Just a few weeks ago I wrote about the Samsung Galaxy S8 DeX experience—the phone can be connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, to power an Android desktop environment. We’ve always been skeptical about this concept, but I found that the S8 is the best realization of it yet, so it could indeed have a place in certain use cases. Today, there’s a bit to follow up on.
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Samsung just announced the Galaxy Note8, and it also supports DeX. There are a few new enhancements to the desktop environment user experience.
- Samsung’s built-in email client now has displays three panes instead of two, so you can see your folders, list of messages, and message content all at once. This directly addresses my complaints about the weak email experience on the S8.
- There are new MDM options to prevent USB storage devices from connecting to the Dex Dock.
- More apps have been optimized, and some of the ones Samsung pointed out including conference call apps Zoom, GoToMeeting, and BlueJeans. They can do a screen share of the Android desktop environment, and Zoom can actually maintain a call while docking and undocking the device.
- The Note8 also has 6GB of RAM, over the S8’s 4, so that should mean an even better desktop experience.
(The software-related updates will naturally be coming back to the S8, too.)
In a briefing, Samsung said they have around 100 DeX pilots going on in various industries, like healthcare, public safety, retail, hospitality, and banking; and it sounds like they’ll provide some public references soon. In general, the Note8 is positioned with a greater emphasis on business use cases than the S8.
At the end of my Galaxy S8 review, I said that the DeX experience could use some refinements, but it actually works and performs fairly well, and it could be the right tool for certain types of jobs; I concluded by saying that Samsung should certainly put work into developing this further. I’m pleased that they have.