Galaxy Note 5

The Galaxy Note 5 is a great phone, and you're surely excited to have one in your hands and ready to explore everything it has to offer. But in that excitement we don't want you to miss out on some of the basics you should get out of the way. Once you're done setting up your Note 5, here are the first handful of things you should do with it.

Read now: The first things to do with your Note 5

Customize your sounds

Galaxy Note 5 sound settings

Though the Note 5 doesn't quite have the cacophony of bleeps and bloops of previous Samsung phones, there are still plenty of sounds turned on by default you may not be a fan of. Head into Settings > Sounds and notifications > Ringtones and sounds to find them — consider turning off touch sounds, dialing keypad tone, screen lock sounds and even the keyboard sound (if you plan to use Samsung's keyboard).

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The default ringtone and notification sounds will likely vary depending on what carrier or retailer you buy your Note 5 from, but chances are you'll want something else no matter what. Go find some new notification sounds that work better for you.

Edit the quick settings

Galaxy Note 5 quick settings

Samsung was one of the first to do quick setting toggles in the notification shade, and the iteration present on the Note 5 is simple and customizable. The quick settings show five buttons when you first pull down the notification shade, and another five when you swipe to the left.

With a tap of the "Edit" button at the top of the shade you can choose the positions of each button, and which of the crop are put in the first 10 spots. Press and hold a button to drag it into position, and reorganize them as you see fit. While there, you can choose to un-check the "S Finder" and "Quick connect" buttons, if your carrier allows it.

Somewhat confusingly, there are also so-called quick settings at the top of the settings menu. When you open the settings, you can again tap the "Edit" button in the top-right to choose which six settings show up here that you access the most. Things like sounds, display, data usage and lock screen are all good choices — but you can set it up however you like it.

Use the charger in the box

Samsung Adaptive Fast Charger

When you open up your Note 5 chances are you already have a charger from a previous device to put it on, but you should also consider unwrapping the one that comes in the box with the phone. The Note 5 supports Samsung's Adaptive Fast Charging (which is compatible with Quick Charge chargers), and the charger in the box is the other part of the equation when it comes to powering up your phone quickly.

If you have a typical charger from the last couple of years it likely doesn't support the quick charging spec needed to charge up your Note 5 as fast, and for that reason it's worth keeping the in-box one at hand. When you're charging up over night you probably don't care about the charging rate, but if you need to boost the battery in a pinch it's best to use the fastest one possible.

Register your fingerprints

Galaxy Note 5 fingerprint settings

The Note 5 includes a great one-touch fingerprint sensor in its home button, and there's little reason not to take advantage of it. Even if you added one print during the phone's setup process, you should add more fingers for the best experience. Head into Settings > Lock screen and security > Fingerprints and tap +Add fingerprint to have the phone recognize more of your fingers.

Adding both thumbs and both index fingers is a good set to go with, as they're the only ones you're likely to use to hold and unlock your phone with. It only takes a few seconds per print, and if you need to ever re-teach the phone, you can do so from that same settings screen.

Get some apps, disable a few others

WhatsApp on the Galaxy Note 5

If you're used to getting your new phone and having all of the headline Google apps pre-installed, things might be slightly different for you on the Note 5. Fewer of Google's apps are required to be installed on new phones, and that means you'll have to head to Google Play to get the likes of Google+, Google Keep and Google Play Newsstand, among others. Be sure to get them when you're in there downloading your other favorite apps.

On the other side of the coin, Samsung and your carrier have likely pre-installed plenty of apps that you don't really care for. While most of them can't be uninstalled completely, you can at least disable them. You can do this from the app drawer, by pressing and holding the app you don't want, and dragging it up to the top of the phone to the "disable" button. You can disable the likes of WhatsApp or S Health if you have no need for them, and always restore each one individually later on if you change your mind.

Remove the plastic ... and stickers

Verizon Galaxy Note 5

Samsung is hardly the worst offender in this regard, but when you take a Note 5 out of the box you're going to be greeted with a phone covered in clear plastic film all over. Beyond the big wrap-around sheath for the whole phone, you'll likely find little bits of plastic covering the sides of the camera and the heart rate sensor/camera flash arrangement next to it.

And if you happen to be buying a carrier-branded version of the phone, you may also encounter a really nasty sticker at the bottom of the back of the phone. In Verizon's case it's a little QR code, and your carrier may have chosen to do something similar. Pell it off with a fingernail, or employ your favorite household sticker-removing technique — then let your carrier know it's ridiculous to put things like that on the back of your beautiful glass Note 5.

Check out your Galaxy Gifts

Galaxy Note 5 Galaxy Gifts

Samsung cuts all kinds of deals to include software and features on the Note 5, but it's not limited to what you get on the phone out of the box. The "Galaxy Gifts" program gives you access to lots of additional apps, subscriptions and coupons for free or discounted rates. This includes things like a free ebook every month from Kindle, exclusive card decks in Hearthstone, a six-month subscription to The Guardian and more.

Claim your Galaxy Gifts

Just head to the Galaxy Gifts website (above) to see the full list, and pick out the ones that you may be interested in. Most will be unlocked by simply installing the app or visiting the proper website from your Note 5.

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