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Getting a Galaxy S5? 7 things you must know

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has been described by some as the superphone of 2014. LIRON SEGEV discovers that it is packed to the brim with new features and outlines seven tips to help users get started with it.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was first announced in January at the Mobile World Congress, and was then unveiled in South Africa earlier this month.

The phone is packed with features and functions, and although this sounds great, it can be confusing for some, especially those who are new to the Galaxy user interface or the Android operating system. Samsung has however included a step-by-step guide on how to set up the phone and here are some tips to help users get started with the S5.

7 must know tips and tricks for the Samsung Galaxy S5

Use the finger:

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a finger scanner built into the “Home” button, allowing users to unlock the device by simply running their finger over the scanner. The feature needs to first be set up by going into Settings > Finger Scanner > Fingerprint Manager.

But there is more.

If you tap on the Features List, you are able to use the same fingerprint scanner to identify yourself instead of entering a password to confirm purchases – much like the functionality offered on the Apple iPhone 5S.

Save power:

There are two power saving options on the S5. The first is the Power Saving Mode that allows you to block background data, reduce the time the screens stays on, reduce the power of the processor and turn off resources like GPS.

This is a good enough option when you know you will get to a charger soon and still need most of the phone’s features.

You access this mode though Settings > Power Saving > Power Saving Mode > On

If you are in serious battery trouble, then you can use the Ultra Power Saving mode. This mode switches the phone’s screen from colour into grey-scale and reduces the number of apps that can be used. It also turns off mobile data when the screen switches off, and disconnects Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You can still make and receive phone calls.

When I first enabled this mode, I was a little alarmed, but it certainly does the job.

You access this mode through Settings > Power Saving > Ultra power saving mode > On

Open the toolbox:

Toolbox is perfect for opening apps using one hand. When you tap on it, the apps you selected are listed with little icons so you don’t have to go looking for them.

Toolbox is accessible from the Quick Settings option or under Settings > Sound and Display.

Be more sensitive:

Using a touch screen with gloves has never been easy, and in some cases impossible. But, the Galaxy S5 lets you increase the sensitivity so it responds better and you don’t have to take your gloves off.

You access this mode though Settings > Display > Increase touch sensitivity (right at the bottom)

For the kids:

The Samsung has a Kids Mode feature that allows you to select which apps the children can access and lock the apps they can’t. When activated, the entire screen changes to make it kids-friendly and doesn’t just disable selected apps.

There is a great voice app that allows parents to record their voice and the S5 plays it back in different character voices. Children’s pictures are stored separately from the main gallery, so there is no chance of one of their creative artworks sneaking its way into your presentations.

The app not only keeps track of which apps the kids have used and how much time they spend on the phone, but also allows you to set daily playtime limits.

Quick connect:

If you want to share something with another S5 user, you can use Quick Connect, which is available from the Quick Settings icon. Once you tap it, it will list all the nearby devices that have Quick Connect enabled. The two phones make a connection and you can share content with each other. This takes away complexity of pairing Bluetooth or sharing over a Wi-Fi and can be done ad-hoc and switched off just as easily.


Samsung has extended the ability to have multiple apps open at the same time to the Galaxy S5. The screen is large enough to have Google Maps running at the top half of the screen and an e-mail client at the bottom

To activate this, select Multi Windows from Quick Settings. Then hold the Back button and you will see a little arrow appear on the left side of the phone (you can hold the Back button to hide that arrow too). Tap that arrow and the app list opens. Now drag an app to the top and an app to the bottom.

* Follow Liron Segev, aka The Techie Guy, on his blog at, or on Twitter at @Liron_Segev

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