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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Product review: USB 3.1 Type C Cable Tenswall - USB 3.1 spec compliant cable

















Tenswall type-C cable is a thick braided cable - it feels and looks well made. It is 40 inches long and easily plugged into a phone with a silicone skin on.
I originally thought it was a 3.1 complaint cable, but in-depth tests by Benson Leung show that it is not.

What is 3.1 compliant cable? USB 3.1 spec specifies that the termination resistor that advertises the maximum available current should be set at 22K which advertises 1.5A of current. Benson Leung has a series of excellent reviews of Type C cables. Benson works for Google's Pixel group and has pointed out that many type-C cables violate the USB 3.1 specification that states that the termination resistor that advertises the maximum available current has been set incorrectly at 10K which advertises 3A of current rather than the correct value of 22K which advertises 1.5A of current. The non-compliant cable could be harmful to devices that are not limited to 2.5A-2.6A such as the ones that Benson evaluated in his reviews. I had an interesting discussion with Benson about my observations of turning this bug into a feature for rapid charging with Nexus 6p, and in general he does not approve of non-compliant cables and said that at minimum people should label them to be sure they are not used as general purposes type-C cables for all devices. I have been using these non-compliant cable with my Nexus 6p with no ill effects with 2.4A car chargers but as they say "use at your own risk". If you do plug in the car charger side of the cable first and the phone second as Benson reported differences based on the order what side of the cable is plugged in first.

All test were done keeping all conditions the same: same level of charge for the phone, same apps running, keeping the screen on so I can see the results.

1) Using a car charger on a port rated 2.5A
Nexus 6p battery is at 39%, at this level it will use rapid charging if possible (i.e. up to 2.5A)
** Tenswall Type C to Type A cable (non 3.1 compliant) -- 1.3A
** Another Type C to Taype A cable (non 3.1 compliant) -- 2.5A

2) Using a wall charger on a port rated 2.4A
Nexus 6p battery is at 37%, at this level it will use rapid charging if possible (i.e. Nexus 6p is cable of drawing up to 2.5A, the port is cable of providing up to 2.4A)
** Tenswall cable ------ 1.27A

Attached are images from my tests that show the results with both cables.

I received this cable from Tenswall for testing and review.  It did not perform as well as other non-compliant cables.

YOu can find this "USB 3.1 Type C Cable" on Amazon via this link


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