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Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus could soon get Note 9’s dockless DeX feature

The feature could arrive with the phone's Android Pie update.

Published onNovember 1, 2018

Samsung DeX Pad
  • The Samsung Galaxy Experience 10 beta on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus supports DeX mode without a dock.
  • A video shows the desktop experience working via a USB-C to HDMI adapter.
  • While the video only shows the S9 Plus, the feature could also come to other Samsung phones.

The upcoming Android Pie and Samsung Experience 10 update for the Galaxy S9 Plus may let users run DeX — Samsung’s phone powered desktop experience — without a dock. A video picked up by XDA Developers shows a Galaxy S9 Plus with the beta version of the update powering Samsung DeX using a USB-C to HDMI cable.

While the video only shows DeX without a dock working on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, and Galaxy Note 8, will also get Samsung Experience 10. This suggests these phones could also be in line to get dockless DeX compatibility.

Currently, the only devices that support DeX without a dock are the Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy Tab 4.

Allowing Samsung flagship phone owners to use DeX without a dock would seriously reduce the barrier to entry for the feature. Currently, the DeX Pad is $84.99 on the Samsung website while the DeX Dock is $149.99. This is a lot of money to pay for a feature if you aren’t 100 percent sure how you will use it. In comparison, a USB Type-C to HDMI adapter can cost under $20.

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For power users, there are upsides to using DeX with a dock. It has USB and Ethernet ports so you can get a fuller desktop experience. Using a dock also allows you to charge your phone while in DeX mode and open up to 20 windows at a time— you can only open five without a dock on the Galaxy Note 9.

DeX is a reasonably new Samsung venture (it was introduced with the Galaxy S8 last year) that allows smartphones to offer a desktop computer-like experience, complete with mouse and keyboard support. Developers can optimize their apps for use with it, but they may not be inclined to invest resources without a large user base already there. If Samsung lowers the entry fee, Dex could become a viable option for more people, which may attract more devs, resulting in better apps and overall experience. It looks like the best approach for Samsung if it wants Dex to be a longterm success.

Next up: Using Samsung DeX as a PC for a week – can you really leave your computer behind?