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Samsung's Note 9 takes DeX to a new level for business

Issuing time:2018-09-30 10:35

Samsung's Note 9 flagship enterprise smartphone has arrived with a bunch of hardware upgrades that make it one of the most advanced smartphones ever, but enterprise users might be more interested in a clever upgrade for DeX, the innovative Samsung software that allows a smartphone to be paired with a TV or monitor for a virtual desktop.

galaxy note 9 s pen
Christopher Hebert/IDG

The Galaxy Note 9's S Pen comes in new fashionable colors to match the phone.

A better DeX experience

With DeX, Samsung came up with a neat way to harness the significant power of a modern smartphone. Connected to an external monitor or TV, DeX redraws the phone home screen to make it much more like a conventional PC desktop. Coupled with a mouse and keyboard, it strikes a compelling proposal for travelers who don't want to carry a laptop but find a phone a bit too small for everything they need to do.

The first and second generation versions of DeX required a cradle and a dock respectively but that's history. DeX in the Note 9 connects directly to a TV or monitor using the phone's USB-C connector.

I used an off-the-shelf Cirago USB-C-to-HDMI adapter and successfully ran DeX on a TV through the HDMI input and a monitor, using an HDMI to DVI cable.

screenshot 20180920 140929 chrome
Martyn Williams/IDG

Google Maps running in a browser on the DeX desktop

Learning to love DeX

If you've never used DeX before, there is a learning curve, but it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to figure out that notifications are now at the bottom, that right-click doesn't always do anything and that sometimes you just have to single click an icon.

Then you can start being productive.

DeX is especially powerful on workplace web apps that aren't customized for a mobile screen. Suddenly it's like you're sitting at a PC with all the desktop real estate in the world.

Some apps have been optimized for DeX to make use of the extra desktop space and display mode. There aren't may but they do include several Adobe apps and Microsoft Office. For others, DeX attempts to force resize apps that aren't optimized.

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