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”

  1. Hey guys to all who jst cnt get new window for new window when typed aboutuseragent.. Try this about:debug then goto settings then to uastring then u vil find it gyu

  2. Nice tricks, thank you very much.
    i have a problem and hope you can help me….i recorded 4 videos at 1280*720 and at some point it says maximum recording space reached. I pressed the recording button again and it happened again, i stopped the other 2 videos. Anyway, i watched one of the two that were stopped by the phone and it was fine, after a while i went to gallery and the 2 videos that were stopped by the phone were not there. I went to my files, DCIM, Camera and those 2 videos are there but with 0 kb size, i connected my phone to computer and they are 0kb size. I don’t know why that happened and i hope that i can recover them with your help.
    Thank You
    Jamal Harb

  3. i watched the you tube video and also read the text. the screen shot doesn’t wk, and i can’t find the option about text wrapping. when i type a name while in the phone dial pad the person Im trying to call does not pop up. i also can’t freeze my screen while watching a video. i can’t use the notification bar as a brightness adjuster. can’t even use the home screen 2 reach the net ? was this supposed 2 be for the s3 ??

  4. SGS2 needs a more user friendly interface or atleast a good tutorial installed already with a fresh phone, just bought from stores. It’s a good phone but many of my friends seem to have problems in understanding how to use it.

  5. Note: Not all Samsung Galaxy S2s have these features, I just got mine through t-mobile and it does not have the square button at the bottom of the face, it does not have the screen shot function as you showed and the function to adjust brightness by swiping the notifications tab also does not exist. Lastly I play an online game called the stratagems and the software on the phone does not support it though I hear other s2 owners can play the game on their device. My conclusion is T-Mobile sells an inferior model. Just a heads up

  6. I cannot send a photo with a text message on my 727 skyrocket Samsun galaxy. I have friends who can do this why can’t I do this on my phone?

  7. how do you zoom in out and out when watching videos you download. mine automatically goes to the zoomed in version and its really stretched and hard to see.

  8. Thank you so much for the shortcuts.

    I would like to know how to record the call.

    Also i would like to know is there a way to set the profile settings to make the phone to give notifications for calls, SMS and other alerts on specific time. and the phone should be silent mode out of the specified time.

  9. Hi ,

    How I can add/remove the options in the Quick Panel? Initially there are 5 options :
    5)Screen Rotation.

    I need to add the Mobile Data option. Please let me know how i can do the same.

  10. How to reduce menu item size in Samsung Galaxy S2.
    (For example, when you press settings option, it opens up with list of options, how to change this option size)

  11. if you put a full stop before a files name its becomes hidden while in your files press menu button then more then ‘show hidden folders’ to show the folders again (if the hidden folder has photos in it then they wont show up in youre gallery) enjoy 😉

  12. When ever i click the photo, images dnt comes to be that clear as it is in moled
    How it can be cured

  13. hi wonder if you can help i have the samsung galaxy note 2 and i want to know when i go to facebook how do i save a picture there i click on ive tryed holding my finger for seconds and nothing comes up i just get up a trash bin. ive also downloaded several apps and they still wont let me save the pic any help please how to do this a simple way thankyou

  14. Great stuff !! Thanks !!
    know any shortcuts for switching off music player on a Galaxy S2 ? (web is full of (not pragmatic) advice – which leads me to the conclusion that there is no quick way (besides via the “active application” – application… (Pausing it and leaving it like that in the background is not good enough when @ the end of the battery life – and trying to squeeze the last few minutes out of the unit)

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