larger screen to make it easier to reach with your thumbs if you leave it as the default.
So you’ve probably seen the continuity feature Samsung is promoting with the Galaxy Fold. It’s where you can have an app open on the small screen and when you open to the larger one it resizes automatically and keeps where you were (it doesn’t work on all apps but, for me, it works on a majority of ones I use). But, there were times where I would be using an app on the large screen and needed to start walking or something where I wanted to close the phone and continue using the app on the small screen and by default that doesn’t work. What happens instead is the device locks thinking you’re done.
But, there is a setting to change that.
Head to Settings > Display > Continue Apps on the Front Screen.
In there you can then select which apps will do this sort of “reverse continuity” when closing the screen. Just keep in mind this does mean that closing the phone while using the selected apps will not close the app or lock the phone so make sure to lock it with the power button when done manually.
Hide the Notch
While we’re here in the Display Settings, there’s something else in here you might want to use.
Now, personally, the notch on the Fold doesn’t bother me, but if you want to remove it, Samsung left that ability in the software (albeit in a not-so-apparent place).
To turn off the notch, head to Settings > Display > Full Screen Apps > Tap the three dots at the top right > Advanced Settings > Turn on Hide Camera Cutout.
The Nokia 9 has no notch, but it does have 5 rear cameras. Check out my real-world camera test video on it here.
Multitask Like a Boss
Lastly, there’s one more thing I want to go over which is pretty unique to the Galaxy Fold, and that’s how to multitask in the various split-screen and pop-out screen options on the larger display.
Samsung added the ability to have three apps open in the split screen view and also an additional (ridiculous) five apps in floating windows on top.
The easiest way to use this is to swipe in from off the screen on the right to get this drawer of compatible apps (you can also tap the dots at the bottom to enlarge the drawer).
Tap on an app, and it’ll open on the right side of the screen.
You can then open an app on the left side to have it line up to the left of the screen.
You can then swipe again from off the right side to get the drawer back and tap another app to put it under the right app.
You’ll know which of the screen are active for your typing by whichever one doesn’t have a grey pill at the top (it’ll either turn blue or won’t have one).
You can tap and hold on that pill to rearrange the windows or tap on it to get the option to full screen that app or to pop it out into a resizeable floating window.
And you can repeat these steps to get more and more windows on the screen until the maximum I mentioned before is reached (and you make the phone entirely unusable).
And there you go guys, hope this was helpful for anyone looking to buy it or at least gave more insight into the device for those that are just curious about it. Let me know in the comments below always like hearing from you guys. And if you liked this video, please give it a thumbs up, subscribe and ding the bell to be notified about the next videos and click the link below to subscribe to my weekly email newsletter for videos but also more tips, tricks, and tech news that doesn’t necessarily make it here to video.
As always, thanks for watching!