A new smartphone – initial setup checklist

Today’s smartphone cannot be compared to a cell phone from a few years ago. While you could only make calls and send SMS for expensive money with the initial devices, today’s smartphones are tiny computers. In addition to the actual functions of calling and texting, you can also use various messengers, download apps to search the Internet quickly, play games, listen to music, or even watch movies. However, today’s smartphones usually only have a short lifespan if you want to stay up to date. After about 3-5 years, a new purchase or device from a contract extension is due. Therefore, we have a checklist of everything you need to get your new phone ready and reset the old device.

Checklist – Initial setup of a new smartphone

First, you unpack your new smartphone and admire it thoroughly ;-). Then you turn it on via the power button on the side. After booting up the smartphone, you first set the language to enable the setup in your national language. On some devices, you might be asked to confirm various terms and conditions, use a customer satisfaction program, and more. The smartphone guides you through the setup process.

Charge battery

Depending on the battery charge, the smartphone can hang on the charging cable during setup to fully charge the battery.

Insert SIM card

After the first checkmarks have been set during the setup, you will be prompted to insert your SIM card (plus a possible SD card). Some devices like the Pixel 5 now also support the eSIM, which can then simply be downloaded. Furthermore, you have to make sure that the SIM card has the right size and the SIM card slot (nano-SIM, etc.). After that, you can continue with the connection to your Wi-Fi.

Establishing a Wi-Fi connection

A Wi-Fi connection is required to set up your smartphone. This is also done when the smartphone is activated. All available Wi-Fi networks are displayed. You select yours and then enter the password. The connection is usually quick and uncomplicated. Your smartphone gets access to the current time and date via the Wi-Fi connection. You also agree to the terms of use, privacy policy, and the like.

Copying your apps and data
During the setup, you are also asked if you want to restore or copy data from an old smartphone. This usually works by selecting suggested apps or, in the case of a Pixel Phone to Pixel Phone transfer, by fingerprint and matching passwords and characters. However, there are also other different possibilities for data transfer. These include retrieving an already stored backup in the cloud, transferring via NFC or Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, or even via cable and the interposition of a computer. However, the easiest way is via the Google account that you are logged in with on your old smartphone and that you use to log in again on the new smartphone.

Register Google Account
As already written in the previous paragraph, the login with your Google Account takes place after selecting the data. If you already have an account, you only have to enter your e-mail address (@gmail.com) and the password, and all further steps are performed via the already stored data from the cloud.

If you still need to get a Google account, you can use the smartphone without a Google account, but then many apps can only be used in a limited way, or a download from the Play Store is only possible with a login. In this case, you have to look for alternatives. If you want to use your new smartphone without a Google account, simply click on Skip registration during the setup process. Google collects data from you even without an account as soon as you use various Google apps (YouTube, Maps, etc., also work without an account to a limited extent).

If you want to create a new account with Google, click on the Create Account button in the setup.
You can create a Gmail address or use an existing one from another provider.

  1. Go to the Google Account sign-in page.
  2. .Click Create account.
  3. Enter your name.
  4. Enter a username in the Username field.
  5. Enter your password(s) and confirm it.
  6. Click Next.
    Optional: Add a phone number for your account and confirm it.
  7. Click Next

Create Google Account with existing email address

  1. Go to the Google account sign-in page.
  2. Click Create account.
  3. Enter your name.
  4. Click Use my current email address instead.
  5. Enter your current email address.
  6. Click Next.
    Confirm your email address with the code sent to the existing email address.
  7. Click Confirm

Secure smartphone, screen lock

During the setup process, there is another query shortly before the end of the process to secure your smartphone from prying eyes. Over time, images and data intended for only some will accumulate on the device. For the so-called screen lock, there are, again, different options to choose from. There is a 4-12 digit PIN number (depending on the manufacturer), a pattern lock, or a fingerprint lock. The fingerprint sensor is also located in different places on the smartphone, depending on the manufacturer. Some devices have it centered on the back, others on the side of the power button, and still others under the display. Many flagship devices also allow unlocking the smartphone via facial recognition. This works via the front camera. Some Samsung models also have an iris scanner, which is otherwise quite rare.

After you have selected your screen lock, your smartphone will independently search for updates for apps and the Android system. All updates that come directly from the manufacturer, system or security updates must be installed to keep the software up to date. There are also a variety of anti-malware programs and virus scanners for Android. However, these are not necessary since the apps are already checked via the Play Store. Furthermore, there are many fake programs here.

Personalize your smartphone

After the latest updates, you can personalize your new smartphone. You can adjust ringtones, change wallpapers, set widgets, and select and adjust other options like screen brightness, dark mode or light theme, activate or not Google Assistant, font size, icon settings, and more.

Furthermore, it is advisable to look at your smartphone’s complete settings and deal with the topic of data protection.

Reset old smartphone

To reset your old smartphone, first log out of it. Go to the system settings and select the Accounts option. Here you choose your Google account and click on Remove account. Now go back to the System Preferences and the Security option. Here, click on Advanced and then select Reset options. Depending on the manufacturer, this function may have a different name or be in an other category. The search function within the system settings can help here by simply entering the search word Reset.

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