Samsung's DeX works to replace your laptop with a phone

The Dex Station providers users with a desktop experience

Samsung unveiled its flagship smartphone last month. The Samsung Galaxy S8 brought with it the 'infinity display' as well as some interesting accessories. 

The one that caught my eye straight away was the Samsung DeX Station. This small hub transforms the Galaxy S8 into a desktop experience, once connected to a screen. 

Depending on the work you do, this could potentially replace your laptop.

 

 

The small, circular device is loaded with ports. There's one HDMI, two USB, one USB C and an ethernet port. 

Placing an S8 into the DeX station launches a desktop version of your smartphone, once connected to a screen. It's worth point out at this stage that a keyboard and mouse are needed to make DeX work. These can be connected to the phone via Bluetooth. 

The desktop experience looks like everything we've come to know and love on a traditional desktop device. There is start button in the left corner and it lets you surf the web, watch Netflix and there are even Microsoft Office apps installed. It looks like the perfect hybrid of a Mac OS and Windows. 

Performance

I wanted this to impress me but didn't have high expectations. I feared that it would be placed into the gimmick category or that it would be the type of product that needs a generation or two to pass by before it fully works. 

After using it for a week, I can say that I was 100% wrong to have doubted it. It's such a clever piece of kit that ticks most boxes for me. 

A lot of what I do is cloud based. I work off Google Docs, watch Netflix, mess around on social media and answer emails. DeX excelled on all of those fronts. I connected it to my living room TV and could work from the couch with ease. 

I didn't run into any major roadblocks that are worth reporting on. The biggest issue I had was that some apps were not optimised for DeX. They were mobile versions on a desktop. This is not a make or break issue. It's the sort of thing that can be rectified with a software update. 

Another niggly issue cropped up right towards the end of my time with the DeX. It's not possible to highlight text. For example, I was writing an email on Thursday evening and went to copy and paste a portion of text within the email. It just isn't possible. It's not the end of the world but is annoying. 

DeX charged my phone as I worked away. I was also still fully connected. It was possible to receive calls and my messages appeared on screen too. 

Would I ditch my laptop?

Nearly, but no. 

While it does most things I require, you still need access to a screen with an HDMI port, a mouse and keyboard as well as a Galaxy S8. It is certainly an attractive option for those who travel quite frequently on overnight trips and want an alternative to a bulky laptop. I would certain bring this on one of those trips to answer my emails in comfort. 

I am so impressed by what Samsung managed to achieve with the DeX. If I was an S8 owner, I would most certainly buy one to have as an option on days when I'm working abroad and don't want to bring my laptop. 

Using the DeX got me very excited for the next wave of smartphones. If this is where Samsung is at now, imagine where they'll be in a year's time. 

Bottom line: I want more of this, please!

Samsung DeX will be available from July and will retail at €139.