USB On-The-Go or abbreviated to USB OTG initially build for smartphone and tablet to allow accessories devices, such as USB flash drives, mouse, and keyboard to be attached.
In the modern days, USB OTG for Android phones is a mandatory accessory you have to carry up everywhere. Nevertheless, there are many considerations before you pick the right OTG cable that matches to the phone.
It’s just a cable, right? What could go wrong?
Although the price may seem minuscule for most people, you still need to understand the following aspects of OTG cable to prevent you from buying the wrong one.
Is it has exactly the same port to your phone? Will your Android version support it?
Make sure you checkmark the following things.
- 1 #1 USB-C or micro USB – check what kind of port your phone has
- 2 #2 OTG cable or OTG adapter – choose the version that would fit your preferences
- 3 #3 Android support – only several Android version has access to the OTG
- 4 #4 USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 – depending on your phone’s performance
- 5 #5 Price – better ones tend to have a higher cost
#1 USB-C or micro USB – check what kind of port your phone has
This is the most common mistake that often occurred after a new owner buying a wrong OTG cable. An owner with USB-C phone purchasing micro USB OTG and vice versa. Before you go to the market and pick the OTG product, please check the port on your phone either has a USB-C or Micro USB.
The USB-C is rectangular-shape with rounded corner, and Micro USB is almost trapezium-shape and a little bit smaller than USB-C. Both ports are nearly the same size but actually not identical if you take a closer look. The manual book or the phone’s specification on the internet can help you figure out what the port it has.
#2 OTG cable or OTG adapter – choose the version that would fit your preferences
The OTG cable using a wire to connect USB-C stem to a standard USB-A port. Meanwhile, the OTG adapter virtually has no cable on it. The stem and port are attached in one unibody.
The cable version may tend to be disconnected during the usage when you inadvertently wiggle it. On the other hand, the OTG adapter is more steady, thanks to the absence of cable. To be fair, the OTG adapter is way smaller, almost the same size as dime coin. It can easily be lost when accidentally fall into couch crack.
After all, both products are equipping the same function.
#3 Android support – only several Android version has access to the OTG
Not all Android devices support OTG connection. Google has been enabled OTG capability on its Android OS early this decade but takes longer for the phone manufacturer to implement this function. So, not surprising that only modern Android phones come with OTG support.
To tell whether your phone is supported or not, you can check it via an app called USB OTG Checker on Google Play Store. If your phone didn’t support OTG connection, you might want to root the phone and reconfigure the USB OTG connection manually with USB OTG Helper.
#4 USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 – depending on your phone’s performance
As we already know, USB 2.0 is a mainstream generation that has been updated to USB 3.0. The interface still the same but the latest one is faster for transferring data. There is also a minor update dubbed USB 3.1 which twice faster than its predecessor.
Theoretically, USB 2.0 can reach 480 MB/s, while USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 could reach 5 GB/s and 10 GB/s respectively. Although USB 2.0 is the lowest one, it still pretty fast for a current standard. The read/write speed is comparable if your USB drive also capable of a high-speed data transfer too.
In my opinion, USB 3.x may not necessary for Android user since the phone processor was not really fast as a computer. So, the speed performance would not be affected in general. But still, if you are looking for the future, USB 3.x is an absolute choice.
#5 Price – better ones tend to have a higher cost
The USB OTG for Android phones currently start from $5 on Amazon. For example, AUKEY USB-C with USB 3.0 interface priced at $5,99 and you got two pieces in the package. Meanwhile, Micro USB OTG is cheaper than the USB-C version with $2,50 since it was basically old stuff and less performance. But don’t worry, it still works fine.
Some brands are selling expensive USB OTG with better durability and perhaps additional features. Despite its high-quality material, eventually, the lifespan is depending on your usage and the environment outside.
That’s it, the 5 things should you consider before buying USB OTG for Android phones to prevent buying wrong stuff then lead to disappointment.
If you have experience that helps you to choose USB OTG, let me know in the comment. Perhaps your advice will help others 🙂