ONEPLUS HAS told customers concerned that their USB Typ-C cable might kill them that they can get their money back, as it reacts to criticism from a Google engineer who is attempting to winkle out badly manufactured cables.
The company explained in a lengthy statement: "Please rest assured that this cable and adapter are safe to use with the OnePlus 2. That means that if you’re charging or transferring data to or from the OnePlus 2, you should have no problems using the cable that shipped with your OnePlus 2 or the cables or adapters you bought separately on OnePlus.net.
"Our cable and adapter use a 10kΩ resistor, but according to version 1.1 of the Type-C port standard, these products should be using a 56kΩ resistor. The issue is that the cable and adapter are designed for a maximum of 2A of power, but the resistor will allow fast-charging devices to try to draw more power than a power source may allow.
"This could result in damage to the power source (third-party charger, USB port, etc) if the device and power source do not have an internal mechanism to self-regulate the amount of power flowing to or from them.
"Therefore if a user has purchased these products to use with devices other than the OnePlus 2, we are going to offer an opportunity to apply for a refund on those products purchased through the OnePlus website."
See Microsoft? That's what transparency actually looks like.
OnePlus goes on to say that there is no refund available on the OnePlus2 itself because the included cables were meant to be used with, and are 100 percent compatible with, the product.
The firm does not, however, say whether it plans to redesign the cable.
The campaign started when Benson Leung, an engineer who has worked on the Chromebook Pixel and the forthcoming Android-powered Pixel C, began testing a bunch of USB Type-C cables so that buyers are aware of which ones to avoid.
It seems that OnePlus accessories are first on Leung's 'to avoid' list. The engineer publicly shamed the Chinese outfit on Google+, revealing that the USB Type-C cable that ships with the OnePlus 2 is essentially just a Type-C shaped connecter attached to the end of a regular microUSB cable.
"Do NOT buy this #USB #TypeC to Type-A cable from +OnePlus," Leung said. "It is not spec compliant (uses a 3A identifier resistor instead of the 'Default USB Power' one), and may cause damage to your charger, hub, or PC USB port if you use it with #ChromebookPixel or #nexus6p #Nexus5x," he said.
The new style of USB is reversible and capable of carrying current, data and display information in a form factor only slightly bigger than the current microUSB. However, all cables are not created equal, as Leung explained earlier this month.
"USB Type-C will only be as good as its ecosystem, and more specifically the worst of its ecosystem," he said on Google+, which is still a thing.
"I have started reviewing USB cables on Amazon because I have got fed up with the early cables from third-party vendors that so blatantly flaunt the specification and I want to hold them to task.
"You may not just get weird behaviour from your devices with these bad cables. What some these vendors are doing is downright dangerous."
The problem stems from the use of USB Type-C as a power source. The standard requires that a 3A supply be available through the cable. In order to do this, the correct resistor has to be present in the cable to control the amps being inputted. It's in the specification. It's not supposed to be optional.
In some cases, the wrong resistor is being used, or omitted entirely from connectors, and there's a risk that at best, your device won't charge, and at worst, it'll fry, explode, melt or grow sentient and turn on its master.
OK. Maybe not the last one. But it's pretty bad. Leung has posted details on how to spot whether you've got a duffer of a USB Type-C cable, but you need a bit of technical knowledge to do it. Otherwise, the best advice is to stick to known brands because you don't want to fry your £1,000 device for the sake of a £2 cable.
The latest MacBook Pro and Google's new Nexus devices all use the standard along with the OnePlus 2, while most of the major manufacturers have begun marketing USB C memory sticks. Mass adoption seems likely from 2016 to 2017. µ
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