Samsung has become the latest company attempting to deliver on the promise of a one-size-fits-all computing device, announcing that its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone will be able to double as a desktop computer when paired with an optional docking station.
Dubbed Dex (styled DeX by Samsung itself), the docking station which will be available to all Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners is designed to allow the use of the smartphone as a fully-functional desktop computer. If that sounds familiar, that's because Samsung is far from the first company to attempt such a thing: Continuum was the same thing for Windows 10 Mobile
, and hardly set the world aflame, while Canonical made the ability to double as a desktop computer a major selling point of its failed attempt to crowdfund an Ubuntu smartphone
When locked into the dock, Samsung explained at a launch event late last night, the Galaxy S8 phones will connect to an external keyboard, mouse, and display, and run a customised version of Android tweaked for big-screen use. Interestingly, the company is going a step further than most by partnering with virtualisation specialists Citrix and VMware to allow cloud-hosted Windows applications to run on the device - giving it a leg up over Windows 10 Mobile's Continuum, which can only run Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications.
At the same event, Samsung also unveiled Connect Home, its attempt to enter the smart home market alongside Google's rival Wifi [sic] router platform. Naturally, Connect Home is designed around a Samsung ecosystem: the platform is claimed to tie into the company's range of consumer products using the SmartThings technology Samsung acquired back in 2014, along with support for ZigBee and Z-Wave wireless protocols for third-party devices such as Philips Hue lighting systems.
Pricing for the DeX dock and Smart Connect hubs have not yet been confirmed by Samsung.