NexDock 2 hands-on: Work anywhere with your Samsung smartphone

Jeffrey Cuebas

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As a person who uses their smartphones for lots of hrs every single working day, the prospective to have just one system ability all of my computing ordeals has been my research for the holy grail. The Samsung Galaxy Take note ten Plus is the most promising contender with Samsung DeX support, but getting to locate an external display, keyboard, and mouse make it additional of a niche circumstance.

Following watching my pal Steve Litchfield share his feelings on the NexDock 2 I frequented the NexDock site and ordered my have. For the previous two months I have been making use of the NexDock 2 with a Galaxy Take note ten Plus and it appears to be like I can leave tablets, Chromebooks, and other computing devices at the rear of with extremely minor compromise.

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NexDock 2 hardware

The NexDock 2 is available for $259 and at present has an approximated one March ship day. It appears to be like a modern-day laptop computer with a thirteen.3 inch sixteen:nine display, edge-to-edge total sizing backlit keyboard, big multi-contact trackpad, a number of ports on the aspect, and 4 speakers. Nevertheless, it has no CPU, no inner memory, and no lover.

It is a moveable terminal for several devices, together with Samsung telephones, Huawei telephones, LG telephones, and the Raspberry Pi. You can also use it as a secondary display for laptops, observe for match consoles, display for HDMI streaming media sticks, and additional. It is really a relatively good notion that Samsung should have available with its DeX-able smartphones.

The brushed aluminum end of the NexDock assists you keep on to the system. There are 4 big spherical rubber pads on the bottom corners to preserve the NexDock 2 secure on a table. There are 10 little screws on the bottom, but I haven’t still cracked into it to see what is actually inside of.

On the still left aspect you will locate a HDMI port and a few USB-C ports. Every single port has a extremely certain use and they are not interchangeable like you may possibly be used to on a laptop computer or Chromebook. The HDMI port serves as an HDMI input port for when you link a Raspberry Pi, other laptop computer, or other system to use the NexDock 2 as a observe.

The furthers aft USB-C port is used to cost up the NexDock, the middle just one is for connecting the Y-splitter to the Raspberry Pi, and the forward just one is used to link to your smartphone.

One particular the ideal aspect you will locate a USB-A port, 3.5mm audio port, and a microSD card reader. The USB-A port can be used to link a mouse, keyboard, external challenging generate, USB memory stick, and additional.

NexDock includes all you will need to get connected in the retail bundle. You will locate a 60W USB-C PD charger to cost up the NexDock 2, US/United kingdom/EU/AU charger plug heads, braided USB-C smartphone cable, USB-C to USBA and microUSB Y-splitter cable, HDMI to HDMI cable, HDMI to micro HDMI adapter, and a microUSB to USB-C adapter.

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Technical specs of the NexDock 2 include things like:

  • Screen: thirteen.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
  • Audio: 4 1W speakers
  • Battery: six,800 mAh
  • Proportions: 317 x 215 x fifteen.nine mm and 1420 grams (3.thirteen lbs)

Connecting with Samsung DeX

Push and keep down the ability button on the NexDock 2 for a couple of seconds until eventually you see the text, “NexDock is all set to link” on the display. Plug the USB-C cable into your Samsung telephone and enjoy the magic take place. The total DeX interface will show up on the NexDock 2 display even though your telephone can nonetheless be used for other items. You can change to screen mirroring manner too if you want, but very first fully check out DeX.

There are a ton of goods at the bottom of the display with an app launcher, recents, home, and back buttons in the lower still left. You can also designate apps to show up in the taskbar just to the ideal of the back button.

Around on the ideal bottom corner you will locate DeX controls, Fast Manage buttons, notifications, and buttons for keyboard, quantity, screenshot, finder, and calendar.

You can resize apps, toggle to total screen manner, lower windows, see a number of apps at the very same time, and additional. You can even pick out to have the trackpad pointer lengthen off of the NexDock 2 display on to the telephone display, which might do the job effectively once I get my Mountie bracket in hand. Unfortunately, you can not drag apps to just one aspect or the other to set them into split screen manner.

Two fingers can be used on the trackpad to scroll. 3 fingers slid ideal and still left can promptly change you in between open up apps. Purpose buttons can be used to management smartphone and NexDock 2 features this kind of as quantity, screen brightness, keyboard backlight, and additional.

Connecting with Huawei and LG telephones

Although Huawei telephones are no for a longer period easily available in the US, I was able to test out a Mate 20 Professional with Straightforward Projection. Although not as fully designed as Samsung DeX, a related desktop interface appears on the NexDock 2 when you link by way of USB-C.

Although doing work on this critique I go through that LG telephones upgraded to Android ten would perform with the NexDock 2. I upgraded a Korean model of a LG V50 ThinQ and it did without a doubt do the job. This practical experience was extremely standard although with nothing at all additional than bigger apps appearing on the NexDock 2. Foreseeable future Android telephones may possibly do the job with the NexDock as effectively offered this glimpse of what we see is probable with Android ten and later.

At very first I examined my OnePlus 7T Professional 5G McLaren and saw it supported screen mirroring manner, but no extended desktop see was available. A little bit of exploring and I located a XDA Builders post that served me get this doing work too so now I have a 5G enabled laptop computer for my commute.

A Google Pixel 4 was examined with no desktop manner available. I comprehend that the Pixel 4 does not have display out support, but possibly we will see it in the upcoming.

Everyday use ordeals

As a person who spends about two hrs a working day commuting on a educate who normally has my telephone in hand, I was hunting for some thing to lengthen the phone’s potential to provide as a do the job platform. Employing this new NexDock 2 prompted me to even more check out DeX and what I could do with it.

I ultimately explored my engineering firm’s VDI remedy and set up VMware Horizon on the Take note ten Plus. With VMware Horizon and the NexDock 2, I no for a longer period have to remmber to grab my laptop computer and carry it just about everywhere. With the Take note ten Plus and the NexDock 2 I was able to critique and develop Microsoft Job ideas, operate my vessel hydrostatics software package, entry our total timesheet software package, and additional. I am now able to do the job off of my telephone just like I have a total Home windows laptop or computer in hand and am extremely delighted with this remedy.

Considering the fact that I’m a T-Cell client, I get free world-wide-web on my telephone when I fly with Alaska and now I can lengthen that world-wide-web to the NexDock for a far better significant screen do the job practical experience. I also like to enjoy videos when I commute or travel and with the NexDock 2 I can use Google Perform Videos, Disney +, and Netflix in DeX manner. Amazon Key Online video and Videos Anyplace do not do the job with DeX, but just change the NexDock into screen mirroring manner and then video clip operates completely on the sixteen:nine component ratio display. Audio also performs out of the NexDock so I can link my Bose wired headphones and get pleasure from film material all served up from my telephone.

There are also lots of apps that are optimized for the Samsung DeX practical experience so you get a number of columns and extended sights over what a smartphone structure would commonly exhibit. I located that Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and Telegram do the job splendidly with the significant thirteen.3 inch NexDock 2 display. Microsoft Teams and lots of other apps are sadly not optimized for DeX.

Also: Samsung DeX 101: Flip a Galaxy telephone into your most important laptop or computer

The two finger scrolling on the trackpad is opposite what I commonly use on a laptop computer, but there is no way to change this orientation as it is established by the telephone utility and DeX won’t have this environment. When I swipe by fingers down the display moves up the screen. I’m used to “pulling down” the display material when I move my fingers down. BTW, there are still left and ideal simply click corners on the trackpad too.

Over-all, I am extremely delighted with the practical experience of the NexDock 2. It is really awesome to have my mobile connection, all of my material, and all of my settings maintained on the telephone even though getting a laptop computer practical experience with extremely minor compromise. I no for a longer period have to fear about tethering a laptop computer to a telephone, lacking some knowledge on just one system that then has to be shared to one more, or hoping I do not develop a security problem. The NexDock 2 even serves as a powerbank for your telephone and when you update your telephone your NexDock 2 will get updated.

In purchase to use the NexDock 2 on the educate, I ordered a Mountie clip to keep my Samsung telephone to the aspect of the display. The Samsung DeX and NexDock 2 remedy is awesome and Samsung should severely look at displaying this off to assist expand DeX as a feasible company remedy.

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