Must Know Tips & Tricks For The Galaxy S II

[Update – For a Galaxy S3? Here are must know tips & tricks for the S3!]

The Galaxy S II is Samsung’s latest and greatest superphone and judging by the rate at which these things are selling, very soon millions around you will have a one. The device packs a dual core 1.2 Ghz processor, a 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus display, runs Android 2.3.3 out of the box with Sammy’s TouchWiz 4 on top.

Must Know Tips & Tricks For The Samsung Galaxy S2

TouchWiz is Samsung’s custom UI layer that differentiates the SGS 2 from the myriad of other Android slabs and Samsung has managed to add enough value to it to make it a very welcome addition. Some of its benefits become obvious, but some tweaks and shortcuts that can make your experience even better are tucked away. This post aims to showcase a bunch of tips and tricks that every SGS 2 user should know. Some of these might even work on older TouchWiz devices.

Hit play and tell us in the comments section if you think I’ve skipped any must know shortcut/tip!

If you can’t see the video embedded above, hit this link to go to YouTube. If you’d like to read instead of watch the video, read on.

  • Quick Calls & Texts: Once you have the contact you want to call or text in front of you, instead of entering it and then carrying out the operation, you can simply swipe left to place a call or swipe right to enter a text.

Galaxy S2 Tips & Tricks

  • Homescreens: TouchWiz supports upto 7 homescreens and jumping between them can quickly become a problem, but you can easily pinch to get an overview and then quickly jump to the screen you want.

Galaxy S2 Tips & Tricks

  • Screenshots: Taking screenshots on Android devices is a pain, but on the Galaxy S2, you can simply hit home button and then the power key while holding onto home to take a screenshot. You can then see them in the Gallery.
  • Brightness Adjust: The notification bar can serve as a brightness scroll on the Galaxy S 2 if you are not using the  auto brightness option. Just hit the notification bar, hold for a second and swipe left to decrese and right to increase the brightness. This is one of my favourite tweaks.
  • Browsr Text Wrap: Out of the box the Galaxy S2 doesn’t automatically reflow the text in the webpage if you zoom in. But if you just goto settings and check the ‘auto-fit pages’ option, all is well again.
  • User Agent Change: The browser lets you change the user-agent without needing an extra app, just type ‘about:useragent’ and you can choose between the iPhone, Nexus One, Desktop, Galaxy S or even enter a custom string.

Galaxy S2 Tips & Tricks

  • Pinch Based Tab Switching: While you are viewing a webpage, just pinch out and you will be shown the other tabs that are open, or you can even open a new one. Handy, finally possible on the Galaxy S2.

Galaxy S2 Tips & Tricks

  • Custom Fonts: The Galaxy S2 comes with inbuilt support for custom fonts. Just goto Settings -> Display -> Screen Display -> Font Style and choose from the three options or follow the link to download more from the Android Market.

Galaxy S2 Tips & Tricks

  • Change Bottom App Drawer: Its just easier to explain if you watch the video, around the 03:28 minute mark.
  • Quick Slider: Whether you are in the homscreen or the app list, just roll your finger over the dots at the bottom of the screen and see the screens fly by. Beautiful and functional.
  • Video Lock: Pressing the power button in video player locks the screen, now you can hold the device any way you like, no accidental presses.
  • Testing Mode: *#0*# in the dialer enters the LCD test mode, useful if you are hunting for dead pixels or a few other things.

Galaxy S2 Tips & Tricks

  • Search Key: The SGS2 like the SGS doesn’t have a dedicated search key that all other Android devices have, but if you long press menu, it doubles as a search key and pulls search up, wherever you need it.
  • Quick Dialing: On the dial pad spell the name of your contact and see it popup, great when you need to make a quick call.
  • Bluetooth Mouse: The SGS 2 supports using a bluetooth mouse, the functionality is more of a proof of concept vis-a-vis being actually useful. TV out presents a useful senario.

Any others you would like to add? Let us know in the comments section below!

Further reading – Our In-Depth Samsung Galaxy S2 Review.

342 thoughts on “Must Know Tips & Tricks For The Galaxy S II”

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  3. Hi!

    Thanks for your great tips!

    I have a question for you.

    Can we put image/photo onto the home screen? – not as wallpaper, just as an image/photo.

    Thank you! 😀

  4. Hey can you tell me if there is a way to make my text message notice go off more than once before i actually get a chance to read the message? I often dont hear it and dont realize that there was a message on it, and sometimes it too late.

  5. Want to get my calendar info off nokia e7. also phone book doesnt come up in my car.. worked fine with nokia ? Thanks.mary

  6. I cant make calls!! I try pressing the phone button but it just takes me back to the home page. And there is a green bar at the top … Why is it there? I slide down and it just takes me to my notifactions…. PLEASE HELP!! THANK YOU 🙂

  7. Really great tips. I just got mine and this is the best how-to video I’ve seen.

    Question: Is it possible when I’m recording a video to lock the screen so it doesn’t stop recording with an accidental press?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Hi. I seem to be having volume trouble with this phone when I put a case on it. My callers say I sound muffled or echoey. Is there anything I can do about this? This phone is way to delicate to not have a case on it.

  9. Planning to buy Galaxy SII tomorrow. Just had a few second thoughts cross my mind on going through this website because of the number of problems people have identified. I’d also like to mention that this would be my first smart phone, previously i’ve not even used symbian based phones. Would anyone recommend to go ahead with this one?

  10. Excelente Tutorial !!!, it was really helpful !!! I had no idea about all these nice features …
    happy seasons !!

  11. Hi,

    i just went through your very useful go through of Galaxy S2. I will appreciate if you could guide me that which firmware number contains support for urdu and arabic because i had bought my s2 from abroad and when i try to open urdu or english websites it breaks the words and i also unable to type urdu and arabic.

    thanks in advance.

    Regards

  12. Hi Vaibhav

    First of thank you very much for sharing this great piece of work with all the people out here including myself. I have recently got my Android based Galaxy S2 phone which is a wizard for me and now I can do a lot of things on it without any hassle, however there are few things for which I would appreciate any help from you, and I hope other people out here would also be benefited by this:

    1) what are the short-cuts for email application eg shortcut for reply to a mail or reply to all or even delete the mail. Also shortcut for selecting bunch of unwanted mails and delete them at once.

    2) I want to read marathi newpaper websites on the phone especially when I am travelling, in this case I found that whenever I open any marathi news paper website or anything which is in Marathi unicode font on the phone it shows me as boxes. So I searched the net and I found that I ll need to download droidhindi.ttf font and copy it in the systems dir on the phone but for this I need to Root my device however I do not know to do that, therefore any simple advice would be much of help.

    3) Which application shall I use to kill the applications from RAM in order to free up some memory.

    4) How do I get registered to Samsung website in order to receive further software updates (such as Android 4.0 Ice-creame sandwitch)

  13. Hello,

    I bought a Samsung Galaxy S II, about 3 weeks ago.

    Now I’ve got a problem.
    My battery is going empty, but I can’t refill it.
    Is the battery broken?
    The Galaxy is going hot. The temperature is about 50 degrees Celsius.
    I tried to fill the battery with my adapter and also trough USB in my PC.
    Both times, the level of the battery is going down, slowly.

    Does anybody have the same problem, as I do.
    I think it’s the battery, but maybe it’s another problem.
    I can use my garantee, but I don’t want to pay for the research. And in that case I have to let them have my Galaxy SII for at least 2 weeks.
    I hope anyone can help me.
    thank you for your help.

    greetings,

    FlevoTJ

  14. Hi,

    I am a Brit living in China and I have just bought myself the Samsung Galaxy S2. Now, I am a novice when it comes to smartphones and I am sure I will be coming back here for more advice in the future, the near future, but to start off with my device is locked to the Chinese Samsung Apps store website. I am unable to get to an English/Europe version of this site. I have tried finding out what I can, and it has been recommended to use a firmware update from http://www.SamMobile.com but I don’t want to do anything that may damage or hinder my use of the phone. Do you know what I can do, I still get some internal messages from the device in Chinese despite changing all language settings.

    Also, my device is full of Chinese Apps I do not need but am unable to remove them no matter how often I delete them.

    And one final question, for now, do you know of any VPN Apps? Being in China I have some internet restrictions, but on my laptop I am able to use Freegate, something like this would be of great help to me.

    Thank you

    Andy

  15. LISA:
    If u go to the buit in messaging app and hit the menu button then hit setting and then notifications u can uncheck the notification box and it will quit coming through that app.

  16. hi guys ..i want to know how to change the default name of the pictures that i take with the samsung galaxy s2 camera from “334234_45345” to the date or a name or something…
    who can help me …? thanks!

  17. Does anyone know if it’s possible to use a Bluetooth keyboard with the gs2 running the snapdragon 1.5 GHz processor? I have seen generic bt keyboards in electronic s stores, but no one is talking about the compatibility with the galaxy s2. Thanks. If you know it can be done, please add which keyboards. Thx

  18. How do you clear your previous searches in google browser?

    My phone wont let me make a video call, is there something i need to set up?

  19. How do I delete a contact person from my contacts when im sending out a picture,the selection it gives me to send to, how do I delete a certain individual ,an another iquestion when I went on the google web site,punch in a web went to it an now that particular website shows up on my contacts where I can send pictures how to do I delete those web sites showing up on those contacts.

  20. dude ur voice is clear and study is absolutely brilliant. i loved ur blog and video about Samsung Galaxy S2.
    I also own Galaxy S2 and love 2 know more about it (Tricks and Tips).
    dude i have a query:
    Q: How to upgrade my Android Version? I am not able to find it. Please help or mail.

    Rockafella \../,

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  22. Hi! Excellent tips. I seem to have a very ackward problem on my S2:.somehow I have removed all links to the standard internet browser and now there is no one on earth that has been able to tell me where to get it back or how to install it again. It does not show up in the applications list.
    Any ideas on how to solve this?

  23. Very helpful video. Just got a galaxy s ii to replace. lost nexus 1 and miss one great featurein the Samsung. When expanding a web page to read, on my old nexus 1there was a + sign to increase font size which resized the whole page to fit within the screen. Samsung does not have that-requiring me to scroll side to side to read each line. Am I stuck or is there a setting or hack? Thanks for yr advice.

  24. I would like to know how to turn off the stupid notifications you get saying stuff like you have won an ipod

  25. how about a minimize function when your trying to multitask.
    at the momment it seems like you can only back out of an app if u want to do something else.
    thanks

  26. Hi sharma… Excellent job.. You explain very beautifully.. And provide great information.. Pls upload one more video how to use usb exactly in detail.. Like for pen drive and hard disc .. To play hard disc i should get external power supply it seems.. I have 500 gb which runs without power supply.. What i need to actually buy now.? M confused .. Pls reply to it..

  27. Do people have the same problem I have I noticed there is a lot of other people that have problems with their phone, but nothing is ever really answer.??

  28. Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is the only question I belive I can answer. When we are running any application, one single quick push in the “home” button (big square button right below the screen) will “minimize” the application currently running and set us free to do anything else.
    To get back to the minimized application, either run it through it’s shortcut again, or hold the home button for a couple of seconds and run the task mannager. Then click on the desired application, being careful not to click on the close button.

  29. very nice review..one of the best on s2.

    i purchased s2 mobile in dubai and want to know how to enable kannada font in my mobile and replace arabic… is it possible.. any help will be appreciated.

  30. Love your post. I l learned more in a few min. here than the hours I’ve spent searching the Web for tips.THANK YOU!!

  31. Its there a “recycle bin”or a way to undo files that were deleted from the media player? I was led to believe that choosing the”remove”option when in media players “all” tab would only remove what was in the media player only yet it removed all the original files. Not happy.

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  33. When I removed music files from the media players”all”tab it completely deleted all the original files from the phone, not happy. Its there a undo or restore option or a recycle bin of sorts to recover these files?

  34. Hi
    I’m not able to lock my Samsung galaxy S2 phone with a pattern or a pin
    Anyone Please advice me to solve my problem

    Thank you
    Anshu

  35. The stock (came with the phone) battery widget in the task bar it’s showing always the battery level it’s full until the battery goes dead. Why? Can you provide me some useful information please? I’m so frustrated. Please I need help. Thank you. Adrian.
    nino_ngl@yahoo.com

  36. I don’t have a contribution, but I’d like to know if it’s possible to put a password on your S2, I have some very nosy friends and family that I don’t want invading my privacy.

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