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This USB-C problem isn't going away anytime soon

Nexus 6P
Nexus 6P

A generation of users who have only ever used micro-USB to charge their phones and accessories have made a terrible discovery: not all USB-C cables are created equally, and some of them can do serious damage to your hardware. While you can always rely on the cables that come in the box, and should use those cables any chance you get, you probably need more than one. UPDATE: Apple just issued a recall for their USB-C cables. (opens in new tab) It's not obvious by looking at these cables which is good or bad, and the companies selling these cables on Amazon aren't all that interested in confirming their products are safe for the massive array of things you can use with USB-C.

It's not a good situation to be in, and unfortunately it's not a situation that is going to go away anytime soon.

USB-C

If it kinda sounds like buying a USB-C cable is a little like the Wild West right now, that's because it is.

First things first, lets talk about the specific kinds of USB-C cables that are causing problems. An unhealthy number of cables that go from USB-A to USB-C — the standard rectangle USB to the new oval USB for those unaware — are being incorrectly assembled. USB-C is significantly more capable than USB-A, especially when it comes to the amount of power you can transfer over the wire to charge things. Instead of selling cables that respect the limitations of USB-A, many of these cables are being outfitted with hardware to allow for higher power output than it safe for USB-A. In many cases, these cables are being equipped with circuitry for 3-amp rapid charging. Google's USB-C wizard Benson Leung gave a great explanation of why this is bad:

The cable lies to the phone by telling the phone it's attached to a pure 3A charging path, like the C-to-C cable to the OEM 3A charger that ships with the Nexus 6P/5X. The phone will attempt to draw 3A, but that may damage the weaker device you have the Type-A end of the cable plugged into.

A less common but potentially more dangerous problem found recently has been poorly made USB-C to USB-C cables. These are less common because there are fewer companies making these cables right now, and when you buy a phone with USB-C it comes with a cable for you to use, but as more users pick up USB-C hardware this issue is going to increase in frequency. Since USB-C power adapters are currently being sold that support high-power transfers, cables that don't respect the USB-C specifications by either using the wrong parts or by flat out lying about their capabilities on the sales page for the cable can lead to disastrous results.

USB-C port

If it kinda sounds like buying a USB-C cable is a little like the Wild West right now, that's because it is. Retailers can say whatever they want on their Amazon page about the cable they are selling, because Amazon doesn't require any evidence of their claims, much less review what they've written. Also, like the recent mess with those wheeled things everyone keeps calling "hoverboards," it takes a lot less effort to slap a fake USB compliance approval sticker on something and face the consequences if you get get caught than it does actually going through approval. That, and if you head to USB.org and take a look at their documentation for USB-C compliance you'll find this:

Compliance testing for products conforming to the USB Type-C™ Cable and Connector Specification are currently under development.

Now, there is a way to register your product for testing on the website, complete with forms to fill out and instructions to send your product to a third-party for testing, as well as instructions for USB-IF Trademark agreements and packaging guidelines. There are also significant consequences for selling a product that doesn't pass cable and connector testing or violating the trademark agreements, but it's not hard to see how these faulty or out-of-spec cables make their way to Amazon and other online retailers without a lot of oversight.

USB-C takes those poorly-made cables and connects them to the electrical equivalent of a firehose on one end, and so these problems become much more than an inconvenience.

How did this situation get so out of hand? A better question is when did this problem start. USB-A and micro-USB never actually solved this problem for the devices you currently have. The difference with those cables and the devices they're attached is largely found in the limitations of those cables. We've all found that cable that misbehaves when trying to transfer data to your computer from your phone or charged poorly when connected to the "wrong" power adapter. USB-C takes those poorly-made cables and connects them to a firehose on one end, and so these problems become much more than an inconvenience.

The big question at the end of the day is how do I know what to buy, and the answer isn't great for folks who are used to buying a dozen of the cheapest cable they can find. People like Google's Benson Leung are actively sifting through the pile in order to find cables worth buying, but shopping for a quality USB-C cable right now basically means buying from brands that are big enough to be trusted by their reputation. There are ways to perform cable tests yourself to ensure safety if you're interested in exploring these cables yourself, but for the most part you're not able to shop by price tag — and you probably won't be able to for a long time.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

190 Comments
  • If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sometimes this is true. I'm all for tech advancement, but we need to get all our ducks in a row before hand. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Convenient turn of phrase to use, but that shouldn't be an excuse for not innovating and coming up with new, better technologies.
  • But is it? A few years of headaches and maybe damaged devices doesn't sound better to me. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Me neither. Maybe in a year it will get sorted. Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App
  • Yes let's never advance anything if it ain' t broke. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That is a vary narrow minded point of view. I understand that the average consumer shouldn't have to deal with these sorts of issues but as an 'early adopter', I accept the risks. Without 'a few years of headaches' caused by innovation where would we be? We wouldn't have the great multi-touch touchscreen phones we have today. Think of how awful the low resolution pressure sensitive screens were of early 'smart' phones in comparison to today. We also wouldn't have gone to the moon, we wouldn't have cars to drive around in, heck we wouldn't even have electricity! We wouldn't have blogs, websites, facebook and other means for us to share our "my way or the highway" point of view! Think of the horror! (and I'm speaking about myself too; I'm not innocent in this) Now does it suck for the few people that have USB-C devices that can't afford replacing it and/or does not understand the risks? Absolutely, no argument there. But people need to realize that with innovation comes risks. I for one am glad I have a Nexus 6P and my wife has a Nexus 5X. USB-C is fantastic, both as a simple charging cable and the many other capabilities it provides. Innovation > a few minor headaches for the majority of users.
  • When a consumer purchases a product they are expecting it to be safe. How in the hell do you compare this to space exploration? Purchasing a cable shouldn't be a risk. If you want to be a early adopter and live on the edge knock yourself out. I will stick with my narrow mind and wait until I must change or the situation is stable. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • And the product is safe. Someone buys a phone like the 6P, it comes with a charger, and those will work just fine. If the customer decides to buy something that isn't from the manufacturer, with any product, even smartphone aside, they accept any risk.
  • I couldn't have said it any better. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Simply put and all bullshit aside. I like it. I am not gonna spend $500 on a new device and then buy a sub-par cable with glitter and sparkles all over it. Just use common sense. I take the cord I got in the box with my phone everywhere with me. I don't plug it into anything else and neither should anyone else who doesn't want to gamble with the warranty on their precious devices :)
  • Guess you didn't read the articles about the problems with MS Surface cables or Apples cables... those are OEM version and they have the same problems.
  • Your view isn't narrow minded. This guy is just fixating on using the word "innovation" as much as he can to make some gandiose statement.
  • Did you even read the article. Because of cheap badly made cables. Get over it. Cheap badly made micro USB cables are no good either. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Maybe instead of jumping on someone for actually explaining things as they are and always will be, try and understand that if the people who created this and understand how this technology works. Are having trouble with identifying which online sellers are FAKING the USB-C cables instead of making proper SAFE cables.
    Then maybe you should be directing your ignorance towards them instead of a helpful user. Manufactures know that 70%+ of people who use a technology have no idea how it works and are therefore easy to fool. Do you feel like an ass yet?
  • This +1 Posted from my Lake
  • If you don't want it doesn't mean we shouldn't advance our technologies Posted via the Android Central App
  • Totally agree minus the goin to the moon part
  • It's not the tech that is causing the problem, it's the cheapskate manufacturers cheating the system. When Apple switched to the lightning connector they had a few bad apples (no pun intended) out there as well. If you stick to the better names in the business you should be safe. You may pay a little more, but better to be safe than sorry. I would far more trust a cable made by Belkin that cost a little more than one may by some company called Hyqwality out of China.
  • Are you sure that pun wasn't intended?? :)
  • Agreed 100% i own 5 Typc C Cables, the two provided by Google, two bought from Oppo, and one which was given to me in exchange for a review. you would not catch me buying the 2.99 Type A - C cable from tokyoeletronicwarehouse on amazon.
  • I'm pretty sure that Benson Leung guy doing reviews of USB-C cables on Amazon actually said the even the cables made by 1+ (which is owned by Oppo) are not compliant, so you can't even really trust brand names apparently. I may be mistaken, but I'd recommend finding Leung's review before continuing to use those Oppo cables!
  • That's because the One+ itself is not USB-C compliant. It only has the connector shape and not the other advantages. So they never made the cable to be USB-C compliant. So that makes sense. He did say it would charge, but since the resistor is wrong it may try to draw 3 Amps from a charger only rated for 2.4. He was calling out One+ specifically because they took only the shape of the connector and nothing else from the USB-C specs.
  • So Belkin is made in the US?
  • Doubtful, but I'm willing to bet they wouldn't risk their name brand reputation by putting put badly built products either. If there was a problem they would probably do a recall much like Apple is with their Macbook charging cables that had a manufacturing defect. A recall from some unknown company? Doubtful.
  • Cause you buy fail Chinese 2 dollar cables what do you expect Posted via the Android Central App
  • Now starting to be thankful Samsung didn't put a USB-C port in my Note 5!
  • same thing happened with micro when it came out....still is really, but people wised up and realized they have to spend on a good charger. especially with the new tech. same things happen in any industry.
  • Obviously yes its a better technology. Reversible and supporting Power Delivery - and socket compatible with FireWire - this will become the only socket you need.
  • Hi, Here is an important link that should have been included in the article. It is all the cable reviews/analysis by Benson Lung.
    Type-C cable reviews,Amazon,Benson Lung,Google engineer.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A25GROL6KJV3QG/ref=cm_aya_bb_pdp?ta...
  • The worrying bit is how few of these cables etc were safe to use. Also bad cables remain in circulation long after the safer ones become the norm. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So do you wish we never changed from serial cables because those worked at the time as well. Seriously, such an ignorant statement.
  • You calling him ignorant is more ignorant than his statement. It's an opinion formed from what is currently going on. If the USB consortium (or whatever they are) Can't get testing and compliance in order before they release the specs his opinion is a fine one. Pants
  • Show me where I called him ignorant. I said it was an ignorant statement. If everyone thought like him, we'd be in the stone age since "what ain't broke, don't fix it". You can improve on things that aren't broken.
  • So lets never do anything new because ****** Chinese third party companies will make sup bar tech.
  • Please -- the USB-mini and USB-Micro were DOA. I've only had one connection in years that I felt was up to par, and it was to a camera. Perhaps the Phone companies are to blame? And they had to be inserted in the correct direction. USB-A and USB-B are too large, and both must be inserted in a direction. This added to the fact that a rectangle plug (USB-A) doesn't immediately indicate to the viewer which side is up. The same goes for the port they plug into. I suppose cable and port manufacturers could have made a better facade, whose only purpose would be to indicate that. But they didn't. Or most didn't. As for USB-C, it is a monstrous upgrade. A bi-directional port that can support multiple charging ports and multiple protocols -- that is a fix to what is broke. And when my LG-G5 came in, the usb-c cable plugged in very satisfactorily into the port. If that could be the standard, woo hoo! Talk about worth the try!! However then I bought an additional charger and cable. The cable would not work with the charger, and barely worked with the phone. It didn't seat correctly, and popped out if the phone was moved. I had the usb-micro to usb-c adapters, and they worked better, but still required finesse and still was unstable. Just to make sure, I plugged in the original cable, and it was still a solid connection. I was willing to wait until I got another *good* cable.. but my wonderful mom, just trying to be helpful, plugged in my phone to the new cables when I wasn't there. Let's just say she made sure the connection was solid. Now it won't work correctly even with my OEM cable. But it does charge. Sorta. We need to sue these bad manufacturers out of business. Then you'll have good cables. But I have learned a technological lesson -- Lightning is a better *type* of connector than USB-C. Without knowing all of the limitations -- a little tab inside the phone was easy to break by bad cable technology, and having cheap manufacturers from china make these more complicated cables doesn't make sense. Instead, the phone company should make all of the hard stuff inside the phone, and let the cable be the breakable tab.
  • If I charge my hoverboard with the USB-C cable that I both bought from Amazon, I imagine all life as we know it will stop instantaneously and every molecule in our bodies will explode at the speed of light. Total protonic reversal!
  • Because of the higher current capacity of USB-C and the resulting potential for damage. The specification for USB-C should require electrical certification (UL, CSA, CE, etc.) for the country of sale.
  • "it takes a lot less effort to slap a fake USB compliance approval sticker on something and face the consequences if you get get caught than it does actually going through approval."
  • All too true, unfortunately.
  • Too bad a cable killed Benson's Pixel. :(
  • Heroes' tablets die young. Posted via TCP/IP
  • Small price to pay... I mean, u just can't buy cheap ass cables right now. I'm pretty sure most people that bought a new phone with USB C would be willing to spend the extra $. And they probly know to as well. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's a lot of assumptions made in your post that are refuted by anecdotal evidence of people having some very bad experiences out there, even when paying a premium for a "good" cable.
  • Problem is the average Joe doesn't know this. They look at the cheapest cable and they purchase. Perfect world they would read reviews and do some research. This is a different animal than purchasing cheap HDMI cables. This can damage expensive devices. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Most people use the cable that comes with the phone, be real.
  • So you bring your charger to work everyday? Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • You need to charge your N6 at work?!
  • Actually I do not. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Thanks for proving my point.
  • No point proven, I get great battery life. Other do not. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Yes. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Uh, no. I charge it over night and use it during the day like a normal person.
  • Your definition of normal is not the same obviously as a power user. Yeah the N6 will handle the days when I just need to text and call, but when I have to do serious work, I have to be on the charger at 1pm. From full at 6am. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can't really do that if you need a car charger though...or even a cable for your computer to connect to your phone (excluded if you are someone who has a computer with usb type c port).
  • Ok let's be real. Most people buy spare cables. Car charger, Office, girlfriend's house, and etc. So they don't have to lug around one cable everywhere. Now, if the average Joe is not aware of this, his phone, pc, or other electronics could be damaged. Not everyone Is like us techies that know this stuff.
  • The average Joe would just buy a cable from their carrier, or from Google themselves I'm guessing.
  • No, the average Joe would hook up with Amazon or eBay to save money, especially if they don't about this.
  • *know about this.
  • Gator is right Posted via the Android Central App
  • Actually,if I were to buy something a little more expensive, the last thing I would do personally is buy a USB that's a little more expensive. There's a lot've people out there that can JUST afford the phone,so when you're faced with a 30+ dollar usb,you look away and pretend you never saw it hoping for the best. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I guess it's good Samsung didn't dive right into the mess then. It's the Wild west out there. A OnePlus cable/ wallplug could fry another USB-C phone/tablet or vice versa. Micro-USB just works, no matter the voltage of the device.. I use the same cable/wall plug for my phone, tablet, watch, daughters watch and every device.. USB-C should work like this every time, if it doesn't, it's not for mobile use yet.
  • Agree Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Uh, no. The worst thing these cables do to phones is cause the charger to malfunction if it can't supply the power the phone is trying to pull. The phone isn't damaged.
  • Unless the device it is plugged into happens to be a laptop and it does not support 3A on the USB port.
  • To my knowledge, a computer's USB port should be rated to provide up to 5A of current without frying. This because you must be able to connect USB hubs to a computer, and many of those aren't independently powered.
    And, before you quote me what allegedly happened to Dieter Bohn of the Verge, let me say that I take anything coming from the Verge with a planet-sized grain of salt.
  • I think you are confusing it with 5V. A standard computer USB 2.0 port delivers 0.5A (500ma) per port.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB
    "Battery charging specification 1.2: ... and allowing a maximum current of 5A"
  • A computer can't provide more than 500mAh over USB 2.0, so not it actually won't. The problem is the cheap car chargers that don't have over draw protection and will try to provide more power than it is able to do safely.
  • USB3.0 ports have been common on computers for quite a few years now and they can definitely supply way more than 0.5A.
  • You missed the "or vice versa" part of the sentence... Bottom line, for mobiles there needs to be a standard. I can charge any Micro USB device anywhere. No need to worry about voltage. It would suck if I need to worry about what Charger my friend has if I need to charge..
  • Really man, you need to do some research.
  • I was always under the impression that the charging rate was determined by the charger plugged into the wall. Unless the device has some charging circuit that attempts to send more amperage to the battery, I guess I'm not sure how the device can pull more from the charger then what it's putting out. In the case of usb-c I'm not sure how that works exactly
  • Benson and others have made my mind up that I will only be buying cables through the Google Play Store for awhile if I need a new USB-C cable for my Nexus 6P. Trying to save $5-10 dollars is not worth the risk of damaging my phone. As others said, these are not the "scams" of HDMI cables from brick-and-mortar stores vs Amazon.
  • You mean my $60 Monster cable from BestBuy isn't any better than a $3 cable from Monoprice? Lol. My roommate blamed a Monoprice HDMI cable I gave him for his TV not working. After he went and spent $60 on a HDMI cable from the big box store and his TV still didn't work I couldn't help but laugh. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's good that I did not upgrade my Nexus 6 to Nexus 6P yet.
  • Thanks for removing the wireless charging option Google! That's ok, I'll just replace the battery in my Nexus 5 (right from LG, not an amazon fraud battery) rather than buy one of your new phones! Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App
  • Where are you getting the battery from? I'd like to replace mine, too.
  • https://lg.encompass.com/item/10389517/LG/EAC62078701/Rechargeable_Batte... There ya go. Found the link on reddit. It was (and is) showing as out of stock, and some of the ETA updates may scare you into thinking you'll never get it, but ups delivered it to my house today. Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App
  • Thanks!
  • I just bought a Nexus 6P and a few additional cable accessories that I checked to make sure they passed the "Benson" test. While you can get cheap stuff out there, the ones at Google's own shop are not terribly priced and you know they are safe. They also seem to be well made. I was kind of hoping by now Google would have been a cool sport and sent Benson Leung a new Pixel so he could continue his testing as one of the champions out there looking out for us. It would be good PR for Google among us geeks.
  • He got the board switched out a couple days ago by the Pixel team (I'm hoping at no cost to him). The old board is being analyzed to see exactly what caused the failure https://plus.google.com/+BensonLeung/posts/jdpUJfdgPcE
  • YAY! Missed that post. Glad is his back in action now.
  • Well people he works with, he is a Google engineer after all, swapped his systemboard out a few days ago. Makes sense to do this for what he is using it for and getting him a new one later. He will be taken care of I'm sure.
  • I really hope that the devices in 2016 will stay with Micro USB for several reasons. 1) most people already have micro usb accessories from powerbanks (sometimes with build-in cables), docks, car and other accessories
    2) we've now seen first devices that support wireless fast charging so the port doesn't matter for charging for many user
    3) the phones that used the usb type c so far still used usb 2.0 and not 3.1. To me that's just another sign that usb type c isn't ready for prime time yet. I think OEMs should wait at least another year until it's really ready - otherwise it will just confuse tons of users ... especially the ones that are not that much interested into tech
  • Laptops (like the Pixel) have 3.1 USB C -- the main reason (probably) the phones don't have it is cost vs. Benefits. And there is nothing wrong with USB C, what's wrong are the cheapskate manufacturers. Just buy them from a reputable source and you're good to go. Posted via the Android Central App
  • USB3.1 will not come to phones in the near future, not unless they can solve the problem with interference with the radios. There is for instance routers with 3.0 ports that can be dissabled due to the interference with 2.4 ghz radio. Same goes for phones. Also 3.0 controlers take alot of power, even in idle, so devices with 3.0 ports (basicly just a couple samsumg devices, sgs 5 and note 4 if im not misstaken) turns the 3.0 function off after 30 min. Google it. Intel has a white paper from 2012 that address the problem and there is numerous articles explaining the problem with usb 3/3.1 and WIFI.
  • 1. So when would the right time be for you? When you or "most people" have the money to replace them all? 2. Wireless charging wouldn't matter to someone who isn't interested in tech. Besides, wired charging will always be faster than wireless charging, even if they claim it's "fast". 3. The 950 XL has USB 3.1 Type-C. It's a sign that it's ready and they're just being cheap. That's the problem with most users. Since they got their devices on some carrier subsidized crap they never really understand that buying a couple of new cable doesn't really hurt. As long as what you're buying isn't the same price as with the unlocked price of the device then it's not expensive.
  • Where can you find that the 950XL acctualy has a 3.1 port? the cable is c-usb 3.1, but the device in it self uses 2.0 for all i can find.
    There is for all i know no 3.0 or 3.1 controllers for phones that works without compromising with radio and battery power. Try and google usb 3 and radio interference.
  • Buy a good cable then.. Micro USB cables are wobbly and don't fit that tight.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mine fit just fine. "Wobbly" would indicate a issue. Probably worn out a bit too much. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Depends on the cable. Best options for microusb cables are from more known brands like Anker, especially with their powerline series of cables. Cynicism Evolved
  • The micro usb cable I have at my work is from the original BB Storm (ancient) and it clicks tightly into any of the three devices I may use it for. Not that I have anything against type C...just saying.
  • My original HTC micro USB cables fit tight enough to swing the phone around on. Interestingly, the cable for my Anker Quckcharge unit is a loose fit and falls out of everything. It's not a big deal, as I don't use quickchage on my phone.
  • Then don't buy a cheap wobbly cable. All 3 of mine fit perfectly. Posted via the Android Central App
  • totally agree ... selfishly I've moved on with my MacBook and 6p, but I can see how some less informed people not privy to Benson and his reviews can cause damage. I've had issues specifically with car micro USB car chargers, even though I've bought the most expensive ones ... USB-C fits nice and snug, and just like wireless charging pads, having the ability to charge both ways (especially in the dark) is convenient and a luxury I don't want to give up now that I've experienced it. We're all gonna have to make the transition eventually, no use delaying the inevitable.
  • This will become a huge issue when Samsung releases a Galaxy device along with other OEMs with USB type C. Right now people cannot just walk into their local carrier store and buy a device, other than the Lumia 950, and get a device with USB type C. The average person who would never read a website similar to this even knows USB type C exists other than the MacBook they may have bought last year.
  • You guys seem to ignore the confusing when it comes to traditional USB chargers. There's regular charging, quick charge 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and other proprietary charging methods. USB Type C official chargers don't have this confusion.
  • Irrelevant.
  • Nope. People are getting stuck on this type C issue when all these competing fast charging standards are just as bad in terms of confusion for the customer.
  • Uhhh, still irrelevant to this conversation
  • Big difference is plugging a quick charge 1.0-3.0 to a non quick charge device does not damage the device. Quick charge works like a normal charger until a compatible device is plugged in I'm all for USB C but this isnt a good start if we are honest. Can't remember hearing horror stories like destroying a device when we moved to micro USB Posted via the Android Central App
  • The entire reason for QC existing is that microUSB cables has a max current of 2.4A, any more and it will damage the cable and/or charging device and/or ports. QC solves the bottleneck by increasing voltage to, most often, 9V for phones. This gives you 9v x 2.4A current max. There is 12 and 18v modes to, if im not incorrect. USB-C allows for 3A charging (ie, 5v @ 3A) and this is the reason why A-C cables are problematic if made incorrectly - one side of the cable cant handle the power but the device will basicly short circut the charger. I have seen 1A rated chargers (apple genuine charger) deliver 1.8A, and burn up - reason was that i had connected a LED-stripe without resistor (noob misstake!).
  • Maybe the regulating of power should have gone into the connector side rather than being in the plug or could it not work that way? I bet Samsung stays far away from USB-C until this is figured out. I bought 3 of those little micro USB to C adapters when I got my Nexus 5X and promptly through them in the trash when all this news broke. Decided to buy a couple Monoprice cables instead(that look identical to the Google cables). I'd prefer a little adapter to use my old micro cables but at the time none of them were Benson approved.
  • The reason is that the identificaton must lie in the USB-C end, you cant expect every existing usb-cable in the world to suddenly have resistors :/ so it's up to the "new" cable to properly identify itself to the phone so it doesnt burn up the cable and/or charger.
  • I'm personally just waiting impatiently for USB-C hardware I can add to my PC. Though for sure once something is available I'll still wait to see how safely it works before jumping into it. Until then I have the A-to-C cable that Google sent me with the Fi Lego set and a couple extra approved cables from Amazon. I just got a two pack of the approved micro-to-C adapters too that I can keep in my wallet or something in case I find myself somewhere without one of my A-to-C cables.
  • You have it figured out better than I do. We will definitely have to adapt no doubt about it. There will be growing pains along the way. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Oh for sure. Change rarely happens without growing pains. I've found myself a few times with a nearly dead phone with plenty of micro USB chargers around me but not a single USB-C. That shouldn't be a problem for my anymore because I looked at what solutions were available and fixed the problem. It's all part of being an early adopter. We'll have it somewhat rough for a year or two while the rest of the world plays catch up but even then there are plenty of things people can do to make the change easier on themselves.
  • Fi Lego set? ;)
  • Yup! It was a Christmas thank you gift for Project Fi subscribers. A nice DIY phone stand with Fi colored imitation Lego pieces. Some people (myself included) also ended up with USB A-to-C cables bundled in with them as an extra bonus. I heard that people who had been Fi subscribers longer than me had gotten a welcome package previously (on top of the Lego set later) that had a bunch of useful things in it.
  • That's Awsome!!
  • New subscribers are getting the holiday Lego kit as a welcome gift, I signed up this week and got mine today. Now to decide if I'm going to build the phone stand or the cable holder. My kit included the A-C cable also.
  • That makes it even better. I bet they did that because of how well received they were. Originally it was supposed to just be people who subscribed before a certain date. As for what to do with them I went with a modified version of a landscape phone stand I saw someone else do. I added a cable director on the back so I could set the phone up in front of my TV/computer monitor and still keep the charging cable in one spot. I took a few pictures of it if you want to steal any ideas. https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPIbZhGkEIN1wws4ZKBw9rLocv2BasvlHiR...
  • My motherboard has a USB 3.0 Type C port, and I've had it built for a year.
  • I only buy Benson approved USB type C cables. There is no shortage of quality cables on Amazon. Some of those even go on sale from to time. I've snagged a few for around $8 each. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just buy the ones approved by Benson or buy from Google. I got a 6 foot cable and charger on sale on Amazon and both are blessed by Benson. Choetech brand.
  • Let the buyer beware. This will be true, with the new standard, than ever before. Amazon, if not careful, will lose people who will buy on their site, and maybe be shy of taking a chance on other stuff that they sell. There's nothing like losing faith, than a fried nex6p. Best Buy, will check their vendors, more carefully, they have more to lose.
  • There will always be bad cables.
    Just look at lightning and micro USB cables
  • I'm honestly thinking about picking up a Note 5 now so I can avoid having to buy these damn cables for another year or two. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This document has been helpful: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wJwqv3rTNmORXz-XJsQaXK1dl8I91V4-...
  • Make sure you buy decent cables directly from Amazon and not their marketplace sellers, who may be selling them cheaper but also can be non-genuine Posted via the Android Central App
  • Seeing articles like this makes the nexus 6 seem even more awesome by the day. You get quick charge no type c bs, great price, great performance. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Preach it man, preach it. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • He seen the light!!! Hallelujah! Lol
  • It is really not that bad. The 6P charges faster than the 6, I think and I like not having to worry about which way to plug it in or which end. I do miss the wireless charging sometimes but usb-c is fine. Posted via my Nexus 6P!
  • If you have a developer phone, buying a type C cable shouldn't be that difficult for you.
  • Lol what a dumb comment. Why don't you go hang with nonexus Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • At least NoNexus will keep an open mind and admit when he is wrong. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • You're buying a developer phone directly from Google. If you are able to do that, meaning you took the time to verify it will work on your carrier and so forth, buying the correct cable shouldn't difficult.
  • You can walk into a BestBuy and purchase a Nexus 6p. Nexus phones are no longer developer phones like they were years ago. Niche, certainly, but definitely not only for developers.
  • Show me a cable that hasn't had issues? I'll wait. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Where will you wait? I'll send you a Marie calendars Apple pie. Why? Cause your statement requires no feedback beyond mine. Why again? Cause most cables, problems or not, don't destroy hardware.
  • Lol Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Several don't have issues. I've bought many different brands and all work fine.
  • My understanding is that USB-A to USB-C may be dangerous to use for quick charging. So, I bought such a cable and use it for slooow charging. I keep it at my bedside for night charging where slow charge is ideal. My AC adapter only outputs 5V @ .85 amps. I bring my factory nexus 5x charger with me for quick shots of charge if I need it throughout the day. Been working great for me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Get a new cable... Big deal. I've had no inconvenience in the least by this on my 6p. Bluetooth has been painful... But USB c has been fine. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is far from a new problem. It has been a problem for micro USB as well. Several cables I've bought have been unable to transfer power or data, only one or the other. Several that would do both for my nexus 5 couldn't fully charge my nexus 7 even Overnight, because they could not transfer sufficient power .
    The main difference has been an inconvenience rather than a potential disaster. My Panasonic Lumix camera has some strange dedicated socket, and of two calls I've bought for that, one just didn't transfer photos, it only worked as a charging cable. Some manufacturers will always try to make a quick buck. It needs clear standards and an active Trading standards enforcement agency.
  • There are data cables and charging cables for microUSB. I've never heard of a data cable that won't let you charge, but charging cables aren't for data. You should know what you're buying when you buy it.
  • Yes you should, but when teh vendor lies and says it does both...
  • I only buy $100 Monster USB-C cables just to be safe. They are made of thicker-gauge wire which lets the bits pass through faster too.
  • Okay then Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Whiskey, tango, foxtrot? I bet you never saw the article in consumer reports about monster cables. They could have saved you hundreds, and your sanity.
  • Whisky Tango Foxtrot ------> saved. Thank you :)
  • Not sure is sarcastic or serious..... >.> .> Posted via the Android Central App
  • They don't even make USB-C cables, as far as I can tell. I can't wait to see how much they actually cost when they do come out with one, though.
  • I bought the J5 Create USB type C to USB type C and its been working fine but does anyone know for sure if its safe?
  • I have the J5 one and it hasn't hurt my phone yet... Or killed it... And I have one (one of the only ones) I bought at Fry's Type A to Type C that so far hasn't broke my phone... Depending on how long it takes for it to cause damage. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is the first I've heard of a cable "talking" to the device and charger. I thought the cables were just the wires and connections, and it was up to the device and charger/ports to talk to each other to determine things like charging rates. I don't have need for USB-C, but this has me a little perplexed.
  • ditto
  • I looked into it, and it seems the correct USB A to C cables need a resistor wired in. In laymens terms, it sounds like this essentially tricks the phone into "seeing" a weaker charger and not trying to draw so much power. Still not sure how risky a non-resisted cable would be, though. I've used weaker chargers on phones before with no issue. Granted I wouldn't suggest it, but all it did was charge slower or perhaps loose charge of the charger couldn't keep up. I could see that burning out the charger prematurely, but I question how risky this would be for the phone.
  • Bummer, but this shouldn't be much of a problem for me. After reading this, I'll likely use the included cord mainly and purchase a car charger from a reputable store or carrier. Those two should cover my needs, although I have so many microUSB cords. I'm looking forward to the reversible cord orientation.
  • We should just go back to proprietary plugins and every manufacturer have a different plug in like laptops do. That was so much better for the environment and cheaper. The tip is not included! So tip your Uber driver.
  • As much as I am excited for Type C, this is the reason why I'm sticking with microUSB for a little while longer. Though if I ever decide to jump on the USB-C trend sooner rather than later, I'll probably buy microUSB to Type C adapters instead.
  • They are overexagerating. I have a charger at home, in the car, and at work. The 6P comes with two cables, so I just bought a car charger and extra type C cable and now I have a charger everywhere I need it.
  • I buy a lot of spare cables mainly for travel. So that's why if I ever get a device with a Type C connector, I'll be buying microUSB to Type-C adapters so that I can still use my old cables that still work to this day. Plus, I'm not the only one in the house that will get a device with a Type C connector in the future. Yeah, we can use the ones in the box, but we do love having spares.
  • Micro-USB takes me 1.5 seconds to plug in. USB-C takes me 1 second to plug in. In about 4 months It saves me one minute. I can not live without this convenience. Google Nexus 6P
  • Hehehe Posted via Serenity
  • That's 3 minutes per year! Think of the time savings!!
  • I'm just too lazy to change all my cables out...so I'm missing out on this problem. My N6 charges so fast on its quick charger that I don't think I would notice the benefit of USB c... I'll wait till next year. I almost never use a cable unless it's to charge. I mainly use fast fast charge when I jump into the shower or only have 15 min to spare....otherwise I just lay the phone on a pad...which is faster then plugging in. The N6 had the best of both worlds. I'll miss it, if my next phone doesn't have both...the USB c seemed like a step backwards in convenience not forward. Posted via Serenity
  • Net lazy.... Smart Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • What puzzles me is that I hardly ever see someone mention market failure in this context. The USB-C cable fiasco is exactly that - a market failure. Consumers should be able to buy USB-C cables from primary online market places and brick-and-mortar stores without having to worry that they will destroy their electronic devices. You would think that is the raison d'être of regulatory agencies. So where are the regulatory agencies in this? Why is nobody pointing out the failure of US regulatory agencies in preventing seriously faulty products from reaching the market? You shouldn't have to 'trust' a random fellow like Benson Leung to save you here. Hello, America? It should not be up to 'consumer heroes' (in this case, a knowledgable engineer who decides enough is enough) to save the American customer from making the wrong choices in the marketplace. And it's also worth pointing out that Benson Leung is not simply an altruistic fellow who has your back: he works for Google, the company whose product ecosystem is directly and negatively impacted by this market failure. He is doing the company he works for a big favor. And another thing that irks me here are techno-libertarian commenters who claim they are "early adopters" and that the destruction of their brand new, expensive electronic devices is "the price they are ready to pay". The foolishness is breathtaking. Oh you *brave* early adopter. How brave you are. This is not a moonshot. We aren't even reading "Atlas Shrugs" from front cover to back. It's a new type of power and data interconnect. This is prosaic stuff. USB-C cables are the ultimate mass-market technology. The entire point of the new standard is that it is supposed to replace another standard that had 100% market penetration. USB-C is going to appear on nearly every new device that will be introduced this year, and as a result, there will be robust demand for every imaginable kind of USB-C cable and adapter as people will be *forced* to make the switch. The decision to include USB-C ports on every new phone is being made for you by Samsung, Moto, LG, HTC, Huawei, whether you like it or not.
  • Good questions. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • I'll tell you why regulatory breakdown is prominent. They're all too busy trying to figure out how to tax oil so the price will go up and gouge us on our paychecks.
  • I wish it were that simple to understand, but I don't think it is. Lower oil (which is NOT a "fossil" fuel) is leading to a lower dollar, which is leading to negative interest rate testing, which will lead to an accelerated war on cash, which will lead to a cashless society controlled by the oil trust's BIS banking cartel. I recommend watching a documentary about how oil became the gravity of the financial system to understand my run-on statements above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySnk-f2ThpE
  • The USB-C charger/cable that Benson Leung works on is buggy and still not charging correctly. Gives a 'Low-Power Charger" - NOT the zippy fast charging promised by Google and Benson Leung. Maybe that's why Benson Leung is afraid of criticism and deleting it while dishing it out? Slamming anyone with a problematic C-type product yet can't even put out one himself that isn't buggy? Grow up, Benson. You're such a tiger when attacking everyone else but as soon you are criticized you start crying and trying to hide it? If you can't answer criticism then you must have some problems to hide, no? If not, then show where it is wrong. Benson has posted several times but has still not answered as to WHY he sent out a buggy Pixel charger 2 times: I had to find the bug for him the first time after released, then the same thing again after he claimed it was fixed (still buggy, too, and see no effort to fix it again despite more reports). No one wants bad products out there but that doesn't seem any better than the people he's attacking. (And lose the moral claptrap about intentions. Did you intentionally cheat Google Pixel buyers???) A very expensive laptop, with various problems, terrible service, and false claims about the charging. (Though I do love ChromeOS and overall the Pixel is a very nice laptop so don't let that scare you off. But fix the charger and audio garble under heavy memory usage, and buzzing left side key... All widely reported.) GET THIS: Benson even claimed the bug was so hard to find that that's why it went out like that to begin. Yet how did I find it? Both times by...wait for it...merely plugging in the charger and reading the notification of "Low-Power Charging" that came up. Benson, you tell us how that happened: logically, is the answer not either dishonesty - it was covered up and sent out anyway - or incompetence by this USB-C type "expert" in not even knowing about it when merely plugging it in showed me both times? There is no good explanation. And then deleting posts about this on his G+ page. And at the same time as one article refers to him as "laughingman" on Reddit, someone named "Laughingman11" was contacting me on reddit about the bug while not acknowledging the connection as I posted to both. Hmmmm... Given the Pixel charger is still buggy and has been sent out OKd by Benson Leung 2 times now incorrectly - and then hiding that and criticism of himself - how can we trust his technical - let alone the moral mind reading - condemnations of other products? Shouldn't you get your own house in order first, Benson?
  • Wow Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Calm down Paco.
  • Jesus Christ!!!!! A cable shouldn't be this complicated. This really makes me NOT want to risk getting the 6p. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Cheese and rice? Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • I'm down for anything LoL Posted via the Android Central App
  • "Compliance testing for products conforming to the USB Type-C™ Cable and Connector Specification are currently under development." Why are they even being used/sold when they are still under development? Not until all manufacturers agree to use the exact same type they should not be made available to the public.
  • Thanks for writing this article. I don't understand everything but I'll probably re-read it. Important stuff. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This reminds of the period, reading Hi - Fi Stereo equipment magazines avidly in the Eighties, Nineties and whatnot - when cables were the be all and end all, must - have equipment for any true audiophile.
    They did in - depth tests and comparison reviews of the tonal qualities of cables, for goodness sake. It was hilarious.
    You had to spend a quarter of your equipment budget on high end cables, or you weren't a purist.
    (There followed a period of equipment stands also being compared for there audio qualities) What has this got to do with the article? Not a lot really, just reminded me of another crazy tech period. Don't bring out Type C until it has been standardised, honestly !!
  • All the more reason to spend the extra money and buy the OEM cable marketed by the company that made your phone from them or a reputable retailer not some fly by night on ebay or Amazon Posted via the Android Central App
  • I will admit Type-C is a pain. GOOD cables that aren't from Google or other well known companies are scarce. With the being said, putting up with the headaches is rewarding. Since starting to use Type-C, I don't feel like buying a new device without it. It's very capable. Using Type-A on my Nexus 7 just feels slow and obsolete. Posted from my Super Nexus 5X
  • Well I have a Nexus 6P with USB-Type C and have around 4 cables and a car charger and all of them are fully compliant with the new technology... It takes a minute to read and learn which accessory is compliant and of the info it's incorrect is too easy to spot a "fake"... If you buy the wrong stuff it's your own damn fault for being just plain dumb... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I will admit Type-C is a pain. It's hard to find a GOOD cable that's not by Google or another well known company. Not to mention some other small inconveniences. With that said, Type-C is very capable. After using Type-C, I can't imagine buying a new device without it. Using Type-A with my Nexus 7 just feels slow obsolete now. (I imagine fast charging helps, but Type-C is still a game changer) Posted from my Super Nexus 5X
  • Got 1 short C to A, long C to A, and C to C.....2 came with phone and one free from Google....I am all set. USB-C is great!
  • It's about time they switched to C connector, A was garbage
  • you get what you pay for, if you get one from poundland you cant expect it to be decent (although at least safe would be nice)
  • One Plus and Apple are recalling cables. Buying branded or paying a premium doesn't solve the problem. Posted via TCP/IP
  • Great article, many thaks.
  • >> Google's USB-C wizard Benson Leung gave a great explanation of why this is bad: Why is the wizard's own Pixel charger buggy, sent out twice as buggy and still buggy? Yet they lie and say it is fast charging, not the slow-charging notification the buggy charger is giving out. Or just an incompetent wizard? -The laptop is only $1000 so they don't care, lie and won't fix it?
  • Apple have lost confidence in their cables! Seems like a complete calamitous fiasco now. It's obvious computers are not making the marketing decisions. If it comes to the stage where all brands can be faulty.... would they recall devices as well. This is weird - and funny. I don't use type C, but I wanted to change my X Style.
  • Apple doesn't use Type C on their portable devices, minus the 2015 MacBook. They use a proprietary connector called Lightning.
  • I remember people complaining about the Note 5 not introducing USB-C. I'm glad it didn't. Posted via TCP/IP
  • Blowing up your laptop is the same risk as a low-resolution pressure-sensitive screen? Posted via the Android Central App
  • In his world Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • So much for making a new "standard."
  • Yes, sometimes you have to realise the reality over virtuality Posted via the Android Central App
  • A list of all Benson Approved Type-c cables http://bensonapproved.com/