When I first learned about Samsung Dex, I got super excited. Could this really be the future of computing? I asked myself that question. And then the reviews came out saying it’s not worth it and I never bothered to give it a try.
About a month ago, while researching the Note 20 Ultra, I came across the improvements Samsung had made over the years. So, I decided to buy a Note 20 Ultra and give Samsung Dex a shot. After using Samsung Dex over the past couple weeks, here are my thoughts.
I also made a video documenting some of my experience here
Setting up Samsung Dex
Setup was incredibly easy. I use a Macbook Pro that only has USB C input, so I had an HDMI to USB C cable laying around. That’s all that was needed to start using it. I plugged the cable into my phone and Samsung Dex turned on in a few seconds.
User Interface and Experience
Samsung did a pretty good job with the user interface overall. Everything is nicely laid out and the overall feel is very similar to Chrome OS. I was able to connect my Apple mouse and keyboard pretty easily and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a lot of the shortcut keys worked with Samsung Dex. I could adjust the brightness, volume, and playback controls directly from the keyboard.
In terms of issues, I had a couple. For some reason, the scroll gesture didn’t work on my Magic Mouse and I experienced slight lag while typing things. Both things can easily be fixed with a software update I believe.
I also like that Samsung lets users navigate by using the phone as a trackpad. It worked beautifully and I was quite impressed by the different gesture options Samsung provided.
I work in marketing, so a lot of my time is spent working in Google Docs and Sheets. Samsung did a great job optimizing their browser to provide a desktop like experience. I was able to access the desktop versions of almost all websites I commonly visit without any issues. I was able to use Google Docs without any issues and everything worked well. If you are using dark mode, I’d recommend switching to light mode as dark mode changed white backgrounds to black in the browser.
To test the functionality further, I completed forms and tried downloading and uploading files using the browser. Everything worked quite nicely and I was able to upload files without any issues in most places. For some reason, Google Drive wouldn’t let me drag files to upload, which was an interesting quirk.
One of the biggest surprises was the number of tabs I could keep open on this thing. I opened 13 tabs while having a couple more apps open in the background and it was able to handle that very easily. None of the tabs refreshed while I was testing this, which is something even my iPad can’t do. It really shows the importance of having more RAM in the phone.
In terms of functionality, I’d say the browser is about 70% there. There were a few things that disappointed me. I wasn’t able to play anything on Netflix or Amazon Prime through the browser and the apps didn’t work in full screen. I hope Samsung fixes it in a future update. For Dex to really become a computer replacement, Samsung will need to make sure it’s able to replicate the experience fully and that includes video content and browser extensions.
While not every app is optimized for Dex, I was pretty happy to see extensive support by developers. Almost all Microsoft and Google apps are optimized for Dex, which was great to see. Also, if an app isn’t compatible with the Dex, you can use Dex Labs to resize the windows, which adds a bit of flexibility. It’s not perfect, but it bridges the gap somewhat.
Due to the 12gb of RAM, I was able to keep a lot of apps open. It was great to be able to use Spotify in the background while working on some documents.
One of the things I was very excited to use Dex for was multimedia, so it was a bummer to see that Amazon Prime Video and Netflix weren’t optimized for Dex. I couldn’t get those app to launch in full screen even with Dex Labs. On the bright side, Google Play Movies worked perfectly. So, if you are looking to watch movies through your phone, I’d suggest downloading your content or watching through Google movies.
It was also nice to see some games work pretty well on Dex. I tried Asphalt and it worked perfectly even with my Apple Keyboard. You can definitely game on this thing using a controller and have a console like experience.
I think Samsung really has something special in Dex. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s really good and it’s something I’d love for them to improve over time. I can truly see this form factor being the future of computing.
Samsung Dex can’t replace a PC/Mac yet, but I’m pretty optimistic that it’ll be able to in the future.
Steam Post Click here to see how to join the testing branch. Please note that the hardware mechanic will not be available in older Alpha 11 saves
, since they require changes to the software types, which are embedded in the save file. However, they will still load.
Major changes Image
This update adds conveyor belts
, forcing you to plan out your logistics in more detail than just placing down some printers and some pallets. With conveyor belts comes a lot more options for how boxes travel from printer to courier. They can be routed through walls, floors and even out of a building directly to a parking lot. Image Hardware manufacturing
seems like a natural offshoot from conveyor belts. Hardware manufacturing currently affects how you have to approach console and phone development. You also unlock new hardware contracts with 2 business stars, and you'll receive hardware manufacturing deals whenever a competitor develops a console or phone operating system. Image
Employees will sadly no longer partake in majestic flights through empty elevator shafts. Elevators now require queueing and load balancing
. 2 new larger elevators have been added and each of them has a display showing current floor, load and direction.
The final release of Alpha 11 has been pushed back a couple of times now. It mainly came down to the fact that the convention mechanic hasn't panned out the way I intended, when I brainstormed it. I've decided to make Alpha 11.7 the final update before I release it officially. The convention mechanic has been shelved for now in favor of the new hardware mechanic
. The "updates and expansions" update is still planned and I'm still planning on making it a part of Alpha 11.
Patch notes Alpha 11.7.14 (2020-11-23)
Fixes not being able to load saves with printers or assemblers
Alpha 11.7.13 (2020-11-23) Changes
- Improved chart highlighting
- Auto-complete room has been mapped to a button, to avoid clash with pillar creation
- Fixed inconsequential bugs from room team assignment algorithm
- Undoing destroying printers or assemblers didn't refresh their output sticker
Alpha 11.7.12 (2020-11-22) Changes
- Overhauled market recognition to be more consistent
- Added back simulation of fan loss over time
- Made it easier to gain market recognition intially, depending on profitability of software
- Put keyboard shortcuts on screen when building
- The game will now infer actual room assigment and warn player if there are issues, leading to less lag from pathfinding
- Added meeting status to team window
- Added ability to create pillars by holding Ctrl. Basically rooms without interiors
- Added option to change medium speed multiplier
- Added Teams data overlay to visualize which teams are allowed where
- Added LOAD_FROM_LOCALIZOR console command to download unfinished translations from Localizor.com
- Improved grass and cloud shaders
- The "More shadows" graphics option is now disabled by default in all quality settings
Alpha 11.7.11 (2020-11-12) Changes
- Component assemblers will now stop accepting input when they are outputting finished assemblies, to clear out after a conveyor back up
- Server electricity use now depends on actual usage
- Adjusted server wattage to balance out watt per MB between servers
- Added ability to bind key to move furniture, default M
- Improved table group prioritization for meetings
- Improved data overlay
- Fixed employee data overlays not working when zoomed out
- Fixed game breaking when undoing replacing furniture with furniture that had multiple layers of snapped furniture
- Fixed bottom most tasks sometimes not updating if task panel was full
- Fixed roof dissapearing when room had stairs and wasn't fully covered by room above
Alpha 11.7.10 (2020-11-04) Changes
- Improved data overlay
- Disabled publisher printing deals for hardware products
- Fixed deadlock that had chance to crash game when a print job finished
- Fixed conveyor splitters not updating routing when changing assembler output
- Fixed couriers not prioritizing garage ports in rooms player actually owns or has rented
- Fixed invisible room floors when using garage ports and opaque windows
Alpha 11.7.9 (2020-10-29) Changes
- Conveyor Splitters will now auto-route components to the right assemblers
- Added conveyor belt flow visualization when placing conveyor objects
- Updated Unity version
- Fixed game crashing when loading a game with texture resolution set to low using DirectX
- Fixed floating point bug in sub-market comparison that could tank market recognition, among other issues
- Fixed hardware component icons not showing up on boxes after last patch
- Fixed issue where product boxes would get stuck at garage port because they were empty
- Various other fixes
Alpha 11.7.8 (2020-10-25) Changes
- Added randomization to staff parking prioritization so they don't always park at the same building
- Made couriers prefer garage ports over pallets when choosing parking spots
- Made manufacturing limits work like product printing limits, by not taking current stock into account
- Added extra check to assembler to make sure old manufacturing jobs didn't get locked up by new jobs
- Made assemblers clear out any lingering components from cancelled jobs
- Fixed bug where manufacturing process could get stuck because components were assembled in an order where they wouldn't fit together
- Fixed bug where headphones worn by founder would stick around after quitting game and starting a new one
- Fixed freezing bug from potential deadlock in component machine code when turning on and off
Alpha 11.7.7 (2020-10-24) Changes
- Sped up conveyor belts by 25%, and improved assembler logic and effectiveness calculation
- Increased fridge capacity and added warning when all are empty
- Made it so conveyor belts don't have to line up exactly to connect
- Possible fix for some DirectX + GeForce related crashes
- Fixed not being able to do alpha reviews for hardware products
- Fixed marketing and price warnings being disabled at some point in the past
Alpha 11.7.6 (2020-10-18) Changes
- Manufacturing contracts now pay out on delivery rather than at end of day
- Halved penalty on manufacturing contracts
- Improved component assembler logic for a tiny speed boost
- Capped complaint demands to 25% of current salary
- Fixed employees complaining about having to pee while going to meetings
- Put software category tech lag in tooltips, so Console and Phone won't have wrong unlock year for 3D and Network in UI
- Various other fixes
Alpha 11.7.5 (2020-10-16) Changes
- Added effectiveness stat to printers and assemblers, which is reflected in the manufacturing overlay
- Fixed not being able to change screen resolution on some computers
- Fixed game breaking when starting press release without any selected teams with employees
- Fixed reward count being stuck with unclaimed rewards and permanent unlocks enabled
Alpha 11.7.4 (2020-10-15) Changes
- Made specialization panel in new game screen scale with screen width
- Added progress bars to press releases and warning for missing specialization levels
- Added manufacturing contract warning
- You can now cancel manufacturing contracts with no penalties if you haven't started printing yet
- Removed screen refresh rate options, as they aren't used in windowed fullscreen mode
- The penalty from raising the price of a product now slowly decays over a year
- Fixed couriers not prioritizing garage ports correctly
- Fixed box elevator not being valid in basement
- Fixed employees getting stuck in other teams' bathrooms and complaining about a lack of seating after the sink was added
- Fixed bugged human color mapping, causing all-blue staff members
- Fixed publishing deal not resetting when changing software type or category
- Fixed Employees tutorial
- Fixed employees getting stuck in parking structures after panicking over burglars
- Various other fixes
Alpha 11.7.3 (2020-10-12)
Fixed boxes and printers not being simulated when skipping time
Alpha 11.7.2 (2020-10-12) Fixes
- Fixed contracts not refreshing on pre-alpha 11.7 saves
- Fixed game breaking when trying to pick component outputs on pre-alpha 11.7 saves
- Fixed game breaking due to AI changes in couriers being incompatble with pre-alpha 11.7 saves
- Fixed instances of boxes getting stuck
Alpha 11.7.1 (2020-10-12) Changes
- Added hardware toggle for software categories, making them physical distribution only and altering their sales simulation
- Added hardware manufacturing, allowing players to print products from components using a series of printers and assemblers
- Added hardware contracts and made contract generation algorithm pick more varied contracts
- Boxes now have to be transported using conveyor belts
- Elevators are now simulated with limited capacity and load balancing
- Added security desk to micro manage security staff locations
- Employees' work timer no longer starts until they have walked into the office, and they offset their arrival time by how long their commute takes
- Default room style has changed to drywall and concrete floors to encourage player customization
- Overhauled look of UI
- Heavily increased payout from bigger contracts
- Updated default rent buildings and added a new building for hardware manufacturing
- Added TOGGLE_SPEC_CAP console command
- Fixed bug causing software with categories overriden in mods to always be priced at 0, making the AI bankrupt constantly
- Fixed not being able to override name generator when modding existing software with no categories
- Fixed bug where bus could get stuck waiting all day for employee that didn't plan on using it
- Fixed bug in path calculation causing employees to lose several meters every day when playing at max speed
- Fixed snapped furniture not always getting corrected to avoid wall clipping, causing PCs to not line up with chairs
- Fixed being able to pick software features unsupported by any OS, as long as OSs had already been selected
- Fixed subsidiary price adding player stock worth twice, making it almost twice as expensive as intended
- Various other fixes
- Old Computer
- 90s Computer
- Modern Computer
- Product printers