Google’s USB Type-C crusader is back. Engineer Benson Leung isn’t too keen on two of the newest flagship phones, the LG G5 and HTC 10, because of how they incorporate Qualcomm’s Quick Charge instead of adhering to USB-C's charging standards.
As a Google engineer, Leung has a ton of knowledge about power specs and has put that to use by reviewing nearly every third-party USB-C cable on Amazon.
In essence, they don’t use the USB-C charging spec, which forbids charging above five volts. Quick Charge, however, can charge at nine and 12 volts for a faster charge.
The issue isn’t out of left field. Our review of the HTC 10 noted the following:
The HTC 10 has got a USB-C port, but doesn’t use regular USB-C charging rates. That is, when attached to a power source like the Nexus 5X or 6P chargers, it charges at normal speed, not rapidly. The phone instead incorporates Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, and includes such a charger in the box. I went from 0 to 50% charged in just half an hour, with a full 100% charge taking roughly 1.5 hours.
Leung says USB-C specifications forbids Quick Charge from coexisting with the new standard. It doesn’t appear there’s any actual danger to your device, but it may be worth taking a look at if you want to ensure there’s no potential for long-term damage. And if you're invested in USB-C chargers for Nexus, Chromebook, or Macbook products, know they won't charge those two phones quickly, just at the standard rate.
The impact on you: There’s no danger that you’re going to fry your device with any of these chargers. It just means that despite how nice and reversible USB-C is, there are still some standards to be ironed out. Maybe Samsung was on to something by sticking with micro-USB for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.