Even before the concept of smartphones or feature phones, the concept of a universal connector or charger was developed. We are referring to the Universal Serial Bus system that gained ubiquity in computer systems. The same concept was later initialized and implied to mobile phones in the form of pin-head power adapters that you might recognize from the classic Nokia mobile phones.
The best thing about technology is that it advances. The coaxial power adapters that were once the perfect fit for all mobile phone devices were quickly replaced by Micro USB chargers with the introduction of Android smartphones.
There are several types and categories of Micro USB cables including USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 or the physical classification Type A, B, C. Till the last few years, the universal Micro USB cable that we all used for transferring data to our smartphones and for charging purposes was a Micro USB Type B cable.
However, in the year 2019, all major smartphones are expected to move on to the much-hyped Type C cable that we first saw in 2014 in Google Pixel and One Plus devices. Below are some differences between the all-mighty Micro USB Type B cable and its newest contender USB Type C.
Below is what USB Type A, B and C look like.
Busting the Common Myths
Myth #1: The terms Micro and Mini Denote Transfer Speed
If you are under an impression that Micro USB cables are faster than Mini USB and USB cables then you should know all such things are nothing but hearsay. The two terms ‘Micro’ and ‘Mini’ only refer to the size of the connector head of your Type A, B, or C USB cable. Mini USB is smaller than USB and Micro USB is the smallest of all three.
Myth #2: The Type A, B, C Denote Charging or Transfer Speed
Again, the USB types A, B, C also do not denote the transfer speed of your cable. There are some strict protocols that are to be followed during the manufacture of type A, B, and C USB cables that may provide these cables their transfer speed, such as for Type C USB cable, USB 3.1 protocols are to be followed which give Type C USB cable its high transfer speed.
The actual purpose behind Type A, B, and C connector heads is that they are all uniquely designed structures, all having a unique physical shape with each posing several benefits over another. The A, B, and C USB types were also invented to induce their respective technological advancements in the Universal Serial Bus connector series.
Micro USB Type B vs USB Type C Charging Cable
There are many benefits of Type C charging cable over the universal Micro USB Type C but yet the Type C cable is not perfect. We will tell you why but first, let’s shed some lights on the differences between these two cables and on why USB Type C cable is better than Micro USB Type B.
Size and Shape
Micro USB Type B is more compact than USB Type C but that in no case means that type B is better. A standard Type C USB connector comes with 24 SBU1 and SBU2 pins and is double sided whereas Micro USB Type B comes with 4 and 5 pin designs which are both one-sided.
Meaning, with Type C cable, you can plug your charger either upside or downside into your smartphone as there’s no correct side for Type C whereas Micro USB Type B could be only plugged one way. The size of USB C Type is 3 mm X 8.4 mm which is bigger than Micro USB Type B but is still small enough to subdue the requirement of a Micro USB Type C cable.
Most of the Micro USB Type B cables that were sold in the market all over the world run on USB 2.0 protocols with only a few being launched with USB 3.0. Thus, Micro USB Type B cable can only have a transfer speed of either 480 Mbps with USB 2.0 protocols or 5 Gbps with USB 3.0 protocols. The USB Type C cable is strictly required to run on USB 3.1 setup which can give Type C the transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps.
The typical Micro USB Type B cables, however even after becoming ubiquitous in Android smartphones and many other devices, it would still be wrong to say that Micro USB Type B supports all devices including laptops, tablets, projectors, etc. whereas Type C USB cable is designed with the aim to make it a Universal cable for all these devices. Meaning, in future, all your smartphones, laptops, projectors, TVs, gaming consoles, remote controllers, etc. would be able to connect to their peripherals using a USB Type C cable.
But does Why USB Type C Still Suck?
1. Where’s the Universality?
Where’s the universality about which everyone is talking about? USB Type C cables are supposed to support all gadgets but all the gadgets, or in fact, most of the gadgets, as of 2019, do not support USB Type C. There is indeed a shift from Micro USB Type B to USB Type C but the speed of that shift is rather slow, which might trouble many people in the near future. But the main issue isn’t the gadgets primarily, two USB Type C cables might look same but only one would support all of the features of Type C such as Audio, Video, Charging, Display Out and high transfer speeds.
That’s why don’t only looks for Type-C but make sure it has Thunderbolt v3.0 support for laptops and the Type-C in smartphones are equipped with at least v3.1 which will increase data transfer speeds in comparison with v2.0
2. Not Cost Effective
There are several companies manufacturing USB Type C cables but all of them are much expensive than Micro USB Type B. If Type C aims to replace all the previous USB Types it should be marketed at an equal price. Another issue that increases the expenditure on USB Type C’s side is that with the purchase of new USB Type C supported devices, many people might have to purchase a multiple-port USB hub (which again questions the universality of USB Type C) which is even more expensive than the USB Type C cable itself.
3. The Fraudsters
Beware of the frauds. There are many fraudulent companies that are trading the nice and new Type C cables online with wrong standard specifications for the type C cables. For example, Type C refers only to the physical shape of the connector as discussed above but an actual Type C USB cable should also work on USB 3.1 protocol for delivering the high transfer speed. On many e-commerce sites, there are several USB Type C cables available that do have the shape of a regular Type C cable but implement old USB 2.0, costing you more than double the price for a same Micro USB 2.0 transfer speed Type C lookalike cable.
4. Charging and Power
The biggest drop back of a USB Type C cable is that it does not do any good in reducing the charging time of phones that are pre-equipped with Quick-charge. However, the bigger issue adding up in the charging capabilities of 2019’s Type C USB cables is the irregular power threshold of different USB Type C cables available in the market. There is a certain amount of electrical charge or power that a mobile phone, laptop or any other electronic device requires to charge.
Unfortunately, many Type C cables that are available in the market either fail to provide the required power or provide more than what is actually required for charging your device which can seriously harm your mobile phone or computer. In order to avoid this problem, there are certain safety mechanisms already introduced for Type C cables that can protect your devices from the horrors of a high or low electrical charge but again due to the presence of fraudulent manufactures, those safety requirements aren’t met in many cables.
What’s the Solution?
In 2019, USB Type C might be a powerful and interesting upgrade on the previous universal Micro USB Type B cable but with all the irregularities and violations in the standards of a genuine USB Type C cable by not-so-trustworthy manufacturing firms, make the use of Type C cables highly unreliable. However, the company provided Type C USB cables, which you receive in the box of your smartphone or any other gadget manufactured by reliable firms like Samsung, Nokia, Google, HTC, etc. is surely exclusive of all such problems. Feel free to purchase a Type C USB cable from trusted sources with the only miniature issue being the slightly-expensive cost.