A guide to setting up and using Always On Display on Samsung Galaxy devices

A guide to setting up and using Always On Display on Samsung Galaxy devices

Samsung was one of the leading Android OEMs to implement Always On Display on its flagship offering in 2016. Fast forward to today, and almost all Samsung devices including Galaxy M series, Galaxy A series, Galaxy S and Note, come with a -in Always On Display option to get things done. In most Galaxy smartphones, the option is disabled by default and you need to enable and customize the option from the One UI settings app.

Always displayed on Samsung phones

First of all, let’s understand what is Always On Display (AOD). AOD lets you customize your screen to show the time, date, battery status, notifications, screen savers, and more. This is especially useful in AMOLED displays because AOD only activates individual pixels on the screen. On LCD panels, the entire screen needs to be on to enable Always On Display mode, which is not battery compatible and doesn’t look good at night.

Android OEMs also offer the Always On Display feature, but Samsung is going ahead with tons of customization options, slick integration, Theme Store AOD, and more. Now that most Galaxy phones come with gigantic battery capacity, it makes sense to enable the option and use the full potential of AOD on Samsung phones.

In this article, we will talk about the complete step-by-step instructions for enabling and using Always On Display, its customization options, third-party AOD from the theme store, and its effect on the device’s battery life. Let’s start.

Always-on display customization options

Samsung being Samsung, offers dozens of customization options to configure Always On Display mode. First of all, there are three ways to show AOD on the lock screen. You need to go to Device settings> Lock screen> Always-on display and find out all the options.

Press to display: Most Android phones offer the touch to display feature, but this turns the whole screen on and may consume more battery if you frequently use the press to display feature. Samsung’s solution allows you to tap the screen and present the AOD for 10 seconds.

It’s the best of both worlds. Pressing to display serves the purpose without affecting battery life too much.

Always display: As the name suggests, it will keep AOD mode on all the time. You need to keep track of the battery usage as it can consume more battery life.

Menu always displayed

Menu always displayed

Display as expected: This one is my favorite, and I prefer to use it over the other two options. You can set a certain time to display the AOD on the lock screen. I keep it mainly from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tap the option and select the start and end time

Set time

Set time

Now let’s customize the AOD look with different clock styles, colors and music info. Follow the steps below to customize the look of AOD mode on your Galaxy device.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the device and go to the Lock screen> Always on display menu.

2nd step: Set the AOD mode to your preference and open the Clock Style menu.

Step 3: Here you will see a bunch of clock styles. Samsung offers a preview of the clock at the top. You will also see other information such as remaining battery life, date and day.

Customizing the clock

Customizing the clock
Add colors

Add colors

Step 4: Switch to the Color option and see dozens of color options and gradient effects.

You can also turn on the display of music information and AOD will display the live music track on the lock screen.

Third-party display modes always on

Your choice to customize Always On Display doesn’t end there. Samsung offers a theme store on all Galaxy devices. By using the theme store, you can completely change the look and feel of the device.

Galaxy store

Galaxy store
Theme option

Theme option

Long press on home screen and open Theme Store. Go to the AOD menu, and here you will see all the third-party modes still displayed with live preview and prices. I like how Samsung added Editor’s Choice to streamline the selection process.

A few points to note about AOD mode

  • Always On Display consumes battery. On average, it consumes around 1% of battery life per hour.
  • You will notice that the AOD mode continues to change the position of the clock. The behavior should avoid burning the AMOLED screen.
  • You can use the notification toggle or opt for the Settings app to turn off Always On Display mode on your device.
  • Samsung also allows you to set an image as the AOD background, but I would advise you to avoid it because it uses more pixels and consumes more battery.

Also on Guiding Tech

Use Always On Display on Galaxy devices

Samsung’s AOD mode is one of the best features of One UI software. You need to enable the option and customize the experience as you like from the Settings app. While you’re at it, show us your current AOD mode setup on the Galaxy device.


Are you looking to master the Samsung One user interface? Read the article below to find the top eleven tips and tricks of the Samsung One UI home launcher.

Last updated Sep 1, 2020

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