Technology Samsung gave the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra new stylus tricks. Here's how they work
The Note 20 Ultra is a beautiful, expensive phone that came at the wrong time
Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is possibly the right phone in the wrong situation. Unfortunate timing means it's too expensive for a steep global recession and its feature set doesn't match our new reality.It doesn't make sense, however, in a world of deep global recession, unemployment and waves of lockdowns. Unless you already know you can't live without it, it's hard for me to recommend for all but the most loyal Note fans or people upgrading from older phones .
The Samsung first added gesture controls with the launch of last year's , but they were somewhat limited.are getting some fancy new S Pen tricks.
With the Note 20, you're getting more gestures for actions including going back to the home screen, switching between apps and even triggering Smart Select, the Note 20's screenshot tool.
What you need to know about the new Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra
Never let it be said that Samsung doesn't shake things up. Last year it gave us two Galaxy Notes for the first time since 2014. (Remember the Note 4 and Note Edge? Those were the days.) Just a few months ago, Samsung revealed a trio of new Galaxy S phones, including an oversized model that waltzed into the Galaxy Note's corner of the market. Which has left the top-end of the company's lineup feeling awfully crowded. And the crowd just gotAnd the crowd just got bigger. Samsung officially revealed the Galaxy Note 20 ($999) and Note 20 Ultra ($1,299) today, alongside a slew of other new devices at its online-only Unpacked event.
Below you'll find the Note 20's new Air Actions, how to use or customize them and a few of our favorite S Pen features as an added bonus.
Navigate your Note 20 without touching your phone
There are a total of five new Anywhere Actions, joining the app-specific gestures that already existed. Those five gestures are:
- Back: Functions the same way as the back button does on your Android phone.
- Home: Goes to your home screen.
- Recents: Opens the app switcher so you can see your recently used apps. (You can't scroll through your Recents with the S Pen, so you'll need to tap on your screen to open an app.)
- Smart Select Trigger the tool that lets you capture a section of your screen to share in a screenshot or create an animated GIF.
- Screen Write: Takes a screenshot of whatever's on your screen at that moment, allowing you to annotate or write on it and then share.
Each action has its own specific gesture that you can trigger anytime you're using the S Pen. You'll need to hold in the button on the stylus in order for your Note to recognize the movement and respond appropriately.
Galaxy Note 20 is Samsung's cheaper power phone. Here's the trade-off
Here's everything we know about the Galaxy Note 20 and how it compares to the Note 20 Ultra -- what do you gain and lose for the price?The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is designed to be the standard-bearer, checking off all the boxes anyone would want on their wishlist. On the other hand, the Note 20 has distinctly less "premium" features, a plastic backing, no 120Hz screen refresh rate and no microSD card slot, for instance. In order to create a more approachable model, the standard Note 20 -- like last year's Note 10 -- appears to be more about trimming down the marquee device than anything else.
You can view the basic gesture for each command by going to Settings> Advanced features> S Pen> Air actions. Under the Anywhere command section is a small picture of the motion you'll need to make with the S Pen while holding in the button.
Trust me, it will take a few attempts before you'll consistently trigger the desired action. I've struggled the most with the Screen Write gesture since it's just a giant squiggly line -- I'd end up triggering nothing at all or triggering the back gesture.
You can customize what's triggered by each gesture
If you don't want to take a screenshot and write on it, or use your S Pen to go back, you can customize each of the five new triggers to do something else.
On the Air Actions screen, tap on any of the anywhere commands to change what it does. You can repurpose it to launch a specific app on your phone, start a new note in Samsung Notes or change the navigation functionality.
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If you don't like a particular gesture -- or any of them, for that matter -- you can turn one or all of them off.
Not sold on the new gestures? Here are some of our favorites
The gestures and tricks that turn the S Pen into more of a magic wand aren't all you can use it for. Here are a few of our favorite S Pen tricks we still find useful:
- Launch the camera by long-pressing the S Pen's button. Press the button again to take a photo.
- The Smart Select tool makes it easier to take precise screenshots. Remove the S Pen and then tap on the Smart Select icon to capture only what you need.
- Create an animated GIF of your screen using the Smart Select tool.
- Remove the S Pen when the screen is off to start taking a Note, without even opening the Notes app.
- Use the magnifying glass to get a better look at something on your screen by removing the S Pen and tapping on the glass icon.
Now that you've mastered the proper wrist flick to control your phone with a stylus, check out some of our , then .. If you're still on the fence about upgrading,
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