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[Accessory Review Challenge] Turn your OnePlus into a Powerful Workstation with this USB-C Hub!

  1. kiratplusone
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Sep 14, 2020

    kiratplusone , Sep 14, 2020 :
    Hey Community! This is Kirat Alreja, Ex-Student Ambassador OnePlus India. Today I will be sharing my experience of using a compelling yet affordable accessory for OnePlus phones - USB C Dock Station. This little adapter can convert your OnePlus into a SPEEDY workstation where you can - Game, Binge & of course - Work! I have tested the product using my OnePlus 7 (6/128GB).

    Here is a Quick Unboxing & Overview of the Product -


    Build Quality & Ports Overview
    The adapter has a silver aluminium build which makes it feel very premium. It fits in nicely with the OnePlus design aesthetic, thanks to its simple design. However, design or build does not matter over here - Let's talk about what does. This particular adapter from PiBox India has three ports - HDMI, USB-A & USB-C. In my opinion, those are enough for anything & everything you might want to pull off. If you're going to go bonkers, you can extend the capabilities of the device by attaching USB extensions to the USB-A or USB-C port.

    img_20200913_160358.jpg
    One con is that the USB-C port is not Dash-Charge compatible - so even if you plug in your OnePlus cable, your phone won't charge at Dash/Warp speed through this adapter. Other than that, I don't have any issues with the ports. HDMI outputs 1080p comfortably which is more than enough - the adapter says 4k but I doubt if any Android Device on the market has support for the same.

    Turning on Desktop Mode on your OnePlus
    Pre-Android 10, you could only mirror your phone's display using HDMI. With Android 10, Google has added a hidden Desktop Mode which you can enable under Dev settings. Just head over to Dev Settings & toggle these three options. Then, turn off USB Debugging & reboot. That's it! Your phone supports Desktop Mode now. An important point to note here, only OnePlus 7 & 8 Series support HDMI output as of now. Not sure about Nord, but I guess even if it did - the experience would not be worth it.

    Webp.net-resizeimage.png

    Desktop Mode UI Performance
    Since this feature is experimental, it has quite a lot of flaws & bugs. If you try to use it like Samsung Dex, you will be disappointed. However, for most of my purposes like note-taking, slides, Google Docs, Netflix etc. it works flawlessly. Once you connect your phone, you will see an empty desktop which you can fill with your favourite apps. There's also an app drawer like the stock launcher. The good part is you can still use your phone normally while it is connected to a display.

    The bad part, you cannot open apps on your phone if you already opened them on the display. For example, if I used WhatsApp on the external display, I won't be able to open it on my phone unless I clear it from the RAM. I have hooked up a powerful JBL Flip 3 to my monitor through AUX - it was surprising that even audio was flawless, no lag or drops.

    Gaming Test!
    There are tons of games on the Google Play Store, which you can enjoy with a controller. You could play the latest games such as COD: Mobile or Fortnite & also thousands of nostalgic emulation games. I have tried some games & trust me; the experience is terrific. Just hook-up a controller, connect your phone & voila - you have Nintendo Switch-like experience on OnePlus. Not only this - if you use a Cloud Gaming Service, you can legit run PC/Xbox games flawlessly. In India, we don't have any such service yet, so I could not test this properly.

    img_20200913_162226.jpg

    However, the curious geek in me accessed Nvidia Geforce Now through a VPN to test this theory for satisfaction. I was able to run WatchDogs 2 (a high-end AAA title from Ubisoft) at full 1080p resolution and constant 60fps. Due to VPN, there was a significant lag during gameplay - which would be eliminated if you officially have access to these services.

    Anyways, let me show you a peek inside how its like gaming using this adapter. Here is a short gameplay of COD Mobile running at the highest settings. Blows my mind that the game runs at constant 60 fps even on a 27inch 1080p display! Kudos to that Snapdragon 855.



    Binge Test!
    Using this adapter, you can easily convert your OnePlus into a Fire-Stick like device. Some Apps such as Prime Video & JioTV do not work correctly - but you can still get your entertainment dose without an issue. Netflix, YouTube & Spotify work like a charm, which makes me very happy! Both Netflix & YouTube can output 1080p correctly. I wonder if OnePlus 8 Pro/7 Pro can output 1440p, but I think 1080p is more than enough for most users.
    Here is a test of all three apps in action -



    Work Test!
    The actual reason I bought this adapter was so that I can get some work done while my laptop was busy rendering videos. I must say the experience has not been the smoothest, but it gets the job done. If you want to fire up a presentation on Google Slides, make some edits & present it - it won't let you down! Similarly, if you're going to edit some pictures in Lightroom Mobile or design some creatives in Canva, you can do that as well. I love to take notes, so I extensively tested apps such as Google Docs & Notion. Happy to inform all of these tasks can be done without issues.

    img_20200913_162625.jpg

    The con is that browsing the web, social media; emails won't be suitable. The aspect ratio makes it very weird & I doubt you can get any work done on these apps. So yes, you can work - but it is not a laptop replacement by any means. Samsung DeX does a much better job & solves all these problems. I hope OnePlus develops a similar solution in the future.



    Final Verdict

    img_20200913_155516.jpg

    Coming to my verdict - Should you buy a USB C dock for your OnePlus? Honestly, even with all the cons, YES! The adapter cost me south of just 14$ or 1000 INR. You could find it for even cheaper at times, like for 10$. For that price, the adapter allows you to do more than you can ask for. Think about it - you could utilize the full potential of your phone's power! Turn it into a 60fps Fortnite machine, Netflix hub or a Lightroom beast. All for 14$? Shut up & take my money! If you want to use this adapter for just browsing social media, chrome or emails - in that case, I would say save your money till OnePlus introduces a dedicated desktop mode.

    Thank you for reading my review, leave an upvote if you found this helpful!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020

    #1
  2. anunayC
    Honeycomb Sep 14, 2020

    anunayC , Sep 14, 2020 :
    Wow I actually have one of these for my laptop, I only used it once on my phone to attach a mouse and keyboard! Good find and great detailed review!
     

    #2
  3. kiratplusone
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Sep 14, 2020

    kiratplusone , via OnePlus 7 , Sep 14, 2020 :
    Oh that's cool :)
    Thank you
     

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  4. kiratplusone
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