Users expecting to obtain better functionality should get the Samsung Galaxy Smart Dock Multimedia Hub that is compatible for select Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S4, & Note 3. It has an 11-pin microUSB connector that can also be used by the Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy SIII. Users can buy the docking station from Amazon and other online stores. The Smart Dock is really just a TV out port, PC dock, charging station and three USB ports combined into one device. These are all useful features and they may make up for the device’s rather steep price. It’s worth noting that the dock needs an external power source to operate.
- Place the 11-pin connector with the compatible socket at the bottom of your Galaxy S4 unit. When connected properly, the device will emit a distinctive audible tune. The docking station leaves about 2mm of space behind the unit, so owners planning to customize their cases, should refrain from making their device too thick.
- By default, the device will show a calendar, which integrates with the S-Planner. The docked interface is very customizable; users can add or remove shortcuts from the view completely, by choosing the “Hide Shortcuts” option. Users can’t access standard apps, since it’s not possible to slide the main interface. The Air Gesture should still work when users access the gallery.
- Choose “Settings” to hide the status bar and the calendar. However, when the unit is left alone for awhile, it will display the clock and the weather.
Three USB ports on the Smart Dock can be used for a variety of purposes:
- TV Out: TV sets and monitors come with different refresh rate and screen resolution. On monitors with lower resolution, the user interface should feel very slick on the monitor and very responsive as if it’s on the Galaxy S4 itself. But while everything looks sharper, users could be disappointed at how more sluggish it would respond. It is also not possible to watch YouTube videos on landscape orientation on the TV, while users dock the device.
- Gaming: It is possible to attach PS3 controller to the Smart Dock to improve experience when playing with Android games. Compared to the earlier Galaxy S3, users should get better graphics with the S4, but not necessarily higher frame rates, since the monitor needs to process higher frame rates. Because maintaining acceptable responsiveness is more important, it would be nice if Samsung offers a way to force the monitor to use lower screen resolution.
- Multiple charging: The Samsung Smart Dock can charge up to four devices, with the Galaxy S4 on the cradle and three other devices such as tablets and other smartphones, connected to the USB ports.
- Home Theater: Users can hook the Smart Device up to their home theater set if it’s equipped with an HDMI output. As an alternative, users can also use headphone jack and 3.5mm-to-RCA cord.
- Computer-like experience: This could be where the Smart Dock really shines. Users can hook up wireless keyboard and mouse; as well as connecting the device through an HDMI input. Almost instantly, they can get a computer-like capability, since they can edit documents easily.