On Wednesday, Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus. As if to read the script of expectations around the world, the new phone features a bigger display, very thin bezels, and high-end specs. However, even though the features and accessories are indeed great, perhaps the main center of attention should be the accessory that actually supports PC convergence or otherwise known as the DeX.
This is basically a shortcut term for the desktop extension. In other words, it is a solution that basically turns the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus into a desktop. It’s easy to use. So, for example, you had decided to type a word document in the bus on your way to work. You can finish the document once you arrive by connecting the Galaxy S8 with the DeX, hooking up the Bluetooth mouse and the Bluetooth keyboard, and you will be good to go.
When the DeX is connected to a monitor, the Android skin in the phone stretches to give you more of the same look as the Windows desktop. It’s a great invention, and in fact, the DeX has a wide range of ports for connection including the USB-C, Ethernet, HDMI, and also the more traditional USB 2.0 that features an added cooling fan to ensure your phone does not overheat. Although the real price of the DeX has not yet been announced, it is expected that the device might top € 150. It’s, therefore, not that cheap.
The idea that you can convert your smartphone into a PC is a dream that has been in the minds of many tech companies. In fact, Samsung is just the latest of many major tech giants to attempt this. Motorola and its Atrix 4G and Asus with its Padfone line are some of the tech companies that have tried to integrate smartphones with PCs. Others include UK-based software maker Canonical, Microsoft with its continuum feature designed for Windows, as well as Jide’s Remix OS that was created to make Android a more friendly design for desktops.
However, it seems like Samsung is taking this concept to the next level. The biggest challenge though for this convergence is the creation of a highly customized software that would be good enough for a full PC. Even though the DeX will work with popular devices, there will still be a few challenges, especially when you consider that Android has not yet made any major strides in integrating bigger screens.
But, even with that, things are definitely looking up. In the recent Android update, Nougat, there were additional concessions to larger screens and the upcoming Android O is expected to take this success further by offering improved keyboard support and more. Well, integrating Smartphone with PCs may be a dream but it’s one that is becoming a reality really fast. It’s only a matter of time before we finally get a breakthrough that will allow smartphone users to easily and effectively converge phones with PCs.