I have two micro usb cable, one is Pineng (which came with Pineng powerbank), and the other is Anker. Being a developer, I usually connect my android phone to my laptop using either one of this cable, to either charge my phone and/or to test my app and/or transfer data to and from my phone to the laptop.

I realized that: 1) Using my Anker cable, charging the hp using my laptop is pretty slow, but my Android Studio can detect my phone without any problem. My windows will also detect my Android phone as another storage. 2) Using the Pineng cable, my phone is being charged much faster, BUT my laptop won't detect my phone at all. Means there's no mention of my phone inside my computer, and my Android Studio can't detect my phone at all.

So I'm just curious, is there actually different kind of micro USB cables? If yes (as it seems), there must be different kind of wires/cables inside the micro USB that's being built for different purpose right?


Kinda sorta.

I've seen very cheap 'charge only' cables that don't do data, though I'd hardly call this a microusb cable. These miss data lines, so the cables don't allow the devices to negotiate charge rates, which in turn results in slow charging sometimes. This question on electronics has more details. I don't believe these are in specification.

I've also seen 'regular' cables of variable quality with different charge rates.

There's a third type - USB OTG used for device/device connection, say for connecting a USB drive or mouse to a phone.

  • There's actually no "negotiation", it's a one-way passive indication only. All it is is a short of the data pins. Ideally it should be the port itself shorting the pins to indicate it can provide >500mA charging current, but some charge-only cables and adapters have this short in the cable itself - technically against spec but all the same to the phone, phone sees short, assumes high charge rate is available. Incidentally if the data lines are connected and active you're limited to 500mA hence slow charging if the computer communicates with the phone as a USB device. – qasdfdsaq Sep 18 '16 at 14:56

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