7 essential tips and tricks

Samsung makes the lion’s share of Android’s best tablets, but its high-end options like the $900 Galaxy Tab S8+ and $1,200 Tab S8 Ultra aren’t especially accessible, price-wise. Last year’s Galaxy Tab S7 FE features a lot of high-end trimmings in a significantly more budget-friendly $530 package. Looking to make the most of your Tab S7 FE? Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks.

1. Stash the S Pen where it’s convenient

Samsung’s tablets that come bundled with S Pen styluses have dedicated charging pads built in near their cameras — pop the S Pen on when you’re done with it and it’ll top up automatically to be ready next time. But that’s not the only place the magnetic S Pen will grip your S7 FE. It also sticks quite firmly to the edge of the tablet near the top right (in landscape) or bottom right (in portrait) corner — easily accessible and in clear view, with the added bonus of not preventing the tablet from resting flat on a table . The S Pen won’t charge while it’s here, but it’s a handy place to stash it between notes or doodles.


2. Jot some quick notes

A hallmark S Pen feature is the ability to scribble notes without having to first turn your device’s screen on. That’s true on Samsung’s S Pen-toting tablets, too, including the Tab S7 FE. Just bring your S Pen near the Tab S7 FE’s screen while the tablet’s asleep and double-tap the S Pen’s button. The screen will power on and be ready for you to jot down whatever’s on your mind. Tap Save in the top right to move the note to the Samsung Notes app, or simply turn your screen off to save your work in place.

Can’t get this one to work? Head to SettingsAdvanced featuresS Penand make sure the toggle for Screen off memo is flipped on.

3. In lieu of a fingerprint sensor, try face recognition

In what I think was a misguided bit of cost-cutting, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor. If your tablet never leaves your home, there’s not much risk in opting not to secure it at all — but assuming it’s got access to your personal info and could feasibly be stolen, you’ll want to lock it down. To avoid having to enter your PIN or pattern quite so often, you can turn on face recognition. Go to Settings Biometrics and securityFace recognition to set it up.

This isn’t Pixel 4-style secure face unlock with IR, mind you; it just uses the tablet’s selfie camera, which means it can be fooled with a photo and won’t work well in the dark. You’ll also still need to enter your unlock code every once in a while, even if you only use the tablet where the selfie camera can make your face out. Still, when it works, it’s more seamless than manually unlocking the tablet, and it can shave precious seconds off getting in each time.

4. Use your power button for power

tab s7 fe power button

On many newer Samsung devices, the Tab S7 FE included, pressing and holding the power button wakes Bixby. If you want it to do that, great! You can skip ahead. But if you’d rather that tablet’s power button open the power menu, here’s how you can restore that functionality.

  1. Swipe down on your home screen once to show your notifications, then swipe a second time to expand Quick Settings.
  2. Tap the power icon in the top right corner of the screen to open the power menu.
  3. Tap Side key settings.
  4. Under Press and hold, select Power off menu.

That’s it, you’ve got your old-fashioned power menu back. Should you ever miss having a Bixby button, you can navigate to Side key settings at the bottom of that power menu to switch back.

5. Multitasking tricks

It’s an age-old trope among techy types that Android apps tend to make poor use of large screens. That’s actually not entirely untrue, but Samsung’s great multitasking features more or less make it a moot point. You can run up to three apps in split-screen and even put apps in free-floating, resizeable windows.​​

Tab S8 plus-11

Tab S8+ with three apps running in multi-window.

To start multitasking, open your recent apps, tap an app icon, then either Open in split screen view or Open in pop-up view. Split-screen view will ask you to pick a second app to share the screen with the app you started from. Once the two apps are open side by side, you can grab the three dots in the center of the screen and slide them back and forth to adjust the sizes of your windows.

Pop-up view, if you couldn’t guess, puts your app in a pop-up window that you can put anywhere however on the screen and resize you like. You can also add windowed apps to split-screen view by opening a windowed app over a pair split-screen apps, tapping the blue line at the top of the windowed app, then tapping the leftmost icon in the menu that appears. You can even run a fourth windowed app over three split-screen apps! So much productivity.

6. Pick up where you left off on your Galaxy phone


Got a Galaxy phone signed into the same Samsung account as your Tab S7 FE? You can easily move what you were doing in Samsung Internet or Samsung Notes from one device to the other. When viewing a browser tab or note on either device, just pop open your recents on the other and tap either the banner that appears toward the top of the screen or the icon that shows up in the lower right corner. This feature can come in handy for long reads you started on your phone but would like to continue on a larger screen, or notes you started on your tablet but want to take with you on the go.

7. Use your tablet as a wireless display for your PC

If you’ve got a PC running Windows 10, you can use your Galaxy Tab S7 FE as a wireless second display — and the process is surprisingly simple. On your tablet, open your quick settings and tap the one that says Second screen. From here, you can choose to prioritize response time in Drawing/gaming mode or image quality in Video mode.

Once you’ve done that, on your PC, press Windows + K and pick your tablet from the list of devices that appears (unless you changed it, it’ll be [Your Name]’s Tab S7 FE). To disconnect when you’re finished, press Windows + K on your PC again, then click your tablet’s name, then Disconnect.

Now you’re using your Tab S7 FE like a pro. Using another recent Samsung tablet? Most of these tips will apply to you, too. Looking for more Samsung goodness? Check out our list of the best Android and One UI tips for Galaxy phones.

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