Kanex has released their new MHL HDMI Adapter today, adding a new level of function and fun to a number of Android devices*. What is it and how does it work? In short, the adapter converts your handset’s micro USB port into fully operational HDMI output. I spent the weekend playing with one of these units and found it provided for new and cool ways to show off my Android phone.
Taking it out of the box I knew setup would be a cinch. There was no instruction manual or pamphlet to be found, only a few notes on the back of the box. On one end there’s a microUSB plug which goes into the phone and the other side has HDMI port to connect to a television or monitor. That’s it! Or so it seemed. I noticed the microUSB spot on the side of the device but skipped on past it, assuming it was only there in the event I needed to charge the phone. Unfortunately I was wrong as there needs to be a power source present in order for the adapter to work. On a positive note, the power source does charge the phone when it’s connected. This little quibble aside I love the device. I’ve used it to browse the internet, play a handful of games (accelerometor fun!), and reply to emails and messages. Heading to the gallery for videos and pictures I was very impressed with the 1080p playback and 7.1 channel surround sound.
The MHL HDMI Adapter runs $29.99 and works on a growing number of Android handsets. If you’re the type of person who loves to add an extra layer of cool on top of your phone then you can’t go wrong here. While few devices offer HDMI output, it’s not always the standard port size. What’s more, not all Android phones provide true mirroring in HDMI mode. This is a terrific way to take your small screen experience to a much larger audience and its price is reasonable enough for the average users. If I were the business user type who spends a lot of time in conference rooms or using projectors then this would be my next purchase.
*Compatible phones and tablets currently include Samsung Galaxy SII, Samsung Infuse 4G, HTC EVO 3D, HTC Sensation 4G, HTC Hercules, HTC Flyer and HTC EVO View 4G.