Samsung DeX is one of the best productivity features offered in Galaxy S9, S9+, S8, S8+, Note 8 and Note 9. You need either a Samsung DeX Station, or a Samsung DeX Pad, or a Samsung DexX cable to enjoy this feature.
This Galaxy S9 accessories guide explains the difference among the Samsung DeX accessories: Samsung DeX Station vs Samsung DeX Pad vs Samsung DeX cable, to help you get the correct DeX accessories for your phone.
What are the available Samsung DeX accessories needed to use Samsung DeX?
To use Samsung DeX, you need one of the following official accessories:
Samsung DeX Station was released in 2017 for Galaxy S8 and S8+. So, in addition to Galaxy S8 and S8+, Samsung DeX station works with all later devices: Galaxy S9, S9+ Note 8 and Note 9.
Samsung DeX Pad was released in 2018 for Galaxy S9 and S9+. So, it officially supports Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9. But in Android Oreo update, Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 can also use Samsung DeX Pad to enjoy Samsung DeX. So, Samsung DeX Pad supports similar devices as Samsung DeX Station unless you haven't updated your S8 (or S8+ or Note 8) to Android Oreo.
Samsung DeX cable was released in 2018 for Galaxy Note 9. Currently, it only supports Galaxy Note 9 (and Tab S4) in DeX mode. For Galaxy S8, S8+, S9, S9+ and Note 8, the cable is identical to other normal USB-C to HDMI cable: you can only use it for screen mirroring without a Chromecast (or Miracast device).
Which phones support Samsung DeX?
As mentioned, currently, you can use Samsung DeX in the following devices:
- Galaxy S8
- Galaxy S8+
- Galaxy Note 8
- Galaxy S9
- Galaxy S9+
- Galaxy Note 9
- Galaxy Tab S4
To use Samsung DeX Pad, Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 must upgrade to Android Oreo. DeX Station does not have this requirement.
Samsung DeX Station vs Samsung DeX Pad: what are the differences?
If your Galaxy S8, S8+ or Note 8 are still using Android Nougat, then Samsung DeX Station is the only choice.
However, in almost all regions, Android Oreo update was released for Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 already, very likely, most owners can use both Samsung DeX Pad and Samsung DeX Station.
- Samsung DeX Station has an Ethernet port, DeX Pad doesn't.
- Samsung DeX Pad package includes all you need to use the DeX Pad: power adapter (wall charger) and HDMI cable; while Samsung DeX Station only includes a station, nothing more.
- If you don't use a mouse and keyboard and need to use your phone as a touchpad, then you will feel Samsung DeX Pad is more comfortable when using the touchpad. DeX Station allows you to use the phone as a touchpad, but it is a bit awkward due to the orientation of the phone when connected the USB C port to the DeX Station.
For Samsung DeX features, the DeX Pad and DeX Station have no differences.
Why is Samsung DeX cable for Galaxy Note 9 only (in DeX mode)?
With a Galaxy Note 9 (and Tab S4), you can use Samsung DeX mode with a Samsung DeX cable. Samsung DeX Pad or DeX Station is NOT required.
But if you use the same cable on Galaxy S9, S9+, S8, S8+ or Note 8, you can only access screen mirroring mode, not the DeX mode (extended mode).
Galaxy Note 9 has an improved thermal management system (both hardware and software) so that it has no issues to launch DeX mode and you can use the phone at the same time.
Samsung mentioned, but not promised Galaxy S9, S9+ or other devices may get this feature through an update in the future.
Please note, when you use the Samsung DeX cable for DeX mode on Galaxy Note 9, you have to use a Bluetooth mouse (and keyboard) or use the phone screen as a touchpad. You have no place to plug any USB devices. You also cannot charge Galaxy Note 9.
When you use the DeX cable, the USB C port will be occupied by the cable, and therefore you cannot use a USB drive to expand the phone storage. While for the DeX Pad and DeX Station, you can use the USB port to connect an external USB drive for Galaxy S9 or S9+.
Can I use a normal USB-C to HDMI cable on Galaxy Note 9 to use Samsung DeX Mode?
Yes, most branded USB-C to HDMI cable or an adapter should work with Galaxy Note 9 DeX Mode.
Actually, Samsung DeX cable is just an extended USB-C to HDMI cable. There are no special functions or features in that cable.
So, if you already have a normal USB-C to HDMI cable or the adapter already, or if you have a USB-C hub with HDMI port, you can use it for Samsung DeX for Galaxy Note 9.
In fact, a USB-C hub can be a better choice (compared to the DeX cable) sometimes when you need to use your PC's keyboard and mouse.
How to use Samsung DeX Station?
Please refer to this guide on how to use Samsung DeX Station.
How to use Samsung DeX Pad?
Please refer to this guide on how to use Samsung DeX Pad.
How to use Samsung DeX cable on Galaxy Note 9?
Please refer to this guide (coming soon) on how to use Samsung DeX cable on Galaxy Note 9 to access the DeX mode.
Do you know the difference of Samsung DeX Station vs Samsung DeX Pad vs Samsung DeX cable?
If you have any questions on the difference of Samsung DeX Station vs Samsung DeX Pad vs Samsung DeX cable for using Samsung DeX on Galaxy S9, S9+, S8, S8+, Note 9 or Note 8, please let us know them in the comment box below.
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For the user guide for new features of Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, please check Galaxy S9 new features guides page.
For using Galaxy S9 and S9+, please check Galaxy S9 how-to guides page.
For using Galaxy S9 camera, please check Galaxy S9 camera guides page.
For accessories for Galaxy S9 and S9+, please check Galaxy S9 accessories guides page.
For the official Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ user guides (in PDF format), please check Galaxy S9 user guides page.