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I have an HP Chromebook and a Nexus 6P smartphone, and both of them use USB-C connections for charging. When I plug the Chromebook into the Nexus's charging cable, it works fine and I just get a message that says I am connected to a "low-power charger". However, is it safe to plug the cell phone into the laptop's power supply? I'm afraid that doing so might fry the phone.

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Type-C original specifications (and Power Delivery specifications over Type-C connector, if any) are designed precisely for the sake of compatibility and inter-operability. Since both Type-C devices come from reputable manufacturers, I would expect that they are compliant to all related specifications, and no harm will be done to any of your devices.

The message from Chromebook means that the Nexus charger has either basic charging capabilities, or less capabilities than is expected by Chromebook.

This means that the Chromebook charger has more capabilities than the basic "safe" power delivery. However, the Nexus phone, assuming it is designed correctly, should negotiate only what it needs, and the Chromebook charger should provide what Nexus is asking for, and nothing more. So it should be perfectly safe to use Chromebook charger for Nexus phone.

This is the entire idea behind intelligence that is built into Type-C power delivery.

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    With that in mind however, I would like to note that the Nexus 6P is not a great example of being in spec for USB-PD. I wouldn't plug any "new" C-C cables into the 6P charging block, as any cables that are supposed to negotiate PD will instead go voltage hot all the time. reddit.com/r/Android/comments/4vwjsp/… – plttn May 16 '17 at 21:38
  • @plttn, if you mean this video, youtube.com/watch?v=DMPrM0eWPbY&feature=youtu.be from the link you provided, it looks like the Nexus charger outputs VBUS if some cable is plugged in. The cable looks like a legacy Typ-A plug to Type-C assembly. It seems apparent that this combination produces wrong result, and the other test with "good charger" proves that the cable is right, and the Nexus charger is faulty. Thanks. But why would someone want to plug a cable for host connection into the charger? – Ale..chenski May 16 '17 at 22:54
  • Whether or not someone would "want" to plug a host connection into charger is irrelevant as far as spec is concerned. The Type-A side should never be VBUS hot. – plttn May 16 '17 at 23:32

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