A quick review of the Samsung Galaxy 7S Always On Display feature
My new phone Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a bunch of innovative features and options. One of these features is the Always On Display.
When I saw it for the first time, it seemed like a step back in time. I remember that older phones a few years ago (mostly non-Android phones) kept displaying time, date and basic notifications continuously. When the era of a smartphone began, manufacturers started to do everything they could to save battery life of their phones and set screens to turn off entirely when the phone isn't in use.
In its flagship model Samsung comes back to this idea and introduces the Always On Display. What is it really? How does it work? Is it really useful? Read more to find out.
As the name suggests, the Always On Display keeps the screen of the phone always on by displaying one of the following: clock, calendar or image.
The idea behind this is that a user doesn't have to wake the phone up to check time or notifications (which are also signaled with a LED).
When the Always On Display is turned on, the screen of the phone doesn't react to touches (even though it's on) and you can wake it up only with the either a home or power button. The feature is especially useful at night as you don't have to take your phone into your hand to check time (that is gently displayed on the screen).
There are three types of content you can show with the Always On Display feature: clock, calendar and image.
This is the most basic and the most useful feature in my opinion. When set to clock, your Galaxy S7 Always On Display will simply display the clock together with basic notifications (if there are any). You can choose one from seven different clock styles to be displayed. I personally like the first one (the default one the most).
You can also choose one of five different background images. I recommend simply using the black image as it conserves battery the least.
If you are a business person who is always heading off to some meeting, you will probably want the calendar to be displayed instead of a clock.
You can choose from two different calendar styles (the one with a bigger and smaller clock).
If you are happy enough and don't need to check or count time or look at the calendar, you can simply choose an image to be displayed in by the Always On Display feature. You cannot choose any image (including the image of your dog or cat), but only one of the three predefined ones.
If you chose a real image, the battery of your phone wouldn't last very long.
One of the most useful features of the Always On Display is that apart from showing time and date it also displays basic notifications (unread text messages, missed calls and battery percentage). This is very useful but there is a small catch.
[alert-warning]The Always On Display will only display notifications if your apps for calls and text messages are ones set by the manufacturer.[/alert-warning]
If you, for example, change the text messaging app to something different (I changed it to Google Messenger), you won't see the notifications for text messages on the Always On Display.
In my post about the battery of Samsung Galaxy S7 I wrote a bit more on the subject. Even though the Always On Display is supposed not to drain the battery of S7, it drains it a bit.
In my observations, the battery life decreases by about 50% with the Always On Display enabled. What it means is that Galaxy S7 will last up to two days of normal use with the Always On Display enabled and up to four without it. That's still a very good result, so I am not going to complain about it.
I have just updated the Always On Display to version 1.3.07. and a new interesting feature appeared.
With Time settings, I can now choose when I want the Always On Display to be enabled. It's a good idea to turn it on only at night so that the phone can act as a bedside clock.