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Your USB-C cable can charge your phone plus many other things too

Tan KW
Publish date: Sat, 25 Jun 2022, 12:19 PM

BERLIN: Very soon, your USB-C charger might fit all your devices, at least if you buy them in the European Union.

Mobile phones and other electronic devices in the bloc are to have standardised charging equipment from 2024, according to a deal clinched by the EU legislature and EU countries.

Among the other devices included in the agreement are tablets, ereaders, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, and portable speakers.

USB-C cables can be used to charge any electronic device with a corresponding socket - unlike with USB-A or USB Micro plugs it doesn’t matter how you plug them in. The speed of the charge is determined mainly by the wattage of the power supply.

Besides charging your devices, USB-C cables can also transfer data. But performance varies widely depending on the model.

If it’s all about speed for you, check the cable when you buy it as the cheaper cables transfer data more slowly.

The least expensive cables cost around US$6 but will only shift your data at the relatively slow rate of 5 or 10 gigabits per second (Gbit/s) at best.

Spend around US$11 on your USB-C cable, though and you can usually transfer data much faster at theoretically up to 20 Gbit/s.

All three of those speeds listed run under USB 3.2.

Buyers can look for the USB logo and where it states 5, 10 or 20 (Gbit/s).

However labels are often not uniform or consistent. In addition, the true amount of time it will take to transfer your data also depends on your devices. So if in doubt, try it out.

If you spend around US$25 or more, you will usually get a cable that meets the latest USB 4 standards, is theoretically able to transfer data at up to 40 Gbit/s and up to 100 watts of charging or operating current.

That’s enough bandwidth to connect a high-resolution monitor or a USB-C docking station with multiple devices to a notebook, for example.

USB 4 is compatible with other display and data interfaces such as Displayport or Thunderbolt.

 - dpa

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