Got a Galaxy S10? You'll find out that... no LED notification, but tap to wake and more

Got a Galaxy S10? You'll find out that... no LED notification, but tap to wake and more
The Galaxy S10 trio may shoot Samsung back on the road to flagship sales success story, judging from the pre-order numbers and the launch day lines in the East and the West. What's so special about the 10th-anniversary edition of the line that brought a veritable Apple-Samsung duopoly in the high-end phone market? 

Well, we already did a review and a tips&tricks video detailing all the new and exciting features, but what we learned during our time with the phones is that, as usual, it's the little things that matter. Here's what you'll find once you get your hands on a Galaxy S10e, S10 or S10+:


Don't search for Galaxy S10 LED notification settings on missed calls and messages, but there's a solution


Unfortunately, since Samsung went with an ultrathin top bezel and a hole-in-display design, the LED light that used to bring us visual notifications about charging status, or missed calls and messages, is also gone. There is a ring that lights up around the front camera area when you do face recognition and such, but it doesn't serve a notification purpose just yet. 

Hopefully, Samsung can fix this with an update, and in the meantime, you can use the Always On Edge lighting app from the Play Store as a stopgap solution for visual notifications. Bummer, but here's what the app can do.

The Always On Edge lighting app in action

The Always On Edge lighting app in action



Double-tap to wake arrives to the Galaxy S10


Got a Galaxy S10? You'll find out that... no LED notification, but tap to wake and more
Lo and behold, Samsung's One UI on the S10 trio is bringing what may be the richest suite of navigation gestures on any Android brand, including the Chinese juggernauts if we count the One Hand Operation+ options you can tack on. 

Swipe down to pull the notification shade? Check. Swipe up to bring the app drawer? Check. Navigation gestures from the bottom of the screen? Check. 

Navigation gestures from the sides so you don't have to stretch down on biggies like the S10+. Check-mate. Lift to wake? Check. What's missing? Why, double-tap to wake, of course, but not anymore, as the neat option is now an integral part of the S10e, S10 and S10+ interface. Sweet!



Do not remove the official S10 screen protector, but don't use polarized glasses either


For the first time in Samsung's S-line history, the S10 trio comes with a factory screen protector preinstalled. Those, however, are not the plastic screen covers that a lot of Chinese phones ship with, which suffice until you get a quality tempered glass one, so don't mess with it. 

Samsung deliberately installed a screen protector material that is durable, scratch- and shatter-proof, while at the same time it works perfectly with the new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under the S10 and S10+ displays. 

Unless you wear polarized sunglasses, that is, then the protector will distort the image, as you can see in the example on the right with the protector half-peeled.

"We cannot guarantee the experience with screen protectors made of the traditional glass or polyurethane materials," warns Samsung, so word to the wise. If you damage it by any chance, the official replacement from Samsung will run you $29.99, so rest assured the one that comes on the phone is no cheap film protector you'd better replace with glass one. This year, things are different.

No glasses
Through polarized sunglasses
No glasses Through polarized sunglasses


Machine-assisted drop tests put the Galaxy S10 in the same fragility category as the S9


Oh, the places you'll go, and the phone dropping you'll do! One can't insure themselves against life, and phone insurance is expensive, so if you want to know how your S10 will fare compared to its predecessors, take a peek below. Spoiler alert: glass backs do crack the same.




Yes, all S10 models work with the Gear VR headsets


Samsung's latest SM-R325 version of the Gear VR headset that already supported 14 different Samsung smartphone models, thanks to its spring-loading mechanism, now can also carry the new Galaxy S10 extended family as well. Needless to say, you'd need Samsung's USB-C adapter, which ships in the box together with your new Gear VR, but not the special adapter they made for the Note 9 that results in a wobblier S10+ lodging. The older Gear VR (2016) would still work, too, though it didn't ship with the awesome remote control, yet you can still get one separately. Other than that, smooth sailing with your oldie but goldie Gear VR, and your brand spankin' new S10 phone.

Works with Galaxy S8, works with Galaxy S10, good guy Samsung

Works with Galaxy S8, works with Galaxy S10, good guy Samsung




Schedule your life around the S10 with Bixby Routines


Macros on life, that's what the Bixby Routines option is and, frankly, if you set aside the time to set up a pattern, your wrist and thumb will be thankful for it. Seriously, check this feature out, you won't be disappointed. There is a rich variety of preset if-then options to choose from, too, covering the most widely used scenarios.



Yes, you can see the S10 fingerprint scanner under the display


Don't fret now, but if you shine a very bright light over your Galaxy S10 or S10+ displays at an angle, and the screen is off, you will be able to see the contours of the ultrasonic finger scanner underneath the display. That's not to say it will cause burn-in, of course, as some users are worried, and you can see exactly where to lay your finger relative to Samsung's imprinting animation, too.

Got a Galaxy S10? You'll find out that... no LED notification, but tap to wake and more

Shattered S10 screen or back replacement won't come cheap 


The $299 (S10 and S10+) and $225 (S10e) repair deductible can make you pause before you decide to carry the S10 family without a case, but at least the screen protector comes pre-installed now. The deductibles are a tad higher than for the S9 and S9+, but let's not forget the new punch hole-in-active-area design that is harder to produce and fit after an incident. Compared to, say, the iPhone XS Max, these prices are a tad lower, too, especially for a shattered rear.

Got a Galaxy S10? You'll find out that... no LED notification, but tap to wake and more



Accidental touches and butt dials may keep the S10 screen on and drain the battery


Got a Galaxy S10? You'll find out that... no LED notification, but tap to wake and more
The unorthodox placement of the S10 proximity sensor and the new tap-to-wake function need some additional fine-tuning, it seems. A ton of users are complaining at various forums, Reddit threads and in the Samsung Community that their phones keep getting unlocked in their pockets, inputting characters, and draining the battery faster than they should as a result. 

If you have such problems, remember to turn on the "Accidental touch protection" option under the Display settings, and switch off the "Touch sensitivity" options at the same time. Of course, you can also stop using tap-to-wake and the Always-on Display mode which seems to help but defeats the purpose in the first place.


Rattling noises from the S10, camera can't focus?


You are not alone. We recently had an accident with one of our Galaxy S10 units in the office, where the rear camera would suddenly refuse to focus. This made us think back on how many times we've encountered this problem over the years, on different devices. 

Since the same thing that we've been doing to fix the issue in the past worked like a charm on the Galaxy S10, we thought we'd write a few tips that may help you resolve the problem on your device. Usually, it's just a one-time occurrence, because there are tiny things moving around and sometimes, they get stuck. Turn your phone around and give the camera a firm tap with your finger. Seriously, just tap the camera. In most cases, this should help the camera snap back into focus.

When it comes to rattling or clattering noises emanating from your Galaxy S10e, S10 or S10+ when you shake it, don't fret, Samsung hasn't forgotten the surgery knife inside. It even explains why you might be hearing these noises in the respective support topic:



You can apply multi-pack wallpapers to the S10 lock screen


On the Galaxy S10 trio, Samsung has grouped the wallpapers by themed multi-packs in the respective settings section. Choose one, and it will start rotating a set of beautifully styled wallpapers in the same vein every time you unlock the screen. Cool.

Related phones

Galaxy S10+
  • Display 6.4" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4100 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

17 Comments

1. applesnapple93

Posts: 272; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

Really hate this trend of eliminated the notification LED. I find it very useful

2. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 577; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Agreed. I've never had a smartphone that didn't have one.

3. Critical54

Posts: 30; Member since: May 04, 2016

All Samsung needs to do is push an update for that camera ring and all is good, I've read that they are indeed going to implement this, Hopefully sooner then later.

8. bucknassty

Posts: 1199; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

that would be awesome... being able to tell what type of notification you have from a distance is nice... hate that iphone has never implemented it.. having to constantly check my work phone sucks

12. Cat97

Posts: 1610; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I could never use a phone without a notification LED, but I can forgive Samsung because it has the always-on display. I did have an A3 2017 and the AOD worked very well and was able to somewhat replace the LED. However, I do find the notification LED to be far more visible and also far easier on the battery, so it still wins against any other means of permanent notification display. I really hope that camera LED ring is something real (and not something simulated on the screen) and Samsung will enable it soon.

4. Leo_MC

Posts: 5889; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

"Compared to, say, the iPhone XS Max, these prices are a tad lower, too, especially for a shattered rear." Deductibles for iPhones (with AppleCare): Screen damage $29 Any other accidental damage $99 Theft or loss $199 for iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and iPhone 6s $229 for iPhone XR, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus $269 for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone X

6. cmdacos

Posts: 3656; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I think the term deductible was incorrectly included here as it seems like the pricing quoted is out of warranty pricing. They compare to a bit of an increase over s9 which was $229 for the s9+ out of warranty screen repair and was $99 for back glass repair. With insurance rates the deductibles are typically similar to applecare pricing.

7. torr310

Posts: 1602; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Just integrate into the power button!

9. libra89

Posts: 2031; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

The double tap to wake was a nice surprise! I didn't know of all of these so thank you for sharing.

10. RoryBreaker

Posts: 175; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

Edge notification is very flawed thus far

11. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1411; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Or make the Always on Display work like how Motorola does with their Moto Display feature.

13. Cat97

Posts: 1610; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

That is garbage. Always-On Display should be 100% always-on, without any lifting, shaking, waving or touching required.

15. baldilocks

Posts: 1414; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

It is by default. You have the option for lift to wake as well.

14. Tech-Alex

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

the double touch has always been in the LG

16. MisterX

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 02, 2015

I want my LED back wtf! I bought the phone thinking the light around the selfie camera was going to replace the LED! Come on Samsung, still love the phone though :)

17. Georgeph

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 14, 2019

I preordered the S10+ and I'm really pissed about the LED notification light... I love the phone but this was a step backwards Samsung! I already did a factory reset and I'm returning the phone. Verizon is charging me a $50 restocking fee but I'm not willing to constantly tap my phone seeing if its charging or if I have a notification. Thanks Samsung. Sent from my perfectly fine Galaxy S7.

18. shonasof

Posts: 1; Member since: 4 days ago

I have to ask, what is with the broken nonsensical article title?

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