What you need to know
- Samsung has enabled wireless DeX connections between its Galaxy S21 smartphones and PCs.
- Wireless DeX had been previously available for other Galaxy devices such as the Note 20 series.
- The feature update won't work if you have Link to Windows connected.
Less than a month after the launch of the Galaxy S21 lineup, Samsung is bringing wireless DeX capability to its new smartphone series according to Android Police. Technically, Samsung is bringing the functionality to devices running One UI 3.1, but as of now that list is limited to the S21 series.
Samsung DeX is basically a service that allows you to connect your Galaxy smartphone to a PC (or monitor) and was initially released to great fanfare in August of 2019. It allowed Galaxy users to access apps and features on their phones by just installing an app on their Mac or PC and plugging the phone into the computer. The ability to connect to DeX wirelessly has been around for several months now — since the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 series back in August of 2020, and it has definitely lowered the barrier to using the app for many Galaxy faithful.
As useful as this feature is, there are not surprisingly still some issues and bugs to work out. For starters, it appears that DeX isn't reacting properly to S Pen input with the S21 Ultra right now, so if you want to draw, doodle, or take notes on your phone and see it on your monitor, you're out of luck at the moment. Additionally, wireless connections from the phones to PCs and monitors are currently limited to 1080p, regardless of your screen's resolution.
Finally, it should be noted that Galaxy users who have Microsoft's Link to Windows application set up to connect their Galaxy phone and PC cannot use the wireless DeX functionality without disabling Microsoft's app first. Link to Windows is a similar offering to DeX, but it is one that is arguably more popular and polished, and it is a shame that the two cannot coexist simultaneously.
Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
If only Link to Windows worked reliably.
Link to Windows "arguably more polished" than DeX, I don't think so. DeX is a fully functioning multi-windowed desktop that can run on a Windows host, directly on a monitor/tv, or on a lapdock. LtW is functionally inferior with an app running in a phone shaped window, with abysmal latency and stuttery refresh plus a couple of built-in facilities like messaging and photos.
Dex was released in August 2018.
I absolutely love DeX! I have used AutoCAD on DeX wirelessly on a large conference room in a meeting and it blew away everyone that I was using my Samsung Note for this kind of work. DeX is the most underrated feature ever! Yes it's not a Windows Office replacement but gosh it's a good sidekick to truly work on the go..not everyone wants to carry a laptop around the office.
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