Remember Motorola’s tried and failed attempt with the Atrix, and the more recent innovation by Microsoft in the shape of Continuum on Windows phones to turn them into PCs? Well, Samsung is doing something similar with their Galaxy S8, as their latest Samsung Desktop Experience (DeX) dock accessory will help you morph the phone and its apps into a desktop PC-like environment.
Samsung DeX looks like an average sized candle holder and enables you to connect a monitor via HDMI, keyboard, mouse, and two USB ports while using Galaxy S8’s processing and RAM to run the show. Samsung DEX has a special cooling fan as well that will keep the Galaxy S8 cool, which might be more of a move in paranoia due to the company’s “explosive” recent history with overheating.
You can display any Android app on a monitor with full access to notifications and resizeable windows, and use a USB-C connection to power the screen. Samsung’s desktop mode allows an app drawer on the side, and is something akin to a Chrome book but with no full-fledged browser. This means its capabilities are limited by how well Android Apps are supported on bigger screens.
Currently, Samsung’s own browser, Microsoft’s Office apps and Adobe’s mobile creative suite work like a charm, but other apps are simply not optimized for this, and thus look like stretched phone apps on the big screen.
The Galaxy S8 needs to be plugged in at all time when you are using the DeX Station, which also uses the iris scanner on the Galaxy S8 to use your eyesight to log into the desktop mode.
Samsung has partnered with VMware to allow the virtual Windows desktop apps to be streamed on Samsung DeX via an app. This will require an internet connection, and the reliability of your connection will define the practicality of app streaming.
Samsung aims the DeX system for its business customers who require basic apps on the go; it still has a long way to go before replacing your average PC or laptop.
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