Samsung Galaxy S II First With MHL-enabled USB Port for Added HDMI Connectivity


We’ll admit: we missed this one interesting detail about the Samsung Galaxy S II when it was announced at Mobile World Congress a week and a half ago. Samsung’s employed a technology called MHL – Mobile High-Definition Link – that allows you to use your USB port as an HDMI port.

No, the port doesn”t magically transform between USB and HDMI before your very eyes, but the USB port can be used with a special MHL-compliant USB-to-HDMI adapter that’ll let you watch and view all of your content on TV just as if it were built in.

It’s nothing that video-out through the 3.5mm headphone jack couldn’t handle, but this gives you higher quality, of course. You do still need to buy a special cable to use it, of course, and we don’t know how compatible it is with the range of HDTVs out there today. (There are a lot of phones whose mini HDMI ports don’t work with older HDTVs due to incompatible types.) The press release can be found at the good ol’ Samsung Unpacked site. [Engadget]

PS: Would you be surprised if I told you I almost published this post calling the technology DHL throughout its entirety?

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

No Multitouch on Motorola Atrix Laptop Dock, Despite Capability on In-Store Demo Units

Previous article

The Daily for Android May Land This Spring

Next article

You may also like


  1. Wow another Samsung Android phone in the US? I already want to avoid it like plauge!

  2. This needs to become standard on all Android phones.

  3. ok, why not just make media playable thru USB, rather than a proprietary form of data transfer. if USB isn’t fast enough then contribute to improving the UNIVERAL technology. standards

  4. im sorry not.improving I meant innovating

  5. Thanks for covering this, I did not see an HDMI connection on the phone so I was concerned.

    Sidenote: I wonder what Samsung has against mini HDMI ports. Maybe it’s like you say, HDMI from phone to TV may not work on older sets.

    Unlike DJ, my next phone will be the S2, what is going to be the hottest handset on the planet. (Just sold my Vibrant to make room for the S2. Making do with an HTC EvoNot, a T-Mobile HD2 with FroYo. LOL).

    And DJ, what’s the “plauge?” Is that worse than the plague? If so, I understand your metaphor. Note: Don’t feel depressed, lots of people can’t spell.

  6. +1 @ DJ

    Please keep this peice of shit away from me (both the phone and the stupid MHL technology). How about simply improving on DLNA technology instead, then you wouldn’t have to worry about a cable at all.

  7. Nice! I can’t wait for this baby. This is going to make things so much more convenient.

  8. @ Contraus – I agree DLNA needs to be perfected. MHL is good for other peoples TV that doesnt have DLNA though. IF you buy the universal adapter because starting off the tech won’t allow you to use a Sam phone on a Sony, Toshiba etc. TV and vice versa.

  9. So…instead of a Mirco HDMI plug they opted for this….another “you need a specal plug/adapter/thingy-ma-jig”. This is irritating!

  10. Fail. You won’t be able to charge your phone while watching a movie. Don’t count on MHL-enabled TVs in your livingroom any time soon.

  11. Agree with Contraus and PimpStrong – DLNA is in so many devices now, why buy more ‘specialized’ cables. I’ve used Skifta a few times and it works great with my TVs. The only annoyance I have is that the DNLA device needs a direct internet connection (come on people – get that internet over HDMI thing working already!) – not a big deal, but why do I need to have a switch to get internet to my Tivo and TV when they are already connected to each other.

  12. More option connection is better…

  13. This is actually nothing new. My Captivate has that option right now. This was a big selling point for me when I bought my Captivate, thinking that netflix was going to be available Soon(tm)…

    … insert uncontrollable laughter here at my naivety…

    … I agree that this is a really cool capability, it just isn’t exclusive to the Galaxy S2.

  14. So that’s where the Samsung Galaxy S micro-USB-to-HDMI cables went! To the version 2 of SGS… hmm… dare I try one of these cables with the I9000 since it was reported it had the same function enabled but, alas, no cables could be found on the market?

  15. What does it matter, it won’t let you play movies out to your TV any way, what is the purpose of a TV out when you can’t watch the movies, about the only thing you can watch is Youtube videos. Kinda crazy.

  16. Zorxd – you fail for not looking up MHL cables and the cable that Samsung released. There’s a spot to plug in a power adapter so your regular HDMI TV can receive the HDMI signal while the charger charges your phone through the MHL port.

    Steven Skwarkowski – Well, it does allow for reduced clutter on the phone itself. And quite frankly I use my phone as a phone 95% of the time and use it as a DVR only occasionally.

    Contraus and PimpStrong – Agreed, DLNA needs to be embraced more.

  17. people complaining about the price of the connectors…recognize that these cables are cheaper than micro hdmi ones on ebay

  18. Does this cable work in Nexus S?

  19. @ MichaelSF. When I typed “plauge” rather than “plague” it was what is commonly known as a “typographical error” or in short form “typo”. It’s okay, there are a lot of people not intelligent enough to recognize a “typo” (as we like to call them). Relax there, Sport; just because our opinions differ there is no cause for unwarranted condescension.

  20. Ummm and how do you expect your tv to understand your nonexistent “video through usb” standard exactly?? Hdmi IS the standard that tvs understand. This is just a way to give you an hdmi port without having an hdmi port. You’ll probably be able to buy an ebay knockoff adapter for three bucks and you’ll be happy.

  21. nice. Pure HD Gaming on my TV :D
    this doesn’t work for the Nexus S or Galaxy S right??

  22. This is probably the most brilliant innovation in the past few years less ports = more beauty. Awesome.
    Look at all those mobiles with dirty fat HDMI port slots. That most people never even use anyway. GJ

  23. Dude. This port isnt just a usb port. Its almost like the two ports merged. It comes out in the same signal. It still uses Hdmi, but this not only lessens the 2 prots, but also mkakes it easier to watch, listen and charge at the same time, al, so yeah, its not a usb port, can send hdmi format, and still uses hdmi to project it from phone to tv

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Accessories