Most of the smartphones are making an abrupt change from the omnipresent micro USB to the much newer and better USB-C, also known as Type-C USB.
To put it in some other way, Type B micro USB is the one you must have used years ago and if you’re not paying any attention while plugging then you might have to look at the USB end and try plugging again to your phone.
Things are a bit different with Type-C, it is reversible and you will end up plugging it to your phone the right way. Before we start claiming that Type-C is a much better option there surely are some major differences to be looked at.
USB Type C VS Micro USB: In Detail
Types of USB Connectors
There are varieties of USB connectors and the most easily recognized ones are “Type A”. They have been existing since the 80s, and we have encountered them in one way or another.
Micro and mini USB connectors, smaller than Type A, were introduced later in the 20s and were used a lot to charge mobile phones, data transfer and to charge some other devices.
Later came the Type C connectors and the most prominent feature of this connector was that it can simultaneously upload and download data. It was an updated version of the Type-A connector.
We didn’t talk about Type-B connector, these are little square-shaped connectors and is mostly used for charging or connecting devices like printers to connect to computers.
Another thing to be mentioned here is “Lightning cable”, which are mostly used for Apple products and are not categorized as USB. They are similar in look to micro and mini USB but are not the same.
Now everything is a bit more clear and most of the things are out of the way, let’s go further and take them down specifically.
Micro USB vs Mini USB Connectors
Mini USBs were introduced around 2004 and it was shaped like an anvil with a 5 pin connector. It was mostly used for cameras, mobile phones, and mp3 players. It wasn’t as powerful as Type-A connector but still was highly admired for its small size and could be plugged in and removed for more than 3000 times before deteriorating.
Micro USBs were launched a little late after mini USBs. Micro USBs also had the same five pins but the fifth pin had some broader value because it acted as both Type-A and Type-B connectors. It had round to and a flat bottom.
Micro USBs are much more durable with more than 12000 connect-disconnect and offered a higher transfer rate than the mini ones. Micro connectors were highly seen among GPS devices, cameras, android phones, and tablets. One of the best features offered by micro USBs was that it allowed the smartphones or tablets to act as a host for several accessories like mouse or keyboard.
This whole debate over Micro and mini connectors look pretty one-sided and it is. Manufacturers themselves don’t recommend mini USBs because of the limited functions and it has no match to the micro connectors. You will hardly find any device that uses a mini USB connector nowadays.
USB Type-C : In Depth
USB Type-C is becoming the prominent standard for downloading, charging, and transferring data. It’s being included in almost every device like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and cameras.
USB Type-C has a tiny connector and is roughly the size of a mini USB connector. At first glance, Type-C USB looks slightly bigger than micro USB but one of the best things that have ever happened with any USB connector is that Type-C is reversible, meaning that it could be plugged in without worrying or looking for the right side.
Type-C ensures fast charging along with high data transfer rates up to 10gbps. It could provide more than 110W of power, which is more than enough to charge a laptop or some other devices. Apple has already been using this for their Macbooks.
Type-C’s one size fits all can replace cables in phones, HDMI, controllers, cameras, scanners, and other devices. Micro USB is a limited design while Type-C connectors provide us with double side connectivity and are on its way to replay Type-A USB and micro USB.
One of the drawbacks of Type-C cable is that it is not backward compatible but still Type-C is taking over the market and most of the devices today can use Type-C connectors.
USB C Vs Micro USB: What Makes USB Type C Better Than Micro USB
There were days when some micro cables worked at high speed and some didn’t, that was because there was no standard for a phone to detect that it has been connected to a high-speed charging cable and if you end up buying the wrong charger then you will be stuck with a slow charging cable.
Type-C solved this problem and now it can have a chat with the cable and choose the appropriate mode supported for itself.
Earlier USB used to be 5V only but the power delivery that comes with Type-C is up to 20V, enabling four times the power delivery. It was really difficult to deliver power over 5V. If we take an example of Apple, its 61W Type-C power adaptor can deliver 60W by switching to 20V 3A.
Longer life ports
With Type-C, the pins are in the cable rather than phones. If the plug gets loose then there’s no issue and you buy a new cable, it is cheaper to buy a new cable than a mobile phone.
With fast charging feature, Type-C can be used for multiple devices. We went from carrying two different laptop chargers to a single Type-C USB. Type-C is found on all manner of devices from external hard drives to smartphone charging cables.
Type-C resolved the most common issue that was with Type-A and B, orientation issue. The symmetrical pin alignment allows us to plug the connector in either way, therefore no more fumbling.
Similar connector for host
Type-C specs support both host and device, there is no need for a different connector. Type-A connectors were generally designed for the host side (PC, server, etc) and Type-B connectors for the device side.
There is no denying that Type-C has a huge potential and got a pretty straightforward solution to the connectivity problems. It has proved out to be a better replacement for other USB cables. So, It is safe to say the USB C Vs Micro USB battle is clearly won by USB-C.