Why does a phone need to have USB-C connection?

Discussion in 'Google Android (OS & Devices)' started by Catweazle, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Genuine question. Not knocking anybody here. I've seen quite a few comments in discussions here which are critical of phones with micro-USB connection. Comments suggesting that it's "unbelievable nowadays that it doesn't have USB-C".

    We've a mix here. My (newly purchased) phone uses micro-USB, just like my previous one did. My wife's latest phone has USB-C. We also keep Lightning cables around, for an iPad we have here and for visitor's phones and such.

    We use our phones for calls and messages. We sometimes plug them into computer and archive some photos off them. We occasionally use them to google stuff whilst we're out and about. We've never really bothered using them as music devices, although I'm at present investigating pairing mine up via bluetooth with caravan audio player so it can double up as a music archive of sorts.

    And truth is, the only difference we've found between 'micro' and 'C' connectivity is that it costs annoyingly more for spare charger cables for the USB-C jobbie.



    What is it that people DO with these phones, for the connection to be so much more beneficial? Interested to hear, Coz if we've missed something that could enhance our phone-using experience it'd be nice to know.
     
  2. kogi

    kogi Member

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    USB-C should be replacing all usb connections, but I don't see it happening within these two years.

    One advantage I found is that USB-C is reversible, no more old person squinting to see which way the cable goes.
     
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  3. NismoR31

    NismoR31 Member

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    It's reversible (including each end - no more usb a-b type cables), you can't screw up the angle it connects or break the tab in the middle. It's the standard usb connection going forward.
     
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  4. OP
    OP
    Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    That bit I don't get. All the USB-C charging cables I've seen have a USB-A connection at other end, and all the 240v or 12v USB charging adaptors I've seen accomodate USB-A connection.

    What would a cable with USB-C at both ends be even useful for? Far as I can envisage maybe at best it'd be for connecting phone to a you-beaut tiny new laptop which doesn't have a standard USB port :confused:

    Reversability doesn't really mean much to me, to be quite honest. We're already "old people" prone to the squinting, but it's the easiest thing in the world to feel the plug not go in and realise you had it wrong way around.
     
  5. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    except it pretends it's not around the right way, when it really is :D I would appreciate not having to fiddle getting the little sods in.
     
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  6. kogi

    kogi Member

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    Reminds me of a Linus video

    Also I think 3.1/C comes with an increase in data and charging speed as well
     
  7. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    OP: Did you have the same question when Micro-sub replaced Mini-usb? Do you miss mini-usb? :p (I sure don't) , that should basically answer the question - It's just progress, people will feel the inflection point to move to the new cable at different times depending on there use case - that's why some are critical of anything not coming out with the new standrd, while others don't care..

    once you start aquring things with the new plug, the last thing you want is to buy a shiny new phone - which you intend to keep for years, and it has what at this point in time is probably considered out dated plug that will quickly become the odd one out over the next year or so.

    There's simply no argument that USB-C is superior, and there's no reason to not move to it.. It supports a whole bunch more signalling - FAR higher power charging capabilty, etc etc, I won't list it all - just google it.

    From a mechanical pt of view, It's reversible, it's a far more robust design - which is a big deal to me.

    The improvement from micro-usb to USB-C is far more significant / worthy than MIni to micro USB was, so i'd expect a quicker uptake to be honest.

    To get over the transisition period, i'd suggest buying a bunch of these style leads:

    119217-628100-cropped-500w.jpg

    I have one that floats between my car (personal/work) and it's the great, never caught out. I intend to fill the house with them if a bargain springs up
     

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  8. OP
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    Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Barely noticed it. For 2 reasons. Firstly it was still just for charging the phone, or for shifting a photo to the PC or whatever. Secondly, it was no more expensive to get spare cables right from the get-go. And it was rather understandable anyway. The shift from mini to micro was when phones in general got skinnier.

    This time around, when USB-C phone appears and I've need to go grab some other charging cables. It's different story. Telstra and Optus stores are asking $25+ for them. Hardly Normals are asking $40 for them. Nobody else in town has them and apparently there's no likelihood in the near future that the cheap shops will get them. According to the fella at Jaycar anyways, where I found cables for $19.95.

    But I'm really not even gainsaying the technology on cost basis either, and you've kinda missed the point of the post. I'm looking to see if there's actually any change in functionality which warrants the move, or whether instead it's 'just coz' and a change which really brings little more than just 'can plug it in the other way around'.


    More robust? Great, but truth is that whenever I've seen broken phone connectors it's been coz someone did something like stand on their phone with cable plugged in.
    More signalling? Great. Now how does that help a mobile phone?
    Quicker charging? Great. I suppose. If you never take enough notice of phone charge and let it be flat when it's most needed. I top mine up every evening and never have to worry about how quick it'll charge.

    None of that, with respect to phone, is anything I'd consider new or compelling, and that's the point of the post. Was I missing something or missing out on something? I can see that it can maybe have some genuine impact on tablets or laptops or such. I'm just trying to see why any of it is really beneficial to a phone.
     
  9. xplod140

    xplod140 Member

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    I think your problem is that you shop at the wrong stores, the ones you listed have slways been expensive no matter what cable you buy from them. I got 3x good quality braided A to C cables from ebay for $18 delivered.

    More signalling helps data transfer speeds, handy when I download all my photos and video and upload my flac music from the pc.

    If you aren't bothered by any of this then good on you, you'll have more options when buying a new phone.
     
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  10. OP
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    Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Thanks. That's the sort of practical comment I've been seeking here.

    I've grabbed a new phone. It has micro-USB connection. I've seen numerous comments here critical of a number of cheaper phone models, and I've merely been wondering if I'd excluded myself from anything of note with the purchase.

    Cheers
     
  11. NismoR31

    NismoR31 Member

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    They're transitioning cables for people who don't have shiny new usb-c ports in their machine. Eventually they won't need to exist as more & more new computers ship with native usb-c ports.
    They save a ton of space on computers. Why else would you want a smaller connector? Sure RIGHT NOW you only really see new laptops shipping with usb-c ports, but in 10 years time everything will have them.
     
  12. SyN

    SyN Member

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    Just more convenient as its overtaking as the new standard
    You could even have a phone with NO usb connection. Just rely on wifi data transfer and wireless charging...
    Heck for my first smartphone I only had IR or bluetooth for ALL data transfer...
     
  13. Ghoatman

    Ghoatman Member

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    Doesn't the USB-C spec allow for charging of devices with devices? Like charging another phone/device from your phone (like a set of headphones for instance) Also can be used for display output too!
     
  14. OP
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    Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Interesting point. Are people really thinking this is going to change for charger adaptors too? I've never seen a 240v or 12v charger adaptor with anything except USB A-type socket on it. And a charger is what most people use a cable to connect phone to. Bizarre as it is, most folk when they want to keep the wonderful photos they took with their 12MP phone camera, upload them to Facebook :confused:

    I can't really envisage that the need for A-type connection at one end will ever go away. Unless, maybe, everything whatever, AppleCrap included, moved to USB-C format for every purpose. And even then, can't rally see that it'd be met with anything but consumer hostility, coz far too much everyday stuff comes with US-B ports nowadays, and it's all A-type connection. Powerboards, charging stations, goodness knows what else. People aren't really going to want to replace all that stuff I wouldn't think.
     
  15. srey

    srey Member

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    It's already changing, I've got a multi-charger with C ports at home, and we've got C-only chargers at work too; didn't the Pixel 2 come with a C-C cable out of the box?
     
  16. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    100% for more robust. Regardless of whether it was someone doing something stupid or "average use", more robust is absolutely a good goal.

    It's ludicrous in 2018 that something so minor fails on a phone (physical home button, micro USB charger, whatever) and it's cheaper to just turf the phone and get a new one. That is neither sustainable nor sensible.

    USB-C is very much an improvement on micro-USB in terms of surface area to attach it to a PCB, but still small enough to not be a full sized USB-A connector.

    That will change. Micro-USB was only ever really designed for the standard 5V 500mA application. Lots of folks use more than that, but it's not really what it was designed for. USB-C was designed for higher, and over time you'll see a phasing out of all non-USB-C connectors.

    But, change takes time. You don't get from here to there in one jump. So until then, we're in that shitty half way land of converters and adaptors. Such is life in electronics.
     
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  17. Hater

    Hater Member

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    i'm wondering, why don't phones have magsafe like connectors? so much safer in many scenarios...

    even if it was only for power, and put the 3.5" sockets back for headphone concerns...

    have a diag port hidden in the back of the SIM tray or microSD tray for recovery purposes.
     
  18. sanjay

    sanjay Member

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    reading this made me wonder why we changed from mini USB to micro USB at the turn of the decade, which led me to this: https://electronics.stackexchange.c...was-mini-usb-deprecated-in-favor-of-micro-usb

    USB-C is a no brainer for me. supports significantly faster transfer speeds and power delivery, much more robust, and reversible. USB type-A has lasted an impressively long time in the history of personal computing, but i for one welcome our future USB-C overlords (on desktops, phones, and everything in betwen).
     
  19. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Standard "technical person asking a budget question" question.

    Rare earth magnets, and magnets + electricity are costly to do right. Scale to millions of units, and it's "millions of costly". Simple answer to your question - it costs too much to bother with.
     
  20. Hater

    Hater Member

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    surely they can budget a few magnets in their $2800 phones, their $999 laptops get them
     

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