The Samsung Dex could be one of the biggest wins from the Galaxy S8 launch, with the clever little dock offering a whole new world of usability for your Samsung phone. It’s basically a small, squat puck that enables you to turn your Samsung USB Type-C enabled phone (so, only the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus at this time, since the expiry of the Note 7) in a full desktop experience.
Samsung Dex Full Specification, Features, Price, Release Date And Review
It’s the kind of thing that (as another, more esteemed, journalist pointed out), had it been done by Apple, would have seen the internet go crazy with hot takes on how Apple is trying to cripple its own iPad / Macbook business… where with Samsung it’s likely to go under the radar.
The Samsung Dex will launch for $149 in the US (we’re still waiting on regional pricing details), so it’s definitely won’t be the cheapest device ever created by the South Korean firm.
The design of the Samsung Dex is, as mentioned, a small, bulbous puck with a few ports around the back.
Simply flip open the top, slide the Galaxy S8 into the dock (no wireless charging here… it’s all done through the dock) and you’re away.
The back of the device offers two USB ports, an ethernet socket and the HDMI output for a monitor. Sadly it seems you can’t connect Bluetooth keyboards and mice to the phone, so you’ll need to use the USB ports for that, but perhaps that’s something Samsung can offer in the future.
It’s also powered, so this isn’t something you can take around with you… but then when would you also carry a monitor and keyboard with you?
It’s clear that your phone is going to get hot during this time, which is why Samsung has also made the dock a cooler for the handset, dissipating heat while it’s working overtime to get you working on documents a-plenty.
Once the phone is slid in, you’re met with the loading screen on the monitor. It’s a slow, slow experience to get the phone to boot into the desktop mode in comparison to how swiftly apps open on your handset, but in terms of starting up a PC it’s pretty rapid.
However, now that many people are becoming used to using Google Docs and Sheets in the cloud, this is pretty much all you may need – with Android apps running there too.
During the demo, there were some jumps and lags in the smoothness of opening and closing apps, or the mouse moving windows around the page – it’s not as slick as a top-end laptop by any means.
But at the same time, everything that was needed to be demonstrated – mostly opening documents, which is what most would largely do here – worked pretty much flawlessly.
There’s also the full suite of Microsoft Office apps on offer here, which means you’ve got all you need in order to work with anything that’s been emailed to you on the go.
This was probably the most impressive part of the demo, as once you put this remote desktop into fullscreen you’re able to interact with your PC or Mac without any issues. It’s unlikely that this would work seamlessly all the time, but it’s something we’re looking forward to trying out.
The phone within:
The cool thing about Samsung Dex is that your phone will still work as normal in the background, with the handset still doing all its normal updating and receiving phone calls.
The notification bar shows up in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, meaning you can take and receive calls and (presumably, although it wasn’t shown) create and reply to messages through the full keyboard.
However, when the Galaxy S8 is reconnected, the desktop environment is unaltered, which is impressive again.