Understanding Smartphone cables and connectors: Standard and proprietary

In this lesson we will look at some of the different charging cables and connectors that are available, some connectors are very common, while others may only be for a certain brand of phone.

Most common smartphones will use Micro USB cables to charge the device, the other end then ends with a standard USB connection which can be plugged into a computer or a power adapter with a USB port, I’ll include a chart of the different connectors below so you can easily identify which connector your device uses.

Newer devices may also use the new USB-C standard which looks a little bit different but works the same way with a standard USB connection on the opposite end of the cable. If you’re not sure what USB is or any of these acronyms the photos below will help you understand.

Some devices may also come with a proprietary connector, a proprietary connector is one that is designed by the manufacturer and doesn’t follow the common standards, this is usually to get you to purchase accessories from the manufacturer rather than other third parties. For more information about the connector your device uses, refer to the product specifications for your device.

The following are some of the most common cable connectors.

Charging your device

To charge your device simply connect the included cable to your device, whether that be micro USB, USB-C, or any other connector that your device uses.

If your cable is hardwired into a power adapter then you can plug that into a wall socket and turn on the power to charge your device.

If the opposite end has a USB connector then you can connect this to any computer, car charger, or power adaptor that has a standard USB connection. In the following image is a USB power adapter.


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