How the Samsung DeX Station Uses USB Type-C and DisplayPort to Create a Desktop Experience for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
With the DeX Station by Samsung, you can now use your Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ phones in the same way as desktop computers. The DeX Station uses USB Type-C to enable USB data and DisplayPort Alternate Mode to allow external display monitors and USB devices like mice, keyboard, and storage to connect to the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ while keeping the phone charged through USB Power Delivery. You can use both Samsung's own Adaptive Fast Charging (AFC) chargers as well as USB Power Delivery chargers to power the DeX Station.
Although Samsung had previously abandoned MHL based wired video technology, with the Galaxy S8 Samsung brought back wired video output technology, this time in the form of DisplayPort over USB Type-C. When used with the DeX, you can connect an external HDMI monitor but unfortunately you don't get the full resolution possible with DisplayPort with Samsung limiting this resolution to 1920 x 1080 but is good enough for general desktop productivity work. By using DisplayPort over Type-C, the DeX Station allows the Galaxy S8 to open multiple applications from the phone onto your monitor in separate large sized windows similar to what you get from a Windows or Chrome operating system experience.
Previously, the Microsoft Lumia 950 had this capability allowing you to get a Windows desktop experience when docked with the Microsoft Display Dock, but this is a great attempt at creating a similar experience for an Android environment.
We purchased the DeX Station at the Samsung Store in SynTrend, a trendy electronics retail building in Taipei, Taiwan. Samsung's store was promoting their latest mobiles and accessories which had the DeX Station along with the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+.
The Samsung store had a large display area promoting DeX and demonstrating how it could be used.
The DeX Station comes in professional retail friendly packaging in style similar to that used by other Samsung accessory products.
Inside the box there's only a Quick Start documentation that is supplied with the DeX Station.
The DeX Station looks like a circular disk which is very compact and easy to carry around.
The DeX Station has a unique design where you just push down one end of the top surface to have the other end slide up. You can then attach your Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ phone on to the exposed USB Type-C connector to start using it.
At the back of the DeX Station, you will find two USB Type-A 2.0 ports, one 10/100 Mbs LAN Ethernet port, one USB Type-C charging in port, and one HDMI 1.4 output port (HDMI is achieved through a DisplayPort to HDMI conversion chip inside the DeX Station). You can use the USB 2.0 connectors to attach your USB peripherals like a mouse or keyboard to create a desktop environment.
The DeX Station also comes with a built-in cooling fan to help keep the phone cooled when docked.
The DeX Station is a great way for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users to enjoy a desktop experience from their phones. It is especially useful when you need to edit multiple documents, access emails, or switch between apps on your phone.
We will be checking in upcoming various reviews how the DeX Station uses USB Power Delivery to communicate with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and which USB Type-C chargers can be used with the DeX Station.
Next in this review, let's take a closer look at how the DeX desktop environment works.