Is it worth purchasing Samsung DeX to turn your Galaxy into a desktop computer?

Should you get Samsung DeX so you can use your Galaxy as a desktop computer?

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Amazingly, carrying an ultra-portable laptop through conference centers, airports, and city streets depends on where you’re conducting business. The DeX, Samsung’s desktop-PC-in-a-dock for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones, might very well address the 2.5-pound problem that even a thin laptop can become.

Drop your Galaxy phone into the DeX dock, then utilize HDMI to link the DeX to a TV or desktop display. The 1920×1080 PC desktop with resizable windows is now yours. All of your programs, however, are mobile applications. And yes, Android runs on your desktop instead of Windows. But it functions!

For more information on the DeX experience (none of my first thoughts have changed), see the post I previously wrote on my first impressions of the device. Now that I’ve used the Galaxy S8+ and the DeX as my sole PC at work for seven days, I’m ready to provide my final evaluation. Could I still do all the tasks in my workflow, such as slacking off with coworkers, editing images, and creating material for our company’s CMS like this one?

Yes, Yes, and Yes in only three words. and more.

Although not yet complete,

As I previously mentioned, connecting Bluetooth devices with DeX is the major difficulty point. Before placing your Galaxy phone in the cradle, link your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse if you want to use them with the DeX (which would be a no-brainer when traveling). The phone’s screen turns off when docked, making it hard to link Bluetooth devices with the phone itself. The DeX launch page on the desktop, meantime, will ask you for a password, which you can’t use until a keyboard has previously been linked.

The result: During my testing, I chose to utilize a USB keyboard and mouse. Two USB 2.0 ports, one ethernet port, and a power USB-C port are all included on the DeX dock. The DeX Station will also charge your docked phone.

When plugged in, DeX projects a 1920×1080 desktop that impressively resembles a PC. Favorite app shortcuts are shown vertically on the left, and running programs dock at the bottom. You may see previews of the current activities by hovering your mouse over the docked apps. But hey, you’re still on Android, so your complete Android notification tray is displayed in the lower right corner of the desktop.

There isn’t much screen space available at 1080p resolution, and there is some pixel interpolation blur. However, it still feels quite laptop-like, and since DeX supports resizable windows in many Android apps, I found multitasking to be both comfortable and simple. The refresh rate of the display is a little sluggish, but my main worry is the lack of universal compatibility. I tried the DeX on four 1900×1200 typical desktop monitors and a 4K TV, and just one of the four displays will run DeX fullscreen. Rather, the display was badly letterboxed on the left, right, top, and bottom.

This should serve as a warning that, when using the DeX when traveling for work, you are at the whim of the monitor or TV that may be available in your hotel room or business lounge. Additionally, I would advise carrying an HDMI to DVI adaptor just in case. But hey, a four out of five hit rate isn’t awful in terms of attaining full resolution.

Android with Windows?

I spent the entire day at work with a S8+ review unit docked in the DeX Station after getting everything set up properly. My job’s requirements aren’t all that unusual.

I don’t have to learn CAD or use BitTorrent. However, I must create articles in the customized CMS used by my organization, edit papers in Google Docs and Word, download and edit photographs, and then upload the edited images to the CMS. I also need to check my email, Slack with coworkers, look at the NBA playoff schedule, and see what’s going on in my favorite Subreddits.

Now let’s examine each of those actions in reverse. The Reddit Is Fun app is my go-to Reddit reader.Unfortunately, it lacks a resizable window in DeX, just as a few other Android apps I frequently use. I’m not sure how support is even defined, however Samsung presently shows 30 applications as having DeX support. Samsung’s list is lacking if it only indicates that the program offers a resizable window in DeX. For instance, Slack has a resizable window but isn’t included on the list.

In any case, because Chrome includes DeX support, I ultimately chose to view Reddit in Chrome. Because my Android lockbox for Outlook, an app called Nine, similarly lacks a resizable window, I also used Chrome to access my Outlook mail.

Slack is a mobile application, thus until its window is open in the forefront of the DeX desktop, it would display your status as offline. This served as a constant reminder to me that I was still in an Android environment. When an app is running on a smartphone, this behavior makes sense because the phone may be in your pocket and a dormant app really indicates that you are offline. Nevertheless, because I never got Slack notifications either, this Android behavior on DeX caused me to miss a lot of direct conversations.

How about DeX productivity?

My second primary communications medium, plain old SMS, was better than ever while Slack proved to be an issue. You can conduct complete messaging conversations on your laptop via the resizable Messages app since your DeX’ed S8 serves as both your phone and your PC. The same is true for voice calls on your docked S8. You may hear your companion via the docked speakerphone after simply starting the phone dialer and placing the call.

apps for music?I displayed contradictory actions. Spotify refused to play music when it launched in a fixed Android portrait window. However, Google Play Music and YouTube worked together to play music over the phone’s speakers.

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