samsung dex

Brown’s Bytes – The Mobile Only Challenge: Week 1


2nd February 2018

So, the Mobile Only Challenge is underway…

This update is being written from my Samsung S8 docked in my Dex Station!


So, my Amazon delivery brought me 2 items:

  • The Dex Station
  • A USB-C to HDMI converter

The idea being that I can use the Dex Station when at my desk. When out and about, or when in meetings in the office, I still need to be able to present from PowerPoint. Some displays I can connect to wirelessly, but as a backup I thought an HDMI converter would be sensible. For now, I’ve decided against a VGA adapter, but this is available if needed.

Unboxing and Setup
Overall the experience was pretty impressive. The DeX Station is pretty simple to get going. You need the original Samsung Power supply to power it and it comes with HDMI, Ethernet and 2xUSB ports for hooking this up.

So, I connected it all up, opened up the DeX Station and docked my phone. Pretty impressively the phone just switched straight over to DeX mode first time and presented me with a Desktop not too dissimilar to Windows 10. All seemed to be pretty easy so far!

First wrinkle – you’ll see that my desktop usually has a dual display. The DeX Station simply doesn’t support this as there is only one HDMI port. I thought I could be smart about this and get a super Widescreen display instead (it would have been a good excuse) … luckily before I ordered anything I did check up on this. Unfortunately, it would have been a waste of money. The DeX station outputs 1920×1080 – that’s it. If you have a bigger screen resolution then it’s just going to be a scaled-up output. To be fair this isn’t the end of the world. I can live with just one screen during this Challenge.

Second wrinkle – the Keyboard defaults to US settings. This is easy enough to change, but as is always the case you don’t realise this is a problem until you try to type a character that’s different on a UK Keyboard… just one to watch.


Obviously, we’re still rather early on in my mobile only journey, but to set the scene it’s probably worth listing what I will be using my “desktop” for.

  • Email
  • Office Suite (Word, Excel & PowerPoint)
  • OneDrive for Business
  • SharePoint
  • Skype for Business
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Remote Desktop for test servers
  • Browser
  • WebEx (attending and hosting)

It’s worth pointing out that Mobliciti has fully migrated to using Office 365 – more on this later.

So, the good news is that I have apps available for all of the above and the majority of these apps have been optimised for use with a Samsung DeX.


I can use all of the above on my “Desktop”. Things I thought would be tricky such as hosting a WebEx and even sharing my desktop is possible! That’s pretty impressive to say the least.

The MS Office Suite in particular is good for me so far, but note that it’s designed for Office 365 users. Without this I doubt these apps would be much use.

The biggest headache to date has been the classic issue you have when you switch PCs – migrating all the little things across from one machine to another. In my case the most obvious issue was all my Bookmarks. As you’d expect this isn’t something you would normally have as a consistent across the PC and the Phone. Google Chrome came to the rescue – as it’s the browser I use on both devices I was able to migrate all the bookmarks across by signing in to the browser on both and they magically synced up. Problem solved!

So, I’m up and running and so far, I’m surprisingly pleased by this Mobile Only Challenge…


The question for the following week is going to be whether I find mobile only limitations of this once I start using everything more in anger.