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Hands-on with the new Samsung DeX app for Windows 10

Samsung has released a new app for PC and Mac that transforms any computer into a DeX dock, powered by the Galaxy Note 10. Using just a normal USB cable to connect your PC to your phone, you can turn any PC into a DeX compatible workstation, allowing you to access your phone and Android apps without needing a dedicated DeX dock.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review at Android Central

We've gone hands-on with the new Samsung DeX app (opens in new tab) for Windows 10 to see how it performs, and we're impressed. When it was first announced, it wasn't clear how exactly this feature would be useful, but upon further inspection, its use-cases become much clearer. This is for people who need access to apps only available on Android, and frequently transfer files between their phone and PC.

Now, using the Samsung DeX app, you can access Snapchat, WhatsApp, and every other Android app without needing to use virtualization technology like Bluestacks, or rely on streaming your phone to your PC like with the Your Phone app. What's more, those who use their phones for work no longer need to worry about making sure all their files are available across all their devices. You can just work directly off your phone using the DeX client.

Download Samsung DeX (opens in new tab)

A mobile extension

This app is designed primarily to compliment your PC and not outright replace it. I don't think anyone is using DeX full time, because it just doesn't make sense to, especially if you have a full PC sitting right next to your phone. This is useful for when you need to use an app that Windows doesn't have, or access and share files between your phone and PC.

The DeX experience itself is very Windows-like. You've got your traditional taskbar, system tray, and app menu in the locations you'd expect, plus a few niceties such as app previews when hovering over running apps in the taskbar, and the ability to drag around and resize app windows.

This is what Windows 10 Mobile's continuum mode wishes it was. It's a full-fledged desktop experience with all the bells and whistles you'd expect an OS with a mouse and keyboard to have. It's nice, but I still can't see people opting to use this over Windows.

Of course, the DeX app is just another way to access your phone, with Microsoft's own Your Phone app stepping in to streamline the experience. Your Phone from Microsoft syncs data such as SMS, photos, and notifications to a Windows 10 app, instead of relying on the user to boot into the phone directly.

What are your thoughts on Samsung DeX? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

7 Comments
  • "This is what Windows 10 Mobile's continuum mode wishes it was."
    Umm, This is what Windows 10 Mobile's continuum mode wished it were. Could have been too, had MS not piddled away mobile.
  • This needs to leverage miracast so wires aren't necessary. The approach Microsoft has had to consumerization of business is to ignore it. Short term, this had played out well for them and probably will continue to do so but it's a big risk. The risk is that the control over the client leads to control over services and services can skip Microsoft in the future. I think they should have at leat maintained a presence so that they could have a worthy client at any time they needed to. Instead, the future of cloud services could be jeopardized with no client facing option.
  • Is this coming to the Microsoft Store? Because it's not there now.
  • "I don't think anyone is using DeX full time". I am with my Note9 and a lapdock. I loaned my laptop to my son in April and have used DEX for all my computing needs since then. It works fine for my light home use, the lapdock is crappy but I will be getting a new one very soon when the Nexdock 2 I backed gets delivered. The Linux on Dex feature gives me access to a full desktop browser and I can do everything I need to. I should be getting my laptop back soon, but it will be a second machine to DEX.
  • Was that running on a MS Surface laptop,
    Doesn´t matter what i doo can not gett it running on any PC.... Through HDMI ... on Samsung tv.. Yes... Pc No... Any Tips ???
  • Only note10 can work with the DeX pc app..their new 2019 DeX tablets are not taking notice of this PC app..tryed with S5e on two 13.3 PCs both Porsche Book thrue thunderbolt3 and Xiaomi Air also TypeC port that is valid for PD and 4K60 but no dice with this PC DeX app.
    DeX on OLED TV etc works great, but the DeX PC app, are not valid for any other then Note10 to my understanding??
  • Not correct. Running fine on my Galaxy S10 and Windows 10 PC. I think I did have to reinstall some driver. Unfortunately, I don't remember what I did, but searched on the web and found out to do that. In any case, the official documentation on Samsung site showed S10, etc. as supported.