How to Check Calls on Android Smartphone and Stop…

I used to get tons of spam calls. Every day I could count on at least three or four to break up my day. Because of these calls, I decided not to answer my phone unless the caller was a saved contact. This brought me several voicemails. But thanks to Android's automatic transcription, it was very easy to check if the caller was a spammer or not.

Also, when Google introduced the Call Screening feature on Android, it changed the game. I would even go so far as to say that this feature is probably my favorite addition to the platform. Not only has it allowed me to avoid 99% of the unsolicited calls I receive. But it has also greatly reduced the number of unsolicited calls I receive.

How? One of the features of Android is the ability to tell the caller to remove me from their list without having to speak to them. And works! The combination of call screening and the “request my number removed from call lists” feature has reduced the number of spam calls I receive to almost zero. I can't remember the last time I received an unsolicited call.

How to check your calls on Android

Call Screening is also easy to use and enabled by default. Android takes care of everything.

Of course there are options. Recent versions of Android have an automatic call screening feature. Call screening takes place in the background, without any interaction from you. If you're worried about missing some calls, you can turn off this feature and take care of call screening manually, which just involves tapping the call screen when a suspicious call comes in.

Otherwise, you do nothing. The downside of manual selection is that it is not available for all devices. Therefore, if your Android phone does not offer manual call screening, you should stick with the automatic option.

Before we show you how to make this change, please note that Call Screening is only available in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

Manual call screening is only available in the United States and Canada, on certain Android devices, and with a SIM card from countries where call screening is available.

With that in mind, I'm going to show you how to customize the Android call screen.

How to Configure Android Call Screening

What you need: The only thing you'll need is a supported Android device in a country where the feature is available. That's where it happened. Let's proceed with the configuration.

1. Open the Phone app settings

The first thing you need to do is open the Android Phone app. Once it opens, tap the three-dot menu button in the upper-right corner of the window, then tap Settings.

2. Open call screen settings

On the page that appears, tap Call screen to access the settings.

The Call Screen option in Android 14.

The Call Screening option should be at the top of the page. Photo by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Configure call control

If your device supports manual filtering (like my Pixel 8 Pro), you'll see an On/Off slider for Automatic Call Screens. Want to manage the filtering yourself? Tap to disable this feature. If you want to continue using automatic selection, leave it on. When auto-filtering is enabled, you have three options to choose from:

  • Maximum protection: It filters all numbers that are not in your contact list and automatically rejects spam.
  • Average protection: Filters suspicious calls and automatically rejects spam.
  • Basic protection: Automatically rejects known spam.

The default setting is Basic protection, which has served me well. I prefer this option because if an incoming call is not known as spam, I can screen the calls manually. That way, I know that calls I'm expecting (from unknown numbers, like a company or service trying to contact me) won't be filtered and automatically blocked.

The automatic call screening options in Android 14.The automatic call screening options in Android 14.

Basic protection should be the best automatic choice for most users. Photo by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

There you have it, my friends, everything you need to know about call control on your Android device. As I said above, this feature has greatly reduced the number of spam calls I receive, which means (to me) that this feature is essential.

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