Pro tip for Samsung phone owners: you can wake your phone by waving your hand over it

One of my favorite things about my old Moto X Pure Edition was the IR sensors at each corner of the phone, so when it was sitting on a desk, I could just wave my hand over it to wake it up and see my Moto Display notifications screen. Turns out, Samsung has a similar (but not quite as good) feature!

Moto Display was awesome because you could press and hold on the notification badges on the Moto Display screen to see more details about them.


From here you could either swipe up to open the app for that notification or swipe down to unlock. If you prefer to see the stock Android lock screen notifications, you’d just press the power button to see them.

Samsung has a similar always-on display, but in use it’s not quite as elegant.


Thanks to the AMOLED screen, it’s on all the time, so there’s no need to wake the phone just to see the clock and little notification badges. But the badges are much smaller than Motorola so they’re harder to hit, and the only thing you can do with them is double tap them to go into their respective apps. If you want to see more details about the notifications, you have to wake up the phone to the lock screen by pressing the power or home button.

But guess what? Today I discovered a nice little feature buried in the accessibility settings called Easy Screen Turn On that lets you wave over the phone to wake it like a Motorola. Instead of pressing the home or power button to get from the AOD screen to the lock screen, you can wave your hand over the phone to do it. Go to settings > accessibility > dexterity & interaction > easy screen turn on.


There’s no dedicated sensor array for this like Motorola, and it instead uses the main proximity sensor at the top of the phone by the earpiece. But as long as you direct your wave towards the top of the phone, bam, you’ve got wave-to-wake like Motorola.

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