Dec 04 AT 2:28 PM Dima Aryeh 16 Comments

Next gen USB 3.1 connector will be reversible, smaller than USB 3.0


The biggest problem with USB ports is that they have three sides. Two sides that don’t work and one that does. This is proven fact. Apple figured it out with the Lightning connector, which is reversible and can be put in any way. It’s basically foolproof, while standard micro USB connectors make the smartest of us look like fools at times.

Samsung has adopted the USB 3.0 standard with the new micro USB 3.0 connector, which is quite large and occasionally inconvenient. While I love the idea of pushing technology forward, isn’t making a micro USB connector twice the size a little backwards? The USB Promotor group now seems to think so, and has announced the USB 3.1 Type-C connector. It will be fast, with a 10 Gbps connection, but will be as small as the original USB 2.0 Micro-B connector. As a bonus, it’ll also be reversible!

While there won’t be any backwards compatibility with this new connector, it’s a worthy sacrifice for a much improved cable. I can’t wait to see devices starting to use it, though that may not come for a while. What do you think of your favorite Android manufacturer adopting a reversible USB standard? Leave a comment!


Source: Engadget

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • Arthur

    Being reversible is probably the biggest news to come from this announcement, this is a long time coming and it is obvious who pushed them to speed this process up.

    I just hope the connector isn’t as fragile as Apple’s Lightning connector, their cable construction is pretty poor.

    • Dima Aryeh

      Historically, basic USB cables have been good quality. And historically, all Apple USB cables have been of terrible quality and have torn within months. I think it’s safe to say the cable that will come with name brand Android smartphones will last.

  • sdny8

    I just want a secure connection that doesn’t loosen over time. That’s the only advantage I see to wireless charging. No more loose USB ports

    • yoaj

      Stop wiggling it! Straight in, straight out.

      I have had troubles with loose micro USB though..

  • HTC_Fan

    I’m looking forward to having NO cable.

  • Ryan Gails

    I think a reversible cable would be awesome just for the sake of my own laziness. I never knew that the Note 3 had that connector. That thing is hideous!

  • DragonPhyre

    There is still a wrong way to plug it in–perpendicular to the plane. Get angry all you want, but you never have to think about plugging in a headphone jack. Push into hole. Done. Simple, universal, understood by all, never needs updating.

    Charging needs two pins: Volts in, Volts out. With WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC… You do not need a cable that transfers files off of the device. I haven’t used my USB cable for months to actually transfer files off of my phone. And when I get my N5? I might just seal it up with some hot glue for extra security. If you can’t usb into my phone, you can’t get my info off of it without taking the whole phone apart… Right Theives/police?

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea–should have been for 3.0, IMO–but for crying out loud now… For all the complaining that Apple did when they released the lightening connector… How long did they have a SINGLE CONNECTOR that did everything? What, 6 phones? Call them expensive, proprietary, or whatever. But that is one HELL of a run for a cable connector.

    (and in come the downvotes, because I dare to mention the positives about something that is fruit related. I don’t care.)

    • Anadrol

      USB is not only about phones !

  • Jonathan

    Not looking forward to buying more cables and charges, every few years.

  • John in Brisbane

    Oh finally. I vividly remember buying a usb keyboard at a computer fair in the 90s and being simultaneously impressed by the possibilities and perplexed by the stupidity of the actual plug design. I know ease of production was a factor but a reversible or omnidirectional design, a la TRRS audio plugs, would have been only slightly harder and infinitely smarter in the long run.

  • smeghead68

    not looking forward to yet another USB cable. However I am getting tired of always looking at the orientation of the plug on my N7, N10 and phones before i plug them in and even then i end up getting it wrong half of the time.

  • stanglifemike

    I’m not really concerned with another new cable. Sure, the USB port on my Note 3 is big, but 3.0 cables have 2 different sides so it’s really easy to line out up the correct way without even looking.
    Anyway, Android devices should be making Qi a standard in all devices from here on out! I bought a thin Qi receiver that fits behind my stock Samsung battery door, so all of my cases still fit (unlike the thicker Samsung Qi Note 3 battery door). My 2013 Nexus 7 supports Qi wireless charging out of the box. I don’t plug in either of these 2 devices anymore. It’s all about Qi wireless charging for me!!

    • Dima Aryeh

      Can you tell me where you found the thin Qi plate for the Note 3? I’m interested as well!

    • ThatOneGuy

      Android and standards are two words that don’t belong together. Android is also not a brand of phone… it’s just an OS. Manufacturers are going to do whatever they want and forcing them to standardize will stifle innovation. So quit, please.

  • Anadrol

    USB 4 will add a magnet… oh wait.

    • donger