To USB or Not to USB

 

Hot Topic of the week, the Samsung S7 does not have a USB Type-C port

The internet is all a buzz this week with news of the Samsung flagship S7 mobile phone. Yes it’s a beautiful phone packed to the brim with super features but sadly NO USB Type-C! instead the Samsung S7 has a Micro USB, old school to say the least.

Many are asking the question why no Type-C, including me, and the following article goes into great detail on a number of reasons as explained by Shoneel Kolhatkar, senior director of marketing at Samsung. http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s7-why-doesn-t-it-have-usb-c-1315568

Here is my take on the main reasons sighted.

#1 Support for the Samsung Gear VR

Ok, so this, in my opinion, is a legitimate and customer focused decision. The Samsung Gear VR only supports the Micro USB connector and if Samsung had moved to the new and better USB Type-C connector they would have left their existing Gear VR customers in a hole. This decision also mutually benefits Samsung as customers can purchase the new S7 and the Gear VR.

#2 The market is NOT ready for Type-C

Nope, I don’t buy this one. (English slang, I do not think that this is a legitimate reason). The Thunderbolt 3 chips shipping today support USB Type-C, manufacturers of laptops Acer, Dell, and HP ship 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Type-C as standard in mainstream PCs. Chromebook Pixel 2015 platforms support Type-C. The HP Envy has two USB-C ports with USB 3.1 Gen 2.  Watch this cool video, you can clearly see the 2 ports in the video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PMp5VrCFU0 . Many of the above models use the SkyLake chipset supporting 10 Gbps, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C, DisplayPort 1.3a, and Thunderbolt 3. There are many USB Type-C accessories, just search on amazon and you will find a HUGE list. I draw the conclusion that in fact the market and you the consumer, is ready for USB Type-C.

Check out last weeks blog for more USB market trend details: https://blogs.synopsys.com/tousbornottousb/2016/03/04/synopsys-first-and-only-to-certify-10g-usb-3-1-gen-2-ip-and-the-state-of-usb-spring-2016/

#3 We already support Fast Charging

OK, another legitimate but pretty weak reason. I say weak as USB Type-C increases the power delivery available to 15W (from 7.5W) in a standardized method. If the Samsung S7 supported Type-C the user could use any available Type-C charger.

I’m in two minds if I think Samsung made the right or wrong decision on continuing to use Micro USB vs. moving to the better USB Type-C.

Interestingly I am not the only one that feels like this, no USB Type-C is listed as the dislikes of the phone in this article: http://www.stuff.tv/features/five-things-we-love-about-galaxy-s7-and-five-were-not-so-keen .

The good news is that Samsung recognizes the need for USB Type-C in the future as noted at the end of the techradar article.

MICK’s prediction: Samsung will deliver devices which support USB 3.1 with DP 1.3 in the future. Why do I think this? USB 3.1 with DP 1.3 enables a single cable solution supporting blazing fast transfer rates, fast charging and DisplayPort capabilities. This combination supports connections to high-definition (HD), 2K, 4K, and 8K Ultra High Definition (UHD) display from mobile devices and other applications requiring fast data transfer and output of high-resolution content. This is what the consumer wants in their next high end smartphone. A device that can connect to a TV directly and play video content. The same device will connect to a hub with a keyboard, mouse, monitor and storage for an ultra-portable workhorse. Well, this is what I want anyway.

Would you have liked the Samsung S7 to have a USB Type-C port? Let me know via the comments below.

What capabilities are you looking for in the future? Let me know via the comments below.

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Finally, good news, the mason bees have started to emerge for their short season

Hello little mason bee

Look closely at the picture, you can just see the mason bee chewing his way out of his muddy hole. Exciting! (Yes it’s a “he”. They are the first to emerge and you can tell them apart from the females as the males have a white tuft of hair on their cute little heads)

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