At the announcement of my Galaxy S8, Samsung also unveiled an original accessory called Samsung DeX. The challenge of this accessory: turn the Galaxy S8 in PC Android. But the combo Galaxy S8/Samsung DeX can really replace a PC? Response in our full review.
turn your smart phone into PC, this is the bet of Samsung with the DeX Station . The Korean giant is not the first to try this experiment. In the past, Motorola for made a similar proposal with the Atrix. But it was in 2011, and at the time our smartphones were far from being as powerful as today ‘ hui.
Thanks to its new generation of chips, the Galaxy S8 for what it takes under the hood to meet the most basic needs of a user. So, wanting to do a PC is not a preposterous idea.
But between the idea and the reality, there’s a world. So the combo Galaxy S8/Samsung DeX did fly? for Samsung managed to offer all-in-one product that many dream about? You are told everything in our full test of the DeX Station.
Samsung DeX: the docking station
Let’s start with the object itself. The Samsung DeX station is not very large. She actually looks like a charging station. The station’s round and compact enough. The structure is made of plastic which may seem quite cheap considering the price. When the S8 Galaxy (or + S8) is not placed on it, the station looks like a big roller.
to connect the smartphone, simply drag the top of the station. He’s going to position itself so that we can ask the S8 Galaxy against him. Below, USB Type-C allows to recharge the S8 by connection on the Samsung DeX interface.
It should be noted the presence of a cooling system . The use of the station can take a lot of resources to the smartphone. Placed in the station, the Galaxy S8 for quite a bit of space to remove heat. Samsung for figured into this system DeX Station. It fires when the smartphone is very busy. Pretty good considering. The back of the small dock, for all the connections:
- a USB Type-C port which allows you to supply the station
- two USB 2.0 ports to connect keyboard and mouse
- a port Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps)
- an HDMI output to connect the station to a screen
several problems with this connection. Given that it connect keyboard and mouse to be able to use the station, the two USB ports are busy. Cannot connect anything else. You can however connect a keyboard and a wireless Bluetooth mouse and freeing the two USB ports (that’s what we did for our test. )
another concern, the absence of Jack . All screens with no such a taken, we would have liked being able to plug headphones into the station. It’s grated. Impossible to connect headphones to the Jack of the smartphone itself since that it is located on the bottom of the terminal. The S8 Galaxy being placed on the station cannot connect headphones. Here again, it will have to opt for the wireless. Too bad.
Finally, on the side of the screen, there is also some inconsistency. Samsung announces on the packaging of the DeX Station is it compatible UHD 4 K. But during the first launch, an information notice explains that station is supported with a Full HD definition . Again it is a small disappointment.
Samsung DeX: Android on computer
once connected, Samsung DeX starts instantly. We then see a very close Windows interface . There is therefore a taskbar with a large number of items. On the left we have first the three ‘buttons’ to go back on the home page, to access the multitasking and open the applications pane.
If applications are already open, we get right next to these buttons on the small icons representing open apps. On the right, we have a great bar that replicates what we find in the bar of notifications of the smartphone. It for access to the notifications in the settings. There is also a small icon to make the screenshots on the fly, another research. The time and date are also indicated.
clearly found an Android interface suitable for use PC . This side Samsung did a very good job. You’ll quickly get its brands, although some elements can be frustrating. Not only for a transposition, certain applications appear on the screen in small windows that cannot be maximized or resized.
Others, compatible Samsung DeX allow use in full screen, and there is really appreciable. The problem is that for multimedia applications or the game, there are a lot of incompatibilities. I will come back a little later.
Samsung DeX: for work
move on to the real issue. Can the Galaxy S8 replace a PC thanks to the DeX Station? To find out, I used the beast for several days as if it were from my PC. I usually use a Macbook Pro, which is very effective for what I do.
I use before my computer for work and a bit of multimedia. I play on the console, the gaming issue, therefore, does not arise for me. But for those who are wondering (you never know), the Galaxy S8/Samsung DeX combo will not satisfied players.
As a journalist, I use roughly the same tools everyday. I need word processing software to write my articles, software for photo editing, to access my emails.
I must also have access to social networks and I use several messaging applications. Of course, I also need a web browser. So, I need a machine that handles multitasking well without being a monster performance as would a gaming PC.
The power to go
for work, the Galaxy S8/S8 combo + and Samsung DeX turns rather effective . The smartphone is powerful enough to perfectly manage multitasking. At no time during my days of testing the smartphone failed. Yet, I have a heavy use of the beast. The Exynos processor last generation coupled with 4 GB of RAM does the work. The Galaxy S8 is also certainly better than some PC entry or mid-range.
everything is very fluid, the interface is very intuitive, very ergonomic. If you like I used to use a smartphone Android should be soon navigate you. The transition from one application to another (even if they are greedy), loading and scrolling of heavy web pages, photo editing, everything is done very smoothly. E n terms of power, Samsung for done the job.
An inconsistent interface
everything looks fine at first glance, but this is not the case. A few details make the sometimes laborious experience. If the power is there, the interface is not quite to the point. We can speak of a certain inconsistency at this level. This is particularly the case at the level of the adaptation of many applications for PC use.
Samsung well optimized its house applications which are perfectly adapted to PC use. You can use the apps in full screen, resize windows if necessary. The left-click and right-click are well distinguished and scrolling with the mouse wheel is well supported.
the problem is that all applications do not react in this way . And some have different reactions can guess. We have to grope, and bet on the chance. For example the Twitter and Facebook applications cannot be resized. They appear in a format similar to that found on the smartphone screen.
On other applications, scrolling with the mouse wheel does not work, therefore, proceed with the former on the right side of the window. We saw more intuitive. Sometimes, the right click reveals a context menu, sometimes It is detected as a left click.
More problematic for me a lot using the web browser, that Samsung is absolutely not suitable. The keyboard shortcuts are not taken in charge for example. So I opted for Google Chrome but I had the bad surprise to see that could use the mobile version. It is possible to use the function “view desktop” but some sites redirect automatically to the mobile version.
I also had a few keyboard problems. When the first connection is a QWERTY keyboard that was recognized. A quick tour of the settings solve the problem but you still make the manipulation. I also noted that access to the emojis was complicated in the messaging app. Must go through the virtual screen and click, scroll, click again. Not very intuitive once again.
Overall, what bothered me in the daily for work use is the lack of consistency at the level of applications. each time must go in the dark and then remember how each application works. In terms of productivity it is far from the effectiveness of my Macbook Pro. So for advisory use, the system will do.
We can even work on the suite Office if needed, but generally you can not really say that Dex Station can replace a PC for everyday use in the work. You lose too much time to adapt to the system so that everything should be done to make the system adapts itself to the user. Overall, at the level of the interface if one word can describe the experience is “inconsistent.”
Samsung DeX: multimedia and games
like many of you, certainly, after the day’s work I am moving rather multimedia use of my computer. Passionate about movies and series, Netflix is my friend. Just like OCS or even Youtube. I play on PS4 or Nintendo Switch, but sometimes I play a little on smartphone. Then I also tested the game with DeX Station experience.
If work experience lack of coherence, p using our multimedia use is a disaster . Apart from Youtube and Molotov (for TV lovers), no application is displayed in full screen. Netflix appears either vertically or in a tiny horizontal format. OCS is similarly confined to a vertical format even more unreadable. Suffice to say that to watch a movie or a series, best forgotten.
and in games? It’s even worse . First, some games do not work. I tried Super Mario Run, impossible to launch it. I also launched the Sims Mobile which for just been launched. Here, we really regret unable to play full screen. The experience itself is chaotic.
You’re rather car game? Forget too. First the keyboard is not supported. But you can always connect a compatible gamepad Android If you want to enjoy. But then again, not full-screen. Suffice to say that for the game, it is missed.
Overall, Samsung DeX station does not have the minimum required in the field of multimedia. For once, the Galaxy S8/DeX Station combo does absolutely not for the multimedia part. And that’s a shame. He had to work out the details to make it really interesting and be able to claim to replace a PC.
Samsung DeX: the price worth?
The Samsung DeX cannot replace a complete PC, it is a fact. But can he serve as extra PC? For consultation why not. But it will remain limited. If you think about it, Station DeX is sold 150 euros . A Galaxy S8 costs 809 euros. Therefore, the total bill amounts already to 959 euros. Add to that a keyboard, a mouse, and especially a screen. We blithely reached a price of 1200 euros, seeing little.
Clearly today, for 1200 euros, o n can have a smartphone to 500 euros that will widely meet the same needs as a Galaxy S8. We think for example about an Honor 8 a 3T OnePlus or a Honor 8 Pro . Are 700 euros for a full PC. In laptops, for 700 euros, there are machines that make it much more than the DeX Station.
If you have a Galaxy S8 and you want to know if it is worth the investment, it’s clearly not. Unless you have a PC, you do not want to invest a lot and that you do not use of your computer. Otherwise, you will return automatically on your PC or Mac, more ergonomic and complete the DeX station.
Conclusion: Samsung tried
overall DeX Station does not have the bet to replace a PC. From a material point of view there are a few small oversights as Jack for example. But the object itself is well done. It especially helps Samsung show that the Galaxy S8 is powerful enough to use PC . Beyond this observation, the software part is not enough accomplished to replace your computer.
There are good ideas, but DeX Station fishing in the details. Better to invest in a less expensive smartphone and afford a Chromebook for example or a mid-range Windows PC. Everything will obviously depend on the uses. Samsung for at least the merit of having tried and we can expect a more polished version in the future.
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