Samsung believes it can, with its new DeX solution built into its Galaxy S8 handset.
The Samsung Galaxy S8, the Korean giant’s new flagship handset, is more than just a smartphone – it can also be transformed into a desktop computer, thanks to Samsung's new DeX solution.
Short for 'Desktop eXperience', Samsung DeX is a dock released alongside the S8 that enables the phone to be used with a monitor, mouse and keyboard. It features an optimised interface designed specifically for use in desktop mode, and supports resizable windows, taskbar notifications and contextual menus, transforming the device into a fully-fledged desktop when it needs to be one.
In addition to stock apps, Samsung has partnered with Microsoft and Adobe to include DeX compatibility with apps like Office suite, Adobe Acrobat Reader mobile and Lightroom Mobile. When docked, these apps will shift to a desktop-style user interface for easier use with a mouse and keyboard.
Samsung has also worked with three major partners, including Citrix, VMWare and Amazon Web Services, to offer their desktop virtualisation services on the Samsung DeX. For businesses, this means employees can use their S8 as a ‘thin client’ to access all their Windows enterprise apps without needing a laptop.
"The smartphone has become the central point for the modern mobile professional, and when giving a presentation or editing documents remotely, it means they can work effectively using just their smartphone. We developed Samsung DeX with the highly mobile worker in mind, giving them a convenient and flexible desktop experience," said Samsung's mobile CTO Injong Rhee.
"Our collaboration with key partners such as Adobe and Microsoft was essential in the development of Samsung DeX, as they share our vision for building excellence in mobile productivity. With Samsung DeX, enterprise users can also be assured their smartphone and data is protected by the Samsung Knox security platform built into the smartphone. Samsung DeX redefines what a smartphone can do to keep mobile workers productive."
The DeX dock also comes with a full suite of connectivity options; it features a HDMI port for plugging in a monitor, two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet connectivity and power via USB Type-C, with peripherals connecting via WUSB, Bluetooth or RF.
It’s even got Samsung’s adaptive fast charging built in to juice up your phone while docked, with the company’s Knox security technology ensuring it stays safe while connected.
The Galaxy S8 certainly isn’t the first ‘convertible’ smartphone – others like Motorola and even Samsung itself tried it years ago. So it’s still way too early to say if DeX will be ultimately successful in gaining large-scale business adoption. However, the optimised desktop interface is a smart idea and with third-party support from the likes of Microsoft and AWS, DeX looks promising.
We’ll let you know how well it actually works when we get our hands on the Galaxy S8 for a full review.