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Saturday, June 11, 2016

USB Type C adaptive charging is a complete dumpster fire

It's mid-2016 as I type this and let's face it... USB Type C is a total mess.

Unlike previous USB formats such as Micro USB, Type C is not being universally standard. The whole success of USB is that it is a standard. All phones basically used it, all computers basically connected to it via a Micro to Type A USB cable. For years we had mostly no troubles with the USB format, and Micro USB.

The problem with USB Type C is that it's not just the connector port, it needs to be properly implemented with USB 3.1 which is a connection standard that allows more functionality. It should be mandated that *ALL* USB Type C devices *MUST* use USB 3.1 and have ALL the same features, whether that's HDMI out, transfer speeds, and this is what's pissing me off the most.... CHARGING standards.

Here's the mess: a bunch of phones have come out that have USB Type C yet have different charging standards. Some still support Qualcomm's quickcharge standard. Some like the Nexus 6P & 5X, use adaptive fast charging. We know about the problems with using out-of-spec Type C to A cables. So basically we can't always trust that different cables will work. It used to be much easier that a micro USB cable would just plain work. Not so with USB type C.

My problem is with my Nexus 5X. It often won't rapidly charge if it's turned on. it might SAY it's "rapidly charging" on the lock screen, but not only is it not rapid charging, it barely charges at all. I've used Ampere to check after noticing it wouldn't be charged after a couple hours plugged in. I tried different power outlets, reversing the charging cable (all using the supplied cable & charger) and when I bought another Google Store Type C charger, same problem.

I guess it could be the hardware. But I've read many cases of the same types of charging problems from Nexus 6P owners. Thankfully my 6P doesn't have this problem.

I think that the Type C so-called "standard" isn't as standard as it should be. What a mess.


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