What is USB Type-C and why is it important?

Every aspect of smartphones are being improved every year. From screens, to processors, batteries, cameras and build quality, smartphones companies are always looking for ways to make their products seem “future proof”. Another aspect of smartphones that are changing are the USB ports used to charge and connect to other devices. Smartphones are beginning to use a new technology called USB Type-C, which involves a new port in the phone and the matching cord used to connect to a charger or other devices. Should you care about this?

USB Type-C capable phones use a new reversible cord that can be plugged into the device or host from using either end. This replaces the old USB system of having one end of the cord act as USB Type-A and the other side possibly acting as the USB Type-B or micro-B. Type-C is capable of not only reversible ends, but symmetrical connectors, meaning it doesn’t matter which way you plug the cord into your phone, similar to Apple’s Lightning cord.

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The 24-pin double-sided connector is similar in size to the micro-B USB with the Type-C port measuring 8.4 millimetres (0.33 in) by 2.6 millimetres (0.10 in). The new Type-C system is meant to future-proof and provide a uniform experience when connecting devices, eliminating the hassle of identifying the right end of cords and right way of plugging in micro-USB cables.

Type-C will mean faster charging, quicker data transfer rates and thanks to the smaller connectors, smaller phones can be made too. The Type-C plug is compatible with the USB 3.1 standard meaning super fast data transfer rates when connecting to other devices such as laptops.

You’ll start to see USB Type-C ports on laptops now too thanks to better charging capabilities. This means you want have to mess with AC adapters anymore for charging your laptop, as Type-C can deliver power at up to 100 watts at 20 volts.

 

Should I be worried if I don’t have a Type-C port?

The answer is opinion based. However, Type-C is just now being adopted by manufacturers and will take at least a couple years to be considered the “universal” option. The Nokia N1 tablet was the first device to ever use this technology and the OnePlus 2 was the first smartphone to include the port just a couple months ago. Plus, there are adapters for USB Type-C if you do need to connect your older hardware into something that uses the new port. All in all, you shouldn’t have to worry right now, as the tech is barely being introduced to the mainstream market right now.

Questions or comments about USB Type-C? Let us know below!

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Jack McNenny is a former freelance writer of AndroidGuys. These words are his own and do not reflect those of AndroidGuys as a whole.