Shortcuts on the Gear S2 Status Panel

By Eric Butow

When you’re in the watch screen on your Samsung Gear S2, you can access a hidden method to find out the current status of your connection and battery level, change the screen brightness, listen to your music, and tell your Gear S2 not to disturb you. Here’s the secret sauce: Just hold your finger at the top of the screen and then swipe down to open the Status Panel.

Checking the connection and battery level

When you open the Status Panel, you see the battery icon at the top of the screen and the battery strength percentage just below the icon. If the Bluetooth feature is on, you see a Bluetooth icon to the right of the battery icon, as shown at the top of the following figure.

The Status level tells you that you’re connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

If you aren’t connected to your smartphone when you open the Status Panel, you see the word Standalone on the screen.

Turning on Do Not Disturb

When you’re using your Gear S2 to do something important, having notifications keep buzzing and showing up on your Gear S2 screen gets old quickly. Fortunately, you can turn off notifications by tapping the Do Not Disturb icon at the bottom of the screen.

When the Do Not Disturb screen appears (see the following figure), tap the Confirm icon on the right side of the screen to turn on Do Not Disturb. If you change your mind, tap the Cancel icon on the left side of the screen.

The Confirm icon has a check mark in it.

The watch screen reappears, and the Do Not Disturb icon displays at the top of the screen in front of the 12 o’clock marker on the watch face).

The Do Not Disturb icon is a white minus sign inside a circle.

As long as you see the Do Not Disturb icon, you won’t see or hear any notifications, but you will see and hear alarms if you have set one or more alarms in the Alarm app.

When you decide that it’s time to receive notifications again, open the Status Panel. When the Do Not Disturb icon shows a green bar, the feature is on (as shown). Tap the Do Not Disturb icon to turn the feature off.

The green bar appears within the Do Not Disturb icon.

The watch screen appears again, and the Do Not Disturb icon no longer appears at the top of the screen.

Adjusting the brightness level

If your screen brightness is hurting your eyes because it’s too bright or too dark and you want to change the brightness level fast, open the Status Panel and then tap the Brightness icon. The icon includes the current brightness level as a number between 1 and 10, and the default number is 7.

The Brightness icon appears at the 5 o’clock position on the screen.

Change the brightness level by rotating the bezel to the left and right. As you move the bezel, the screen brightens or dims accordingly and the number changes as well, showing you the brightness level corresponding to the number. The blue line around the perimeter of the screen shown in the following figure also grows or shrinks, respectively, when you increase or decrease the brightness.

The current brightness level number appears at the top of the screen.

When you finish setting the brightness, press the Back button to return to the watch screen.

Accessing the Music Player fast

If you’re ready to dance or run or walk to the music stored on your Gear S2 or your smartphone, you don’t have to go through the hassle of swiping the screen from right to left to find the Music Player widget. Instead, open the Status Panel and then tap the Music Player button.

The Music Player button appears at the 7 o’clock position on the screen.

Now you can start playing and managing your music in the Music Player app (see the following figure).

Start playing the song by tapping the Play icon in the center of the screen.