Phone as PC

Author
Discussion

Armchair Expert

Original Poster:

678 posts

38 months

Tuesday 2nd March
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I have heard of people using their phones as a PC, is it possible?

Lack of USB ports one obvious minus, I need at least 3.

Advice appreciated, I have an Android

The Spruce Goose

27,734 posts

159 months

Tuesday 2nd March
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Huawei Mate 20 X has a desktop mode.

Chozza

625 posts

116 months

Tuesday 2nd March
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Which phone ? Which software on the phone ? and what application do you want to run

You normally do this by plugging in a USB port replicator/hub into the usb-c port on the phone - then use either bluetooth keyboard/mice or whatever is plugged into the port replicator... either casting the display OR using a HDMI port on the replicator.

very much dependant on your phones capabilities - think chromebook rather than windows pc.

huawei P40 pro .. plugged in into the port replicator my laptop usually uses and it asked me if wanted desktop or just replicate a mobile screen .. web versions of word, powerpoints run fine.





AJB88

7,406 posts

135 months

Tuesday 2nd March
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Some have the ability, Samsung does I think, Ubuntu Touch offers it but you need a Ubuntu phone.

ReverendCounter

4,607 posts

140 months

Tuesday 2nd March
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Yes, you can do this but the phone has to have specific features and you'll need a couple of accessories. The phone needs to have either MHL or Slimport output through the USB connector. You'll need an appropriate MHL/Slimport HDMI adapter cable that will split the input and output of the phone's USB into USB and HDMI. You connect a HDMI cable to the adapter, the other end to the monitor input. And in the USB port in the adapter you connect a USB OTG adapter.

This second adapter ('On The Go') lets you use a USB storage device (powered hub if you like, for multiple USB devices) as well as your phone charger at the same time. The USB storage is optional, obvs but its nice to have. In addition you'll need a bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

Then you'll need to mess around with the phone's browser settings to get the phone into desktop mode. There will probably be display options like resolution that you'll need to tweak to get the best scaling of the phone's HDMI output to match the monitor. The above works well, I ran a set up like this for a good while. Didn't even have broadband, landline etc, just used an unlimited data plan.


babelfish

633 posts

171 months

Wednesday 3rd March
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What happens when the phone rings?

Armchair Expert

Original Poster:

678 posts

38 months

Thursday 4th March
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Thanks for the advice, i need to see how much the everything coasts although i have a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

Bathroom_Security

2,215 posts

81 months

Thursday 4th March
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My Samsung has dex which is quite nifty.

indigochim

1,047 posts

94 months

Thursday 4th March
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If you have a modern(ish) Samsung (s9 or newer I think have DEX) or Huawei (I think they call it desktop mode) phone you can use a USB-C hub/dock like this one The phone switches into a different mode more suited to using a keyboard/mouse external screen I bought one to try and it was a very usable solution if you wanted to go lightweight. Unlike the one I linked to you may want to consider one with PD passthrough (this lets you charge your phone and power devices from a PSU rather than the phone's USB port) and I wish I'd bought one with a network port too but most people wouldn't need that. I'd say as a minimum you want a couple of USB A ports, HDMI and Power passthrough.

The talk of MHL and OTG cables is outdated now and I don't think it would be worth going down that route, if that's all your phone supports I'd investigate a 2nd alternative if you're on a budget.

paulrockliffe

12,101 posts

191 months

Thursday 4th March
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Bathroom_Security said:
My Samsung has dex which is quite nifty.
DEX is very good, I would happily use it if you just want to be able to sit at a desk with a proper keyboard and mouse to browse the net, send emails etc. It has a few limitations, but it's great overall and perfectly viable as a PC alternative.

I'm a big fan of having one OS to learn and use, so having all your phone apps there and working is ace. You can install DEX as a wireless thing in Windows 10 too, which is a great way of getting Android apps on PC.