PSA: Your Nexus 5X or 6P wall adapters could potentially fry other Type-C devices [VIDEO]


During this awkward transitional phase of moving from micro USB to the new industry standard of USB Type-C, things can get complicated. While I love being able to plug my cables into my devices in any orientation I choose, USB Type-C is starting to feel like more trouble than it’s worth. What do I mean by that? Well, aside from the headache caused by finding Type-C cables that are both 3.1 spec and will safely rapidly charge my devices at 5V/3A, we’re now learning that not all Type-C chargers are created equal.

No big surprised there, I know, but I’m not talking about some cheap, generic wall adapter from China. It was recently discovered that not even the chargers from the most recent Nexus devices are completely safe to use on all your Type-C devices. While they’re perfectly safe to charge the devices they come bundled with (Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P), Nathan K — a “Google Top Contributor” volunteer who “performs independent USB-C cable, charger, and device verification and analysis on the side” — discovered that these OEM charges made by Huawei and LG (unlike the adapters made by Google) actually aren’t compliant and therefore unsafe to charge other Type-C devices. This is in contrast to wall adapters made by Google, which seemed to function much better, i.e., exactly as they should.

It’s all pretty technical, but basically these chargers don’t know when they’re supposed to be charging something and when they’re not, pumping an electrical current into anything you plug them into. When a complaint was submitted to Google — who, let’s not forget, sells these devices in their online storefront — they allegedly said this wasn’t their issue and to contact the specific manufacturers about any issues.

For more on Nathan K’s discoveries, check out the video he uploaded to YouTube demonstrating the issue. For further analysis and a shootout between various Type-C cables, check out his Google+ here. Be safe out there, guys.

[Google+ | via Reddit]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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