How to Use Samsung Note 9 DeX with Cable


Samsung’s desktop experience — also known as DeX — has been growing in popularity since the 2017 launches of Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. But up until now, we’d to make use of a separate DeX docking Station that was upgraded later to the Samsung Dex Pad upon the unveiling of the Note 8 as well as Galaxy S9. Purchasing this separate Dex docking Station was necessary to enter the desktop mode because the dock was primarily needed for its internal fan, which ensured that the device stayed cool and also fed power to the smartphone while in DeX mode.


Powered by the robust Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood, the Galaxy Note 9 is a real workhorse, featuring 6 GB RAM to bring about smooth multitasking and fast smartphone performance. It packs a 4000-mAh battery that has 21% more capacity than the cell that came with the Note 8. But that’s not all the goodies as the Korean device maker included an advanced water-carbon cooling system that provides a large pipe and makes sure the mobile would run cool even when it has intense loads. All these specs and features resulted in the ability to run the Samsung desktop experience with just a USB-to-HDMI cable.

How can I setup Samsung Note 9 DeX with cable? Will my Galaxy Note 9 Note 9 heat up if it is exposed to an intense DeX session? In this post, we will address all these questions and other related ones that you have in mind.

Mobile Desktop Experience That Came Before Samsung DeX

If you follow developments in the smartphone scene when its popularity soared in 2009–2010, you would know Samsung, with the DeX mobile desktop experience, is not the pioneer in this kind of innovation. Motorola Atrix 4G was released in 2011 with the powerful NVidia Tegra 2 AP20H chipset powering the unit. This chipset provided superior GPU performances in comparison with its rivals in the early days and was also powerful enough to feature dual-boot functionality, which the more advanced users would love.

The smartphone has a similar issue with the previous DeX iterations as it required the use of a docking station. The docking station offered by the Motorola brand was more of an all-in-one setup that featured a keyboard, the dock, USB ports, along with a built-in screen that provides a 960 by 540-pixel resolution display. These are still okay by modern standards. As regards specifications, the Atrix smartphone was quite impressive, and it was also sold at similar prices with other flagship phones at that time.

Procedure to Set up Samsung Note 9 DeX Using a Generic HDMI-to-USB Type C Cable

Samsung Note 9 DeX guide

Setting up the Note 9 DeX is quite straightforward. You would an HDMI-to-USB Type C cable. Plug it in the monitor and your smartphone, and DeX will initiate the startup process, immediately. (If possible, use a Samsung-brand accessory; though a generic one is also cool.)

You would notice it takes some time to boot up. The Note 9, unlike the DeX Station that worked almost immediately, took quite a while to power up the monitor when a cable is used. But if you used a Samsung-brand accessory, it could work faster.

You can consider pairing a Bluetooth keyboard with any mouse of your choice, either before entering DeX or once you’re in there (via the DeX settings). If you have no peripherals attached, your Note 9 turns itself into a touchpad for mouse control. Tap on a text field so the mobile phone’s virtual keyboard can come up, to write with it.

The default setup is to enable the screen duplication view (simply the portrait mode of your Galaxy Note 9 home screen). You can select your choice from a range of options from the drop-down menu, keeping the default view, enabling the DeX view and enabling the DeX view as you make use of the Note 9 as a trackpad for operating the mouse. You would find this last option useful when there is no Bluetooth mouse. While making use of the dual screen view, you will notice almost zero lag when you switch the display.

If you want to switch to either of the DeX modes, a small boot is required. This normally takes about 5 seconds to complete, while still ensuring your Samsung Note 9 remains powered.

Speed and Productivity

We did not experience any loss of productivity power in comparison with our past experiences with similar dedicated DeX docks. The Galaxy Note 9, quite impressively, kept multiple windows open without any issue.

We launched Chrome browser and loaded 2 tabs of a website, a YouTube window (in which a 1080p video was playing in the background), the Play Store (for downloading PUBG, a heavy game), the gaming app itself as well as a window of Facebook to get a good measure.

The Note 9 could keep all of them open and ensure they ran without a hitch. While PUBG and the Facebook app will “freeze up” once you click away from their window, they’ll resume the work where you left off when you focus on them again.

Heat and Power Drain

All these sound well and good. But how fast do they drain your battery, and do they make your device annoyingly hot? Since the USB Type-C port is already in use by the HDMI adapter, you won’t be able to use it for charging the smartphone while working.

During the test conditions we mentioned above (with Chrome, YouTube, Facebook, Play Store, and PUBG app all open onscreen), we discovered the battery drains at a rate of around 10 percent for every 20 min. of usage. Put in another way, your Note 9 should be able to provide 3hrs. of intense work while in DeX mode, which is quite decent.

As regards heat, the device performance gave us a pleasant surprise: It was warm to the touch, but wasn’t hot in any part, around 30 mins into making use of the setup.

Wrapping Up

In sum, DeX on the Note 9 works with an HDMI-to-USB Type C cable just as well as it’d when a dedicated DeX dock is used. It is an amazing solution for you if you need to connect to a large screen and a keyboard, on-the-go, to complete a quick task or two. Also, Samsung offers a multi-port adapter for sale, allowing you to connect a power cable, a single USB accessory, as well as an ethernet cable, to your phone all at once.

But we believe a DeX Pad still remains your best choice, particularly if you are the kind of user who likes to spend more time in DeX. With the dock’s fan, you can be sure that your phone will operate at cooler temperatures. This capability is definitely better for device longevity. It comes with 2 USB ports for a wired keyboard and mouse. And it will equally supply power to ensure that you do not drain your battery as you work in DeX.

You will even find that the choice becomes even easier when you know the price differences. A Samsung-branded HDMI adapter costs $50 and the multi-port HDMI adapter $80, whereas the DeX Pad is only $72 now. And the latter option is still light and portable to carry about. Thus, it is definitely worth opting for.

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