One Google employee, Benson Leung, has been recognized in recent months for his efforts to reveal the quality, and potential pitfalls, of USB Type-C charging cables. Leung’s work has been noteworthy in helping consumers understand that this is a new standard that not all companies are implementing in the same manner, which carries some risk for the uninformed consumer. Leung likely also wants to see the work of his employer, Google, not go by the wayside after the investment they made to help create the USB Type-C specification. In his latest comments though, Leung turns aside a bit from cables to smartphone manufacturers and specifically calls out the LG G5 and HTC 10 for not implementing the new spec properly, reason enough for consumers to stay away from the devices.
The basis for Leung’s dismay about these new flagship devices has to do with the implementation of the Type C port in conjunction with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities. Leung cites the USB Type-C spec to show that it does not recognize proprietary charging technologies in excess of 5V. The problem with Quick Charge 3.0 is that Qualcomm utilizes charging speeds using 9V to 12V, rendering it incompatible with the Type-C spec.
The risk for users is that their devices may suffer the same kind of damage from improper implementation of the Type-C spec that could be caused by bad cables. Users can likely avoid this if they limit their charging activities to only using OEM supplied cables. Using an industry standard Type-C cable from anyone else though could be a problem.