It might surprise you that Samsung has steadily made a name for itself in the smartwatch market. Its line of Galaxy smartwatches support both Android and iPhone, are dependable, and filled to the brim with neat hardware and software features.
However, if you own one of these Galaxy smartwatches, there’s a chance you might not be using the device to its full potential. Under the surface, these wearables pack loads of lesser-known abilities. Here are the best tips and tricks to get the most out of your Samsung Galaxy smartwatch.
1. Customize Watch Faces
Samsung’s Galaxy Store houses a vast variety of watch faces you can try. But you might wish a specific element was a different color, or maybe you’d like to replace the complication widget.
Luckily, you can customize watch faces (depending on the developer). For instance, you can partially modify most of the preloaded Samsung watch faces. These let you alter the dial’s design, font colors, and more. If you don’t like any of the preinstalled ones, we’ve looked at great Samsung Gear watch faces before.
The Customize button, if available, will appear at the top of the Watch Faces tab on the Galaxy Wearable app. Make sure you have this installed to take full advantage of the rest of these tips.
2. Reorder Widgets, Quick Settings, and Apps
Navigating on a smartwatch’s cramped touchscreen can feel like a chore. But you can still speed up your usual interactions a bit by reordering the widgets, quick settings, and apps.
On the companion app, you can arrange these elements to quickly reach the services you access most. To edit the app drawer’s order, open the Galaxy Wearable app and head to Apps > Menu > Reorder.
Here, you can either have the watch automatically push your most-used apps towards the top of the list, or manually alter the order by holding a particular app and dragging it.
To do the same for widgets, open the Widgets panel in the Galaxy Wearable app. You can also personalize the quick settings’ order from Advanced > Edit Quick Settings.
3. Take Screenshots
Did you know that you can take screenshots of your smartwatch? This can come in handy, especially for troubleshooting purposes where you might need to share an error message with the support team.
To capture a screenshot on your Samsung Galaxy smartwatch, swipe from the left to right edge while holding down the home button. If you’ve successfully executed this gesture, you’ll see an animation of the taken screenshot leaving the screen.
The screenshots won’t transfer to your phone directly. Instead, they’re stored on the watch’s local storage until you manually move them over.
To do that, go into the watch’s Gallery app. Tap the screenshot and hit the three-dot menu. Now, select Send to Phone and you will receive a notification on your phone once the transfer is complete.
4. Personalize the Home Button Double-Press Shortcut
Another method to instantly launch your favorite smartwatch app is utilizing the home button’s double-press shortcut. You can assign it to any app on your watch, as well as essential actions like jumping to the last app you used, creating a reminder, and viewing recent apps.
The setting is inside the Galaxy Wearable app at Advanced > Double press Home key.
5. Modify the Watch’s System-Wide Background
By default, Samsung’s smartwatches feature a dark system-wide background. But you don’t have to settle for that if you don’t prefer it. You can easily set a different one from the companion app. You’ll find the background settings under Display > Background Style.
However, at the time of writing, the watch doesn’t allow custom images. You can only choose from a handful of bundled gradients.
6. Add Offline Tracks and Images
Like your phone, your Samsung Galaxy smartwatch has some local storage. You can take advantage of this by adding music and images to your watch to watch offline. This enables you to, for instance, go for a run without your phone and listen to music through wireless headphones, right on your smartwatch.
To add content to your watch, first open the Galaxy Wearable app. Tap Add Content to Your Watch and hit Add Tracks or Copy Images. You can even switch on Auto-Sync to always keep your watch in sync with your phone’s data.
7. Avoid Accidental Swipes and Taps While Swimming
Samsung’s latest smartwatches can track your swims, as well as call or text your contacts. As you’d imagine, you probably don’t want to combine these two feature.
To avoid accidentally calling someone or performing any other unwanted action while swimming, you should turn on the Water Lock mode. It essentially puts your watch in lockdown and prevents any accidental touches when you’re in the water.
Enable the Water Lock mode by tapping the droplet icon in the quick settings.
8. Connect to Your Watch Remotely
The presence of LTE and/or Wi-Fi lets your Samsung smartwatch remotely connect to your phone. Hence, you don’t need to have your devices paired over Bluetooth at all times. Remote connections also allow you to locate your watch even if it’s out of your phone’s range.
To enable this functionality, go to Account and Backup > Remote Connection.
9. Configure SOS
Your Samsung smartwatch can transmit SOS requests in case of emergencies. This feature isn’t enabled by default, however. To configure it, navigate to Send SOS Requests in the Galaxy Wearable app. Switch on the first option and add the people who you want to contact when you press the home button three times in quick succession.
When you execute this combination, your watch will text the emergency contacts you’ve selected with your coordinates. In addition, you can enable a countdown to ensure it doesn’t send SOS requests by mistake.
10. Stop Getting Buzzed Twice for the Same Notification
Whenever you receive a notification, both your watch and phone will buzz. You can change this behavior and put an end to the duplicate pings.
The Galaxy Wearable app can mute your phone while you have the watch on. The setting is available under Notifications on the companion app.
11. Clean Up Your Watch’s Storage and Memory
Over prolonged use, a ton of cache files can pile up on your watch, clogging up its storage. You might also have low memory if a lot of apps are running. Thankfully, you can effortlessly clean these from the companion app.
All you need to do is tap the storage or memory ring on the app’s home screen, then hit the Clean Now button.
12. Try the Goodnight, Theater, and Watch-Only Modes
Samsung includes several handy modes on its smartwatch, for situations such as being at the movies or sleeping. Apart from the usual Do Not Disturb mode, there are three other silent profiles you should try—Goodnight, Theater, and Watch-Only.
In the Theater mode, your watch won’t light up, vibrate, or ring when there’s a new alert. The Goodnight mode is largely identical, with one exception. It silences everything except alarms.
Lastly, the Watch-Only mode is for when your smartwatch’s battery has hit a critically low level. It switches off all your watch’s sensors and only displays the time. Samsung claims the Watch-Only mode can push your smartwatch to last an additional two or three days.
You will find options for the Goodnight and Theater mode in the quick settings. For enabling the Watch-Only profile, tap the Battery icon in the quick settings, scroll down, and activate Watch-Only mode.
13. Sideload Apps on Your Smartwatch
Even cooler, Samsung allows you to sideload watch faces and apps on your Galaxy smartwatch. Before that, though, you need to turn on an option in the settings.
Open the Galaxy Wearable app and under Advanced, you will come across the Install Unknown Apps setting. Make sure to exercise caution when installing apps from other sources.
Transform Your Watch With Unique Faces
These tips and tricks will help you utilize your Samsung Galaxy smartwatch in ways you probably haven’t before.
There’s a lot more you can do on your smartwatch by exploring its app store. For starters, check out these Samsung Gear apps that will make you feel like a secret agent . And if you’re on the lookout for a new phone, consider the Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone or one from the Samsung Galaxy S20 series .