If you're looking to change up your look and feel on your Samsung Galaxy phone, you're in luck! Here are a few tips for using Android One UI software, which is the latest Android iteration designed for low-cost smartphones.
Increase display timeout
This isn't actually a tip specific to Samsung, but Android in general: If you find the default 30-second screen timeout too abrupt, you can extend it in your phone's settings (just search "screen timeout"). I typically set mine to a minute, but Samsung provides options that go up to 10 minutes.
Decrease screen font size to show more content
Low information density might be friendlier to the uninitiated, but if you already know your way around smartphones, you might find the large text and oversized touch targets on Samsung's devices limiting. To shrink UI elements down a bit, go to the Display section of your phone's settings, then either Font size and style or Screen zoom. Play around with the two to find what works best for you.
Disabling edge panels
Samsung's edge panels let you hide app and function shortcuts in a little drawer to the side of your screen. It's a great tool for power users, but I often find myself opening edge panels by mistake — or just being annoyed at the little transparent handle that indicates where to swipe. If you're similarly irritated by them, search "edge panels" in your phone's settings and turn them off.
Enable gesture navigation
Even on its newest, fanciest phones, Samsung is still pushing old-fashioned three-button navigation. If that's your preference, no judgement — but gesture navigation is the industry standard these days, and it takes up less of your phone's display. Two switch to gestures, search "navigation bar" in your device settings, then tap Swipe gestures.
Order the app drawer alphabetically
Samsung's app drawer is, by default, organized however you want it to be: new apps appear at the end, and you can freely reorder apps however you like. That's fine, but it's also what your home screen is for. If you want your app drawer to make sense without having to manually curate it, pop it open, tap the three dots in the top right corner, then Sort -> Alphabetical order. That's better.
Disable putting unused apps to sleep
Over time, installing dozens and dozens of apps can impact your phone's performance and battery life as they all do stuff in the background, even if you're not using them. As such, Samsung's "deep sleep" feature makes sense for less savvy users: It restricts background activity for apps you haven't used in a while, preventing some of the side effects of a crufty app drawer. But it also means you can miss potentially important notifications. If you're good about getting rid of unused apps, you can switch this guardrail off: Go to Settings -> Battery and device care -> Battery, then tap Background usage limits. Switch the toggle off.