Replacing Your Desktop PC With a Smartphone
Modern smartphones are almost on par with desktop PCs in terms of RAM and CPU power. Can we replace a computer with a smartphone? Samsung is investing time and money for years in DeX technology. How usable is it? Let’s try to figure it out.
I recently wrote about my experience of using Raspberry Pi 4 as a desktop replacement. This was generally very positive, however, the effective usage of the Raspberry Pi requires some Linux knowledge. Samsung DeX, by contrast, is aimed at a wider audience. The idea is that when connected via HDMI, the Android operating system can be used in a “desktop mode.”
This article was made on a smartphone. Let’s see how it works.
Why do we need this?
The initial question is probably “why”? First, my personal reasons are comfort, ecology, global warming, and energy footprint — the desktop PC consumes more electricity, makes more noise and more heat. As a software developer, I have a powerful PC that I use for my work, but when I type a text like this, I do not need a computer with a Core i7 CPU, 1060 GPU, and 500W power supply. Second, just out of engineering curiosity, I want to try something new. Third, if it works, then in some cases it will be possible not to take a laptop, but only a smartphone and an HDMI-adapter — which significantly saves weight and luggage space. On a business trip or vacation, this can be convenient. And finally, we get a compact and powerful device for almost free — of course, if you already have a good smartphone. My Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely not on the cutting edge now, but it looks still good enough to try.
Actually, the “hardware” is the smartphone itself, but in order for it to work, we need a special device — a USB-C to HDMI adapter, which can connect a monitor to the smartphone. There are different adapter types. I took a special one, capable of not only connecting keyboard and mouse but also supplying power to the smartphone, otherwise, I will have to think about the phone battery discharge.