Targus has introduced a new smartphone dock that not only lets you charge your phone, but which also lets you basically use your phone as a full-fledged desktop computer.

The new Targus Universal USB-C Phone Dock has HDMI, Ethernet, audio, and USB ports, a built-in microSD card reader, and the dock is compatible wish Samsung DeX software, which lets you run Android apps in a desktop-like environment when hooked up to an external display.

The dock has an adjustable stand that allows you to set your phone at a 60 degree of 75 degree viewing angle, and allows you to hook up your phone to a range of accessories thanks to a selection of ports including:

  • HDMI (4K@60Hz output)
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port with 18W passthrough power
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports
  • 1 x Ethernet port
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 1 x microSD card reader

Targus says its new universal smartphone dock will be available in August with a list price of $120, which makes it a bit pricier than some other solutions. But the Targus dock is a versatile solution that was also developed in partnership with Samsung to support features like using the SD card slot with Samsung’s Knox secure environment.

The company notes you can also use the dock to join video conferencing calls using either the phone’s front or rear cameras since, with the phone hooked up to an external display, it doesn’t matter whether the screen is facing you or facing away.

While a key selling point is support for Samsung’s DeX software, I suspect the dock would also work with non-Samsung phones that support display output via a USB-C port, including Linux phones like the PinePhone and Purism Librem 5.

press release

via SamMobile

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9 replies on “Targus USB-C Phone Dock turns your phone into a desktop (Samsung DeX compatible)”

  1. This sounds like the connectivity is there. But you would want to adjust (zoom/reformat) the video output when hooked up to a desktop monitor. As a simple example, the app icons on a phone launch screen are relatively large so that you can easily touch the desired app icon with your thumb without a lot of precision. When using a desktop monitor and a mouse, the app icons on the start screen are relatively small (in proportion to the display). Is there a way to do this zooming/reformatting on an Android phone?

    1. Yes, even with one screen you can adjust the virtual DPI setting to grow or shrink display elements. Most companies that offer a specific docked mode will drop into a UI that’s closer to windows for familiarity with altered scaling settings. Check out a video of samsung dex for an example.

      1. So this Targus dock doesn’t solve that problem? Used with a stock Android phone it just gives a mirror image of the phone display on the monitor?

        1. if you have android 10 or more there is hidden desktop mode in stock android, enable it in developer setting, you will get good ui and windowed apps

          1. I don’t want to have to bother going through settings and into developer mode every time I dock and undock. I want to push ONE button to easily toggle back and forth.

        2. There are three scenarios:
          1) phone doesn’t support video output (usually true if spec sheet says USB 2.0 for the USB-C port) in which case you get nothing
          2) Phone supports video out but doesn’t have a specific desktop mode, then you get a mirrored display and have to do your own DPI scaling stuff
          3) Phone supports video out and has a specific desktop mode, then it should ‘just work’.

          Xiaomi phones and google pixels don’t support video out so I haven’t had the chance to try it in the past ~5 years 🙁

  2. This looks nice. It’s elegant and versatile. However, I expect that PinePhone owners will prefer to use the $25 Pine Docking Bar instead.

    1. And if you really need USB 3, you can get ugreen USB-C hubs which have all these but cost about $25-30.

      1. Yes, and AliExpress offers various other options for under $20.
        But, of course, none are as elegant as this Targus.

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