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Samsung DeX (samsung.com)
446 points by blocked_again on Nov 20, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 225 comments

It's definitely neat, but I feel like this has been done before without success -- examples like the Motorola Atrix, Windows Continuum, and even the cancelled Ubuntu Phone come to mind. (And, going further back in time, let's not forget the Palm Foleo!)

It seems like a neat idea on the surface though, so I wonder why as a concept the phone-connected-to-desktop-peripherals thing hasn't gained more traction. My suspicion is that there isn't really a target user that this makes more sense for. Who happens to keep desktop peripherals on their desk but only does lightweight productivity tasks? CEOs who only answer email? Certainly not software developers or even accounting people.

I have a Samsung Dex, I only use it now to charge my phone. It's useful but not useful enough. It's the sort of experience that works in a pinch but a laptop or desktop delivers a much better desktop experience, and there is no proper RDP app. The MS RDP app doesn't go full screen.

For this to catch on, in my mind, it needs to provided an experience that can replace a desktop, otherwise having to have a dock, monitor, keyboard & mouse, might as well just add an Intel compute stick and have a 10 times better experience.

MS RDP app doesn't go full screen

Wow, this a deal breaker.

Also an easy enough fix, potentially even from within the OS itself as the RDP app prior to the multi-tasking update to Android went full screen just fine.

I successfully use a windows machine through DeX with the Microsoft RD app, but maybe I have developer mode on as several others pointed out (it forces windows to be resizable). Most apps are okay with running in a 16:9 1080p screen even if the display scaling causes issues.

Amazon Spaces also has "first party" support.

I'm curious, how are finding performance for basic stuff like web browsing? Real bummer to hear about the RDP app, that was a big incentive for me, but it's no use if it won't go full screen

I've been stress testing my dex setup and it's surprisingly performant. To push it to the limits I decided to start a youtube channel documenting how it goes and I'm not even using the official DeX station, just a $20 ripoff from china. It's been suprisingly powerful to edit video on and even have all the files on same device. Even the adobe suite is suprisingly well implemented on android. I find that any issue I have with missing programs I can find on XDA in the form of an apk file.


Would you mind sharing your clone that you have tried?? Thanks

It's pretty performant but once you start to really multitask, you can tell you're running with limited resources. If you aren't a heavy multitasker, performance is great!

The one place it really exceeds the desktop is answering calls and responding to text, puts Google Voice and Skype to shame.

Interesting, thanks for the feedback.

I'm somewhat tempted to try it, maybe not at RRP though. Although I get the feeling it will end up in the pile with the Occulus Rift and all the other gimmicky stuff I've accumulated...

My Rift sat around for better part of a year collecting dust, just added room scale to it the other day and it's taken on a new life. If you haven't played with room scale I would recommend giving it a go.

It's amazing when you can be completely immersed and not have to worry about bumping into, or tripping into things. Just finished the Rick and Morty and am playing a "shoot the robots" that are trying to kill you game, very intense, a good workout.

Interesting…have you tried the features in Windows and macOS which allow you to pick up phone calls/texts with your computer? If so, how does it compare?

Windows user, so I can only speak to the Windows 10, and Android phone integration. The integration is cool, but very limited, you can see new notifications, text, email, etc.. and you can respond but you can't do anything else, like view a whole conversation. Tried answering calls but there is no noise cancellation, so you need a headset or callers can hear themselves talking.

It's almost like they have to scrape data by reading notifications, and relaying that, and can't directly interact with the mobile OS on a deeper level. Ultimately not super useful for me, hope Android Oreo provides more opportunities for greater integration.

> The one place it really exceeds the desktop is answering calls and responding to text

So you're saying your cell phone makes a better cell phone than a desktop computer? That's about what I figured.

Why would web browsing be any different to performance on a phone or iPad; it's just connecting an external display over USB-to-HDMI? As long as the phone's GPU supports that...

For me, I browse the web differently on desktop, for example on desktop if I visit HN, I might open 5 different links and their comments at once before visiting them one by one. In the middle of that I might open email, and then open tabs from the email. I could easily end up with several windows with 6-7 tabs in each open.

That sort of thing I would never do on my phone or tablet, just because of the form factor I keep my footprint much smaller.

I'm currently using an iPhone 5, have 11 tabs open and am streaming music from spotify.

Other than occasional crashes and a tiny bit of lag, my aged phone handles it very well.

On the other hand, when I'm on the desktop I open multiple browser instances with 20+ tabs open on each of them. I guess I have a problem :).

i generally have around 50 to 100 tabs open on my phone, previously HTC One (the first m7) and now Hauwai Honor 8. Buts thats not what your parent was talking about. It takes time to close tabs on the phone.

yes, its (at least on android) just swiping twice (once from the top to open the window view and then to the side to close it), but even that takes more effort than just mouse-wheel clicking on the tab.

After that tab is closed, the browser needs to rebuild the new/old tab. thats even more time you wouldn't have on the desktop.

everything just takes a little longer on the highly performance optimized phone, and it adds up to stop - at least me - from just going into the comments threads. especially because actually opening takes even longer, as you'd have to long press on the link to get that option.

now, with this device you'd be able to actually click/close tabs as fast as on your general desktop. Suddenly, the device is no longer constrained by the slow inputs that the user is giving. And now, the phone will actually need to perform that much better with the same amount of resources. I haven't used the DeX and don't know wherever its able to handle that, but thats (i think) the thing most people hearing about it are worried about.

I think the biggest problem is the price point.

The person who most wants to use their phone as a PC is the person who can't afford spending $4000 on the entire suite of Apple devices.

That person probably also can't afford a $100 dock (let alone a $300 one) for their phone.

When someone makes a USB-C/Thunderbolt/Intel/Windows device that is phone sized but runs legacy Windows applications (like MS Paint and Quickbooks and 90s-era video games), and connects with commodity connectors, then the idea stands a chance.

(IMHO, Windows Continuum died because of a chicken-and-egg problem -- no iOS devs wanted to pay $1000 for Visual Studio plus a Windows laptop, but no users used the phone because key apps were missing.)

> The person who most wants to use their phone as a PC is the person who can't afford spending $4000 on the entire suite of Apple devices.

I'd love to have just one computing device that covers everything for the sake of simplicity. At times I've found myself carrying a smartphone, laptop, tablet and a smart watch, plus ton of cables and adapters... almost 10 pounds or 5kg of electronics just to cover all my use cases. Dragging that through airports for example is ridiculous.

The iPhone in my pocket is as powerful as basically any iPad, and more powerful than many laptops.

An iPad is powerful enough for most typical workloads.

Therefore, my iPhone is powerful enough for most workloads.

If I could dock my phone into something that gave me a monitor, keyboard, and (so I don't have to lift my arm up over and over) a trackpad, that would solve my home computing needs 85% of the time.

Well the phone is already a trackpad, you can mirror the screen wireless via an Apple TV, and you can use a Bluetooth keyboard. In fact, I’m doing all 3 to write this (The user-experience is more than acceptable, but I’m not going to try to use the setup for coding any time soon).

Apple could pull the trigger on running full OSX on a phone or iPad if they thought there was a market for it but it would be a backwards-looking step.

It’s not exactly an innovation leap to think “hey, phones will match desktop PC performance, we could plug one into peripherals and make a device that can become a desktop”, everyone has had that idea. It just seems a bit backwards looking? In 10 years time the power of a current Mac Pro will probably be available in a watch with 5G+ bandwidth. If necessary, a desktop OS experience could be an app or a cloud service on whichever screen (or headset) is available.

TDP matters for serious work. Over normal work periods, that ipad is going to continue to operate at a fairly high frequency while the iphone will throttle because it can't dissipate as much heat. Dissipation and size affect many other parts of system design too (eg, memory speed, width, and size).

I have the same sentiment and when more apps run in the cloud, and all one needs is a fast web browser, that will make it more of a possibility to do coding, digital media editing, etc. from anywhere with available peripherals.

The entire home wall video monitor in the beginning of the movie Total Recall (first version) would be great to have everywhere. Just as you change music you could make your environment look like anything and this same technology would let you grab a little near by space to use as a screen. Too expensive now but in ten years, perhaps.

Don't get hung up too much on the price. They charge that because they can.

Expect Xiaomi to release a $25 knockoff for their phones if there's ever a demand for it. I suspect there's very little in the dock hardware itself over a standard USB-C OTG charging hub with HDMI passthrough and an ethernet port. Maybe I'm wrong but the rest is just software on the phone?

It is indeed only software, I bought a $25 USB-C to HDMI dongle on Ebay and it works just like the Samsung DeX device.

To be fair, you don't need $1000 to start developing UWP apps for Continuum. You just need a Windows license (~50$) since you can install it on Macs, and you can use Visual Studio Community, which is free (as in beer). Of course, plus the Continuum-enabled device, like a Lumia 950, but that's technically optional since you can debug your app on your local machine.

> That person probably also can't afford a $100 dock (let alone a $300 one) for their phone.

well the atrix costed $400 usd and even with a monthly plan was way cheaper than the samsung galaxy s8

and even on a monthly plan it was cheaper than the current galaxys. still all people bought the galaxys

The Huawei Mate has the same feature and uses a normal hdmi connector. Infact I recollect seeing a youtube video[1] and there is probably a thread on xda [2] that got Samsung Dex working with a normal usb-c to hdmi connector.

It's a useful feature and because we already have too many devices finds little use but once its seamless it could offer many possibilities.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s50GWuKphTI

[2] https://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s8/how-to/dex-unexpe...

Yeah, DeX used some relatively obscure DisplayPort based implementation of Usb-C to HDMI, as long as you're using that (might be called slimport) it works. I'm getting away with using a $20 dongle.

I don't think the price comparison is fair. If someone spends 700$ on a phone, he would be ok spending 200$ if the system does work smoothly.

What I think people are more skeptic about is performance and user experience.

Except most people don't think of themselves as "someone who spends $700 on a phone", they pay $x9.95/month for $y00 minutes talktime plus $zGB of data and they get a "free" phone every two years... I doubt any of those people would think it's a good idea to spend an extra ~$15/month for a thing that lets them plug a screen/keyboard/mouse into their "free" phone.

Not everywhere.

Here in Europe, contracts are the exception not the rule.

Most people just charge with 15 to 20 euros their SIM card whenever they feel like it, and have to pay full price for mobile phone.

Or pay it in rates to only have it unlocked from the network at the end of two years, so they are going to use that phone until it dies or gets stolen.

> Here in Europe, contracts are the exception not the rule.

I'm pretty sure that hasn't been true for years.

Data to back it up please, since you are pretty sure?

"Around 70% of customers in Western Europe and China use prepaid phones with the figure rising to over 90% for customers in India and Africa"


I only know people with contracts regarding iPhone, which is the only affordable way to get them new in many of the European countries.

    > while in Europe the proportion is 50%, reaching 75% in
    > Northwestern Europe as compared to 40% in South-Eastern
    > European states.

Data is from 2015. Given the overall trend I wouldn't be surprised if even more people have switched to contract by now.

Thanks. I do confess as south-european that probably my reality is a bit biased, as you can still see on the report.

But I do agree from 2012 to 2015 it did change in the direction you meant.

That data is from 2012. I don’t have any feeling for what it currently is (most people I know are on contract, but that’s specifically the people I know), so it would be good to see up to date data.

I know, but it was the only one I could quickly find out.

As teamhappy pointed out, I am kind of wrong, as the data did indeed change for contracts, but was is still low in 2015 regarding southern countries, the ones I tend to visit regularly.

But it would still be nice to know if someone can point out to 2017 data.

China is cited by an OP. No serious options in China for contract phone.

What has become super common is for home cable provider to provide SIM with around 2G of data in order to pay monthly broadband charge. SIM recharge being easier than vanilla broadband recharge.

Yeah, and, to be honest, I've bought both of my phones I've had over the last few years and there's no way in hell I'd spend another $200 on a stupid dock. If this were an $80 device I might go for it but they killed it with a high price tag. Surprise surprise!

No this model is dead. They pay $x0/month for unlimited everything (with X gigs of high speed data) and then another $20 or $30 a month for the equipment lease or installment plan. The 2 year contract is dead, and we got something worse to replace it.

A lot more good phones are available off-contract than in 2012 or so, and plenty come at reasonable prices.

(I've always had a prepaid smartphone, and the options were atrocious in 2010 and barely existed beyond the Nexus in 2012)

> What I think people are more skeptic about is performance and user experience.

I think that's what the parent was talking about: Most people that wouldn't mind a simpler UX and less performance can't afford this phone/dock in a first place... and the people that would afford this (have an S8 and don't mind buying a $300 dock) will be skeptical about the usefulness and performance of this system.

Are you forgetting that most people get their phones with their plans?

People will feel that they can absorb $20 or even $30 extra per month on their plan for a top tier phone. Absorbing any hit over $200 when someone lives hand to mouth makes these a non-starter.

The best chance for mass success for this option is for it to be included in the base purchase.

Well there is nothing preventing Dex from coming with a monthly plan. Note that all plans are very low interest rate loans, there is nothing special about a phone plan.

Also, majority of people just use email and word suite. An S9 is easily capable of doing these tasks and it saves the individual or company cost of a cpu box (400 USD at the low end).

Plans are also just generally a good way to hide the actual cost of the device. Notice that, when you walk into a Verizon store, they aren't saying "BUY PHONE FOR $760!" they're saying "A New iPhone for just $32/mo!" So most of these people aren't going "Oh MAN only $760 in the end?!" they're going "I can afford $32/mo!"

My point is, it really doesn't matter what the reality of the cost/loan is, people who think "$30/mo! I can do that!" are probably not also going to think $200 seems like a good price for basically a cable to plug my phone into my computer.

Obviously, your other point was that it could come with a plan too but that seems doable but also there's yet another cost on top of the phone they were just barely justifying already. I'm not saying you're wrong but I think the price of this device is ridiculous.

I might pay $80 for it if it were really something I needed but, as others have said, I don't carry my phone around to be a computer. I carry it to be a phone. On top of that, I never really have a situation where I've got a keyboard, mouse, and monitor just sitting around waiting for something to activate them. So I'm not sure when I'd use this anyway.

They already have a few iPads and laptops.

The competition for phone dock is from cheap laptop or desktop. Also, phone dock requires monitor and keyboard which is extra expense. Most people would choose laptop before full desk setup. There are also all-in-one computers and compute sticks that provide cheap alternatives for someone who wants simple or portable.

I already have dual monitors, keyboard, usb audio and mouse. Via a KVM switch, they drive a Windows 10 laptop and a Linux box.

So I don't need additional computers in my life but if my phone had docking support I'd seamlessly just plug it into my existing setup.

As the laptop and pc depreciate over time and phone hardware improves with every generation, a DeX platform becomes more attractive as a node on my KVM setup.

It's $60 on eBay (new), how's that a problem?

As an IT consultant who travels a lot and works for different customers I'd love a smartphone that could double as a powerful development machine when plugged into a larger screen. No need to carry around and worry about a laptop anymore.

For such a setup to work and really make sense though it'd have to be available as near-ubiquitous infrastructure one could expect in every hotel and every office.

I suppose, however, the travelling tradesman / digital nomad target audience just isn't large and profitable enough (as of now at least) to warrant such a large-scale infrastructure undertaking.

You probably are better off with a laptop or a tablet/convertible still because you can't guarantee a desk with a screen under those conditions, not to mention that the performance you can get from a phone today given it's power and thermal limitations is still quite limited.

If anything I would love to see a modern version of the Droid/Milestone I never understood why Motorola stopped making them, the Milestone was by far the best device I ever had.

Not to mention the security issues of relying on a Hotel/whatever's input/output devices.

Check out the Gemini PDA on indiegogo. Looks to be the successor of Psion or the droid 4.

That's really not in the same class as the Droid/Milestone. This is an ultra small laptop, much larger than a phone and cannot really be used as one.

The Droid wasn't bigger than an average Android phone at the time and still packed an almost full keyboard and a dpad.

I had an Atrix and it was awesome. I could fire it from the dock and get a full featured Linux desktop right from my phone! And keep clicking through until I got bored and turned on my laptop.

Same thing with the built-in Linux desktop on a Asus motherboard I had, I don't even remember the name of the thing.

I believe the concept is here to stay, but like tablet PCs back in 2003 it did not find its niche yet. There aren't just too many occasions you'd have a mouse, a keyboard, a monitor, but not some kind of x86_64 computer near.

Still, it's likely the breeding ground for a number of innovations and it may finally catch up...it just does not make so much sense to me to include only on the flagship products: why would you cut so much people on the mid range out of a feature you don't even know if and where will catch up?

The obvious use is laptop bans on flights and docking your phone to your hotel room's TV.

Why so hung up about a keyboard and mouse? Even the local supermarkets here sell them dirt cheap these days.

Yeah, what's the problem this solves?

Here's one it could (but doesn't quite) solve.

At my office everyone carries around their laptop and is constantly trying to get it to work with the telecomm and video software. Some people have a work phone, a work laptop and a personal phone too. I even know some people who add a tablet to that mix. Sometimes I see them bouncing around between all those devices.

For most employees (not necessarily coders) it probably makes sense to just have one device: a phone that you can edit excel and powerpoint on. A universal dock should exist in every meeting room and on every desk.

The major impediments to this are currently the power of the device, the ability to use the os for actually making things, and the existence of a decent dock.

With this dock and the power of the latest generation of phones, we're just stuck on the fact that no one has been able to make an os that actually works well on both mobile devices and as a keyboard/mouse driven system for creating things.

Yeah, I'm looking straight at you, Windows 8.

The "universal" part of your universal dock is going to be a big problem. Unless everyone in your office is going to use the same phone, or everybody gets a dedicated dock for their own phone, this isn't going to fly.

I think it's still too early from a hardware performance/connectivity point of view. Once your average $200 smartphone is powerful enough to power a normal desktop when plugged into a trivial, cheap and ubiquitos connector (USB C?), this kind of thing will take off.

I have no idea how the software will look though. Maybe it will be just a fancy and reall easy to use remote connection, in the end?

Smartphones are already more powerful than the desktop computers of, say, a few years ago and are already capable of comfortably running a browser and an office suite without any performance problems.

So it isn't a question of computing power, it's a question of utility: who actually needs this? What benefit does it provide over and above just having a cheap PC to do PC things and a smartphone to do smartphone things and syncing documents between the two? It's not cheaper, it's not more convenient, it's not more productive, it's not more powerful, so what's the point?

Right now? There's no point cause you skipped part of my comment.

It should be trivial for me to turn my phone into a computer. I should need only a $20 USB hub in order to power my phone and connect it to a keyboard, mouse, one or even several screens. Or even connect them wirelessly.

Then, the OS should trivially handle this case and offer me access to high quality desktop apps.

I don't think either condition is true now.

When this point is reached I'm pretty sure half of the laptop sales will evaporate within a short time.

User DennisAleynikov in this thread says he has it working with a $20 USB-C to HDMI cable, without even needing to buy the official Samsung DeX connector. Once plugged in, the phone lets you run desktop Android apps straight away.

Check the Samsung DeX page to see how it looks. The use case you've described is already here.

Cool. Still, availability, word of mouth, marketing, etc.

It's one thing when a random person (no offense, Dennis Aleynikov) does it, another one when you have 6 big companies competing for this segment.

And I'm not sure the software part is here. At least not in a polished way. The closest solutions that come to mind are Microsoft UWP (but Microsoft doesn't seem to be gaining traction due to various reasons, not least because they're Microsoft and few people trust them these days...) and Ubuntu Unity (I think they've abandoned the concept?). From what I've read Android tablet and desktop apps are not really up-to-par, at least today.

IMO, issue in the past has always been performance - using those phones was just a frustrating experience. With something disgustingly overspecced like the Note8 I imagine you could probably get pretty smooth performance in most apps, even multitasking.

As for use cases, I think there'd be a few;

1. As you've said, C-levels

2. Home users that don't want a computer, but work from a desk (I actually think this would be a huge market)

3. Weirdo's like me who'd set up a new desk in my home just for this, and maybe use it once. I suspect there'd be a few of us...

4. Mobile 'knowledge' workers, another potentially large market here.

For just about all of those, they're going to be among the least patient users you could ask for so again performance is going to be HUGE. If a Word doc takes more than a couple of seconds to open, then that's a problem.

The time is not right yet, but mobile hardware gets faster a rapid pace and the upcoming Linux on Galaxy [1] might change things to be more useful.

[1] https://seap.samsung.com/linux-on-galaxy

Oh, I assumed DeX was Samsung's Linux on Galaxy project. What's under the hood with both? What kind of OS is DeX? What kind of DE would Linux on Galaxy run?

DeX is a dock that tells your phone to go to "desktop mode". It is still Android.

With "Linux on Galaxy" I guess you'd be running whatever DE you like. Unless they've done it differently and you're in DeX desktop but can run full Linux apps there. Not sure.

The technology is still too immature. Mobile apps aren't designed for desktop UIs, so mobile apps thrown up on a desktop monitor are going to suck. Desktop apps are usually compiled for x86 and not ARM, so you can't run desktop apps within a desktop environment that's thrown up on a monitor by your phone.

Microsoft has been trying to throw Windows onto ARM for a long time, to no commercial success, because the entire value proposition is the enormous back catalog of Win32 applications which will never run performantly on ARM. So the best bet is Linux leading the change, with Linux on ARM powering desktops and driving demand for desktop apps to be compiled to ARM - but yeah, not going to happen any time soon.

"so I wonder why as a concept the phone-connected-to-desktop-peripherals thing hasn't gained more traction."

I think there's a slightly different model that makes even more sense ...

What we see with DeX (and Altrix, etc.) is the phone as the CPU that gets plugged into larger devices.

But what I think makes more sense is a smaller module, as the CPU, that gets plugged into larger devices including a phone.

So instead of plugging your phone into your "PC" you would move the core module from your phone, to your PC.

That way the core module can be much smaller and can power future phone upgrades, etc.

I think a PCMCIA[1] card (a "PC-CARD") would be a great form factor for the compute module...

[1] People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms

<reminisce> I loved the palm foleo - it was such a revolution. Great keyboard, many hours of battery, and all my info there with my palm tungsten! </reminisce>

I recall vaguely the Foleo was famously cancelled without ever actually shipping to any customers. Not much of a revolution, by any standard, and not one many of us are going to share in reminiscing over!

> https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/18/palm_foleo_laptop_u...

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Foleo

There are also similar free projects: Maru OS (https://maruos.com) and Sentio Desktop (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andromium....), but not so popular.

> Who happens to keep desktop peripherals on their desk but only does lightweight productivity tasks?

On the local machine? People whose serious work is done remotely, e.g., using Virtual Desktop infrastructure or cloud services. Heck, with even gaming starting to be doable remotely in the cloud, it's more credible every day that people can live with just light productivity and persistent browser state locally.

See, I've never gotten a chance to use it before but I've heard great things with how well Windows Continuum performed and worked overall. One person told me it was like being on their desktop for basic things. It's hard to compare much with Continuum since it was essentially killed with the Windows Phone.

It's a neat idea, ultimately, but I think we're a few years away from a good way to do it UX wise.

I think libraries and open space offices with no personal seating are the best place to use such a device. Libraries supply the screen/mouse/keyboard/internet and you bring your device.

>blah blah did it first

Tablets had been done before without success, then Apple released the iPad. You don't have to be first to market to win. The failure of others in the same segment is not a predictor of future failure.

Execution is everything.

I was already doing this in 2013 with a Nexus 5. I had a wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, wireless display connection, wireless charging, and Linux for Android running Ubuntu. It was terrible, because all the wireless things created lag, it was like screen sharing on a bad connection with someone in Asia. I bought a slimport cable and it was still terrible. USB 2.0 simply didn't have the bandwidth to push FHD display resolution without artifacts.

I see USB-C in the bottom of that stand. If that's USB-C 3.1 gen2 then it has 10GBps and enough bandwidth to push 4K at a decent refresh rate. I see the potential to have a wired keyboard and mouse using the monitor as a USB hub. This is already a much better solution than has been offered before by other companies.

> ...enough bandwidth to push 4K at a decent refresh rate.

What general productivity task at mobile compute scale would optimally leverage 4K resolution at a decent refresh rate?

Photoshop, perhaps?

The DeX already runs a version of Photoshop, and the Samsung store folks were pushing the DeX as an option for website development, especially as their browser supports both desktop & mobile modes. (If I recall correctly, I think he even said the desktop browser has some developer tools built-in, but I haven't been back to the store to check that.)

I'm not certain Photoshop can be classified as general productivity, but if we gave it the benefit of the doubt anyways and further assumed end-users would somehow benefit immensely from such a high resolution, then I'm still not seeing were decent refresh rate fits snuggly into the imperative.

The USB-C port is just for power and as far as I know it doesn't support anything more than 1080p than on a big monitor looks kind of bad.

The DeX stand has some regular USB ports (and an Ethernet jack!) in the back, so you can already plug a wired keyboard & mouse directly into those.

I think the DeX is limited to a 1920 x 1080p display, though.

indeed it doesn't do more then fullHD, but im pretty sure the box says 4k. A colleague of mine got one few weeks ago, and we noticed that.

I've been using a Dex for about 6 months, exclusively, including now. It has some annoying bugs: * you can't select text very well, only in some cases (for example in the browser address bar) * some applications simply can't run (for example firefox mobile), but they are very few * zoom with the scroll doesn't work in most cases (google maps) * can't zoom in with the scroll in the browser , and when it does, the increments are very high, can't be customized and they are forgotten when you close the page. * all pages open in mobile mode and you have to click "desktop mode" for each and every one of them that is not displayed like you want. * reading PDFs is impossible because you can't customize the zoom (may be a deal breaker for students), and with a big monitor you get big text, not possible to read. * most bitcoin wallets don't work with the ledger nano s on android, (I use my work computer for transactions).

But despite these, overall it's been a decent experience. I download torrents like I did on my PC, I watch movies. I have all my data with me at all times, which I like very much. I used to have a laptop but it was mostly furniture; with a small kid at home I didn't have time to even open it in most nights. And when I did have time, all I did was watch a movie or download a torrent, which is what I do with the Dex anyway.

I wish it would've had a USB 3.0 port.

So glad to hear there are others using this long term as a computing solution. it feels like I'm downgrading when I'm using any other computer now because it doesn't have all my apps & files just a click away and all of my info logged in properly.

I was sure I could get away with using something that's essentially a chromebook but I was surprised how well apk files replace any program I would have google "function of program .exe" I can search for the equivalent apk file. Really neat for editing videos as well, since the graphics chip is optimized for video encoding it seems that the programs use that to their advantage when exporting large files.

To really put the DeX to the test I'm uploading as many videos as I can edited and shot all on the s8/DeX. http://youtube.com/c/DennisAleynikov

Hello fellow dex user. I had the same experience with firefox and discovered a "solution" - DEX developer mode [1].

Yeah, zooming is a fucking mess. To zoom in firefox, doubleclick the mouse, and while HOLDING ON THE SECOND CLICK you can move the mouse up and down to zoom. Neither control +/- and control + scroll wheel work.

Selecting text: click on a word and hold the mouse button down. This works exactly like long-pressing on a touchscreen and getting the text select pop-up.

[1] https://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-note-8/help/firefox-...

Perhaps a silly question but are you able to access the DeX data in Android and vice versa?

Yes, you can. There is no separation between the data, it's the same data, you access it normally from both. There's even Total Command for Android, which works very similar to the windows version.

I've decided that this avenue to integration isn't really what I want. I'm not super interested in a big screen connected to a phone that can barely drive it and a solid game.

But I do really really want to simplify my life in terms of identity and storage. I'd like to simply have the same view of data on all my devices, with probably my phone acting as a central source of truth in terms of identity and carrying around a hot cache of important data.

But I don't just mean using dropbox everywhere. That's really clunky to me. I want it to be better, but no one's really put it all together right yet.

I feel like plan9 was on to a lot of this stuff a long time ago but it fizzled out, an idea ahead of its time, with bits and pieces of its ideas taken out of context and rendered largely useless (please don't tell me linux does filesystem namespaces now, it's really not the same).

You might be interested in upspin.io. It's by some of the people involved in plan9 and/or Go.

It's an ambitious project because ultimately you need to coerce all the apps with valuable data to export to or be compatible with upspin to realize the dream, so to speak.

However right now I've already found it useful for storing my personal files and media and I've enjoyed reading the codebase.

This might not be the right crowd, but iCloud is really the un-clunky storage accessible from everywhere. It's just so well integrated between the phone, macbook, ipad, web. Worth it. I spend like $9-10 per month for 2TB of storage. with auto sync of my photos (which is where it really shines)

Yes, but that is assuming it is accessible everywhere. Majority in the world still do not have an fast enough wired connection.

Not sure if Apple is having some heavy hands in this but I think 4.9G and 5G will fix this within next 10 years. While it is still a little too early to tell, it does have the potential to be used as the sole connection in many areas.

Yeah he's literally described iCloud. Even though it's moved into some dropbox competitor, that's really the secondary usecase for it.

The thing is I find my iCloud files are forming a canonical documents folder across my devices, whereas I always felt Dropbox was distinct from my documents folder.

> I'd like to simply have the same view of data on all my devices, with probably my phone acting as a central source of truth in terms of identity and carrying around a hot cache of important data.

have you been reading my ssb log[0][1]? or lurking in our matrix room[2]? that's kind of exactly what the libre software project i contribute to is trying to build. we're a small team rn, but i think the direction we're going is pretty cool.

[0] https://viewer.scuttlebot.io/%256GAD8%2F8qQC26qFTgYvQZ3q97qY...

[1] https://git.heropunch.io/%251BtG8h6Oh6uI7kjnZkvK20wqLrCZlbbF...

[2] #heropunch:matrix.org

I see what you mean. For this kind of stuff, I am backering a promising lapdock called the Mirabook (from Miraxess : https://miraxess.com/miraxess-brand/). Exactly what you are defining tho, with your mobile phone as a central source of power.

> I'd like to simply have the same view of data on all my devices, with probably my phone acting as a central source of truth in terms of identity and carrying around a hot cache of important data. But I don't just mean using dropbox everywhere.

Would a NAS from Synology or QNAP offer what you're looking for?

I have a NAS with 14TB and, while it helps, it's not as easy as what another commenter suggested for iOS/Apple: iCloud subscription.

I don't think this is something that people actually want or have real painful need for today. If you already have a big monitor like that then you probably already have a desktop computer. If you don't, then you probably already have a laptop. If you have neither, then I doubt you're the type of user who's going to get this today and a monitor to go along with it because your needs are probably already filled by an iPad or similar.

It's a cool trick though.

I would love this. I’m sick of lugging a heavy aluminum notebook around. I want to drop my phone into a cradle or have it wirelessly connect to a KVM setup so I can launch into a desktop session for running tmux and a browser.

Wish this worked with iOS.

Many of the newer laptops aren't very heavy at all. My Macbook Air is aluminum and can fit in a small backpack/messenger bag.

Unless you just want to not be carrying anything.

Thinkpads have gotten shockingly thin and light, all while improving spilled liquid resistance and enhancing the cooling. The T440 and newer seems to have been a complete redesign, a 14 inch laptop that weighs 1.8kg and is neither too big or too small.

Slap a 1080p or 2560p panel in it, and the laptop is a monster!

For lightness I think the x series are a much better choice. I've been using an x201 for many years now. Even at its old age, it's suprisingly light to today's standards and has decent battery life.

Yeah, hooked a friend up with an x230 iirc for cheap, and she really likes it. 12" form factor just isn't for me though, I had a x100e for a month as a loaner, and man was its screen small (nevermind the spaceheater OG APU it had). Made me thankful for 14" screens and newer process technology allowing AMD and Intel to make chips that don't melt my legs!

Its a double-edged sword. The elephant in the room is the disadvantage that you can't open them anymore to replace hardware. Monster described it accurately.

What newer laptops have is USB-C/TB3 and that allows for eGPU. Which means you no longer need to own a PC if you're a gamer (and don't wanna opt for game console).

Huh? About the only major change is the CPU is no longer socketed, besides that I can swap every other component willy nilly ala a T420. Soldered CPUs are quite a bit more durable, and replacement mobos are sub-$100, not the worst tradeoff to save a few mm.

I don't want to carry anything but a phone, unless I have to.

I've been carrying a backpack for work for, I dunno, 4 years now? Lately I've taken to just leaving my laptop at work on weekends and I really enjoy the trip to/from the office those days. I commute via public transit or walk, it's only 2 miles and we have decent busses here in Philly. Not having to deal with a bag of any kind is really nice.

The current MacBook Air has slower CPU (single- and multi-core) compared to the latest iPhone 8/X.

At the end of the day, I'd love to grab my phone off a cradle and then, when I get home, if I need to keep working, drop it in a different cradle and have my window session ready and waiting for me. As a GCP user, basically 100% of my development consists of browser sessions and tmux sessions. That should be really portable state on a phone.

Seriously, my 12" MacBook is all I need / want now.

I found the smallest sling bag that it would fit inside, and quickly became accustomed to carrying it at all times.

When my Nexus 5 died, I barely felt it. I went months without a phone because it just wasn't a pressing issue.

There's no way I'd trade it for a phone dock and desktop peripherals.

"I would love this. I’m sick of lugging a heavy aluminum notebook around. I want to drop my phone into a cradle or have it wirelessly connect to a KVM setup so I can launch into a desktop session for running tmux and a browser."

I don't know if this really solves that, though ...

I would like to maintain the same compute environment from phone to laptop but I would still need to bring the laptop (or, rather, the laptop shaped dock) with me everywhere.

This is because you can't possibly plug untrusted/unknown devices into computers you own. There is no way I am plugging my "CPU" into a hotel/airport/Regus workstation.

You could buy a Intel Atom on a stick if you just want to ssh or tmux or RDP.

I bet this would be great for an operations, sales, support or any pother non technical role. The company would only have to buy docs and monitors and then the workforce can just swap out their mobile devices from meeting room to desk etc... I see a large enterprise or student play here if they have the vision to market it.

A large enterprise or educational institute workforce of people in non-technical roles who all have Galaxy S8 devices?

So that's a market size of one then? You could sell this solution to Samsung, and pretty much nobody else.

I work in a large company, and we have a mostly mobile workforce, meaning we already have the majority of the company on docks with monitors and unassigned desk areas (show up and pick one when you need it). I could definitely see lots of our workforce being able to use something like this.

The company would save on buying computers and just get everyone work phones (galaxy devices). Seems like that would be best for a non technical workforce anyway. Support and Sales are always on the phone.

Not really. I thought that Chromecast would become a thing in meeting rooms. You could just beam your laptop or phone up onto the big screen. Who needs more than a browser?

But no, it has not happened. We still fumble over connectors.

Given my failed ability to get anyone interested in going Chromecast I doubt I could persuade anyone to get DeX sorted for the meeting rooms.

Over the past 3 years or so, I’ve seen Apple TVs attached to projectors in many conference rooms. People who want to present from a Windows machine do the cable dance still, but those who want to present from an iPhone, iPad or Mac just connect over AirPlay and go. I’ve started saving presentations to my OneDrive and using PowerPoint from my phone to display them, even when I have my laptop with me.

We're a small company, but have a Chromecast on every TV/projector in the office if it makes you feel any better :)

I would never use this myself.

But, the older people I know have PCs that sit around collecting dust and that they are not at all comfortable in using. But they do have phones that they use every day to communicate via text messaging, email and Facebook.

This seems like a good solution to bridge the gap for them on the occasions where they are interested in a desktop experience as it provides a familiar environment using the phone OS and removes the worry about managing or navigating a desktop environment.

In my experience, those people don't need or care for the "desktop experience"; they are perfectly content using their iPad (or other tablet) as-is, or at most, using a Bluetooth keyboard if they do a lot of typing.

What about a tv? This could work with a tv...

ASUS MB169B+ will do the job for a portable monitor. It's very light, 15.6" IPS 1080p pulls power and display over USB3 (there's also a C model)

But then you've got to add a keyboard and a mouse and probably the biggest problem, you've got to figure some way of getting the monitor to an ergonomic height.

It does.

Copying files and settings between devices (which might run different OSes) is a nuisance. I could imagine this being useful for some people.

If you think this is cool, check out Maru, an open-source project that turns your phone into a PC: https://maruos.com/#/

Maru has stable builds available for the Nexus 5 and 7 right now and we have some early builds for newer devices like the HTC 10 on the way. We are always looking for contributors to improve and help port Maru to the latest devices so please stop by our Github if you're interested!


What I really want is a macbook air form factor laptop with nothing but a battery, a keyboard and a screen that has a slot where the touchpad would be for a phone. Use the phone for storage, cpu and touchpad with the extra screen area and battery life of a laptop.

I've already replaced my desktop with a laptop, looking forward to the day I can consolidate everything onto one device. This looks like a step in the right direction.

I was using a laptop for most stuff a few years ago and now I've been unconsolidating (what's the right word?).

I now have an e-reader, a laptop that docks, a gaming console, a phone, a fitness tracker, an iPad, an Amazon Echo, a Roku, and a watch. Even though the laptop could do almost all of those things, I'm happier with a few excellent discrete devices. I'm actually very happy with my tech life these days and don't feel many pain points anymore. If I had one wish, it would probably be for Amazon to drop DRM on Kindle titles.

It would be more compelling to me if they could also dock it into a laptop shell with USB and Ethernet ports. If I'm going someplace for more than a day I'm going to bring my laptop, I don't want to lug around a monitor. It doesn't really replace my laptop, it only replaces my docking station.

Like the Lapdock for the HP Elite x3?

DeX is quite good but unfortunately only available on the top Samsung phones. I think the target market would be people that don't necessarily need a PC for most of the time. Someone that needs a bigger screen to easily do banking or word processing.

DeX has one HDMI port (1080p), two USB 2.0 and one Ethernet.

I can't wait for the Linux on Galaxy project to see how working with Ubuntu through DeX would feel like.

Pretty impressive. Considering that it also allows you to login to a remote windows machine. Lots of enterprise companies use Windows and citrix receiver as a way to login remotely, this makes very useful when you are travelling just with your phone.

> just with your phone

... and a DeX station.

You could get a much cheaper (mine was $20) slimport/displayport usb-c to hdmi converter. That's all the phone is looking for to launch the DeX environment.

The dongle version of the station works even better cuz it can lay flat on my desk and the finger print scanner is easy to reach.

It's about time! I thought I will never say this. Ever. But. Go Samsung!

Hasn't this been out since the S8 series was released?

I feel like they're solving the right problem. Not sure if it's the right solution though.

If 2 years down, Android and ChromeOS merged their foundation components and Pixel 5 switched between Android UI and ChromeOS UI when docked, I think it would totally make sense.

Not sure I'm interested in a Samsung Android and a self baked OS from Samsung.

I know that core developers behind EFL have been begging their upper management for this kind of hardware running Tizen, which would make a lot more sense than hacking Android into something it's not really made for.

Alas Tizen on mobile has been only used for sub $100 phones targeted at developing markets.

I just want the modern equivalent of a VT100 or X Terminal. No plugging in a phone. Just sit down at a generic terminal, log in - maybe with a hardware ID token like Sun used to offer - and there is my stuff.

Local display performance should be snappy, but compute done in the cloud with a resource level I can choose at appropriate expense.

Timeshared machines were wonderful for usability. PCs took over due to performance per dollar. 25 years later can I have my cake and eat it too, please?

Edit: yes, I know about Chromebooks. I never tried the high-end Pixel, but the cheap ones had underpowered local compute and were disappointing.

Neat. Why does have a USB 2 port though? Why not USB 3? (It has a USB-C port, but I don't understand why it has a slow USB 2 port when it could have a backwards-compatible USB 3 port of the same type.)

Okay, I will reformulate my reply here since I read all the answers just now. As I said earlier, I backered a promising lapdock with the Smartphone as the central source of power.

It allows you to plug your phone to a laptop device with a 13" screen, trackpad and speakers. I am just dropping you this here if you want more information about the Mirabook from Miraxess : https://miraxess.com/miraxess-products/mirabook/

I like that a lot!

Unfortunately I don't see a release date and I don't see how I can easily check if my device is compatible (it's USB C - OnePlus 5, but "Smartphone with DisplayPort over USB C technology"? I don't know).

If this were available NOW and .. ship/sell to me, then I'd give this a try in a heartbeat.

Yeah, just like Sentio, it is not available already. First beta testers will receive it in January, I hope I will be a part of it! Then, first deliveries will come to May according to their news.

That's pretty much like Sentio (old Andronium Superbook). I backed one while ago, finally I should receive mine within a month!

Same can't wait for the superbooks to ship! It will truly complete my phone as a transforming computer dream. I've already fully switched to only using DeX as a desktop environment, and I'm in the Nov-Dec batch for Sentio :)

I've already got a lot done even without the superbook, with all the delays they've had haha. https://www.youtube.com/c/DennisAleynikov

Your samsung will never be able to display dex on the superbook. I've seen that on XDA forums.

In long term, this could change everything. In the short term, the tech is cool but I'm having trouble imagining how I would use this.

In the short-term:

Would I set this up at home for personal use? Likely not as I would have my laptop already for this purpose. At home, I would want the flexibility to be able to move between my desk and couch, at least.

Would I use this at work? I already have a powerful work laptop - this would definitely not substitute.

If my employer had many traveling employees, would they setup DeX workstations for those who are visiting for a few hours? Maybe. For work use, it's too limited in power and applications to be a serious competitor.

In the long term: If I were a casual user of tech, whose primary needs were email, documents, videos and photos, would this let me not buy a separate laptop altogether? Yes - possibly. This is the killer use case. Eventually, the phone will get more and more powerful and internet speeds will get faster. For the casual tech user of email, documents, media and web browsing, this will more than suffice. Having two machines to buy and maintain, that do the same thing for you, will seem clunky and out-dated.

The Huawei mate 10 series has desktop mode that requires only a cable, which is more convenient as a portable solution:


I actually think this is part of a pretty clever / sensible strategy.

The GearVR transforms the phone into a pretty decent VR headset. Now this accessory will transform the phone into a workable desktop computer.

Maybe it's been done before, and maybe the market for the device is limited; but it does position Samsung as a supplier of versatile and ubiquitous devices.

How long until I'm able to have my Ubuntu environment on a phone and plug it directly into my monitor, keyboard, and mouse? We already have the OS and peripherals, what's missing? It's not storage on the phone; Apple is selling 256GB iPhones. Is it the processing power?

Samsung is currently working on Linux for Galaxy which is exactly this.

Also, the processors in your phone are closer to desktop performance that you might think. If you put any weight in GeekBench scores, single core scores for the new A11 are about the same as the single core scores for the Ryzen 1800x.

For all of 5 minutes until it's thermally throttled. They never tell you that on the "GeekBench". But yes, for those 5 minutes, it has somewhat the same performance as one of the eight processors on the 1800x.

Frankly, 1/8th 1800x and a whole A11 is about the same power budget, so that's not entirely surprising.

It's a single core comparison. According to geekbench a single A11 core is about the same speed as a single 1800X core.

Of course synthetic benchmarks aren't the best, but it is interesting how close arm has gotten to x86.

Yeah, also even if you could get rid of the thermal throttling, you're still dumping all that heat into the phone's body which could overheat/damage other components.

Most notably you're dumping it into the battery, which is already heating up itself just fine having to supply the extra current for your full CPU power burst. And sustained high temperatures are a surefire way to rapidly diminish the capacity of LiIon batteries. So I guess it's a good thing they have external power and a fan, even though it's dubious how much that does given the battery isn't seeing any of that airflow and is in the usual protective sleeve that doesn't exactly help thermal conductivity.

There is a reason Tesla watercool every individual metal 18650 cell.

The DeX product page explicitly says Built-in cooling fan, so they're definitely aware of overheating.

I played with this at the Samsung Developer Conference and it was the highlight of the show for me. It wasn't enough for me to buy in to the Samsung ecosystem, but it was enough for me to pay attention to what they're doing.

No. It's the willingness of manufacturers to make it possible.

We could have had this many years ago already. The technology was there, the performance was there, it's just that the willingness of phone manufacturers to enable users to do it was lacking and still is for the most part.

Probably because there's not that much demand for it either, outside of techie circles.

You can already do this (for at least two years) with Linux Deploy on Android and VNC to localhost. You start an Ubuntu image within Android and connect to it through an Android VNC client. Keyboard, monitor and mouse can be done through cabling or wireless. I use VR in Samsung GearVR. https://www.androidauthority.com/install-ubuntu-on-your-andr...

By "use VR..." do you mean that use a VNC client in VR mode? How is the resolution?

It's good enough for basic use of apps. I can read my e-books fine, browsing works as well. Yes, the letters are a bit dotty, but that's not an impediment. It's less comfortable as using a high res physical screen in front of you, but for terminal work it doesn't matter that much. I'm not sure about the resolution 1024x768 or higher depending on how close you are to the virtual screen. Do you remember working with 1024x768 screens? It's like that

if only phonecast would support running the dex environment. I would literally not leave gear vr ever again.

Didn't Ubuntu give up on making their OS support mobile? What's missing is the demand for a desktop OS on a phone.

It's the processor which isn't x86 because of power consumption, etc. This means that even if you get a full blown linux distro, you'll need to compile a lot of shit for it before you can have a full cross platform dev experience.

Ubuntu phone was a step in the right direction. But the phone experience wasn't great so they gave up.

Samsung is trying to figure out the market interest on running Ubuntu directly on the phone. I saw it working at a convention and they directed me to sign up here to beta: https://seap.samsung.com/linux-on-galaxy

Just somebody to do it, and convince the hardware manufacturers it's a good idea. See the now defunct Ubuntu Phone project: https://docs.ubuntu.com/phone/en/devices/

It's definitely not the processing power, modern phones are beasts, they can compete with 10-year old PCs.

You can already do this today. I was doing it on my Samsung Galaxy S3 back in the day.

Essentially you install Ubuntu on top of Android. You then VNC to the Ubuntu Desktop from Android.

Android (using USB on the go) out of the box supports keyboard and mouse.

Not all devices support MicroHDMI, but the S3 did.

Yeah, suprisingly samsung has been sleeper developing something like DeX since the s3, and MHL was pretty dope for the time. Excited that samsung believes in the vision of the one device life.

I've got an S8+ (great phone!) and haven't tried this.

When I can have a fully fledged Linux desktop on my device, parallel to the native phone services and with pocket-portable screen connectivity I will stop carrying a laptop. My 2013 Apple MBP is dying, and the replacement won't be Apple, since 95% of all I use on Apple is open source anyway, and the prices are stupid. Looking at NUC/BRIX devices, phones, etc.

Samsung, please make out of the box Linux a priority. The cloud stuff is useless here in China (Google/MS/Samsung) and I just want to use my own device as I see fit.

Bro, don't worry too much about the full linuxness of it. The s8+ is a beauty with brains and even without the official dock (mine's $20 from some chinese dropshipper) and it's been incredible with access to the android bash and more with debian being able to run on the device hardware itself. I highly reccomend you try it out, I've been testing out video editing on it and never thought I could give up final cut and a mac but I find it hard to go back.

Check out some of the stuff I've made using the s8+ and a dex dongle https://www.youtube.com/c/DennisAleynikov

Can you link your dock?

Take a look at the newer Thinkpad T series, the T440 and newer are much thinner, lighter weight 14 inch laptops that slot in between the MBP 13" and the MBP 15.6" in both size and weight.

Screen can be upgraded to 1080p and beyond, parts are very well priced, nearly everything is still user serviceable, and you can pick up a T440 for not much. Debian & Arch both have full support for the hardware too!

I really like the idea of only having a phone and being able to have a desktop experience without a separate machine. I am pretty invested product and physiologically wise in the Apple ecosystem and would love to see them go in this direction. They already have development workflows that make it relatively easy to modify the layout and functionality of apps for phones up to large iPad Pros and this could be seen as just another form factor which needs to be accounted for.

Very interesting product - my guess is that past attempts failed because of distribution and marketing strategies. (Motorola Atrix, Windows Continuum, etc).

Enterprise companies with large workforces seems like an interesting market for this. Employees would only receive a phone (no laptop), doable when work relies on MS Excel + email. For instance, consulting and sales orgs seem especially interesting, given their mobile workforces and lack of fixed office seating.

"Some things are just easier on a desktop, like sending an email, bolding text, or copying and pasting between apps."

Are these the best examples they could come up with?

If you're trying to get shit done all of these are pretty high on my "number of times per day performed" list

On the Oreo beta for Samsung s8, dex works with any usb-c to hdmi. Also, Samsung is getting Linux distros to run side by side for development purposes

Is this new? I am pretty sure I was in a MediaMrkt in Rotterdam a couple weeks ago and I saw this, I didn't even realize it was a big thing.

I'm wondering too. I have seen tv ads of this device months ago on Brazilian tv.

The Dex came out around the time of the S8

DeX is okay. As an Android developer who's had to support it, I'd say it's similar to Chromebook (as an alternative to Android phone/tablet development), except it's got its own set of undocumented idiosyncrasies. Highly don't recommend using it with Android < 7.1.1 either (it supports back to 7.0).

I think this is a good idea. The reason being this looks like a "path of least resistance", since people already own phones, and it will get a lot of traction very quickly.

So far what I've seen is that when you keep a phone connected to power, the battery eventually degrades faster. I hope they solved that problem for this product.

Man, lots of disclaimers here :/

* UI of the actual product may be different.

* Microsoft Office requires users to purchase licenses.

* Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint require a download to use.

* DeX Station and HDMI / Charging cable are sold separately.

* Screen image simulated.

* Certain apps may not run or require license (for purchase) on Samsung DeX.

* DeX Station supports Galaxy S8/S8+ and Note8.

Odd use case for this, but one that would immediately solve about 8 of my 10 current headaches - put these in meeting rooms.

No more WiDi to set up, no more meeting room PC's, no more cable spaghetti. Just drop your phone in, grab the wireless keyboard/mouse and start boring people to death.

Very cool. I wonder how much crossover or competition there's going to be between Dex and Chromebooks, considering that lots of Chrome OS laptops are running android apps now.

I guess it's a race to see whether Samsung phones can become desktops before Chromebooks can become phones

Samsung's on both sides of that game, so it's win-win for them.

It costs $20 in parts to put a SoC in the docking setup and obviate the need for the phone, and thanks to the Cloud you can seamlessly transition files from device to device. This doesn't seem to solve a problem anyone has.

This is nifty, although I wouldn't see myself using it. For starters, it looks like it's closed source, which makes it a non-starter for me. I'm personally trying to move away from locked-down hardware and ecosystems, although admittedly it is surprisingly difficult.

Furthermore, I already have a very powerful desktop hooked up to a large screen. I want to be able to leverage its power! So what I'd really like is a way to easily transfer activities or work between devices.

The best execution of this I've seen so far is from Apple, with iOS and macOS's continuity features. Unfortunately, I have an Android phone, which means I can't use that functionality.

Transferring files between devices is still such a huge pain! Between Apple devices, AirDrop has the best experience I've used. My cross-platform solution is running an HTTP server (`python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8080`) and zipping up the files I want to send. Since zeroconf is widely available, it's usually not much hassle to type in the address. If I'm dealing with devices on different networks, I use instant.io.

Here's a typical scenario for me: I arrive at home and want to play a game on my desktop while I continue to listen to the audiobook playing on my phone. In that case I'd love to pipe the audio from the game to my phone's headphones. That would let me move around to the bathroom and kitchen without having to pause the audiobook, let me know if the game match is starting so I can rush back, and avoid being a noisy neighbor with obnoxiously loud speakers.

There's so much more potential for ease of use improvements! For example, while programming, since my desktop is much more powerful, I'd love to offload builds from my laptop when I'm at home. I know I can setup things manually, but it's a lot of hassle and usually ends up kinda brittle. Then if I take my laptop out to some place without network connectivity, I'll have to stop everything and perform additional setup.

That bezel-free desktop display in the first image, is that a real Samsung product?

Looks like the LC27F591FDNXZA to me, but that the compositing of the desktop image has cheated a bit to make it seem like there's just a bit less dead space than there truly is.

They do know how to name products!

They missed the chance to name it "Galaxy LC27F591FDNXZA".

Got it. Ya, it looks touched up. If someone could build a real bezel free monitor....

Dell's U2718Q comes close. http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-ultrasharp-27-4k-monitor...

The bezel is < 1/4". I have two side by side and the combined bezels are .45" as near as I can measure.

Even in their advertising, the bezels are still incredibly obvious. There is something magical about the screen ending where the background begins. Even the iPhone X’s bezel is kind of disappointing (though still pretty cool).

Oh, I agree. It's still noticeable, absolutely. I tend to be "unaware" of it as I work, but that's as much psychological. It is about half as wide as the previous Dell (P2715Q), but still... the thinner the better.

Yep. Their curved monitors are essentially bezelless. They are also incredibly high quality. Samsung makes some neat screens: https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/monitors/curved/32--ch7...

I would love to know as well, seems like some post processing in general though as the UI appears to be extremely smooth, almost unbelievably so.

Bit of an odd comment but - as an observation around the branding - when Australian's pronounce 'DeX' it sounds like 'Dicks'.

I'm not having a go but I did also find it genuinely funny.

I think as a standalone product DeX will fail or have very limited adoption. Now if all the players can get together and make it some sort of industry standard then you have something.

My chrome tab hangs dead from this page. My computer is an Apple's Mac Pro with Intel Xeon @ 3.5 Ghz and 32 Gb or RAM. Is that not enough to browse the internet nowadays?

How does it work? What OS is there? Some kind of Windows for ARM? How does it work in parallel with Android? Or is it just Android but with resizable overlapping windows?

I have one on my desk for few months already, but I use it only as a charger :-)

If enough people vote here (AMA style?), I'll be motivated to connect kbd and monitor and do some tests :)

Just really need a phone to run a full OS when plugged in. Why would anybody who is a serious user want to use a mobile OS for anything other than simple tasks.

It feels weird that more than half of the highlighted apps are from Microsoft, which had its own implementation of this

[Totally OT] I swear I first read "SamSex Dung" ... I probably have to consult my therapist right now.

I really was wondering for some time why this is not possible for smartphones if a gameboy can do it.

I long for the day I can put my phone into a VR headset and get a virtual desktop environment.

If I wanted a Windows phone... #teampixel

Seriously, Android, OTG cable, chromecast and a powered USB hub. Done.

*not a decentralized exchange


Where is the innovation in portable screens/keyboards?

I will stick to a surface pro.

Which Street and What Street?

Canonical and Microsoft were there first, not sure if I want to see Samsung winning it.

didn't canonical give up

MS also feels like they've given up, seeing as they've ditched their phones.

They did, Unity is completely abandoned apart from a fork which isn't going anywhere.

Both gave up, the point was who was there first and me not being too found of Samsung.

So I just bought an HP Elite x3 this month. (Yes, I did.) And it's by far the best phone I've ever put my hands on. It boggles the mind that someone would buy... anything else, given this now is available on Verizon.

...But Continuum feels pointless to me, I left the dock in the box. I have computers anywhere I am going to use a full computer. Or my Surface Pro. I guess maybe this sort of thing might be appealing to the "mobile only" crowd who never owns a PC again?

A Windows mobile device? I think that's why most people would buy anything else.

There really isn't many other viable options if security is important to you. There's iPhone and what's left of Windows Mobile. Even the Pixel won't get the KRACK patch until December, everyone else patched it in October.

Windows Mobile gives me the feature set of a Android with the security competency of an iPhone.

Out of interest, why is being on Verizon a selling point?

I have a Verizon cell tower in my parking lot and I share a family plan. Kinda big perks for me.

The HP Elite x3 not supporting Verizon for so long was really tragic too. It's an enterprise focused phone... But over half of enterprises use Verizon.

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