Your phone is your new PC! A cliche that we have all heard but Samsung has been trying to give the line a literal meaning.
So what is this productivity tool? Simply put, Samsung DeX will help turn your phone into a PC by allowing it to connect to a monitor, mouse and keyboard.
Samsung is however not the first company to try its hand at the mobile-PC experience. Microsoft had tried to pull off the same when it had launched Windows Continuum (a feature of the latest Windows 10 operating system) alongside its Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL smartphones. Motorola too had tried and failed with the Atrix years ago.
While the Microsoft idea never took off, Samsung DeX’s success could turn into a good revenue generator for the company along with revolutionising the portable PC industry and probably killing the need for huge tablets.
So, what is Samsung Dex?
DeX, expanded as Samsung Desktop Experience, is an accessory that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 will pair with to morph into a desktop PC-like environment. The dock, that mostly looks like a candle holder, supports a monitor connection via HDMI, keyboard, mouse, and two USB ports to help expand the Galaxy S8’s connectivity. Samsung’s dock also has a cooling feature -- a special embedded fan to help keep the Galaxy S8 cool when it is being used to display Android apps on a monitor, and a USB-C connection to power it.
Now coming to the desktop mode, Samsung’s DeX also has an app drawer and supports Android apps with full access to notifications and resizeable windows. The whole interface looks a little like Chrome OS, but there’s no full desktop browser here. This means that most apps will only work to the limit of the performance of Android apps on a bring screen. The red flag is that most apps on the Google Play Store are not optimised for usage on big screens.
However, Samsung’s own browser, Microsoft’s Office apps, and Adobe’s mobile creative suite all work fine on the DeX. Also, any app that is updated for Nougat will also work fine on the big window.
The iris scanner on the S8 phones work as password for the DeX just like Windows Hello. Behind the DeX is a partnership with VMware that is allowing the S8 to bring virtual Windows desktop apps to the DeX experience.
The DeX dock can also double up as a charger as it features Adaptive Fast Charging (AFC) technology to charge the S8 smartphones quickly while connected.
The company is yet to announce the price of DeX and has also not commented on its availability.