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How to get started with Samsung DeX and the Galaxy S8

The Samsung DeX Station turns your Galaxy S8 into a fully fledged Android PC, but what do you need and how do you get started? Let's find out.

Published onMay 4, 2017

You hear the phrase often that smartphones are as powerful as a PC, but are they really? Samsung certainly thinks so and the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus come with an optional extra that literally put this to the test. Called Samsung DeX, it takes the concept of smartphone-as-a-PC and makes it a reality with its DeX station, charging throughput, and USB and HDMI ports. If you’ve got the Samsung DeX, here’s how to get started.

To use DeX, you’ll need an external display (TV, Monitor or Projector) with HDMI support, additional keyboard and mouse (wired or wireless), the Samsung fast charger that came with your Galaxy S8, and any other peripherals you want to use. We recommend going with the wireless keyboard and mouse as this can free up either one or both of the USB ports on the DeX station, but make sure whichever you pick is compatible with Android smartphones.

Once all of this is ready, getting started with Samsung DeX is quite simple:

  • Connect the DeX Station to the display using a HDMI cable.
  • Connect the Samsung branded fast charger to the DeX station.
  • Connect the keyboard and mouse:
    • If you want to use a wired keyboard and mouse, you can plug them directly into the USB ports.
    • For Bluetooth keyboards and mice, you’ll need to set them up on the Galaxy S8 before docking your phone, otherwise they won’t work. 
      • Hot tip: If the mouse and/or keyboard doesn’t want to pair with Android and includes a USB dongle in the box (like the Microsoft Mobile Mouse we used), then connect the USB dongle into the USB-C to USB adapter in the box of your Galaxy S8, connect it to your phone and then you’ll be able to pair.
      • Once paired, just leave it plugged into one of the USB ports on the back of the DeX station.
  • Slide the top of the DeX Station down and place your Galaxy S8 inside, making sure to properly connect it to the USB-C port.

Your phone screen will then go black and the monitor should then display the Samsung DeX logo as seen at the top of this post. Samsung DeX follows the same security options as your Galaxy S8, so whether it’s a pattern, pin, iris or fingerprint recognition, you can use it to unlock Samsung DeX.

It’s worth noting that you can’t change a lot of options – including your security settings – when in DeX mode, only when using the phone alone.

Did this help you get started with Samsung DeX? Do you have any other tips for Samsung DeX newbies? Let us know in the comments below and if you’re not sure whether your Galaxy S8 is really up to replacing your PC, check out our full Samsung DeX review!