If you’re quick and pre-order the just-unveiled Galaxy Note 8 from the likes of Three, EE and O2, you’ll get a Samsung DeX free of charge.
Compatible with the S8, S8 Plus or Note 8 and usually sold separately for £139, it’s a neat little add-on that lets you use your handset as a desktop computer.
So, how exactly does that work? And why would you want it to? Read on as we unpick five key things you need to know about the Samsung DeX.
1) How the Samsung DeX works
The Samsung DeX looks rather like a docking station that you’d typically use for charging your phone and for that alone. But the difference with the DeX is that as well as having a built-in stand for your phone and ports for two USB cables, it’s also got ports for an LAN cable and an HDMI cable too. This means that you can connect your PC monitor, keyboard and mouse to your smartphone and use it just like you would a regular desktop.
But what’s the point of this? Well, some things are just easier with PC accessories. Typing long emails, for example, is much faster when you have an actual keyboard as opposed to the touchscreen on your phone. And flipping between tabs and watching YouTube videos is definitely better on a big screen.
2) It works with your apps
Pretty much anything you can do on your Samsung S8 or Note 8, you’ll be able to do on a PC monitor using the DeX. But with the option of using a bigger monitor, as well as your mouse and keyboard to make many everyday tasks much simpler.
So you can use your Microsoft apps and internet browser as you would normally at work, as well as your calendars and messages on your phone, all on one device. You can also answer phone calls or reply to texts without having to move from your monitor.
And come home time, just unplug your phone and carry on working on that project or watching that TV show on the train, without having to lug your laptop with you.
But does this mean you can get away with sending sneaky texts from your desk or beating your highest score on Candy Crush when you’re supposed to be working? Well, I’ll test this and get back to you. But in theory, yes.
3) It charges your phone as you do it
I know what you’re thinking. This will completely drain the battery and the phone will be dead within a matter of minutes.
Well actually, this lightweight device will charge your phone as you use it. Consequently, you could take it to work with you, use your Galaxy handset and DeX instead of your PC all day, and still go home with a full tank of battery.
4) It won’t make your phone overheat
You might also be worried that this kind of usage will make your phone overheat. After all, most smartphones can get pretty toasty when they’re made to work hard.
But handily, the DeX comes with an in-built cooling fan to keep your device from overheating while you’re working.
The upshot is you can work all day without worrying that your phone is going to have a hot flush.
5) It’s great for gaming and watching videos
Although the Samsung S8 and the Note 8 both have stunning Infinity Displays that are expansive by smartphone standards, they’re still pretty small when compared with a wide-screen monitor. That means the DeX is actually pretty useful if you want to use your phone without having to reach for your reading glasses.
Just plug the DeX into your monitor and you can play Angry Birds or watch those home videos on a much bigger screen without any faffing around. Which means that you won’t all have to crowd round your phone next time all your friends are over and you want to show them your latest cat video.