How to get started with your first Android smartphone

4 min read

Did you get a new smartphone recently? Are you unsure of how to get started with it and how to get the most out of it? YourTechExplained is here to help. In this article, I’ll walk you through the somewhat intimidating setup process and if this is your first smartphone of any kind this article will also help you copy your contacts from your feature phone.

How to set up your first Android phone: Google’s Android Setup Wizard

Your first step should be to fully charge your phone. Most phones come shipped with a partially-charged battery but since it’s often a mystery as to how much charge it has out of the box you’ll want to use the included wall charger to charge your phone completely. Once you have enough charge, your next step will be going through the phone’s setup wizard. I have included screenshots along with a step-by-step guide to help They’re from the latest version of Google’s setup wizard that comes with Android 7.1 so they might not exactly match the screens you’ll see on your phone. Nevertheless, the steps will be very similar. Once you’ve booted your phone, you’ll see a mainly blue-colored splash screen from which you choose your language (English by default). Tap the yellow “Let’s Go” button to go into the setup wizard.

  • Since this is your first Android phone, you might not have set up a Google account yet. If this is the case, tap “Set up as new” from the setup wizard’s first screen.
  • Choose a WiFi network to connect to the Internet if you don’t want to incur data charges from using your cellular network. You’ll then be prompted to enter your password.
  • Once you have an Internet connection the wizard will test it and check for any over-the-air updates that might be available for your new phone. When that process is complete you’ll be prompted to enter a Gmail address. If you don’t have a Google account, tap “More options” and choose “Create account”.
  • Enter your basic information on the next two screens including your first and last name, your gender and your date of birth.

  • You’ll next be prompted to type in an email address of your choosing (whatever you type here will end in “”). All of your Google apps and services will be tied to the email address you enter here, so you should try to type something easy to remember.
  • Next you’ll be prompted to enter a password of at least 8 characters, and I highly recommend using a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and/or symbols. This will make your account more secure.
  • Speaking of security and privacy, you’ll want to read through the “Privacy and Terms” screen to see how Google uses the information you entered so far. After scrolling to the bottom, just tap “Accept”.

  • Next you’ll be asked to set up basic security measures for your phone. You can choose between a pattern, PIN or password, or you can simply skip this step if you want to see your homescreen right away when you unlock your phone. If you have a phone with a fingerprint scanner and you want to use it to unlock your phone, you’ll need to choose one of the above methods to use as a backup.
  • Next you’ll be asked which Google services you want to be active on your phone. They’re all selected by default, but you can deselect any or all of them if you don’t want them activated. I recommend keeping them selected because it’ll make using the phone much easier. Tap “Next” once you’ve made your choices.
  • In the next screen you’ll be asked to give permissions to the Google app (or Google Assistant if your new phone is a Pixel). When you tap “Yes I’m In” on the bottom right, you give the app all of the permissions listed above it.
  • You’ll then be given a list of final options on the next screen. If you want to add an email account or set up “Ok Google” voice commands tap on the corresponding item in the list and you’ll be taken to setup wizards for those options. If you want to set them up later just tap “All Set” and you’ll be taken to your homescreen.

Copying your contacts from your feature phone

If your first Android phone is also your first smartphone of any kind, you’ll probably want to copy your contacts from your old phone’s SIM card (that is, if the new phone uses the same size SIM card as the old phone). To do that, just take the new SIM card out of the new phone’s SIM slot and put the old SIM card in it. Then you’ll want to go to your Contacts app (or it might be called “People” on your new phone). Tap the three-dot menu on the top right and choose “Import/export”, then choose “Import from SIM card” from the resulting list. If your Contacts app has a different layout, you might want to peruse PhoneArena’s useful guide, which covers stock Android, Samsung phones, HTC phones and LG phones.