Samung’s Galaxy S8 flagship is not entirely unique in its ability to plug into a dock and be used as a computer, and the Nokia 950 Windows Phone flagship proves that by using the same DeX dock to boot into its Continuum Mode. In the two videos below, uploaded to YouTube by gazcart, a Samsung DeX dock is used with a Galaxy S8 to prove its authenticity, then a Nokia Lumia 950 is put onto the dock, and the Continuum interface comes up automatically, with no issues. The dock does not use NFC, which means that everything runs through the USB Type-C connection. In theory, this means that almost any phone with the right software and a USB Type-C port could use the DeX dock.
The DeX dock recognized the Nokia Lumia 950 and booted it into Continuum easily, but there were a couple of issues that those who want to perform this hack should keep in mind. For starters, gazcart seemed to be having some issues with making the setup move windows around, leaving everything in fullscreen mode on Continuum. Second, according to commenters Nathan Testa and Darrell Diaz, the Galaxy S8 cannot use the Lumia 950’s Continuum dock to boot into DeX mode. This means that Galaxy S8 owners who happen to have a Continuum dock of some sort lying around will still have to shell out for a DeX dock, if they want to try Samsung’s take on the desktop-in-a-phone.
Samsung’s DeX solution, as mentioned above, is far from unique, but the Galaxy S8 does have a potential ace up its sleeve in the form of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. That chip is able to emulate x86 instructions, which means that the DeX mode on the Galaxy S8, with a later update and likely Microsoft’s blessing, could possibly run full Win32 apps. Microsoft’s Continuum ecosystem, meanwhile, is certainly not the first attempt at such a setup, but does have the unique advantage of compatibility with a wide range of hardware. While the whole scene can resemble the Motorola Atrix and its lapdock to the untrained eye, the technology being used on both ends here is fundamentally different, which could be the key to its adoption and survival.