Help me use my Samsung S4 as a phone
September 25, 2014 2:09 PM   Subscribe

This is idiotic, I realize. How do I hold my Samsung S4 up to my face, for phone calls, without mashing random touch-screen buttons? Every time I use it in that way, I end up pushing things inadvertently with my cheek. I think it's very likely that I'm doing something wrong.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic to Technology (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have similar problems with my galaxy lite. Just holding it around the edges I end up pressing buttons. I hope someone here knows how to solve the over sensitivity.
posted by srboisvert at 2:12 PM on September 25, 2014

The proximity sensor is along the top next to the earpiece. Put that next to your head first and it will automatically disable the screen. But if you hold the top edge away from your face it won't know what you're doing and then you get that problem.
posted by GuyZero at 2:16 PM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

But maybe you have a bad proximity sensor, who knows?
posted by GuyZero at 2:16 PM on September 25, 2014

I don't have my S4 handy but there is a setting to automatically hide the keyboard when on the phone. This prevents the mashface dialing button pushing problem. When I can get to it, I will give details.
posted by 724A at 2:23 PM on September 25, 2014

There's a checkbox under Settings > My Device > Call > Turn off screen during calls. Check that's selected. (Screenshot from S4 Mini. Apologies if the S4's different.)
posted by ambrosen at 2:24 PM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

ambrosen has it right. It is the same on the S4. You can also hit the hide the keypad button when you answer.
posted by 724A at 2:28 PM on September 25, 2014

Response by poster: Ok, cool, I will try that.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2014

Response by poster: I can't make an actual call for a bit here, but will follow up ASAP. Thanks, all.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:44 PM on September 25, 2014

You don't need to press the phone right up to your face, because you'll get the screen covered in disgusting face grease.

I have this exact phone. Firstly, it helps if you have a decent case for it, which will automatically reduce the sensitivity of the physical buttons on the phone. If you're left handed you hold it so your thumb is resting gently on the volume button on the left of the device, your index finger directly across from the thumb on the other side, and your remaining (*counts*) three fingers appropriately separated at more or less equal distances, also on the right side. Then the bottom left of the phone sits naturally in the heel of your palm. You only need to keep the earpiece to your ear, the mic in the mouthpiece is plenty sensitive and so you hold the body of the phone around 45 degrees away from your face. Don't just plant the thing there like it's a magnet and you've got a square head. There's no reason to be touching the face of the phone with any part of your body when you're on a call.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:32 PM on September 25, 2014

I have a Galaxy Note 3, so another large Samsung smartphone. When I get a call, I jam the top edge right about my ear against my head so I can hear the person speaking, and the phone itself I hold perpendicular to my head. I've done this with all my smartphones over the years. The microphone at the bottom of the phone will still pick up your voice no problem in this position, I've found. The screen will still stay black until you pull it away from your head. And you will not hit any of the very sensitive Back or Menu buttons at the bottom of phone in this position (hold the phone on its side edges).

This may seem like a silly position to hold a phone in, but...*runs out of room to nearest mirror*'s not that bad. Plus, you don't slather your entire screen with cheek oil or hit any unwanted buttons this way. You may want to cock your head towards the phone a bit so you don't have to raise your arm too high. Phones are flat and gigantic nowadays; the flip phones of old that contoured to our faces are all gone. This is is the best way I've found to hold the big flat smartphones that are here to stay.
posted by KinoAndHermes at 4:24 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I found I had this problem (on my GS3) when I had a crappy screen protector installed on it. It interfered somehow with the sensor. I got a better one for the GS3 (and now GS5) and it doesn't happen anymore.

(the fat finger problem when I try to push buttons in a voice tree lingers though)
posted by getawaysticks at 4:36 PM on September 25, 2014

Yes. There is a proximity sensor up by the earpiece and selfie-camera. When it gets near your head, it turns off the screen and the touch input. So if that isn't happening, check your settings or download an app that will test that sensor.
posted by gjc at 6:53 PM on September 25, 2014

I asked a similar question a year ago about my iPhone and got similar answers.
posted by zadcat at 7:17 PM on September 25, 2014

Response by poster: The checkbox for "turn of my screen during calls" did the trick. Thank you all. I will also be conscientious about not oiling up my screen.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:29 AM on September 26, 2014

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