Samsung DeX is a clever tool for turning your smartphone or tablet into a desktop PC. Originally introduced with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in 2017, it's become one of Samsung's flagship device features in recent years, and it's only become more powerful as the devices have become more capable themselves.
With a new generation of Samsung smartphones now available, here's how to make the most of this innovative application for the true Samsung S21 DeX (or other compatible devices) experience.
Samsung DeX Supported Devices
Before you can enjoy all the benefits of Samsung DeX, you need to make sure that your Samsung device is compatible. The full list of Samsung DeX supported devices includes Galaxy S8/S8+, Note8, S9/S9+, Note9, S10e/S10/S10+, Note10/10+, S20/S20+/S20 Ultra, Note20/Note20 Ultra, the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Fold2, and the new S21/S21+/S21 Ultra lineup. DeX is also compatible with the Galaxy Tab S4, Tab S5e, Tab S6, Tab S7, and the Tab Active Pro.
A DeX dock used to be a pre-requisite to make use of the feature, but that's no longer the case. Today users can make use of the specialized Samsung DeX cable, Dex station multiport adapter, or its HDMI adapter. Cable Matters has a range of cables and adapters supporting this feature, including a USB-C adapter and a USB-C to HDMI cable.
Cable Matters USB-C Multiport Adapter Hub with DisplayPort
Cable Matters USB-C Multiport Adapter Hub with HDMI
Cable Matters USB-C to HDMI Cable
How to Use Samsung DeX With a Dock or DeX Cable
Whether you want the Samsung DeX 21 experience or have an older device you want to use Samsung DeX on, the setup is the same.
- Whether you're using a USB-C DeX docking station or a USB-C to HDMI Samsung DeX cable, plug the HDMI end of the cable into the monitor you want to use for DeX.
- Plug the other end of the cable directly into your smartphone or into the DeX dock. If the latter, then connect your smartphone to the DeX station.
- If you want to use a mouse and keyboard, you need to connect them to your smartphone or the docking station. You can use Bluetooth if they are compatible, or alternatively plug them in using the docking station's USB-C or USB-A 2.0 ports.
You should then be able to begin using Samsung DeX with all the additional functionality brought by a bigger screen and expanded peripherals. You can take advantage of up to 70 apps specifically optimized for DeX, including Windows Office, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, Gmail, Chrome, GoToMeeting, and all of the core Samsung applications, among others.
When you first start up DeX, you'll be prompted to check that the desktop is displayed correctly. If it doesn't, you may be able to use a "Fit to screen" function to quickly adjust it. Alternatively, you'll need to use the scaling settings on your display to make it fit to the boundaries. This is more common on TVs where a specific aspect ratio is prescribed with the device.
How to Use Samsung DeX Wirelessly
Along with the launch of the S21 line of smartphones, Samsung expanded its DeX functionality to include wireless connectivity. If your smart TV supports Miracast, you can use your S21, Galaxy S10, Note10, S20, and Note20 devices, as well as the Tab S7, to use Samsung DeX wirelessly.
All you have to do to enable it, is open the screen mirroring mode on your TV or monitor, then on your compatible smartphone or tablet, pull down the quick menu from the top of the screen and tap DeX. Then select the TV or monitor you want to connect to.
How to Use Samsung DeX With your PC or Mac
Along with using your smartphone as its own desktop PC, Samsung DeX can now be linked with your existing desktop Mac or Windows 10 PC to more easily transfer files and photos between devices, and access all of your notifications, messages, and take calls on a single screen while using your PC.
To enjoy this additional way to use DeX, you don't need a DeX station, or even a specialized Samsung DeX cable. Just plug a high-quality USB-C cable into your phone and connect it to your desktop Mac, Windows 10 PC, or laptop. Alternatively, if your system supports it, you can also use the Miracast wireless connection option. Cable Matters carries quality USB-C cables compatible with DeX Mode.
Cable Matters USB-C to USB-C Data Cable
You'll also need to install the Samsung DeX for PC app, which you can dowload here.
Samsung DeX on PC is supported on the latest generation S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra smartphones, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, S20, Note20, and Tab S7.