Samsung announced a host of products and updates at a launch event Wednesday morning in New York City. In addition to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, the manufacturer shared details about new versions of the Gear 360 and Gear VR and also introduced a new product called Samsung DeX.
Taking a cue from products like Microsoft Continuum, Samsung DeX allows users to connect handsets like the Galaxy S8 to their desktops and laptops to project a smartphone interface onto a wider display in a PC-like fashion.
DeX features HDMI and USB-C ports and works automatically once connected to a keyboard and mouse. The station projects a Full HD, 1080p resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio onto a display monitor.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 rests in the DeX Station, which also doubles as a wireless charger. Users can authenticate using iris scanning or facial recognition features, to unlock both the Galaxy S8 and the connected computer.
Once unlocked, users will see an interface similar to that of a PC, with a start button and menu and a taskbar, as opposed to a home screen and app tray. The apps originate from the smartphone, instead of living natively on the computer. With Samsung DeX, smartphone applications are optimized for a PC experience. Users can expand windows or make them full screen, something which cannot be done on a smartphone.
Users can also open and view multiple windows at the same time with the same ease of opening several computer programs at once. For example, a user can have the YouTube app open, playing a video in the background, while using the browser app in the foreground. This is not possible a smartphone unless a user subscribes to Google’s paid services, such as YouTube Red or Google Play Music.
Much like a computer, DeX allows users to implement mouse functionality as opposed to a touch screen interface. Users can right click a mouse to access certain tasks, such as copy and paste.
Through various partnerships, users will have optimized computer access to a host of popular mobile apps, including Adobe lightroom and Microsoft Word.
Samsung has not revealed the price or availability details for the DeX station; however, pre-launch rumors suggested a price of €150 or $161. The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be available starting April 21 and some carriers, such as T-Mobile are offering a free Samsung DeX with a Galaxy S8 purchase, indicating the auxiliary product will be available separately by that time.