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What is DeX, Samsung’s desktop mode?



Samsung dex logo
Samsung

In the world of gadgets, many attempts have been made to bridge the gap between computers and smartphones. Samsung DeX is one such solution. It̵

7;s a smart experience and you may already have the tools to use it.

What is Samsung DeX?

First of all, the name “DeX” comes from “Desktop Experience”, which perfectly describes what it does. DeX transforms the interface on your Samsung phone or tablet into something more like a Windows PC or Mac desktop.

dex mode user interface
DeX mode interface

The DeX software is built into many high-end Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets. The idea is that you connect your device to a larger screen, keyboard and mouse, and then DeX mode starts. The interface changes to better suit your needs.

The DeX Mode interface is familiar to anyone who has ever used a desktop operating system. There is a “desktop” for folders and apps, a task bar at the bottom and windows that can float and resize. All of this runs from your connected Galaxy device. It’s Android with a special layer on top.

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In the beginning, DeX needed Samsung’s own docking station. The keyboard, mouse and monitor are connected to the dock and then the phone is placed in them to bring the system to life. (In DeX mode, the phone can also be used as a trackpad.)

tablet in Dex mode
Tablet in DeX mode Samsung

Later, Samsung introduced cables that made the docking station superfluous. Now DeX can be started by connecting the phone or tablet directly to a computer with the charging cable, and some Galaxy tablets can run DeX mode directly on the tablet without connecting anything.

Why use DeX mode?

Samsung dex mode

To a lesser extent, smartphones and tablets are not as good for multitasking as desktop computers. It’s hard to beat a keyboard and mouse with a generously sized monitor. But what you gain in productivity, you lose in portability.

We tend to keep much of our personal life on our phones and tablets. The idea behind DeX is that you always have those things right at hand, whether you are on your “computer” or on your mobile device. The software adapts to your environment.

If you don’t need a full desktop PC, a Samsung phone with DeX mode can consolidate devices. You could have a docking station at home to do homework and bring out the phone when you leave. All your stuff will always be with you.

In the case of tablets that can use DeX mode on the device itself, this is just an alternate user interface. The typical Android UI may be better suited to media consumption, but in DeX mode it feels more like a convertible PC.

Which Samsung devices support DeX mode?

DeX is available on most modern Samsung Galaxy smartphones, along with a few Galaxy Tab tablets. Samsung launched DeX on the Galaxy S8 series for phones and the Galaxy Tab S4 for tablets. Any high-end Samsung Galaxy device newer than that has DeX.


Samsung DeX may not have universal appeal, but for those who want more from their smartphone or tablet, it’s a game changer. You don’t have to choose between using a computer or a mobile device. Humans envisioned a future of devices that can change to meet many different needs, and DeX is part of that future.




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