Samsung DeX – Do you really need it?

Samsung Dex

Samsung DeX is a dock like device that allows you to access an ‘Android-based desktop-like experience’, featuring a completely redesigned Android UI that’s optimised for use with a keyboard and mouse. In the desktop environment you can have multiple windows open that you can re-size to your personal preferences. The desktop has a built-in full desktop web browser, and Samsung has worked with both Adobe and Microsoft to enable compatibility with key products like Adobe Acrobat, Lightroom and of course the full Microsoft Office suite.

Samsung DeX design and connections

Samsung Dex

The Samung DeX is a clever design as it folds out from its flattened puck shape to form a dock, with the back rest incorporating a fan for cooling the phone, and a USB Type-C in the base for power and data transfer. The DeX features the following connections on the base: 2x USB 2.0, HDMI, Ethernet and USB Type-C

This means you can set it up as a workstation, with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and connected to a monitor via HDMI. The Ethernet connection means you don’t have to rely on the phone’s Wi-Fi.

The dock will connect through USB-C and connect via HDMI to your monitor or TV with additional USB ports available to plug in keyboard and mouse to turn your phone into the ultimate productivity device. The DeX will be compact, folding up to a puck which will fit comfortably in a pocket or in a bag for easy storage or travel.

Samsung Dex

How does Samsung DeX work?

When you dock your Samsung Galaxy S8 into DeX it will give you a desktop layout on the display you’ve connected, which is arranged like a conventional Windows display, but still all Android. You’ll be able to access your apps tray in the bottom left corner, rather like the Start menu and you also get multiple windows support, so there’s no limitation to accessing multiple apps, resizing windows and moving things around.

You can have shortcuts on your desktop, with all the system icons and notifications dropping down to the bottom right, so it’s easy to see what’s happening. You can then open and use your apps as normal, with support for keyboard shortcuts and mouse actions, so using Microsoft’s Office apps in Android are a breeze, for example. Samsung has worked with Microsoft and Adobe to ensure that Office and apps like Lightroom Mobile work with keyboard and mouse.

Samsung DeX handling incoming calls

Samsung Dex

With the notifications drop down the bottom right-hand corner, popping up to tell you what’s going on, meaning you don’t have to reach for your phone all the time. You can also take calls through the DeX, and leave the phone in place. You just have to accept the call via the desktop pop-up and that’s it. If you want to then undock your phone mid-call that’s fine too, you can then just go mobile and take your phone with you, without being cut off.

The intensive apps handled by Samsung DeX

Samsung is offering Citrix, VMware and Amazon Web Services support meaning that you can login to your desktop PC elsewhere, mirroring that experience on your Android DeX. For businesses, that might enable remote working, letting you access applications that you don’t have on Android, or applications that require more horsepower than you’ll get from a mobile device.

Price of Samsung DeX

The dock will retail in the US for $149.99, according to Samsung’s website. In  Australia the price for the dock is placed at $199. (at the time of writing). Do you really need it? Then have one today.

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