While the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge’s curved side panels may seem like a pointless feature to some, it’s actually a super useful and versatile tool to have. It makes more sense on the Edge phones than a standard “flat” display, since it basically stays out of the way until you need it. The ability to customize this area is just the icing on the cake, and Samsung has included some really useful tweaks here.
The Edge Screen’s Main Features
The Edge serves as an area with three main uses:
- Panel: Sliding in from the outside edge of the phone offers quick access to user-specified apps, shortcuts, feeds, and more.
- Feeds: Allows users to see notifications and other important data without turning the display on by swiping along the Edge.
- Lighting: Lights up the Edge Display when a new notification comes in and the phone is lying face down.
Each of these features can be individually toggled, and each one also has its own set of options. To access the primary Edge screen settings menu, jump into the Settings menu by pulling down the notification shade and tapping the cog icon.
From there, scroll down until you see “Edge screen.” Jump in there.
This is where you can activate or deactivate each feature—for example, if you like the Edge Panel features, but don’t use Lighting, just turn it off. To toggle the feature, just tap on the one you’d like to enable/disable, then move the On/Off slider.
This is also where you’ll find the more advanced features of each Edge function.
How to Customize the Edge Panel
Of all the Edge Display’s features, Panels are by far the most robust. This quick-access side bar stays tucked away and nearly unnoticeable when you’re not using it, but is chock-full of useful shortcuts and information with just a quick swipe from the outside edge of the display.
From the menu you were in above (Settings > Edge screen), tap on the “Edge panels” link.
This will put you in the Panels menu, where you can customize which panels show up, as well as where, how big the handle is, and how transparent it is.
To change the panel handle location or transparency, tap the “Edge panel handle settings” link at the bottom. This will allow you to fully customize the handle’s location and look—if you don’t like it on the right side, move it to the left. If you’d prefer it to be nearly invisible, set the transparency as high as it’ll go. It’s nice to have the handle visible while you get acclimated to it, but once you know exactly where it is, you can make it totally invisible. That’s pretty awesome. Once you’ve set it how you like, just back out of the menu.
Back in the main Panels menu, you can start tweaking everything Panels has to offer. There are a slew of options here: Apps, Tasks, People, Yahoo! Sports, Weather, My Places, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, Internet, S Planner, and Quick Tools. Each one can be individual toggled with the checkbox at the top, and most of them can also be customized by tapping the little pencil icon at the bottom of the Panel. Play with these settings—there’s some really cool stuff here.
If you can think of something you’d like to see on the Edge Panel and it’s not available as one of the stock offerings, there’s a good chance it’s available as a third-party download. To access Panel downloads, just hit the “Download” button at the top of the Panels menu. This will direct you to the Galaxy Apps store’s Edge Panels section, where there are a ton of additional options. With enough time, you can really customize the Edge Panel to do exactly what you want.
How to Customize Edge Feeds
Just like Panels, Edge Feeds can be completely customized. By default, there are a handful of options here: Briefing, Yahoo! News, Sports, and Finance; and S Health. Again, these can by toggled or customized individually with the checkbox or pencil icon, respectively. It’s exactly like customizing Edge Panels.
There’s also a Download section for Edge Feeds, but unfortunately it’s pretty empty—at the time of writing there were only two Feed options. It makes sense, though, since there’s very little additional functionality here and Samsung has already done a good job of covering most of the bases.
How to Customize Edge Lighting
Lighting is the simplest of all the Edge Screen features, because it’s just a light. To use the feature, just keep your phone lying face down when not in use—as notifications come in, the Edge will light up. Nothing much to it—you can turn it on or off at the top, and that’s pretty much it.
There’s also a neat “Quick reply” feature. If you’re getting a call and can’t get to it, just put your finger on the heart rate monitor on the back of the phone (beside the camera), and it will automatically reject the call and send a custom message. The default message is “Sorry, I can’t talk right now. Call back later.” but you can customize it to say whatever you like.
I’ve seen the argument made against the Edge Display, and while I can see where some of these features are superfluous and Samsung trying to create a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, the Edge Panel is a fantastic time-saver once you get use to it. It’s easily the best feature of the Edge Screen.