Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your Note 4

The Galaxy Note 4 has a lot of features that make it worth using, though some are more discoverable than others. With so many things going on in the hardware and software it can be easy to miss some important parts of this device. We've rounded up a few tips and tricks that you can use with your Note 4, and maybe even pass along to a friend or family member that has the phone. Read along for the full list.

More: Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review

S Health is off by default, but you should turn it on

S Health

Even though S Health is one of Samsung's leading services, it actually isn't turned on right out of the box on your Note 4. Launch the S Health app, sign into your Samsung account and get started with the health tracking. Even if you don't plan on regularly using it for workouts or heart rate monitoring, when you do go to use it you'll be set up and ready to go. And as a bonus, as soon as you turn it on and sign in the Note 4 will start tracking and recording your steps every day with the pedometer function.

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Secure your phone with your fingerprint

Note 4 Finger Scanner

Although fingerprint security was a headline feature of the Galaxy S5 it wasn't talked up as much on the Note 4. It's still here though, and it's a good idea to turn it on as part of a security regimen to keep your phone safe. Go into the settings and register your fingerprint — most likely the thumb on your dominant hand — and then turn on fingerprint scanning as your lockscreen. If you've registered your print correctly and know the right way to swipe across the home button it'll be a quick and easy way to unlock your phone on a regular basis without keeping it open to potential wrongdoers. It isn't as good as TouchID on the iPhone, we admit, but it's better than typing in a PIN or password every time you unlock your phone.

The charger cable has a bumps on it indicating which way to insert it

Galaxy Note 4 charger

We've all been there — fumbling around in the dark trying to plug the charger cable into our phone, getting it wrong more than once even though it isn't statistically possible to do so with a simple USB cable. Thankfully Samsung has done a nice little trick with its stock charger to make sure you get it plugged in correctly the first time, every time. The charger cable included in the box has two small raised lines on the top side of the connector, which will always face up towards you when plugged in correctly. Grab your phone and cable, feel for the bumps and you know you're going to plug it in. This could all be solved by a wireless charging adapter, which sadly isn't ready yet, but at least you have this small consolation prize to work with.

It takes just a few taps to turn off the 'Briefing' screen on the launcher

Galaxy Note 4 Briefing setting

Samsung is still including its new "Briefing" (formerly "My Magazine) newsreader screen on the leftmost homescreen of the launcher, but if you don't want it there you don't need to keep it turned on. While on the homescreen, press and hold the Recents key (or an empty space on the homscreen) and tap the "Home screen settings" Button. You can then simply uncheck the "Flipboard Briefing" option, and you'll then be able to return to your homescreen and it'll be gone. If you want you can leave it as-is, or add another blank homescreen in its place.

Don't worry, your Note 4 will alert you if you walk away from your S Pen

Note 4 and S Pen

The Note 4 isn't much of a "Note" without the S Pen nearby, and Samsung builds a feature into the software to make sure the two don't get separated. There's a setting called "S Pen alerts," which is enabled by default, that will notify you on your phone if you walk away from the S Pen by a significant distance.

Of course if you lose your S Pen for good you can turn the setting off so you're not constantly alerted that it isn't there, but having this feature is a good way to keep that permanent loss from happening in the first place.

Turn off the camera shortcut on the lockscreen for an extra layer of security

Galaxy Note 4 lockscreen

The Note 4 includes a quick launch button in the bottom-right corner of the lockscreen that lets you hop right into your camera and start taking pictures, but it's still there by default even if you secure your phone with a PIN, password or fingerprint. Now when you enable a secure lockscreen that camera launcher will only let you (or anyone else who has your phone) capture new pictures, but it won't show previously-taken photos unless the phone is unlocked. But if you don't want the ability to take pictures without unlocking either, that's easily done.

Head into the settings, then lock screen settings and uncheck "Camera shortcut." Now nobody can turn on your phone and take pictures unless they have your PIN, password or fingerprint to authenticate first.

More: Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review