With more mobile phones and laptops carrying USB-C or USB Type-C ports, the connector is gaining ubiquity. The specification for cable and connector is known for its fast-charging capability, a boon for people who are on their devices for an indefinite time every day. Also, new USB-C connectors, thanks to their underlying technologies like USB 3.xx, have ultrafast data transmission rates.
Indeed, USB-C has these excellent points:
- Reversible and backward compatible
- Small enough that it can pass as mini or micro
- Slim and sleek that devices can retain their form and function
Despite the above, USB-C is not foolproof, which may have to do with its relatively young age, having been finalized in 2014. In 2015, Stuff reported about the first phones that have the said port. Most of the devices that accommodate USB-C plugs have been manufactured a year or two ago.
Here are a handful of issues that users of USB Type-C are facing and any available solutions to such problems.
Problem No. 1: Charging Speed
Android Authority reveals that there’s no uniform charging speed among USB-C cables and chargers despite similar current and voltage ratings. It happens that you have to replace a cable or charger, and this can result in a discrepancy in or loss of fast-charging capability. You can check this graphic to note the changes in charging power when cables and chargers are mixed.
Fix: Manufacturers and the governing body of USB, which consists of the biggest names in computers and mobile phones, may have to create guidelines for the standardization of charging power across cables and chargers. A quick fix is to buy a fast charger that supports your device.
Problem No. 2: Overheating and Possible Damage
USB-C connectors have a tighter pin pitch than their Type-A counterparts have. Connector pins get bent or deformed, and when they do, debris can get in. This can result in a resistive fault that causes the temperature to rise and damage the cable and device in turn.
Fix: Manufacturers will have to add a layer of protection on USB-C plugs to prevent overheating. An example is a digital indicator that senses changes in the temperature and switches to a heightened resistance, as noted in the linked source above. To protect your device, use a USB-C cable that has high quality and the appropriate voltage.
Problem No. 3: USB-C Ports Don’t Offer the Same Features
USB-C has many features (USB Power Delivery, Alternate Mode, or even SuperSpeed data transfer), but the device’s USB-C port may not support such features. Alternate Mode, for instance, allows you to use the port for other protocols such as HDMI, DisplayPort, and Ethernet. Depending on the cables and devices you have, the Type-C port may or may not work as desired.
Fix: Check if your USB-C cable can charge, transfer data (and the rate of transmission), and more. As it is, some USB-C cables in the market are USB 2.0, which is designed for charging. You also have to ensure that the connected device itself is compatible with a port like Thunderbolt 3 to take advantage of the latter’s speed, power, and protocols supported.
Problem No. 4: Lack of Ports
Today’s devices come in a shortage of slots and ports to give way to thinner and sleeker designs. The headphone jack for mobile phones has been replaced with a Type-C connector that doubles as the charging port. Newer laptops have one or two USB-C or equivalent ports that can be lacking if you work with numerous peripherals.
Fix: Use an adapter that allows you to connect multiple devices to the laptop’s single port. Get a USB-C hub that offers data transfer and charging capabilities. If data is your priority, the hub supports USB 3.2 Gen 2, whose transfer rate is 10 Gbps. Moreover, the hub clears your desk of too many wires dangling from your computer.
Hopefully, the ground behind USB-C rolls out changes as needed to address its inherent issues or better the specification’s performance. If you run into problems that have to do with USB-C, consult this post or ask the experts for advice.