1. Set up the fingerprint scanner and lock screenProtecting your phone with the fingerprint scanner is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lock your Samsung. Go into Settings > Fingerprint > Use Fingerprint Recognition to calibrate it and register your print. Despite what it shows on screen you don’t need to use the device with two hands: register your thumbprint while holding the S5 for easier unlocking. It’s a good idea to use Settings > Lock Screen to add owner information on the Lock Screen too. That way if someone finds your phone they won’t be able to get into it, but they will be able to find out how to get hold of you.
2. Change the way Settings looksSamsung’s layout for the Settings screen is bright and colorful, but it isn’t necessarily the best way to see all the different options. If you’d rather have a list view, press the options button in the top right hand corner and then tap List View.
3. Change what’s in the Notification area and the ToolboxThe Notification area is something you’ll use all the time, and it’s easy to change its layout. In the little panel tap on the grid icon in the top right hand corner, and in the longer panel tap on the pencil icon. Just tap and hold to drag the icons around.
You can customize Samsung’s own Toolbox app too. Go into Settings > Toolbox and then tap Edit to add the apps you’d like Toolbox to feature.
4. Turn off animations and S VoiceIf your S5 feels a little sluggish you can make it feel sharper with a couple of little tweaks. Go into Settings > About Device and then tap Build Number seven times. This little ritual enables the S5’s Developer Mode, and you’ll find a new Developer Options menu item inside Settings once you’ve enabled it. Go in there and reduce the number against “transition animation scale” to zero to speed up visuals.
Samsung’s S Voice can also make your phone feel slower, because it’s waiting for the second home button tap that invokes it. If you don’t use it, go into S Voice, tap the menu icon in the top right, select Settings and then uncheck Open Via The Home Key.