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It's easy to forget that today's ordinary smart devices are essentially portable supercomputers. Your smartphone is thousands of times more powerful than the earliest computer model. Still, desktops and laptops have always offered an experience that phones couldn't. Until recently, at least. Samsung DeX has helped Samsung lead the charge for turning smartphones into desktop computers that can do it all.

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DeX is a tool that promises mobile-powered desktop computing. The feature works with most of the best Samsung phones released since 2017, as well as most Galaxy tablets. If you have a Samsung smart device and the right type of monitor, you might not need to look for that new computer after all.

What you can do with Samsung DeX

Samsung DeX offers a desktop computer experience that you can use in a lot of the same ways as a standard computer. You can attend work conferences, spend hours gaming, or tinker with creative projects. If you want, you can use your phone on the side while it powers DeX. Think of it like a computer that's powered by your Samsung device. As long as whatever you do is supported by Android, you should be good to go.

Image shows a person sitting in front of a keyboard, monitor with connected smartphone, and graphs open on the monitor.
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DeX-enabled devices don't need to download an app to use the feature. It starts automatically, or a notification appears when you connect your device to a monitor. For devices that support wireless DeX, you'll find a DeX button in the quick panel settings by swiping down from the top.

Four ways to set up Samsung DeX

There are a few ways you can set up Samsung DeX. Each method is simple. Still, it helps to be familiar with them before diving in. Don't forget to pair a mouse and keyboard with your device for the complete experience. This section isn't a detailed guide. It's more of a first look. If you need specific instructions, you'll find them on the .

Connect to monitor wirelessly

You can connect wirelessly if you have the right hardware. As far as the monitor goes, you need a TV or monitor that supports Miracast. Throw in a Samsung device that supports wireless DeX with a shared Wi-Fi network, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Image shows a hand holding a phone out in front of a wirelessly connected monitor.
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Connect to a monitor with a cable

If you don't have a monitor that supports Miracast, you can connect your Samsung device to a monitor using an HDMI adapter or USB-C cable if the monitor has a port for either. More phones and tablets support this version of DeX.

Image shows a phone connected to a monitor with a cable on the left and a phone connected to a laptop with a cable on the right.
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Use stand-alone mode with tablets

Most Galaxy tablets can become a desktop without an additional monitor. With enough screen space already available, all that's missing is the mouse and keyboard. Connect a Book Cover keyboard to your tablet and enable DeX to get started.

Person about to use Samsung DeX tablet

Connect to a computer

If you have a computer but need to accomplish some DeX-specific tasks, connect your Samsung device to a Windows or Apple computer with a cable or with Miracast and use it as a DeX monitor. You need to .

Image shows an open laptop with a connected smartphone with DeX running on the set up. A hand reaches toward the track pad.
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The best apps to use with Samsung DeX

There are a ton of great apps that work well with the DeX system. You're bound to find things that work best for you, but it never hurts to have a starting point. Here are some top picks for Samsung DeX apps.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Creating a PowerPoint is easier when you work across multiple apps and resize windows. Plus, all you need is your phone to bring your presentation anywhere you go. Several Microsoft Office tools are useful in this context, but PowerPoint gets the biggest bump.

Google Drive

Many people use cloud storage services like Google Drive to keep files organized between devices. It can be tough to keep the phone version of the app in order. DeX is the perfect tool for this problem. Using Google Drive with your mobile desktop can keep your cloud storage tidy.

The future of mobile-powered computers

Samsung DeX is a glimpse of mobile-powered computing and how it will impact the tech world. It's worth a shot for what it can do now and what it projects to do in the future. If you need a desktop setup anytime soon, consider looking into Samsung's approaching flagship release before wading through a sea of computer hardware.