Tip: What to do without notification LED on Galaxy A (2016) devices

Tips & Tricks

Last updated: January 25th, 2016 at 18:32 UTC+02:00

As Samsung puts ever more upmarket specifications into its mid-range Galaxy devices, one nifty little feature remains exclusive to the expensive, high-end side of its portfolio. Amazingly, we’re not talking about fingerprint readers here, nor about cameras with optical image stabilization. If you’ve read our Galaxy A5 (2016) preview, you know those are no longer exclusive to the flagship models.

This is all about the notification LED. Yes, that’s what you won’t find on your brand new Galaxy A (2016) smartphone, or any other recently released low-end or mid-range Galaxy device. Is there, then, no way to find out if you’ve missed any incoming calls or message while you had to ignore your phone? Of course, you can quickly tap your home or power button to turn on your Galaxy and see what’s been happening. But there are other ways that bring something similar to the luxuries of an actual notification LED.

First, there is the smart alert feature. When enabled, your Galaxy phone will shortly vibrate when you pick it up, if you have any new and unchecked messages or missed calls. This can be quite useful when you’ve been working with your phone silently lying next to you. Get up, pick it up, and you immediately know you’ve missed something without having to turn the device on.

To enable the Smart Alert feature, here’s what to do:

  • Go into Settings
  • Tap on Motions and gestures
  • Flip the virtual switch that turns Smart Alert on


If you insist on blinking LEDs that notify you of any event, you can opt to use the camera’s LED flash on the back of the Galaxy A (2016) or other model. It is not the most suitable type of notification, but all the more effective. To enable this feature:

  • Go into Settings
  • Tap on Accessibility
  • Choose Hearing
  • Switch Flash notification on


Still, no matter how effective the camera flash, this feature is quite basic in functionality. Unlike a true notification LED, it will only alert you the moment a phone call, an email or an SMS message is coming in. More elaborate functionality is only available using a third party app found in the Play Store. A quick search for ‘Flash Notification’ will give you plenty of applications to choose from.

If you insist neither of these alternatives really compensate for the missing notification LED on the old and new Galaxy A (2016) phones and other mid-range and low-end devices, we fully agree. But many people choose their smartphone for reasons other than such a notification light. If you are one of them, know that there are other ways to quench your thirst for being reminded about unchecked or new notifications.

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