Samsung Galaxy S20 Tips & Camera Tricks

23 August 2020

Robert Duke


e Galaxy S20 is arguably the best phone money can buy, but do you know how to get the most out of your handset? Read on to find out more.

General tips

Save battery power

There are a few quick changes you can make to extend your battery life. The first is Dark Mode. The main thing that drains a phone battery above all else is lighting the screen, and the darker the pixels on your display, the less energy is expended. To enable it:

- Go to Settings > Display
- Press the button under Dark

The second method is Power Saving Mode. This one does what it says on the tin, reducing background activity on your phone by apps you aren’t currently using. To turn it on: 

- Go to Settings > Device Care > Battery
- Select one of the options below ‘Optimized’ from the menu

Finally, if you’re not using 5G, you should switch it off because your phone has to work pretty hard to keep it running in the background. To toggle it:

- Go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks
- Tap Network mode > Switch to LTE/WCDMA/GSM (auto connect)

Speed up unlocking

One of the gripes with the Samsung S20 is the time it takes to unlock the handset. Facial recognition is supposed to make the process quick and easy, so we’re not sure why Samsung forces a swipe after it’s worked its magic. Alas, you can easily disable the Stay on Lock screen feature so it opens immediately:

- Go to Settings > Biometrics and Security
- Go to Face recognition and untoggle Stay on Lock screen

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Improve sound quality

The speakers on the S20 are great, even with the default settings, but you can dramatically improve the sound quality by enabling Dolby Atmos. It’ll give you a bit of a volume boost and add depth to your audio. To turn it on:

- Go to settings > Sounds and vibration
- Sound quality and effects > Toggle Dolby Atmos on

Tweak the refresh rate

The default resolution setting, while crisper than the other options, doesn’t allow you to use the incredible 120Hz display feature, which increases the smoothness and speed on your screen (much better for watching videos and general scrolling). To switch over:

- Open Settings > Display
- Tap Screen resolution and switch it to FHD+ (2400 x 1080)
- Go back to Display > Tap Motion smoothness and select 120Hz

Show more apps on your home screen

For people who would like more slots for apps on their home screen, there's a simple setting change that enables up to 5 columns and 6 rows (rather than the standard 4x5). To add more:

- Hold your finger down the background on your home screen 
- Tap on Home screen settings
- Scroll to Home screen grid and tap it
- Select the layout you prefer (the higher the numbers, the more apps will appear)

Use landscape mode on home screen

Another nifty thing you can do with the Galaxy S20 is set it so that the home screen reorients whenever you turn it from portrait to landscape. To enable this feature:

- Hold your finger down the background on your home screen 
- Tap on Home screen settings
- Toggle on Rotate to landscape mode

Camera Tips 

Improve photo quality

Want to get the best possible photos? You’ll need to increase your resolution, as the cameras on all versions of the Galaxy S20 aren’t set to the maximum by default. To change it:

- Open the camera app > Tap the 3:4 icon at the top
- Switch to the option with the highest number in the white box under 3:4 (this will vary depending on which version of the handset you have) 

Utilise Single Take mode

If you haven’t tried this feature yet, you’re in for a treat. When you enable Single Take mode, you can create short recordings and your phone’s AI will generate a bunch of different optimised versions of the scene for you to choose from (including photos, videos, and GIFs including boomerangs). To enable it:

- Open the camera app > Slide left on the PHOTO option
- Select Single Take

Record video in 8K

The video camera on the Galaxy S20 is brilliant, but, like the standard photographic camera, it doesn’t provide the highest possible resolution straight out of the box. If you want to improve the quality of your recordings, you’ll need to enable full 8K:

- Open the camera app > Switch to Video mode
- Tap on the Video Ratio button > Select 9:16 8K

Enable Super Steady Mode

Let’s face it, we’ve all had moments where we’ve tried to record a video and it’s come out all jerky and blurry (Aunt Beatrice *still* hasn’t forgiven me for my snafu at her wedding in 2012). To avoid awkward post-shoot confrontations:

- Open the camera app > Switch to Video mode - Tap on the hand with the wiggly lines beside it

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*Underwriter Assurant General Insurance Limited. Gadget age restrictions, T&Cs & excesses apply. Customer UK